Pensacola State College (PSC) faculty and staff have a solid legacy of being there for students – inside and outside the classroom. This support was called into action in the months and years following the 2008 nationwide, economic collapse when many PSC students were grappling with job loss and subsequent home foreclosure.
Rachelle S. Burns, Director for TRIO, Student Services, recognized the need for immediate action, and with a group of dedicated faculty and staff – as primary sponsors, a plan developed to help students facing eviction, defaulting on loans, and struggling to stay in college.
The faculty and staff group coalesced into a standing financial literacy committee at PSC, and in the months following, financial awareness programs, workshops, and curriculum modules from nationally recognized financial programs were researched and shared with students and their families. Community partners stepped up to provide resources, guidance, and information, and a financial awareness program, Money Matters, was implemented and remains part of campus activities today.
This resourceful program served as a springboard for introducing students to financial literacy and later became a community resource through social media and a website dedicated to helping students and their families make better financial choices. The PSC Financial Literacy Committee meets regularly and plans a week of activities on campus, annually, to celebrate Money Matter Week – during the month of April. Community partners serve as subject matter speakers and various events such as Cooking on a Dime and Grocery Shopping on a Budget complete a week aimed at raising financial awareness among students.
The goal is not only to prepare our students to succeed academically, but also to help them become contributing members of the community – who practice sound financial management and who readily give back to the community which provided support – when it was most needed.