Personal Finance 101: HBCUs to Develop Financial Planning Curriculum for Students

Article excerpt

During her four years of teaching personal finance at Hampton University, Lisa L. Martin has seen students who have never even broached the subject of financial planning.

And what they don't know about financial planning can hurt them and the future of black wealth. "We've had seniors that are graduating and have very good GPAs but they can't get a job because their credit scores are bad," Martin says.

Martin, 37, is an instructor at the School of Business at Hampton who says there is a lot students don't understand about personal finance. "I could probably fill the whole semester with question-and-answer sessions. Until you're exposed to financial planning, you just don't know."

Martin is among a number of faculty pushing for the funding and establishment of personal financial planning programs at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). "I have proposed to add a personal finance minor and a certificate program at Hampton," she says.

Faculty at HBCUs hope that this curriculum will not only teach the students financial literacy but also prepare them to become financial planners. Financial services giant ING U.S. Financial Services provided $250,000 in seed money to start funding the training for HBCU faculty members. For the past two summers, Martin has taken courses at Texas Tech University toward a personal finance doctorate. In July, she will take an exam to become a certified financial planner. With the CFP designation, Martin will be able to help Hampton establish a recognized and registered financial program. …