WINNIPEG, April 4, 2017 /CNW/ - The Usand Group is pleased to share that First Nations University of Canada's joint-venture with Forward Vision Games ("FVG") has successfully completed its first semester of a new Financial Empowerment Course. The course cultivates competency and skill development in financial literacy, by simulating student ownership and management of a virtual General Store. Students reported improved financial decision-making, enhanced problem solving and critical thinking skills.
Canada's Indigenous population has long been excluded or distanced from full involvement in the Canada's financial world – instead, their reality has been framed within the INAC funding relationship, with less emphasis on the financial tools available to citizens and corporate Canada. The course seeks to de-stigmatize finance and make concepts more approachable so students can understand financial risks and rewards.
The Usand Group ("Usand") has made a multi-year commitment to supporting the course: "We see a real absence of broad, applicable financial skills being taught to Indigenous communities. We need to close the education and training gaps that currently exist on reserve, and this course is an innovative and effective way to do that" explains Erinn Mah, Usand's Chief Operating Officer.
The lessons taught in the Financial Empowerment course have also been the catalyst for conversations and actions within the student's networks: 67% of students indicated that they shared what they had learned in class with family, friends and/or community, spreading knowledge to an estimated 150 additional people who did not take the course.
Sean McCoshen, Founder and Chairman of The Usand Group, recognizes firsthand the importance of financial literacy; "My son will be entering first grade in the fall and numeracy remains at the core of his curriculum - why is this emphasis not being adapted and promoted at all education levels? These skills need to be modified to simulate real-world scenarios, and that's exactly what the Financial Empowerment course has done."
A student enrolled in the course explains the impact of the pilot project, "…this class definitely changed my perspective about money and the positive and negative [aspects] of debt." Another notes the entrepreneurial benefits: "I am glad to have made mistakes in the game and [to have] learn[ed] from them so I do not make the same mistakes when I open a business later on in my life."
Further, the emphasis on 'learning-by-doing' can better train students for a changing employment sector that values applicable experience as well as a degree. As FVG President Meaghan Daly notes, "Foundational financial skills are a modern necessity that students need to prepare them for a shifting work environment, full of contract work, entrepreneurship opportunities and worker mobility."
The Usand Group remains committed to the Financial Empowerment course and many more like it.
SOURCE The Usand Group, Head Office