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Lehigh Carbon Community College

By Jordan Beach

Every year Reinhardt works to create a welcoming experience for every new class of students. This year brings a reinvigorated curriculum for the First Year Seminar (FYS) course that better meets the needs of first-year students.

First Year Seminar professors met last week to train for a newly revamped curriculum that works to incorporate vital knowledge for students entering college. That knowledge won’t just come from textbooks, however, as students will be given several service-learning opportunities and unique ways to gain financial literacy.

Dean of students Dr. Walter May held a training for FYS instructors to become familiar with the new curriculum.

Reinhardt University is partnering with Wells Fargo Bank to support financial literacy education in the FYS curriculum, where representatives will guide students through navigating financial information.

“We want financial literacy to be a part of students’ lives. Your overall health is important to us, and we have focused our resources on providing support and education in many areas of personal health—including financial understanding— for all students,” said Dr. Walter May, dean of students. “The mission of the Financial Literacy program is to promote wise money management practices and informed, financial decision-making.  The more you know, and the more tools you have at your disposal, the better prepared you will be for life at and beyond Reinhardt.”

The representatives plan to meet with students at a cooperative event, an addition to the FYS curriculum that opens conversations with students from various FYS courses to discuss the material being covered.

“A cooperative is an association of persons united to meet their common social and cultural needs and aspirations through jointly engaged enterprises and activities,” said May. “Throughout the course, there will be a series of cooperative group meetings where multiple sections of the FYS classes will meet in large group settings to participate in and engage in topic-based discussions and activities.”

First-year students will translate that information through service learning at Junior Achievement’s BizTown and Finance Park, interactive experiences for K-12 students to learn the basics of personal finance and entrepreneurship. The partnership with Junior Achievement enables Reinhardt students to interact with and aid in these programs. Junior Achievement is the nation’s largest organization that is dedicated to providing knowledge and skills to young people toward their economic success, future plans and ability to make smart choices.

The time FYS students spend with Junior Achievement incorporates service learning into their time learning about Reinhardt and how to get the most of their experience on campus. Service Learning is one of the key components of Reinhardt’s Quality Enhancement Plan, “Where in the World RU Going?,” which also highlights other High Impact Practices, including Internships, Study Abroad and Research. These practices serve to give students real-world experience, strengthen their understanding of the world and provide a good foundation for success.