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Financial Educator Certificate Program

The University of Minnesota online Financial Educator Certificate program (FEC) equips community-based professionals with knowledge and skills to work with people to manage financial resources, build financial assets, and improve financial health and well-being.

The 10-module program covers core financial concepts of earning, spending, saving, borrowing, and protecting. The program is also focused on financial behavior theory, financial education delivery methods, ethics, and program evaluation.

  • Module 1: Influences on Money
  • Module 2: Financial Planning Process
  • Module 3: Understanding Credit
  • Module 4: Managing Debt
  • Module 5: Savings and Asset Development
  • Module 6: Investing
  • Module 7: Asset Preservation and Protection
  • Module 8: Delivery Methods for Effective Financial Education
  • Module 9: Evaluation
  • Module 10: Financial Portfolio

The FEC modules are designed to be instructor-facilitated. Instructors are Dr. Mary Jo Katras, Extension, and Dr. Catherine Solheim, Family Social Science.

Berni Johnson-Clark Shares Need for Financial Educator Certificate

Core Competencies for Financial Educators

The online Financial Educator Certificate program is designed to fulfill the following core competencies for financial educators:

1. Comprehend core concepts of financial literacy

As outlined by the Department of Treasury in the Federal Register on August 26, 2010

  • Earning
  • Spending
  • Saving
  • Borrowing
  • Protecting

2. Demonstrate mastery of core financial practices

  • Analyze financial situations
    • Net worth, cash flow, ratio
  • Set goals
  • Create spending and saving plans
  • Build and repair credit
  • Manage debt
  • Access tax credits
  • Build wealth

3. Comprehend core tenets of financial education and evaluation

  • Apply financial educational theories
  • Choose appropriate financial education delivery methods for intended outcomes
  • Comprehend key principles in financial education program evaluation
  • Demonstrate ethical principles in financial education

Participation in the FEC Program

Participants are expected to spend 5-6 hours per module for most of the course. The final project will be completed during late March/early April with a graduation ceremony at the end of April. For module start and end dates please see the schedule below.

Recommended work schedule 2014-15

Module Dates (Monday-Sunday)
Orientation at UROC September 3
1. Influences on Money September 8 - September 28
2. Financial Planning Process September 29 - October 19
3. Understanding Credit October 20 - November 9
4. Managing Debt November 10 - November 30
5. Savings and Asset Development December 1 - December 21
Holiday break December 22 - January 11
6. Investing January 12 - January 25
7. Asset Preservation and Protection January 26 - February 8
8. Delivery Methods for Effective Financial Education February 9 - February 22
9. Evaluation February 23 - March 8
10. Capstone Project March 9 - April 5
Graduation Celebration April 27
The FEC modules are hosted and supported by the Moodle course management system. Please take time to review Moodle Student Orientation videos.
Internet Connection
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Through individual study and online interaction with peers, participants will learn to increase financial knowledge, apply knowledge through assignments and case studies, share professional experience from the field, and support one another through online discussions. Participants will be registered and progress as a cohort. Annual enrollment is limited to 30 participants per cohort.
Participants of the FEC program will pay one-time fee of $250.
Apply for the program.

Successful completion of all requirements of the program will result in certification as a financial educator, renewed annually through continuing education. This includes completion of all assignments, active participation in online discussions and chats, achievement of at least 80% on each of the Check Your Knowledge quizzes, and completion of the Capstone Project.

If you have any questions, please email

Development of this online financial education certification program was financially supported by the Greater Twin Cities United Way. The College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota, provided instructional design and technology production support. This educational program is a partnership between University of Minnesota Extension and the Department of Family Social Science.