Carthage College

At Carthage College, a small liberal arts school in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Jean Quashnock is coordinator of the dual-degree program in engineering and a professor of physics and astronomy. He also holds a separate academic interest, however, in teaching students about personal finance.  

In 2014, Quashnock was asked by the chair of the school’s accounting and finance department, Professor Cassie Lau, to revive a previously taught class about personal finance during the school’s January term.   

Quashnock spent the summer familiarizing himself with CashCourse as Carthage College has an institutional account. In 2015, he taught his first January term class on personal finance. 

While creating the class, Quashnock knew he wanted it to provide unbiased information and be free of any promotions of financial products or services. He felt this was especially important as college students are often targeted with these types of advertisements. He uses CashCourse coursework modules and tools such as the Budget Wizard for students to do in preparation for each class meeting. 

Quashnock says, “You don’t have to be a financial expert yourself. The resources on CashCourse and elsewhere are more than enough to keep college students active and interested in learning personal finance. There is a wealth of information out there that lets you make your class your own.” 

After four years of teaching the class, Quashnock notes that turnout has been great and students continue to sign up as they hear about the class from peers who have taken it. 

Quashnock notes that his class focuses on student loans, and that students have expressed thanks for that emphasis.  

“We spend a week on student loans, and students thank me because they can now read their own school financial statements and access their federal loan information, which they didn’t know how to do before.” 

Quashnock also shared with us his belief that financial education is critical for students due to the rising amount of student loans being taken out.  

“Given the student loan crisis, it’s important that students know what a manageable amount to borrow is, given where they are and where they’re headed. This is a national imperative, and we’re just tagging along.”

May 2020