By SUE SUCHYTA
Times Herald Newspapers
DEARBORN – Henry Ford College and Dearborn Public Schools will pilot a new state program designed to teach students the basic principles of managing their money and preparing for life’s financial challenges.
HFC President Russell Kavalhuna and DPS Supt. Glenn Maleyko were present Dec. 7 when advocate Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II announced the Financial Empowerment curriculum.
The program, which teaches students the basics of money management, also serves as one of the growing number of programs that are being planned to bridge school districts statewide with local community colleges.
“Empowering our youth with an understanding about money will pay dividends for our future,” Gilchrist said. “This pilot program can help our youth plan a budget, save money, plan for taxes and buy insurance.”
He said the class will also help student set financial goals and develop a plan to achieve them.
“The new curriculum will introduce them to loans and savings,” Gilchrist said. “Topics like investing, employee benefits, retirement funds and more will be covered.”
The pilot, which will begin during the Winter 2021 semester, will offer Dearborn high school students from Dearborn, Edsel Ford and Fordson the option of enrolling in Personal Finance, BFN 141, a 3-credit course at HFC, for college credit.
In the Fall 2021 semester, district students enrolled in the DPS dual enrollment program with HFC, such as Henry Ford Early College, will be required to take the class, which will count as a fourth-year math requirement for high school seniors.
Kavalhuna said the program is a good fit with HFC’s student-centered focus.
“Part of our mission is to build better lives and help people succeed,” he said. “Understanding how money works from a young age is important to lifelong success.”
Maleyko said he was pleased that the strong partnership DPS has forged with HFC allows the district’s students to pilot the program.
“Financial Empowerment is a good name for this initiative, because that is what this class will do,” he said. “It will empower students to understand and take control of their own finances, and hopefully, the program will benefit them throughout their lives.”
Gilchrist said planning for the program began before the pandemic began, and he is grateful that the program could be launched during a time of economic challenge.
“This program could not have come at a better time,” he said.
For more information on the Michigan Financial Literacy Initiative, go to Michigan.gov/finlit.