2009
Benedictine answers the president's call to improve financial literacy

Benedictine answers the president's call to improve financial literacy
October 7, 2009

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094
pbrozynski@ben.edu

During a recent address on financial rescue and reform delivered in New York City, President Obama called on the financial sector to develop creative approaches to improve financial education. The call highlighted the importance that education plays in the financial health of families, communities and the nation, and the role that the financial sector, educators, community organizations, and the local, state and federal government play in ensuring financial capability. Benedictine University is answering President Obama’s call and taking the lead in educating students about financial responsibility by offering an eight-week, 2 credit-hour course titled “MGT 391: Service Learning – Managing Personal Spending and Savings.” The course teaches undergraduate students how to prepare personal budgets, manage credit and debit card spending, and use a journal to track spending and progress toward their savings goals. It also provides students a chance to share what they learn with members of Junior Achievement (JA). The course is taught by Vicki Jobst, M.B.A., C.P.A., an instructor in the Undergraduate Business Department at Benedictine University. More than 40 students completed the course during the 2008-2009 academic year. “The course made me realize how much I’m wasting my money,” said Madiha Hassan, a sophomore from Glendale Heights who completed the course during the Fall 2008 semester. “Through daily journaling, I discovered that I spend most of my money on wants rather than needs. “I could use the extra money to open a savings account or buy a certificate of deposit, which would benefit me in the future,” she added. “I’m definitely trying to stick to my budget and achieve my financial goals.” The first four weeks of the class are a combination of onsite classroom instruction and online learning. During the second four weeks of the class, the students share what they have learned with middle school-aged students through the JA “Economics for Success” program. JA of Chicago has been providing quality economic education programs for nearly 70 years. With the help of more than 140,000 business and community volunteers, JA of Chicago has reached nearly 4 million students with hands-on learning experiences in the greater Chicago metropolitan area. Last year alone, JA of Chicago served more than 56,000 students in DuPage County and 369,000 throughout Chicago area. Benedictine students have worked with JA members from Jay Stream Middle School in Carol Stream and Glen Crest Middle School in Glen Ellyn. The course will be offered from 6:30-9:30 p.m. on Thursdays beginning October 22 through December 10. Enrollment is open to all undergraduate students (including adults) regardless of their major. Registration is open through October 22. For more information about the course, contact Jobst at vjobst@ben.edu.

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Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.