Virtual Teacher License Renewal Course begins June 5

May 6, 2024, 9:16 am | Carol Ehlers, Phyllis Zalenski

High school teacher helping student in class by Jacob Lund/, Iowa – Iowa K-12 teachers and their students will benefit from “Small Change: Building Financial Security for Educators.” This Iowa State University Extension and Outreach blended course starts Wednesday, June 5, with an introductory session from 4:30-6:30 p.m., followed by a four-week, self-paced, facilitator-led online learning experience.

The course content is embedded in the financial literacy standards of the Iowa Core 21st Century Skills and Social Studies, and connects participants with curricula, resources and school-based programs for elementary, middle and high school levels, said course instructor Phyllis Zalenski, a human sciences specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. Educators can earn one Iowa License renewal credit. Registration at is required by May 29.

The “Small Change: Building Financial Security” course features vetted curriculum and resources. It has been accepted as an Iowa Board of Educational Examiners Endorsement Class for Financial Literacy and Business Teachers.

“Research shows that school-based financial education programs impact both students and their teachers. As students build financial skills from financial literacy classes, their teachers also benefit by improving their rates of savings, lowering levels of debt and increasing rates of asset accumulation,” said human sciences specialist Carol Ehlers.

The course is designed to help K-12 educators make more informed decisions about financial management and build greater confidence to make small changes that can make a difference. Participants explore gamified lessons that are timely and relevant to themselves personally and to their classroom.

Lesson topics include:

  • Finance Fundamentals — getting organized, smart borrowing, estate planning.
  • Insurance — life, health, disability, long-term care, auto, home, liability coverage.
  • Investing — risk tolerance, investment choices, funding long-term goals.
  • Retirement — preparing for retirement, building a nest egg, Social Security, IPERS.

The course format requires participants to:

  • Participate in a live, virtual two-hour introductory workshop on June 5 from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Complete at least four of 12 gamified online lessons covering financial topics over the next four weeks.
  • Complete assignments to promote financial literacy and connect with resources.

The course fee is $30 to Iowa State Education Association members and non-members. Those who do not need license renewal credit may register and audit the course for a $15 fee.

Register online by May 29 at Space is limited.

For more information, contact Ehlers at 712-732-5056 or or Zalenski at at 319-465-3224, or visit

Photo credit: Jacob Lund/

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