Board Editorial: Students should be required to learn about financial literacy

Graphic by Cassandra Reichelt

LBCC should require its students to take financial literacy classes to help them better manage their money.

During college years, students can face many financial burdens from facing credit card debt to taking out student loans, students are left with this weight on their shoulders because they’re not sure how to manage their money wisely.

Regardless, if the student is a first-time or returning college student a financial literacy class will be an asset for them when transfering to a four-year university, or even after the completion of community college, it can be difficult if students don’t have the guidance needed to achieve financial security.

To graduate or transfer from LBCC, students must complete a certain amount of courses according to the Area E: Life Long & Self Development on Plan B, there are 17 available courses that students can choose from that educate students about life skills that could be helpful later on in life.

Additionally, all courses in Area E are essential, but learning how to properly manage finances is something that would be crucial to prevent students from dealing with financial burdens if the possibility ever presented itself.

For example, how people understand what credit loans are, or knowing the difference between renting and buying a home that could be taught when taking a financial literacy class.

LBCC offers a personal finance management class as a general education course on Plan B, but only offers one of those classes on campus and the rest online, with only one professor teaching those courses, as well as it not being a requirement for students to take.

Plan B, which is aimed to help students successfully transfer to a California State University, is the only plan that offers a personal finance management course (GBUS 10) as a general education option.

Plan A, which is LBCC General Education, and Plan C, which is Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC), do not offer GBUS 10 as a general ed.

Even though it may be a bit of a challenge incorporating the financial literacy classes in all of the general education plans, it should be done, and LBCC should make it a priority to do so.

According to Professor Nick Carbonaro, he is the only faculty member to teach personal finance management on campus, he agrees that having to take this course as a requirement will be beneficial to students.

The possible benefits of having a personal finance management class should make it even more of a priority for LBCC to make it a required general education course.

With having personal finance management as a requirement a potential increase in enrollment, faculty hiring, and value of the course. As a result to this, more on campus classes and more options of when and where to take the class will be offered.