Get Smart About Money with NEFE's Self-Paced Online Courses

Post by: Susan Sharkey

This article was originally published in the Summer 2016 Jump$tart Update.

No matter who, what, or how you teach, you also are making your own personal finance decisions every day. At the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®) we know that sometimes one of the biggest financial challenges is knowing where to turn for free, noncommercial, credible and reliable information.

Whether you are just looking for a refresher in money basics or want to improve your own financial health, NEFE’s Smart About Money (SAM), offers free online courses to take at your own pace, on your own time. SAM courses are in-depth guided learning experiences. The average course will take approximately 45 minutes to complete and includes targeted tools and resources.

SAM is a free, unbiased resource with in-depth personal finance courses, articles, calculators and tips to help you manage your money through life's ups and downs.

 Smart About Money Basic Money Courses

Take a SAM Money Basics Course

Why Teacher Capability Matters

Capable and confident educators elevate financial education programs. Research shows that financial education in schools is most effective when led by teachers properly trained in personal finance itself, not just in pedagogy. A NEFE-funded University of Wisconsin study confirmed that more than 80 percent of teachers don’t feel confident teaching personal finance. The best way to build teacher confidence, the study found, is with proper training.

Subsequently, NEFE partnered with Champlain College’s Center for Financial Literacy to complete a two-year study of Vermont teachers to see if training teachers makes a difference in student learning outcomes — and it does.  The study indicates that combining highly-trained teachers and formal student learning experiences results in a positive impact on student financial literacy. Students taught by the well-trained teachers improved financial capability knowledge and behavior by 17 percent, while control group students (who received no instruction) dropped by 2 percent in the same measures. Read the full report, Prepped for Success

Where to Find Additional Teacher Training

Teachers may be able to apply personal finance coursework to professional development plans or to meet license renewal credit criteria. In some states the local Jump$tart coalition partners collaborate to provide teacher training opportunities for graduate credit. Teachers can check with their state coalition to find local workshops (

Nonprofit. Noncommercial. Unbiased.

SAM is one of NEFE’s many programs. NEFE is an independent, nonprofit foundation committed to educating Americans on a broad range of financial topics and empowering them to make positive and sound decisions to reach their financial goals. NEFE does not receive funding from the government or the financial services industry. All NEFE resources are unbiased and noncommercial. Learn more at

Tagged with: Newsletter August 2017

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