Editors: Ferrarini can be contacted for an interview via the email below or at 227-1218.
MARQUETTE, Mich.— A free online course in economics and personal finance for learners of all ages begins Monday, Sept. 21, and ends any time before Dec. 31. Northern Michigan University’s Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship and Florida State University’s Stavros Center for Economic Education have teamed up to offer “Common Sense Economics.”
Based on a textbook by the same name, this self-paced course aligns with national voluntary standards and benchmarks in economics and personal finance. It is designed for individuals who can commit about one hour per week and want to learn economics quickly. Topics covered include economic progress and the role of government; the role of private property, trade and free enterprise; the systems of prices and markets; and how to be debt-free, build wealth and invest for the future.
“We’re meeting students in their preferred learning environment and giving them flexibility to complete the work around their individual schedules,” said Tawni Ferrarini, NMU’s Sam M. Cohodas Professor and co-director of the Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship. “The electronic course package also incorporates videos, podcasts, discussion items, debates in economics and practical examples that make the learning more interactive and the material easy to understand.”
Participating individuals can earn badges for completing each of the four segments: basic economics, why nations grow, economics of government and personal finance. These badges can be noted on resumes and job applications. Ferrarini said they serve as evidence of commitment to lifelong learning, improvement of self and expansion of knowledge. While students will not earn academic credit for the course, those who score 80 percent or higher on all quizzes and exams will qualify for a certificate of completion, which they have the option of purchasing for $25.