East Central University

At East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, Rhonda Hibbard recognizes the importance of students receiving financial education throughout their college experience. As part of East Central University’s NASNTI (Native American – Serving Nontribal Institutions) Program, a financial literacy initiative was launched to increase students’ awareness of personal finance.

Hibbard, who serves as director of the NASNTI program at East Central University, shares, “We do have financial literacy courses, mostly attended by students on a business track and not the general student population. Financial literacy is such a basic need for students that we wanted to make it accessible to all students.”

Several other departments at ECU have prioritized financial education and embraced programming for students. The freshman seminar, which is a required course for students, covers financial concepts to help students increase their awareness of personal finance issues. Several TRiO programs at ECU, including the McNair Scholars Program, have embraced the CashCourse website and encourage their students to use the resources available to them.

Hibbard tells us, “The faculty at East Central University has been very supportive of the financial literacy initiative and are attending workshops on how to best utilize the new FLY@ECU (Financial Literacy for You at ECU) website and CashCourse resources to support their students.”

By building financial education into multiple areas at the university, Hibbard hopes that students can engage with personal finance in more meaningful ways. She shares, “College is an opportunity for students to become more involved and aware of financial matters. It is our goal that good money management skills will become intuitive and second nature to our students.”

“Financial literacy is a lifelong process. Students are going to continue to learn about finances their entire lives, and there’s always going to be something new they’re learning.” By starting the conversation about financial education at ECU, Hibbard is setting students up for success in college and later in life.

March 2021