Designed for community-based professionals, the Financial Educator Certificate (FEC) is an online course that equips learners with the expertise to assist others in managing financial resources, building assets, and enhancing financial wellbeing. The course delves into essential financial concepts, including wealth building, spending, saving, borrowing, and wealth protection. Gain insight into financial behavior theory and its practical applications, explore effective educational delivery methods, and understand financial education's ethics and program evaluation.
FEC is an online asynchronous course that uses a cohort model. As you progress through the course, you and your peers will learn the same concepts at the same time. The course includes ten modules that are completed over 7-months. The course uses a combination of learning tools to keep you engaged, including videos, case studies, quizzes and discussions.
Upcoming FEC program
The 2023 cohort of the FEC program will run from Sept. 18, 2023 to April 19, 2024.
Through individual study and online interaction with cohort peers, participants will demonstrate mastery of core financial practices, including the ability to:
Analyze financial situations.
Create spending and saving plans.
Build and repair credit.
Access tax credits.
Participants will also comprehend core tenets of financial education and evaluation, including the ability to:
Apply financial educational theories.
Choose appropriate financial education delivery methods for intended outcomes.
Comprehend key principles in financial education program evaluation.
Demonstrate ethical principles in financial education.
The certificate will be granted upon the successful completion of all requirements of the program. This includes:
Completion of all assignments.
Active participation in online discussions.
Achievement of at least 80 percent on each of the Check Your Knowledge quizzes.
Completion of Capstone Project.
The Financial Educator Certificate Program is taught by the following University of Minnesota staff:
- Dung Mao, Extension educator in family resiliency
- Mary Jo Katras, program leader in family resiliency
Registration is through the University of Minnesota online registration system. This system uses pop-ups. Follow the instructions and provide the required information. This registration system will:
- Guide you to "create a new guest account" to use for the course. If you have a University of Minnesota x500 internet ID/password, you will skip this step.
- Collect basic information about you, needed by the course instructor.
- Collect your registration fee of $350. (Required as a credit card payment.)
- Give you the link to immediately access the online course.
The course is divided into ten course modules. Here is more information about what to expect from each modules.
Module 1 covers the following concepts and skills:
- Needs and wants.
- Couples and money.
- Children and money.
By completing module 1, you will be able to:
- Recognize the influence of culture, consumer culture and personal values on money management.
- Distinguish between needs and wants.
- Understand how personal, couple, and family complexities affect money management.
- Recommend approaches used when teaching children about money.
- Apply key concepts of this module to a family case study.
Module 2 covers the following concepts and skills:
- Record keeping.
- Net worth.
- Cash flow.
- Financial ratios.
- SMART goals.
- Financial decisions and family life stages.
By completing module 2, you will be able to:
- Understand how to analyze current financial situation using basic financial tools.
- Identify financial goals and decisions at various stages of the lifespan.
- Set concrete financial goals.
- Prepare a spending plan or budget.
- Apply new knowledge and skills in the analysis of unique family financial situations.
Module 3 covers the following concepts and skills:
- Revolving and non-revolving credit.
- Credit reporting bureaus.
- Shariah-compliant credit.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
By completing module 3, you will be able to:
- Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of different types of consumer credit.
- Understand how cultural values affect credit use.
- Recommend ways to manage credit use to avoid financial problems.
- Understand the importance of a good credit history and credit score.
- Analyze a credit report and recommend possible ways to build and repair credit score.
- Understand consumer rights and responsibilities including key consumer credit protection legislation.
Module 4 covers the following concepts and skills:
- Types of debt.
- Consequences of debt.
- Debt repayment.
By completing module 4, you will be able to:
- Analyze debt.
- Understand the consequences of having unmanageable debt.
- Determine effective debt management strategies.
- Have an awareness of consumer rights related to debt and know where to seek information
Module 5 covers the following concepts and skills:
- Asset development.
- Tax credits.
- Challenges of being “banked.”'
- Types of financial institutions and services.
- Consumer rights.
- Predatory financial services.
By completing module 5, you will be able to:
- Recognize the important of saving and the time value of money.
- Describe the types, value and role of assets in building wealth.
- Demonstrate understanding of tax credits and tax deductions in diverse family situations.
- Assess and analyze financial institutions, banking products and services.
- Recognize consumer responsibilities and rights to being banked.
Module 6 covers the following concepts and skills:
- Investment products and strategies to build wealth.
- Investment motivation.
- Risk and Investment.
By completing module 6, you will be able to:
- Understand reasons to invest and how investments work.
- Understand the importance of investment goals.
- Understand the different retirement investment products and investment strategies.
- Understand investment risk and tolerance.
Module 7 covers the following concepts and skills:
- Insurance types.
- Current insurance policy initiatives.
By completing module 7, you will be able to:
- Understand insurance needs and related financial decisions.
- Be aware of current trends and policy initiatives related to various forms of insurance.
- Apply key concepts of this module to a family case study.
Module 8 covers the following concepts and skills:
- Financial delivery methods.
- Ethical behavior.
- Personal ethical code.
By completing module 8, you will be able to:
- To identify and define delivery methods of financial programs.
- To discuss the similarities and differences among delivery methods for financial education programs.
- To strengthen the skills of educators/practitioners who deliver financial management programs and assist with building the financial capability of their clients.
- Understand the principles of ethical behavior in financial education.
- Accept and deal with ambiguity when working with learners and clients.
- Articulate their personal code of ethics that will inform their practice.
Module 9 covers the following concepts and skills:
- Logic model.
- Behavior change.
By completing module 9, you will be able to:
- Understand basic concepts related to program evaluation.
- Create a logic model for a financial education program.
- Understand different stages of behavior change and how it relates to financial education and evaluation.
The capstone project is an opportunity for you to apply what you have learned throughout the Financial Education Certification Program. This project will demonstrate your understanding of financial capability and mastery of core financial practices.
Do I need to complete the course all at once?
You can go in and out of the course as often as you like. Since this is an online course, it can be completed at your own pace within the parameters of the course. Be sure to keep record of the internet ID and password you set when you register.
How much time can I expect to spend on this course?
The time spent on the course will vary by individual. The exact time needed to complete the course will vary depending on your current knowledge and the amount of time spent doing additional readings and activities. A new course module will begin every two to three weeks and, on average, participants would be expected to spend five to six hours working on each module. A capstone project is to be completed during the last month of the course.
Can I receive documentation for the time spent in the course?
Yes! You will a certificate upon the successful completion of all requirements of the program, including completion of all assignments, active participation in online discussions, and achievement of at least 80 percent on each of the chec-your-knowledge quizzes.
I've never participated in an online course before. Are there resources or tips to help guide me?
Visit Extension's Get help with online learning page for tips and resources.
Help! I’m having problems registering for the course.
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I'm having issues logging in to the course. What should I do?
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- You can reset your account password online.
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Development of this program was financially supported by the Greater Twin Cities United Way. The College of Education and Human Development — University of Minnesota provided instructional design and technology production support.