Financial literacy training in an academic trading room : expanding practical education in finance

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Southern New Hampshire University
A nationwide awareness of the need to raise students’ financial literacy levels has surfaced recently as a result of a number of studies throughout the United States focusing on financial literacy. The need to examine this issue in more detail is evidenced by the widespread lack of parental personal finance instruction, limited personal finance instruction in both primary and secondary schools and the overall difficulty experienced by many individuals in grasping and applying the basic concepts of personal finance (Mandell, 1998, 2001; American Institutes for Research, National Council on Economic Education, and Council of Chief State School Officers, 2002; Carvahal, 2002). The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the development and implementation of a financial literacy program at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) including: (1) A brief overview of the literature in financial literacy; (2) The pedagogical opportunities made available to both SNHU and the community by the development of the “Center for Financial Studies” and its high technology trading room; (3) A brief outline of the SNHU mission and how financial literacy is integrated; and (4) The development and administration of financial literacy curriculum modules as a part of the Freshman Experience Course (FEX) at SNHU. Both the challenges and results are explored in this paper. A revised version of this paper has since been published in the journal Advances in Financial Education. Please use this version in your citations.
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