Center for Economic Education

The Center for Economic Education at Dordt University seeks to reach out to public and private schools to globally advance God's kingdom by improving the economic and personal financial literacy of all students. We strive to present a biblically wise, skillful, responsible, and caring way to apply economic, personal finance, and marketplace education in their communal life in God's world.

Teacher Resources
A child raises his hand in class

About Us

In Iowa, economics and personal finance education is included in the K-12 standards and is required to be implemented by districts. Iowa also requires a ½ credit course in personal finance for graduation from high school. Beginning in Kindergarten and continuing through high school, Iowa students are being prepared for the future. Many K-12 teachers have received little formal financial education. The teaching, training, and curriculum materials provided through Centers for Economic Education in every state have research-based, proven curricula to improve the literacy of teachers in these areas. The multiplier effect of each trained teacher reaching 100 students per year is the foundation of center-based educational objectives.

A student raises her hand during class

Our Mission

The Center for Economic Education at Dordt University seeks to reach out to public and private schools to globally advance God's kingdom by improving the economic and personal financial literacy of all students. We strive to present a biblically wise, skillful, responsible, and caring way to apply economic, personal finance, and marketplace education in their communal life in God's world.

Our Values

We believe students should develop economic ways of thinking and problem solving that they can use throughout their lives. These tools can be used as consumers, savers and investors, members of the workforce, responsible citizens, and effective participants in a global economy.

Our Vision

We seek to be the leading economic and financial literacy resource for K-12 schools, teachers, and students in Iowa who want to integrate economics, personal finance, and marketplace topics into their curricula.

What We Do

The Dordt University Center for Economic Education, affiliated with a nationwide network of university-based Centers for Economic Education, has various programs for teachers and students to get involved with to further their Economic and Financial Literacy Education. These programs include:

Throughout the year, the Dordt University CEE will offer topical workshops for teachers and education majors in college introducing new ideas and materials for K-12 classroom. As workshops are scheduled for the coming year, they will be posted on our website.

The CEE works with school districts to plan activities for strengthening teachers' knowledge and classroom strategies in economics and financial literacy for K-12. Programs can be designed for teacher in-service days and offer specific topics that districts may request. Feel free to contact us to arrange for the CEE to bring specialized professional offerings to your district or schools.

Our extensive resources and many online resources have been aligned with the newest Iowa Standards. We work with the State Department of Education to continually expand the alignment of new resources. The CEE has many helpful links and will continue to expand the information available. Nationally designed and normed assessment instruments for your school or district can be found on the National Council website.

News and Highlights

"Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced on Wednesday that the countenance of abolitionist leader Harriet Tubman will grace a new $20 bill.The decision caps a public campaign asking for a woman to be placed on American paper currency and months of deliberation by the Treasury to replace either Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill or Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill."

Visit NPR or Politico for more details.

"According to an old superstition, it’s good luck to find a penny on the sidewalk. But whether or not you believe picking up that penny will bring you luck, one thing it definitely won’t bring you is wealth. Pennies are worth so little now that by taking five seconds to pick one up, you’re earning just $7.20 an hour—less than the federal minimum wage."

Read more at: http://www.moneycrashers.com/get-rid-penny-reasons/

"While the terms 'financial planning' and 'investment advice' are often used interchangeably, they refer to different skill sets. As a consequence, two of the more popular designations—certified financial planner (CFP) and registered investment advisor (RIA) – are regulated under different authorities."

To learn more, visit: http://www.moneycrashers.com/choosing-financial-planner-investment-advisor/

For a different view of the impact of economic literacy:

"Economic literacy is important because socialist ideas can sound plausible to people without basic knowledge of economics.To them, a centralized system of resource planning may sound preferable to markets where individuals are free to participate in commercial transactions of their choice."

To read the full article, visit The Daily Signal.

"Questions posed through a new University of Iowa course might seem pretty basic. Do you spend more than you make? Have you borrowed money? How are you paying it back? Are you saving anything? Yet many university students—despite having an array of new financial liberties and responsibilities—haven’t thought through those questions or the answers. And that lack of personal finance knowledge, some say, has contributed to the mounting student debt crisis sweeping the nation."

To read about how this crisis is being addressed, visit The Gazette.

Bob Mantell has established the new Iowa Council for Economic Education. Our Center welcomes you! Bob is currently the director of education of TS Institute. Working for Treynor State Bank in Treynor, Iowa, Bob established the Institute as the non-profit financial literacy extension of the bank in 2009 and has been responsible for the oversight of Institute activities as well as overall direction for the organization’s programming initiatives. Prior to joining the TS Institute, Bob worked in procurement leadership roles for three different Fortune 500 companies. Bob is certified by the Institute for Supply Management as a certified purchasing manager (C.P.M.) and an accredited purchasing practitioner (A.P.P.). He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Creighton University.

The National Council for Economic Education does a biennial “Survey of the States” to gauge economic and financial literacy in the nation. Each receives a “grade.” Iowa earned a ‘C.’ This is why the Dordt University's Center for Economic Education exists. We are working hard to increase the Iowa's grade. If you would like more info about what we do and how we hope to accomplish the “upgrade,” contact Vicki at Vicki.Vermeer@dordt.edu.

Overview of the Survey of the States

Final report

Watch "Teaching Teens About Money"