DECKER & ASSOCIATES, INC
A Social Impact Organization
Since 1980, Decker & Associates (D&A) has been a leader in the field of personal finance education. Decker & Associates has worked to provide hundreds of thousands of employees with quality, objective information to empower them to plan their futures and achieve their goals.
In 2004, the Decker’s launched two non-profit organizations to help families set goals, develop plans and achieve financial security. Skills For Living focused on adult education and Financial Mentors of America worked with young adults. Because the Deckers were concerned with achieving real-life outcomes, they measured everything. The adults increased their income and net worth by a minimum of $10,000 within one year and the high school students graduated from Title 1 high schools, 98% attended college and 91.7% graduated from college!
Beginning in 2012, at the requests of the TEA, the Deckers created Real Life high school courses – Real Life Financial Mathematics (RLFM). a one-year math course and Real Life Personal Finance (RLPF), a one-semester social studies course.
RLFM is a blended, online course. It provides professional-level real-life financial, tax, investment, college, and career planning. Using best instructional practices, integrating a CRITICAL THINKING methodology, project-solving assignments, and team discussions, instructors actively prepare students for the NEW NORMAL. RLFM, a CTE course, provides Texas school districts with additional funding to pay for instructional materials. Students then have a real-life math option to enable them to plan their futures. RLPF, although only a one-semester course, provides a foundation for students to create a financial, career, and educational plan for their future.
What we have learned since 2015?
- Teachers need instruction on how to teach a thinking, financial education courses. Personal financial experience and traditional memorization-based teaching are not enough. We, therefore, offer TEA-approved professional development with Lorraine Decker serving as the instructor-mentor.
- All students need to have career goals, even if their goals could change. Without parental pressure or a career goal, students have no incentive to excel academically. Think of every movie you have seen or life you have known, if a person has no reason to work hard, why should they. This applies to every course. Make certain students have goals and a vision for their future and you give them a reason for working hard today.
- High school and college students need a different instructional methodology to prepare them for the New Normal. Courses need to be relevant, challenging, thought-provoking, and demand that students take responsibility for their actions. If they have career goals and understand how their actions today will produce success in the future, they will rise to the challenge.
- Thinking and financial security are the foundation of our democracy. Remove either and the results are not what I believe we want to experience.