Special Discussion contd. - Hosting Financial Literacy Workshops for Adult Learners (Feb. 12 - 14)

Engaging local and community partners to bolster support services for students including introducing and continuing the financial education to our students in an excellent strategy. It could formalize a relationship, bring in new expertise, deliver a new perspective and set of resources for a particular focus area.

In terms of financial literacy, recruiting local banks and other financial institutions to introduce financial literacy concepts, engaging financial aid office staff from a local college to talk about FAFSA and scholarships etc. has shown to be of value to a lot of programs.

Do you offer standalone or series of workshops with special guests from financial literacy organizations or community banks?

Does your program staff deliver workshop modules focused on financial literacy? 



[posted on behalf of Mary Lou Friedline]

PA Adult Education programs incorporate Career Pathways http://www.paadultedresources.org/career-pathways.html lessons and activities. Adults become aware of the local labor market and the skills required to be competitive in the workplace. Choosing a career or getting the “job to get a job” requires a clear understanding of gross and net pay, benefits, 401K, etc.

Banks are required by the Community Reinvestment Act www.financeproject.org/publications/cra.pdf to assist in community development, including “community services targeted to low- or moderate-income individuals” and “activities that revitalize or stabilize low- or moderate-income geographies.” Besides providing relevant and interesting workshops for adult learners, banks may become partners with adult education programs for creative ways that incorporate the CRA.

Woodforest National Bank, housed in our Walmarts, provides a monthly, 2-hour Money Smart module. They provide all the materials in a folder, as well as complete a form for in-kind for our program, at numerous sites. Instructors select the module based on students’ needs. Modules are often repeated as student enrollment changes.

Students have been unsure of the value of the Money Smart workshops until they participate. A few have chosen not to attend. However, the day after the workshop, those who didn’t attend hear the value of the 2 hours from those who did. They don’t miss a second time!

The modules provide an understanding about grants and loans, which aids in completing the FAFSA. Students look at their options for post-secondary education or training with a new viewpoint about the cost. Many will receive an Individual Training Account (ITA) from the one-stop but now have a clearer vision of the true costs of seeking further education and their loan obligations.

Because the managers from Woodforest Bank also talk about employment, students hear an employer’s expectation of how they select individuals to be interviewed and what they hope to hear from a prospective employee. Students say the employer’s viewpoint is one they rarely consider.

Money Smart curriculum can be found at http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/

[posted on behalf of Mary Lou Friedline]

We have used the free FDIC Money Smart for many years. It is available as CBI and the CD, which includes all student and instructor materials. You will see many available formats at http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/adult.html.

As I mentioned before, our local Woodforest National Bank (housed in our WalMarts) has come into our classes once a month to provide 2-hour workshops on the modules of our choice, depending on attending students. These FDIC workshops are considered instruction in our program. We know in advance which module is going to be covered so I copy the vocabulary and go over it the day before to prepare the students. I also integrate this in the reading, writing or note-taking exercises. Career transitions class also uses this. It is part of instruction so there is a follow-up post-instruction where they use a graphic organizer of brainstorm top 2 things that are useful to them.  

I hope this is new and useful information for programs.

If you are interested in the Money Smart curriculum, the FDIC website has an instructors' guide, Guide to Presenting the Money Smart CurriculumThis guide helps instructors learn how to effectively use the training materials, including by highlighting the features that help instructors quickly and easily teach financial education in a classroom setting.  The guide also provides training tips and strategies to accommodate participants with disabilities.

Videos are available at Train-the-Trainer Video for Adults (YouTube). Train-the-trainer workshops are offered via regularly scheduled Live Meetings. You can view the schedule at http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/trainthetrainer.html



Since one of our goals, as we built our financial security program, is to avoid duplicating existing community efforts it makes sense to partner with other organizations.  One of the organizations we work with is the Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) www.egbi.org.

EGBI provides emerging and existing businesses, led primarily by historically economically disadvantaged community members of the Greater Austin area the tools to establish and grow their business through education, business plan assistance, and consulting.  El Buen Samaritano and EGBI serve the same community but in different ways, which makes for an ideal partnership.  Each semester for the past year EGBI has held a small business class on El Buen Samaritano’s campus as well as various standalone workshops.  This partnership has allowed us to increase the variety of services our clients receive while leveraging resources.  Additionally, having a partner agency here on campus has deepened our efforts to raise awareness of the importance of financial security programming among our staff and other community partners.  By opening our doors and welcoming collaboration we have seen an increase in the number of agencies who want to partner.   

For this special discussion on Integrating Financial Literacy into the Adult Education Classroom, we explored ideas, strategies, and resources over the past 10 days. In this journey, we were joined by adult education program managers, counselors, and teachers from a range of adult education programs who shared their expertise and experiences. I would like to acknowledge their participation and the engagement from the members of the Financial Literacy and Postsecondary Completion groups. Thanks for enriching this discussion with your inputs and interest. 

