The mission of the Institute for Financial Literacy at NJCU (IFLEE) is to empower our community members to pursue a lifetime of financial health by providing the tools and resources needed to make informed financial decisions. IFLEE seeks to promote and improve financial literacy skills among all New Jersey residents, especially the most economically vulnerable, by providing financial education programs, acting as the New Jersey Center and repository for financial literacy resources, and conducting scholarly research.
IFLEE will serve as the umbrella for several financial literacy initiatives already in place, as well as the catalyst for the creation of new services and programs. Under the leadership of the IFLEE, NJCU will take a three-pronged approach to addressing our growing needs for financial literacy:
- Promote Financial Literacy and Economic Education to New Jersey’s k-12 student population by providing teacher professional development resources: workshops, lesson plans, and assessments.
Through a close working relationship with the nonprofit New Jersey Council for Economic Education, IFLEE will expand its impact within New Jersey’s k-12 schools. This partnership provides teachers with the curriculum tools, the pedagogical support, and the community of peers that instruct, inspire and guide. All resources are developed by educators of a national network of school districts, university centers and the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States. Nearly 2/3 of these educators come from schools serving large numbers of low and moderate-income students.
- Serve New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents by working to build sustainable Financial Capabilities programs within community nonprofits and faith-based organizations.
By leveraging a network of NJ financial education stakeholders, IFLEE will offer a sustainable blueprint for building and managing a financial capabilities program within community nonprofits. Financial literacy sessions geared towards community leaders, social workers, church pastors, and volunteers will be offered throughout the year via live workshops and online webinars, culminating with our annual IFLEE Conference at the School of Business.
As a center for nonprofit resources, IFLEE can also help direct Community Partnerships to nonprofit providers of immediate and emergency assistance for individuals in crisis, and then work with them to create more stable futures through basic money management education.
- Incorporate personal finance curriculum into NJCU Professional Education and Lifelong Learning programs.
NJCU is uniquely positioned to promote financial literacy and economic education through its existing Workforce Development Logistics Center, New Pathways to Teaching network, and customized learning offerings.
As an accredited University, NJCU has the capacity to support and develop researchers. The IFLEE would focus its research initiatives on identifying the root causes of lack of financial literacy in the local and broader communities, and then test efficacy of initiatives meant to improve financial literacy among young people and underserved populations.
NJCU School of Business
Institute for Financial Literacy & Economic Education
NJCU School of Business
200 Hudson Street
Jersey City, NJ 07311
Dr. Bernard McSherry, Dean of NJCU School of Business
Joseph DiFiglia, IFLEE Director and co-Founder
JD Jayaraman, PhD, IFLEE Faculty Advisor and co-Founder
Maddy Deshchenko, Vice President, Goldman Sachs