Extension educators help MCTC staff teach personal finance to students
Minneapolis Community & Technical College (MCTC) students often encounter significant financial challenges related to money. In particular, students from low-income backgrounds learn lessons about money as their families navigate crises of poverty, a lack of financial resources and financial emergencies. These situations teach students strategies for surviving poverty, but they do not equip students to be financially secure and manage money in a way that will help build a solid future. Many college students are making big money decisions on their own for the first time and personal financial literacy education helps inform their choices and set them up for success.
MCTC approached UMN Extension Center for Family Development for assistance with personal finance professional development for their staff. To help build the capacity of the college’s Trio Starting Point staff, a team of Extension educators provided a five part train the trainer series on the Dollar Works 2 curriculum. Session topics included:
- Making money decisions
- Building money management skills
- Managing income and bank accounts
- Understanding credit and debt
- Targeting money issues
“I learned a lot, and incorporating stories is important to make sure we are using both oral & print communication. Also, the ‘I’ statements and helping to clarify values is vital in our communication with students so it was good to review how this might work,” said one participant. Another remarked, “I Learned to consider the grief cycle when working with students in financial crisis. I will work on using ‘I’ statements when communicating with students in financial literacy work.”
When asked to describe how they plan to use or implement the materials with their clients/students, participants identified:
- Advising sessions with individual students
- Workshops with topics and multiple students
- Classroom with groups of students
As one participant stated, “One of our goals is to teach financial literacy to our students. I will refer to the Dollar Works materials to assist students with financial topics relevant to their specific financial situations.”
The Dollar Works 2 curriculum is currently being updated with an anticipated release date of summer 2021.