Here are some curriculum resources that were shared: 

1. FDIC Money Smart - The Money Smart for Adults instructor-led curriculum consists of eleven training modules that cover basic financial topics.  Topics include a description of deposit and credit services offered by financial institutions, choosing and maintaining a checking account, spending plans, the importance of saving, how to obtain and use credit effectively, and the basics of building or repairing credit. 
LINK: http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/adult.html

2. Virginia Money Talks - An ESOL Toolkit for Financial Literacy, Money Talks is a comprehensive, multi-level resource for teaching financial literacy to adult ESOL students that can be used and adapted to fit a wide range of learning situations.
LINK: http://moneytalks.valrc.org/

3. Using videos to introduce and explore financial literacy topics - There are some excellent videos, in the public domain, that can get the conversation started in the classroom.  
LINK: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtS3HVFTMi_W1HpIFgVZm4tcnyiXkDU41

Resources for Workshops: 

1. Financial Workshop Kits is designed to help you effectively teach money management skills to those you serve in your community. Through this site, you have access to workshops, tools, and other resources that can be used separately or together to empower people to make the best financial decisions for their values and unique circumstances.
LINK: http://www.financialworkshopkits.org/

2. Financial Aid Toolkit - The toolkit provides access to resources covering the entire financial aid lifecycle from applying for financial aid to repaying student loans and includes documents such as financial aid event materials, presentations, brochures, videos, and sample tweets and Facebook posts. The toolkit also offers professional development information such as training opportunities and resources for self-instruction. 
LINK: http://financialaidtoolkit.ed.gov/tk/

Counseling and Program practices: 

1. Integrating Career Awareness - This curriculum has lessons and activity ideas like Financial Aid Resources, Needs Versus Wants, Tracking Your Money, Creating a Spending Plan, Dealing with Credit Issues, and Career and Education Planning.
LINK: http://lincs.ed.gov/professional-development/resource-collections/profile-246

2. College Scorecard - Students can use the College Scorecard to find out more about a college’s affordability and value so they can make more informed decisions about which college to attend. To start, they can enter the name of a college of interest to them or select factors that are important in their college search. They can find scorecards for colleges based on factors such as programs or majors offered, location, enrollment size, as well as graduation rates.
LINK: http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/higher-education/college-score-card

3. Financial Awareness Counseling Tool - This online resource provides students with the basics of financial management and information about their federal student loan debt (and total student loan debt if they enter information about their private student loans). The tool also estimates what their student loan debt is likely to be when they leave school and provides financial planning tips.
LINK: https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/financialAwarenessCounseling.action?execution=e4s1

You can view and participate in the rest of the conversation at these discussion threads - 
1. https://community.lincs.ed.gov/discussion/special-discussion-incorporating-financial-literacy-adult-education-programs-feb-3-14
2. https://community.lincs.ed.gov/discussion/special-discussion-contd-incorporating-financial-literacy-career-and-counseling-services-

You can follow the discussion threads above to further discover materials that have been specifically developed for the ESL classroom.  


Priyanka Sharma

SME, Postsecondary Completion

1. The financial literacy content on the Khan Academy web site - https://www.khanacademy.org/science/core-finance

2. The Federal Trade Commission's website is an excellent resources for ABE and ESL students. The videos in the Consumer section can be used in classroom to discuss scams and what rights consumers have. LINK - http://www.ftc.gov/news-events/audio-video/consumers

3. Literacy Partners from New York uses the We Are New York Series and related materials. You can google it and will find all the Episodes (Love and Money is the best for this) downloadable. It all comes with really high quality materials plus user generated stuff. All free and on website. All the videos are available at  http://www.nyc.gov/html/weareny/html/episodes/episodes.shtmlOn the video page the video transcripts and the vocabulary words are also available.I found the Love and Money video to be of most interest to ESL circles. LINK: http://www.nyc.gov/html/weareny/html/episodes/love_and_money.shtml


~ Priyanka 

There are some excellent videos on YouTube and other websites focused on various aspects of financial literacy.Some of them are not pertinent to the interest and needs of our adult learners and others are too long or uninteresting. I have pulled together some of the videos that can potentially be used in a classroom setting when addressing financial literacy topics, or even as a precursor to a writing assignment.

Take a look at the videos by following the link below. Can you think of other ways of using them in the classroom and with your students...  

Playlist link - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtS3HVFTMi_W1HpIFgVZm4tcnyiXkDU41


~ Priyanka Sharma, SME, Postsecondary Completion  



My name is Christina Stang and I am the transitions counselor in LaGuardia's Bridge to College and Careers Program. I'm very glad to be part of the conversation and have learned so much from others' posts thus far.

The Bridge Program at LaGuardia offers adult learners a semester of preparation to take the high school equivalency exam. Once they've earned the HSE, I continue to work with them, as the transitions couselor, to help them apply for college or seek career development. In the beginning of the semester I spend a good deal of my time planning and facilitating college and career workshops. As the semester progresses, my student interactions become more individualized.

You can read more about our program here, http://www.laguardia.cuny.edu/uploadedFiles/T2/pcap/docs/GED%20Bridge%20description.pdf

Our Spring semester is just beginning next week, so I have been thinking about how I want to frame my initital workshops to set a solid base and point of reference for students in terms of college and career readiness.

Whether students want to go on to college, advance their careers through training programs, or they are unsure, financial literacy is an essential component of our program. We emphasize this from the beginning and I find that it's important and effective to be honest and forthcoming with students upfront. Students have varied financial histories, all of which will likely impact them moving forward, so it is important to set a comfortable tone initially so that we can talk about anything that might hold them back in the future. I always ask students early on if they have any outstanding loans, whether or not they plan to file their taxes, and what some of their financial aid options are, particularly if they are undocumented and do not qualify for FAFSA. It is important to have these conversations as soon as possible, both in group settings and in more detail one-on-one.

In addition to our college and career workshops that incorporate financial literacy, our instructors integrate financial literacy into their lessons. Preparing for the HSE math exam can be readily connected to assessing one's own personal finances. Their readings also emphasize the idea of delayed gratification that comes with making "sound" financial decisions in the long term.