Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Education Concept: Consumer & Financial Literacy Courses

Hello All,

I hope those of you in the States had a very "Happy Thanks Giving" holiday. Of which the shopper days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday were of paramount importance to retailers. Possibly faring whether this economic quarter of the year offers good tidings to the U.S. economy, or not. Today's concept has the shopper in mind in finding the best deals out there in the marketplace. However it would be offered as a certificate program accreditation to be called "Shopper Advocates".

Now what would this so called Shopper Advocate study program entail for potential students slash consumers?

Let's see if school courses like home economics are being cut out of public schools due to funding restraints. Not unlike the elective courses of the arts and athletic programs here in the public education system. Why not vocational schools if not some sort of community college campus offer a curriculum of consumer and financial literacy. Perhaps not to the scale of a full university degree nor a multi-year technical certificate program. Just something to arm consumers for the marketplace not to be fleeced like sheep by unscrupulous predators. Be they high pressure sales tactics or what brought us to this Great Recession. Such as the liar loans or predatory home mortgage lenders.

This curriculum can be taught either as a certificate program, lecture series, workshop series, study course (print or online), etc... How to foster being a savvy shopper and a sophisticated consumer in America or elsewhere in the world. That are driven by informing accurately pertinent issues facing the unprepared consumer in the marketplace of commerce. The course work which can include field trips to retail outlets or financial institutions be they banks, brokerage firms, or insurance companies.

For instance the Shopper Advocate program can teach topics of great concern and interest to the consumer. Be it shopper tips, tricks, and tactics to get the best possible price in retail or wholesale. Shopping for groceries (IE like the TV show of "Extreme Couponing"), electronics and computers, automobiles and recreational vehicles, clothing, home furnishings, travel, and homes as residences or investment properties. The financial literacy component can include how to shop for financial instruments. Be it for a safeguard in ones future such as insurance of all types. Or investments be it a brokerage account for retirement dealing with stocks, bonds, options, etc... There can also be study material covering how students can pursue scholarships and sources of eligible grants for higher education. Where the instructor(s) of such a curriculum aren't pushing endorsed products or services for a commercial related kickback as a commission.

Once a student completes such a course work of the "Shopper Advocate" program. They can go on to produce actual savings for their own household. Perhaps whilst even in the process of completing the program itself. Students upon completion will certainly spread their lessons to relatives and friends alike in a similar circumstance of making a major purchase. If a certificate program is offered that is geared towards professionalism. Those participates can provide formal or informal workshops with an entry level exposure to others. By being hired as a professional shopper in order to save money for their clients. Be it in savings for groceries, clothing, or in major purchases for their clients. The really entrepreneurial shopper advocate may even take tour groups of consumers. To retail outlets in order to save them money on products / services and how to pull it off in a mentor field trip capacity. A generous Shopper Advocate may even volunteer their time to shop on behalf of the local church food bank. For instance providing large amounts of groceries at pennies on the dollar via couponing. Or related purchasing tactics during sales at a grocery chain.

Why not offer a whole shebang cocktail of consumer education and advocacy to shoppers? Maybe retailers and financial institutions want their customers to be dumb as sheep for the slaughter? I would rather we that are lifetime consumers out of necessity are hawks and not sheep. It is up to a private or public school of higher education to provide such a robust curriculum of consumer and financial literacy. I hope this concept finds its way to passionate educators who truly seek to make a difference in our shared world.