Each academic year, hundreds of University of Arizona students take a 3-credit elective course developed by the Institute that focuses on the intersection of personal finance and American culture, FCSC 150B1. Additional university courses developed through the Institute offer deeper exposure to personal finance topics as well as an introduction to the functioning of the retail financial services industry.
FCSC 150B1—Money, Consumers and the Family (formerly INDV 102). This course describes the prominent characteristics of consumption behavior, societal change that has influenced consumer-driven societies and pressures for change in the future. The course will examine the important economic variables that, on the one hand, have led to a rapidly growing worldwide consumer demand for goods and services and, on the other hand, have resulted in increased debt, overspending and an inability to achieve long term personal financial goals. An objective analysis of both personal and global consumption habits will provide the transition into sustainable strategies to increase personal financial solvency. The course will not provide you with the answers to achieving your personal financial goals, but rather will examine our consumer society and expose you to the major reasons why people spend and save. The aim of the course is to provide you with sufficient information to make judgments for yourself about your consumption patterns and long-term financial health.
- Offered in the fall and spring
FCSC 302 - Family and Consumer Personal Finance. A study of personal and family financial issues that affect people's quality of life; an analysis of personal financial information resources, the concept of the time-value of money, and discussion of personal financial issues concerning the economic environment, financial statements, college planning, career planning, tax, credit, housing, insurance, retirement planning, and investment.
- Offered in the fall, summer 1 and summer 2
RCSC 476 - Retail Financial Services. This course provides an introduction to the retail financial services industry. The primary focus will be on firms and markets that provide retail credit (e.g., consumer loans, auto loans, credit cards, mortgages) and other banking services, with some occasional examples from the insurance and investment/retirement products sectors. The early weeks will cover determinants of consumer demand and market supply, trends in new product development, new account acquisition strategies, target-market supply, trends in new product development, new account acquisition strategies, target-marketing tools and cross-selling. The second half of the course will focus on public policy issues related to improving consumer access to credit and banking services. The focus will be on regulatory constraints, reputation risk, and ethical challenges that profoundly affect marketing in the financial services industry.
- Offered in the spring semester
RCSC 496z—Take Charge Today. This course is available to educators who are attending the Take Charge Today National training. Individuals may choose to sign up to receive one, two, or three credits. To help them prepare for the training, they are required to read research articles about personal finance topics along with a book for the three credit option. At the training they must be active participants in all sessions. Then, to summarize what was learned at the training, provide educators with the opportunity to analyze the Take Charge Today curriculum, and determine how they would best modify it to meet the needs of their classroom, educators write a detailed day-by-day plan for using the curriculum in their classroom.
- Offered summer 1 in conjunction with the Take Charge Today national conference. Learn more at the Take Charge Today website.