Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions about Economics and Personal Finance
1. When did the graduation requirement go into effect?
Because of the legislation passed by the 2010 General Assembly, the following elements, which would have been effective beginning in the 2010-2011 academic year, became effective beginning in the 2011-2012 academic year:
- The increase in the number of standard units of credit for the Advanced Studies diploma, which was to begin with the 9th grade class of 2010;
- 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).
- The addition of one credit in economics and personal finance as a graduation requirement for the Standard and Advanced Studies Diplomas; and
- The requirement for all students, beginning in middle school, to have an Academic and Career Plan.
2. What courses meet the requirement?
Possible course options to satisfy the requirement include the following:
- Economics and Personal Finance (BUS6120), 36 weeks (formerly named Finance) – 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, 18 weeks – History and Social Science 2801 with expanded endorsements
- Virtual Virginia Economics and Personal Finance course
- Other courses that are aligned with the Economics and Personal Finance Standards of Learning
3. What teachers are eligible to teach the course?
Licensed teachers in the following areas have the endorsements to teach a course in Economics and Personal Finance:
- 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 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 actually 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?
You may contact the program specialist/coordinator in any of the program areas where teachers are endorsed to teach BUS6120 Economics and Personal Finance or you may contact Judith Sams, Program Specialist for Business and Information Technology and related clusters, at 804-371-0196 or by e-mail at Judith.Sams@doe.virginia.gov
7. What textbook is recommended for the 6120 Economics and Personal Finance Course?
No particular textbook is recommended for this course, though there are many excellent ones available. There are many free resources available; see Resources in the right hand menu. The resources database is currently being revised to reflect the hundreds of new teaching resources that are available and a link to that site will be posted on the Economics and Personal Finance website as soon as the complete database is available for use.
8. What instructional resources are available for the 6120 Economics and Personal Finance Course?
There are many free resources available; see Resources in the right hand menu. The resources database is currently being revised to reflect the hundreds of new teaching resources that are available and a link to that site will be posted on the Economics and Personal Finance Website as soon as that database is available for use.
9. 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 US Treasury’s National Financial Capability Challenge and another is the W!SE Personal Finance Industry Certification test. As other valuable assessments become available, that information will be sent out through various Department of Education listservs and information will be placed on the Economics and Personal Finance Website.
10. 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.
11. 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 course (6121) 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.
12. Are personal finance and economics topics addressed by any of the SOL before students reach high school?
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:
- 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.
- 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;
- 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.
- CE.11 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.
- CE.12 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.
- CE.13 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.
- CE.14 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;
- f) examining the financial responsibilities of citizenship, including evaluating common forms of credit, savings, investments, purchases, contractual agreements, warranties, and guarantees.