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Service Learning in Action at Bauer

Financial Literacy 1

Posted April 9, 2019 - Juniors and seniors from Houston Independent School District’s Kashmere High School had a chance to visit the UH campus and meet with college students for a lesson in financial literacy last week.

Through an award from the ACES Institute, students in Bauer Professor John Lopez’ Finance course were given an opportunity to put theory into practice and gain real-world learning experience reinforcing the objectives being taught in the classroom. Senior business majors in Lopez’ course developed a workshop to teach juniors and seniors at Kashmere high school about personal finance topics such as savings, banking, and credit. “I’m proud of the way my students embraced the opportunity,” Lopez says, “They enjoyed it very much and it really demonstrated that my students had learned enough about what I was teaching in class to confidently deliver the information and answer the students’ questions.”

The students from Kashmere were given a quick tour of the University before arriving at a Bauer lecture hall to get a sense of what it feels like to be a college student, and learn valuable lessons in financial literacy to help promote smarter decisions in their future endeavors. A financially literate population benefits not just individuals, but our society as a whole. While financial awareness ideally begins in the home as early as possible, not all parents have the time, resources, or ability to teach financial literacy, and this is where Lopez believes the education system should step in to support.

“What we’re hoping to do is by reaching into the community at middle school, high school and early college, we can make them aware of the financial decisions that they make early on, and how they can impact them later on their financial well-being,” Lopez said. “Because by the time I get them, and they’re juniors and seniors, if they haven’t had that education, it’s not too late, but they would’ve made different decisions.”

Financial Literacy 2

Assistant Principal at Kashmere, Mr. John Flowers, accompanied his school and said his students were very excited to just visit campus, but ended up learning a lot from UH students. “They asked excellent questions and I didn’t realize how hungry they were for this knowledge,” Flowers said. The ACES Institute works closely with several partnering high schools on a number of initiatives, one of them being college-readiness. Service learning courses like Lopez’ support our local youth in unique ways and further ACES’ mission to help give our youth the tools they need to be successful. Lopez hopes to continue keeping this service learning component in his future courses to support the goal of creating a community that is more knowledgeable about personal finance, especially as it relates to attending college.

The ACES Institute awards small faculty grants to support faculty who want to develop academic based service learning opportunities for their students. The institute accepts proposals on a rolling basis; faculty interested in learning more about how to apply can visit uh.edu/aces or email Program Director Sarah Fard (sfard2@uh.edu) for more information.