Indian River and Sussex Central high schools will implement a new finance and accounting curriculum for the 2016-2017 school year.
Beginning in September, both high schools will be offering a three-year program of study from the National Academy of Finance (NAF). Interested students who will be entering the ninth or 10th grade in 2016-2017 are being sought for the program.
NAF provides a rigorous, industry-validated and career-themed curriculum that incorporates current industry standards and practices, literacy strategies and STEM integration. The curriculum is created in partnership with industry professionals and is designed around projects that help students acquire valuable workplace skills. It further empowers teachers to expand the boundaries of the classroom in non-traditional ways that ensure lessons have real-world application to growing industries.
The three-year “Academy of Finance” pathway covers a variety of topics related to business, accounting and financial literacy. Course descriptions are as follow:
Year 1: Fundamentals of Finance. A prerequisite to other Academy of Finance pathway courses, this course explores the foundation of financial literacy, the function of finance in society and the role of a financial planner. It focuses on income and wealth, financial institutions and the role of finance in organizations. Students research the impact of technology on the financial services field, explore the role of a financial planner and examine the importance of sound financial planning. An integrated culminating project provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate expertise on issues critical to financial independence.
Year 2: Principles of Accounting. This course provides students with an understanding of the critical accounting process and how it facilitates decision making by providing data and information to internal and external stakeholders. Students learn how to apply technology to accounting by creating formulas and inputting data into spreadsheets and/or accounting software programs such as QuickBooks and Peachtree. Students are introduced to the fundamentals of management accounting, manufacturing and cost accounting, budgeting, accounting for managerial decision making, and financial analysis. Technology will be used for internal decision making, planning and control. A culminating project incorporates cost and pricing, sales mix analysis, performance report preparation, financial ratio comparisons and profitability.
Year 3: Financial Services. This course investigates the origins of money and banking and the early history of banking in the United States. Students learn to research and discriminate between investment options through an in-depth study of the financial services industry. They are also introduced to the insurance industry and the critical role it plays in the financial services sector. A culminating project combines research of potential risks, regulations and ethical issues related to insurance in order to create a comprehensive needs assessment.
Through this program, students will have to opportunity to earn NAFTrack Certification, which is achieved through an online system designed to assess college and career readiness. Education and business leaders created this multi-method approach to assess students on a broad range of college and career readiness skills. Student performance is measured not only through end-of-course exams, but also through culminating projects and internships. Upon successful completion of NAFTrack Certification, students are eligible for NAFTrack Certified Hiring.
Several of America’s top companies have committed to NAFTrack Certified Hiring as a promise to give special consideration to college students and eventual job applicants who, as high school graduates, earned NAFTrack Certification.
Indian River and Sussex Central each have an NAF advisory board comprised of local businesspeople, community leaders and education officials. The boards will meet several times each year to provide feedback on curriculum and input on the skills local business from students once they leave high school.
Incoming ninth- and 10th-graders at Sussex Central High School should contact their guidance counselor if they are interested in enrolling in the pathway next year. Indian River students should contact Assistant Principal Justin Miller.