Office of Public Affairs

Community Relations

JMU Receives Financial Literacy Leadership Award

From: Public Affairs

James Madison University is this year's winner of the Financial Literacy Leadership Award from the National Student Loan Program. The award recognizes higher education institutions that provide outstanding financial literacy education to their students.

The award was presented at a ceremony Thursday, May 20.

"We're pleased to recognize the university's commitment to helping students learn how to make sound financial decisions," said NSLP President Randy Heesacker. "Their comprehensive program is a great model for other campuses to use and we're delighted we could contribute to their success."

The university received the award because its financial literacy education programs reach so many constituents though a variety of classes, events and publications:

GBUS160 Business Decision Making in a Modern Society is a general education critical thinking course on consumer issues and financial literacy that reaches about 1,500 freshmen students a year. Students are challenged to deal with a wide variety of real life decision-making scenarios they face as adults, including financial considerations such as budgeting, taxes and opportunity costs.

LifeSkills: Real Skills for Real Life is a seven-week, noncredit course attended by 150 students annually, mostly juniors and seniors. The course, offered in partnership with the Virginia Society of CPAs, covers topics such as banking, insurance, legal matters and other issues related to personal financial planning and management.

The Center for Economic Education does a great deal of work teaching financial literacy to elementary, middle school, and secondary students/teachers, as well as serving as a resource for JMU students and instructional faculty.

Financial Literacy Workshops are offered throughout the year on a variety of personal financial management topics, and students receive continuous information through articles and interviews in university publications. An estimated 700 attend the workshops every year.

Faculty and Staff Training is offered every year in a four-part workshop series. The sessions teach campus employees about personal financial skills so they can pass them along to students as they interact with them.

Dollars and Sense is a financial literacy course that has been taught through the Outreach and Engagement division of JMU, and is designed to help individuals wishing to improve their financial skills. Plans are currently under way to revamp the course to better enable it to specifically address the unique needs of college students, who have expressed a great deal of interest in taking the course.

Cathy Snyder, Dr. Ron Cereola and Dr. Brad Roof, College Of Business; Dr. William Wood, JMU Center for Economic Education; Dr. James Shaeffer, JMU Outreach and Engagement; and Brad Barnett, Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships; are received individual award certificates to recognize their efforts to increase financial literacy.

###

May 18, 2010