KASFAA Oz-Sociated Press, Winter 2003
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Sharpen Those Pencils! Student Resources for Developing Life Skills

Submitted by
Michael Henderson
Texas Guaranteed

Helping students to understand fundamental life skills can be a daunting process. A surprisingly high percentage of first-year college students lack even basic personal finance, planning, and related skills. As student financial aid professionals, our advice and assistance is often sought by students and families when dealing with the complications that arise from not practicing these basic skills.

To assist you in helping others, here are three easy ideas to promote the learning of critical life skills. Together, we can minimize problems that they may encounter as they complete their education and begin their career.

START EARLY: ENCOURAGE EDUCATORS TO USE LIFE SKILLS LESSON PLANS

Teachers, counselors, and other educators will find AIE’s Scholars and Sense section to be a valuable resource when integrating life skills lesson plans into their teaching curriculum.

(AIE is the acronym for Adventures in Education, which was established by Texas Guaranteed in August of 1995 to assist students and families with higher education issues. Editor's Note.)

Each module offers an objective, a lesson overview, time resource requirements, activity schedules, and worksheets for each lesson. Lesson plans cover such activities as creating budgets, conducting research, learning about geography, and exploring careers.

To access Scholars and Sense, visit www.aie.org and select “Educators.” First-time users will need to register to access these free personal finance and life skills lesson plans.

WHEN COUNSELING: GUIDE STUDENTS TO MONEY MANAGEMENT RESOURCES ON THE WEB

Explore resources on such topics as credit and debt management, personal finances, and early awareness.

DURING STUDENT ORIENTATION: OFFER STUDENTS A SHORT MONEY MANAGEMENT COURSE

As part of new student orientation, consider offering students a short session on life-management skills. During a short one- to two-hour session, students can be provided with a foundation of knowledge that can eliminate trouble later on in their college and professional career.

Students who learn and put effective life skills into practice can experience more successful, productive, financially-stable lives. Offering these skills to students is just another way for them to remember fondly the benefits they received from your financial aid office!

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