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Center for Financial and Consumer Outreach

The Penn State Behrend Center for Financial and Consumer Outreach (CFCO) is an organization whose objective it is to help people to choose and use financial services successfully. Established in 2004 (originally as the Center for Credit and Consumer Research – CCCR), the CFCO is an outreach unit of the Sam and Irene Black School of Business at Penn State Behrend. When originally developed, the Center's primary purpose was to research consumer socialization and credit card usage habits; particularly ethical problems and risks associated with credit card usage among vulnerable populations in society. The Center examined issues pertaining to consumer socialization and the credit card usage habits of consumers in the United States and international markets. The Center has conducted empirical research related to consumer socialization and credit card usage and provided educational outreach to help consumers manage their credit card debt. Since being created, the Center has also provided educational outreach programming that focuses on promoting spending, saving, credit, and overall money management skills to students in elementary school through college aged youth. In addition. The CFCO provides programming and resources for educators, parents, nonprofit staff and other adult populations. To date, the CFCO has reached over 25,000 individuals. Their goal is to provide individuals with practical instruction about basic needs to earn a living, methods to achieve greater self-sufficiency, and improved quality of life.

Since its inception, the CFCO has developed several interactive learning formats to stimulate participants' interest in money management, including their popular Driver’s Training for the Credit Card Highway program. In addition, they offer a variety of other interactive programs which take education beyond the fundamentals of reading, writing and math. They challenge participants to think about and use these fundamentals in practical ways, relating them to situations and providing opportunity to apply them in challenging, hands-on experiential learning opportunities. Such programs include their annual High School Symposium which hosts hundreds of students each year. Additionally, the CFCO also provides services such as Educator Training Workshops, Financial Education Conferences, Online learning tools, Webinar Facilitation and much more. The goals of their outreach programing are increase financial literacy knowledge and understanding through curriculum and experiential, hands on learning. To monitor the success of their programs, the CFCO utilizes pre and post tests and evaluations of the programs to ensure that participants learned effectively.

Additional information on the Center for Financial and Consumer Outreach is available by contacting the office at Turn on JavaScript! , (814) 898-6553, or by visiting their website at http://cfco.psu.edu.

Director: Erica K. Jackson