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National Institute of Financial & Economic Literacy

An Opportunity for Educators


Past Institute Participants

Expanding opportunities through financial education . . .

In 2001, The Wisconsin Jump$tart Coalition members, of which DFI is a partner, saw a desperate need to educate our youth about financial literacy and promote financial literacy to Wisconsin youth. The dream – the next generation of adults would be well educated about their personal finances and avoid the pitfalls of previous generations. This would not only improve our nation's economy, but create a healthier generation with less stress, less divorce and less suicides caused by poor financial decisions. Because most students duplicate the environment in which they are raised, the generation following theirs will hopefully perpetuate this healthy behavior creating a domino effect towards a more stable society for years to come.

The need for financial education in classrooms has grown exponentially across the country, but 80% of educators feel they do not have the training and understanding to teach it. Members of the Wisconsin Jump$tart Coalition have made it possible to create a low cost and high quality training program for all educators – the National Institute of Financial and Economic Literacy. This program gives teachers the expertise and confidence needed to teach personal finance, getting free teaching materials and resources.

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History of the Institute

Our professional educators were the natural partners to assist in this goal. To provide the teachers with the tools and training needed, the Wisconsin Institute Teacher Education Series was created and had its inaugural session as the Wisconsin Institute of Financial and Economic Education in 2001 featuring the Credit and Money Week. It began as a one-week, three graduate credit (optional) program. An additional two days were added (Saving, Investing and Insurance) in 2002, and two complete one-week sessions in 2003. In the year 2004, three one-week sessions took place with the inclusion of Financial Milestones and Entrepreneurship (now Paychecks, Financial Contracts and Entrepreneurship). Each session is designed to stand-alone and one is not required to participate in the others.

In 2005, the next level of achievement for this education series was reached. The Wisconsin Institute became the National Institute of Financial and Economic Literacy and opened its doors to educators across the country.

The Institute's success is a combination of several factors: the dedicated teachers of our youth, highly qualified college educators, a great learning environment, committed sponsors who make lower tuition fees possible, industry professionals throughout the country who volunteer their time and materials to bring the lessons from the classroom into the real world and committed volunteers. Without each of these key components, the Institute would not be possible.

Wisconsin Jump$tart's vision is to expand the Series each year to encompass all aspects of financial literacy, from basic to the extreme. In this way, the future of generations to come will be better prepared to make sound financial decisions.

Office of Financial Literacy
(608) 572-5794