Frequently Asked Questions
Revised September 23, 2016
1. When did the graduation requirement go into effect?
Legislation, including the following elements, enacted by the 2010 General Assembly became effective beginning in the 2011-2012 school year:
- The increase in the number of standard units of credit for the Advanced Studies diploma;
- Changes to credit requirements related to courses for the Standard and Advanced Studies Diplomas (which are found in the footnotes to 8 VAC 20-131-50); and
- The addition of one credit in economics and personal finance as a graduation requirement for the Standard and Advanced Studies Diplomas.
2. What courses meet the requirement?
Possible course options to satisfy the requirement include the following:
- Economics and Personal Finance (6120), 36 weeks – CTE competencies and framework are currently available; an Economics and Personal Finance framework has also been developed by History and Social Science for 6120
- Semester options:
- Finance (6121), 18 weeks – currently available – AND
- Economics (2801), 18 weeks – History and Social Science with expanded endorsements
- Virtual Virginia Economics and Personal Finance (6120) course
- Other courses that are aligned with the Economics and Personal Finance Standards of Learning to fulfill the standard credit course requirement for graduation
3. What teachers are eligible to teach the course?
Licensed teachers in the following areas have the endorsements to teach the Economics and Personal Finance (6120) course:
- Agricultural Education – Endorsement Code 8000
- Business and Information Technology – Endorsement Code 6000, 6100, 6500, 6600, 6900
- Family and Consumer Sciences – Endorsement Code 8200, 8210, 8220
- History and Social Science – Endorsement Code 2700, 2800
- Marketing – Endorsement Code 8100, 8120, 8140
- Mathematics – Endorsement Code 3100, 3110, 3120, 3130
4. Is there an industry certification test available for personal finance?
Yes, the Financial Literacy industry certification test provided by Working in Support of Education (W!SE) is approved by the Virginia Board of Education for personal finance.
5. Where is the curriculum framework located?
There are two frameworks available – one designed for Career and Technical Education and one designed for History and Social Science (PDF). Both can be accessed through The Standards & SOL-based Instructional Resources for Economics & Personal Finance.
6. Is there a contact person for Economics and Personal Finance at the Virginia Department of Education?
Yes, you may contact the program specialist/coordinator in any of the program areas where teachers are endorsed to teach Economics and Personal Finance (6120) or you may contact Judith Sams, Specialist for Business and Information Technology and related clusters, at 804-371-0196 or by email at Judith.Sams@doe.virginia.gov.
7. What textbook is recommended for the Economics and Personal Finance (6120) course?
No particular textbook is recommended for this course, though there are many excellent ones available. There are many free resources available; click Resources in the right hand menu. TeachingMoneyVA.org is under continuous revision to include the most recently released and vetted resources. Notices about additional instructional resources and opportunities for students and teachers are sent regularly through the various listservs and through TeacherDirect. If you would like to be added to one of the program area listservs, notify the appropriate program specialist or contact Judith Sams at Judith.Sams@doe.virginia.gov.
8. Are there any assessments available to measure the success of students in the concepts of personal finance?
There are several assessment tools currently available to measure the success of students in the concepts of personal finance. One of those is the W!SE Personal Finance Certification test. Another opportunity for assessment and competition is the Governor’s Challenge in Economics and Personal Finance. As other valuable assessments become available, that information will be disseminated through various program area listservs and information will be placed on the Economics and Personal Finance website.
9. Will there be an SOL test on Economics and Personal Finance?
No, there are no plans to have an SOL test on Economics and Personal Finance.
10. Does the AP Economics course (semester) still satisfy the graduation requirement?
Yes, the one-half (1/2) standard credit earned for the history and social studies AP or IB Microeconomics or Macroeconomics course in combination with the one-half (1/2) standard credit earned for the CTE Finance (6121) course may satisfy the graduation requirement. However, the AP or IB Microeconomics or Macroeconomics course must be aligned with the Virginia Standards of Learning to fulfill the one-half credit course requirement in Economics and Personal Finance.
