Message from the Dean of the Ancell School of Business
Events leading up to and following the financial crisis have taught us that financial literacy is an essential skill for lifelong learners. Test scores on financial literacy tests paint a picture of the size and nature of the challenge that we face. Nationwide, students answer approximately half of the questions correctly in a test of basic financial concepts and definitions. Test scores decrease for skill based tests and for tests for financial decision making ability. The explosion of financial information and media outlets creates and endless series of scenarios and possibilities that our young people must assess and act upon while attending school and working to pay their educational expenses.
These challenges can be met in the context of a well rounded college education. Such an education does two things very well. First, a well rounded education is built on a series of interconnected and reinforcing values. WCSU’s mission and values contribute to our vision for the Financial Literacy Institute at Western Connecticut State University. Our mission emphasizes strong skills in communication, problem solving and critical thinking. Unfortunately, financial decisions are often made on the basis of imperfect and incomplete information and require hypothesis testing and implementing well thought out plans.
Our values encompass interdisciplinary programs and personalized learning. The Institute’s advisory board includes a student representative from the Student Government Association, a banker, a probate judge, professors from accounting, music, economics, education and the Assistant Director of the Career Development Center. Our students are the beneficiaries of our board’s depth and the diversity of their ideas. Each student has the opportunity to personalize their learning experience by working on personal financial issues, areas of interest, or building plans to achieve their financial goals.
In summary, financial literacy is an integrated subject that draws upon the foundation of a strong liberal arts education and prepares students to continually apply and update the knowledge and skills they acquired in college to assess, manage, and adjust their behavior and attitude towards money.
Dr. Allen Morton
Ancell School of Business