UMSL joining with St. Louis Fed to offer graduate certificate program in personal finance literacy education

by | Mar 3, 2022

The 12-hour program begins with an in-person seminar June 6-10 at the St. Louis Fed’s downtown office and continues online throughout the academic year.
Students converse in a group in front of a projector screen at the Ed Collabitat

UMSL and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis have worked together to develop a graduate certificate program in personal finance for educators. Instruction begins with an in-person seminar June 6-10 at the St. Louis Fed’s downtown office and continues online throughout the academic year starting in September. (Photo by August Jennewein)

The University of Missouri–St. Louis is joining with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis to offer secondary school teachers a graduate certificate in personal finance literacy education aimed at helping to improve the quality of personal finance instruction throughout Missouri.

The program requires 12 hours of in-person and online graduate credit coursework over one year. Instruction begins with an in-person seminar June 6-10 at the St. Louis Fed’s downtown office and continues online throughout the academic year starting in September.

“This is a unique partnership, perhaps the first of its kind in the nation, and it will help transform personal finance education in the St. Louis region and across the state,” said Andrew Kersten, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Mary Suiter

Mary Suiter, assistant vice president and head of economic education at the St. Louis Fed and an UMSL economics alumna, has helped develop the curriculum for the new certificate program.

The program consists of nine credit hours of synchronous and asynchronous online learning and three hours earned from an in-person weeklong seminar at the St. Louis Fed. The program is open to any certified teacher interested in teaching personal finance. Twenty educators will be selected for the first cohort.

“Often those teaching personal finance need support in the form of content, instructional strategies, and classroom resources,” said Mary Suiter, assistant vice president and head of economic education at the St. Louis Fed and an UMSL economics alumna. “This program offers teachers professional development that emphasizes hands-on learning, instructional strategies grounded in cognitive science, and personal finance content grounded in economic decision-making. Teachers in the program will use all of this to enhance classroom instruction.”

The course will emphasize economic decision-making applied to personal finance content that aligns with national education standards, including careers and earning income, spending, saving, responsible use of credit, investments, and insurance.

Beyond instruction, the program will also provide educators with a network of personal finance teachers to share knowledge and best practices.

“When teachers are asked to be at the forefront of educational initiatives like required instruction in personal finance, it is imperative that we also offer them relevant, practical, and well-grounded knowledge and pedagogies,” said Ann Taylor, dean of the College of Education. “We are thrilled to partner with our colleagues at the Federal Reserve Bank and across campus to begin what will become the go-to certificate program for teachers and students in personal finance education.”

The cost of the program is $522 per credit hour for Missouri and Illinois residents. Scholarships will be available.

For more information about course content, contact Mary Suiter at mary.c.suiter@stls.frb.org. For questions about enrollment or scholarships, contact David Stofer at dastofer@umsl.edu.

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