When teaching about personal finance, Corban University Business Professor Don Leavitt knows it takes two things to keep students’ attention – practicality and inspiration.
After a decade of searching for the right course material, Leavitt turned to the newly released “Foundations in Personal Finance,” created by Dave Ramsey, creator of the popular “Financial Peace University.” For Leavitt, the course hits a “home run” in getting students’ attention and keeping it.
“Anyone who has taken the Financial Peace University course knows Dave Ramsey and his sense of humor,” he said. “He’s entertaining, but this course really speaks directly to college students using examples they can relate to.”
His interest in teaching personal finance stems from a desire to see students return to Corban year after year. If students have the tools to manage or eliminate their debt load, it gives them educational freedom of choice, Leavitt said.
During class, students watch short video clips that are followed by a discussion. Students complete assignments outside of class through a website created as part of the “Foundations in Personal Finance” curriculum. To date, students have created simple budgets and journaled their expenses for two weeks. which Leavitt said, “they found they spent too much on coffee.”
However, he noted one student asked to take a DVD home to share with his wife.
“In all of the time I’ve taught personal finance, I’ve never had that request,” he said. With the combination of content delivery and personal application, Leavitt said students taking the elective course should be financially empowered once they are out of the classroom.
“They will have a tool they can use throughout their lives to manage debt,” he said. “From start to finish, we stress this is a course to change the way they think about debt. It’s not simply about the grade.”