Sep 28, 2021

Mission 2030 Guest Post: Stephanie Ziegmont Turned a Half-Credit Personal Finance Class into a Full-Credit Graduation Requirement

The following post is one in a series of inspiring stories from NGPF's Gold Standard Challenge Grant Program which incentivizes high schools and districts to commit to ALL students taking personal finance courses before graduation. Learn more, and apply for your $2,500 to $30,000 Gold Standard Challenge Grant before the August 31, 2022 deadline here.

About Today's Guest Author

Stephanie Ziegmont is an educator at Southern Columbia High School in Catawissa, Pennsylvania. Their school is the 97th recipient of the Gold Standard Challenge grant. Here is Stephanie describing Southern Columbia's journey to the Gold Standard!

Describe a rough timeline for how you and/or your colleagues were able to advocate for personal finance to become a graduation requirement in your school/district. How long did it take? What were the major progress milestones?

The school district started last school year to offer personal finance. We required it last year as a half-credit 3 days of the 6-day cycle. We talked with the school board and they were 100% behind the idea to move it to a full year, full credit, and a graduation requirement.

What challenges did you encounter in your efforts to make personal finance a graduation requirement, and what solutions did you find for these challenges?

The only challenge we faced was the schedule. We only have two business teachers, so we had to figure out a way to work around the schedule. We combined some other courses to open up space in their schedule. This was an easy fix knowing that our students will have a lifetime of personal finance knowledge.

What/who were the "catalysts for change" that allowed your efforts to be successful?

The "catalysts for change" at our school were the school board and superintendent, which both agreed with the curriculum director that personal finance is a non-negotiable course that all students need to have. This was the push that was needed to ensure we were successful in our efforts to make personal finance a graduation requirement.

Which stakeholders (students, parents, admin, business leaders, school board, etc) were helpful partners in your quest to make the graduation requirement happen?

The stakeholders that were important were the administration (superintendent, curriculum, director, and principal), school board, and the business leaders via the Chamber of Commerce of the county. This would not be possible without their help.

About the Author

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