11. Is the teacher required to maintain student competency records for the Economics and Personal Finance (6120) course?
No, Economics and Personal Finance (6120) is now a graduation requirement and competency attainment records are not required for courses that meet graduation requirements.
12. Can the one (1) standard credit earned for the Economics and Personal Finance Course (6120—36 weeks) count toward a CTE program completer sequence for Business and Information Technology, a sequential elective, and also satisfy the one (1) standard credit required for graduation?
No, the one (1) standard credit earned for the Economics and Personal Finance Course (6120) shall count only once toward graduation requirements.
13. Does the Virtual Virginia Economics and Personal Finance (6120) course satisfy the graduation requirement?
Yes, the one (1) standard credit earned for the Virtual Virginia Economics and Personal Finance course (6120) shall satisfy the graduation requirement. The content of the Economics and Personal Finance course (6120) is the same regardless of the method of instructional delivery – face-to-face in a traditional classroom, through an Internet Web-based classroom, or a blend of the two methods.
14. Does the Economics and Personal Finance course (6120) drive Standards of Quality (SOQ) funding?
Yes, the Economics and Personal Finance (6120) course and the Finance (6121) course are both CTE courses; and therefore, would drive funded positions. Graduation requirements are not correlated to the staffing standards in SOQ funding. REMINDER: All CTE state-identified courses drive SOQ funded positions.
15. Does the AP Economics course still satisfy the graduation requirement?
Yes, the one-half (1/2) standard credit earned for the history and social science AP Microeconomics semester course (2801) or the AP Macroeconomics semester course (2803) in combination with the one-half (1/2) standard credit earned for the CTE Finance course (6121) may satisfy the graduation requirement. However, the AP Microeconomics or AP Macroeconomics course must be aligned with the Virginia Standards of Learning to fulfill the one-half credit course requirement in Economics and Personal Finance.
16. Will students enrolled in the Economics and Personal Finance (6120) course be reported in the Master Schedule Collection (MSC)?
Yes, as required for all state-approved CTE courses, if a school division offers the CTE Economics and Personal Finance (6120) course and/or the CTE Finance (6121) course, student enrollment counts should be reported on the Master Schedule Collection fall and end-of year (EOY) reports. Regardless of how the student applies the standard credit earned toward graduation for the Economics and Personal Finance requirement, state-approved CTE courses should be reported on the Master Schedule Collection. Enrollment data collected through the MSC are used to calculate funded CTE instructional positions.
17. Are personal finance and economics topics addressed by any of the SOL before students reach high school?
Yes, personal finance and economics topics are introduced in kindergarten and spiral throughout the history and social science curriculum through eighth grade. Included in the curriculum are the following Standards of Learning that correlate with economics and personal finance:
18. If a student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan successfully completes the 3120 Personal Living and Finances course, does the 3120 Personal Living and Finances course satisfy the graduation requirement for one credit in Economics and Personal Finance and is there a Board of Education approved industry credential that the student has the option to take?
As outlined in Superintendent's Memo #011-14, upon successful completion of the revised Personal Living and Finances course (3120) to include the 21 Workplace Readiness Skills (WRS) for the Commonwealth, students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 Plans will have the opportunity to use the revised course to meet the Economics and Personal Finance graduation requirement if the student has earned at least three (3) standard credits in history and social science. The economics strand in these courses would be deemed a credit accommodation for those students. Upon successful completion of the Personal Living and Finances course, the student has the option to take the Workplace Readiness Skills for the Commonwealth Assessment to earn a Board-approved industry credential. Upon passing the WRS assessment, the student would satisfy the graduation requirements for an industry credential, economics and personal finance, and history and social sciences.
SOL Correlation with Economics and Personal Finance
K.6 The student will match simple descriptions of work that people do with the names of those jobs.
K.7 The student will
a) recognize that people make choices because they cannot have everything they want;
b) explain that people work to earn money to buy the things they want.
1.7 The student will explain the difference between goods and services and describe how people are consumers and producers of goods and services.
1.8 The student will explain that people make choices because they cannot have everything they want.
1.9 The student will recognize that people save money for the future to purchase goods and services.
2.7 The student will describe natural resources (water, soil, wood, and coal), human resources (people at work), and capital resources (machines, tools, and buildings).
