Aug 17, 2023

Arizona State University and NGPF Launch a Personal Finance Certificate Program for K-12 Teachers

The Arizona State University W. P. Carey School of Business partnered with Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF) to create a personal finance certificate program for K-12 teachers, allowing them to earn college credit for professional development. 

The inaugural cohort started August 14 and with 118 students enrolled, the program has already significantly surpassed its enrollment expectations.

“We’re happy to partner with NGPF because it fits in with our efforts to further financial capability,” says Department of Finance Chair and Cutler Family Endowed Professor Laura Lindsey. “If we help to educate teachers, we can impact more students than we otherwise would, and we can ensure understanding beyond the basics so students can better navigate their financial lives." 

Currently, 23 states require students to complete a financial literacy course before graduating high school. Through NGPF’s Mission 2030 Fund, the organization is working alongside other advocates to expand this to all 50 states. 

“If we’re looking at a significant increase in the number of students who need to learn, then there’s going to be a significant increase in the number of teachers who will be seeking professional development opportunities like this,” says NGPF co-founder Tim Ranzetta. “Their ability to get a certificate from a leading institution like the W. P. Carey School of Business is huge for them.”

Ranzetta approached the school last winter about a collaboration that would allow teachers to earn college credit. 

“We were looking for partners because we wanted an institution of higher learning that had a great reputation with online instruction,” he says. “Our goals are ambitious in terms of a scalable solution so we can reach as many teachers as possible.”

The program consists of two online courses: Investment Management for Educators (3 credits), which focuses on a framework for planning and implementing investment strategies, and Risk Management for Educators (3 credits), which focuses on identifying, measuring, and mitigating sources of risk. 

Each student in the inaugural class received a full scholarship from NGPF. Completing NGPF’s Investing and Advanced Investing certificates is a prerequisite for the program. Both courses are for-credit and could apply toward a graduate degree program.

“Scholarship application responses overwhelmingly demonstrated teacher enthusiasm and need for this program for new and veteran teachers alike,” says Chris Salm, NGPF’s growth project manager.

Since personal finance requirements in schools are still relatively new, certificate programs and professional development allow teachers to familiarize themselves with subject matter not taught in most teacher prep programs.

“I graduated college almost 30 years ago, and NGPF courses have helped me stay current and relevant in the finance field,” said Wendy Simone Pisciotta, a teacher from Massachusetts. “My students are intrigued by the subject of investing; they ask a lot of questions. They will benefit from the broader span of knowledge and confidence that I hope to gain as a result of participating in this course.” 

Teacher Jenny Trieu of Boston Public Schools has already completed the course. 

"I learned A LOT! I now have more investment knowledge moving forward that I can apply to my own investments, as well as teaching students in my classroom," she says. 

NGPF and ASU will evaluate the results from this pilot program and are hopeful it will be extended beyond the first two cohorts.


About the Authors

Hannah Rael

As NGPF's Marketing Communications Manager, Hannah (she/her) helps spread the word about NGPF's mission to improve the financial lives of the next generation of Americans.

Chris Salm

Chris (ella/she/her) joined NGPF full-time as a project manager and Spanish translator after 13 years as an educator in NY. She is a graduate of St. Louis University in Madrid, Spain with a degree in International Business. She has a Masters in Teaching from Pace University in New York and a certification in translation from NYU. She brings organizational skills to the team at NGPF, helping to ensure every high school student graduates financially literate. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and going back home to Spain with her husband and two children. She also enjoys running with her dog and exploring nature.

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