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Personal Finance Courses

Ensuring that an appropriately prepared and endorsed teacher is assigned to teach in Michigan’s classrooms is critical to student achievement. In addition, the Michigan High School Graduation Requirements specify that Michigan students need 4 credits of math. Districts can meet the requirements for mathematics content with a variety of courses including a personal finance course, where students are applying math concepts they have learned in previous math courses with a focus on financial planning, literacy and/or family planning and life skills.

It is necessary to review the content and intent of these courses and refer to the Proper Placement Considerations guide to ensure the class is taught by an appropriately prepared teacher. The discipline area endorsement necessary to teach a personal finance course may only be determined after a review of the course content. The title “Personal Finance” implies content somewhat different than a class called “Financial Literacy” or even “Financial Planning”.

The teacher being assigned to a course must hold a valid Michigan Teaching Certificate with the endorsement for the grade level of the student in the course and additional endorsements that are appropriate for the content of the course. The following conclusions can be made for personal finance, financial literacy, financial planning or similar courses of this nature:

  • If course content focuses on concepts of math, numbers and math logic as it applies to finance, the teacher should hold the Mathematics (EX) endorsement.
  • If course content focuses family planning and life skills as it applies to finance, the teacher should hold the Family & Consumer Science (KH) endorsement.
  • If course content focuses on concepts of accounting, budgeting, and business planning as it applies to finance, the teacher should hold a Business Education endorsement (GQ or GX).
  • If course content focuses on economic systems and finances in relation to economics, the teacher should hold an Economics (CA) or Social Studies (RX) or Social Science (CX) endorsements.

Additional information regarding appropriate placement of teachers can be found in the Quick Reference: Courses That Can Be Taught and the Proper Placement Considerations guidance. If a certified teacher does not hold the appropriate endorsement or is not available for the position, additional options for placement exist. Michigan has developed a system of permits that is structured to support the appropriate placement beliefs outlined in this document.