2.8 The student will distinguish between the use of barter and the use of money in the exchange for goods and services.
2.9 The student will explain that scarcity (limited resources) requires people to make choices about producing and consuming goods and services.
3.7 The student will explain how producers in ancient Greece, Rome, and the West African empire of Mali used natural resources, human resources, and capital resources in the production of goods and services.
3.8 The student will recognize that because people and regions cannot produce everything they want, they specialize in what they do best and trade for the rest.
VS.4 The student will demonstrate knowledge of life in the Virginia colony by
a) explaining the importance of agriculture and its influence on the institution of slavery;
d) describing how money, barter, and credit were used;
e) describing everyday life in colonial Virginia.
VS.8 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the reconstruction of Virginia following the Civil War by
a) identifying the effects of Reconstruction on life in Virginia;
c) describing the importance of railroads, new industries, and the growth of cities to Virginia’s economic development.
VS.9 The student will demonstrate knowledge of twentieth- and twenty-first-century Virginia by
a) describing the economic and social transition from a rural, agricultural society to a more urban, industrialized society, including the reasons people came to Virginia from other states and countries;
VS.10 The student will demonstrate knowledge of government, geography, and economics by
b) describing the major products and industries of Virginia’s five geographic regions;
c) explaining how advances in transportation, communications, and technology have contributed to Virginia’s prosperity and role in the global economy.
US History to 1865
USI.3 The student will demonstrate knowledge of how early cultures developed in North America by
c) describing how the American Indians used the resources in their environment.
USI.4 The student will demonstrate knowledge of European exploration in North America and West Africa by
c) identifying the location and describing the characteristics of West African societies (Ghana, Mali, and Songhai) and their interactions with traders.
USI.5 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the factors that shaped colonial America by
b) describing life in the New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Southern colonies, with emphasis on how people interacted with their environment to produce goods and services, including examples of specialization and interdependence;
USI.8 The student will demonstrate knowledge of westward expansion and reform in America from 1801 to 1861 by
b) identifying the geographic and economic factors that influenced the westward movement of settlers;
US History 1865 to Present
USII.6 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the social, economic, and technological changes of the early twentieth century by
a) explaining how developments in factory and labor productivity, transportation (including the use of the automobile), communication, and rural electrification changed American life and standard of living;
USII.8 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the economic, social, and political transformation of the United States and the world between the end of World War II and the present by
b) describing the conversion from a wartime to a peacetime economy;
e) describing how international trade and globalization have impacted American life.
Civics & Economics
The student will demonstrate knowledge of how economic decisions are made in the marketplace by
a) applying the concepts of scarcity, resources, choice, opportunity cost, price, incentives, supply and demand, production, and consumption;
b) comparing the differences among traditional, free market, command, and mixed economies;
c) describing the characteristics of the United States economy, including limited government, private property, profit, and competition.
The student will demonstrate knowledge of the structure and operation of the United States economy by
a) describing the types of business organizations and the role of entrepreneurship;
b) explaining the circular flow that shows how consumers (households), businesses (producers), and markets interact;
c) explaining how financial institutions channel funds from savers to borrowers;
d) examining the relationship of Virginia and the United States to the global economy, with emphasis on the impact of technological innovations.
The student will demonstrate knowledge of the role of government in the United States economy by
a) examining competition in the marketplace;
b) explaining how government provides certain goods and services;
c) describing the impact of taxation, including an understanding of the reasons for the 16th Amendment, spending, and borrowing;
d) explaining how the Federal Reserve System acts as the nation’s central bank;
e) describing the protection of consumer rights and property rights;
f) recognizing that government creates currency and coins and that there are additional forms of money.
The student will demonstrate knowledge of personal finance and career opportunities by
a) identifying talents, interests, and aspirations that influence career choice;
b) identifying attitudes and behaviors that strengthen the individual work ethic and promote career success;
c) identifying abilities, skills, and education and the changing supply and demand for them in the economy;
d) examining the impact of technological change and globalization on career opportunities;
e) describing the importance of education to lifelong personal finances;