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Apr 28, 2015 10:57 AM ET

Archived: Ignite! Young-Adult Personal Finance Education Online Course: A fast, funny and memorable course in personal finance

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 28, 2015

Ignite! Young-Adult Personal Finance Education Online Course

by Jon Jarc & Dan Hess

A fast, funny and memorable course in personal finance. Today’s young-adults are drowning in debt without savings, we are the lifeline!

About this project

Why can’t personal finance education be a blast? We are building a fun as well as funny online course in personal finance education.  Our approach is to create a product with a high-production value and content that will educate and entertain high school and college students.  

Co-founders Dan Hess and Jon Jarc have a combined 35 years of classroom experience teaching high school students.  They know what works. Humor is a great teacher.  

Featured Comedian: Beth Stelling
Featured Comedian: Beth Stelling

Our goal with this project is to produce an amazing online course that is FUN, engaging, enriching, and memorable.  This course will combine video lectures, interactive projects, printables – and the best part – stand-up comedy.  At the end of each section in the course, students will be delighted by the creative input of some of America’s up-and-coming comedy stars. Humor is a great teacher, and we aim to capitalize on that as often as possible.  

Featured Comedian: Dave Hill
Featured Comedian: Dave Hill

Over half of the states in the U.S. require some kind of personal finance education for high school graduation, but they are falling short.  Schools are jamming the curriculum into history or health classes.  Our program can be done independently or guided by a teacher.  We want to provide that opportunity for schools, students, and parents.  Our product is built to be flexible and scalable to meet the demands of high schools and colleges across the country. 

Featured Comedian: Ramon Rivas
Featured Comedian: Ramon Rivas

We have set very high standards for ourselves in production value and material content for this course.  We are using broadcast-quality video and audio production in our training videos, and cutting-edge programming for our content interactive content, and some of the funniest comedians around to help reinforce our content with humor.  We want the course to be as meaningful as it is memorable. The trade-off is, of course, that quality does not come cheap. We need your help to get the equipment, studio time, programming expertise, and support necessary to produce the content for the course. We also want to pay our comedians for their expertise and artistic input! Most of the project’s budget is dedicated to video work and technology programming. We are currently finished recording videos, and aim to be in post-production by the end of April. 

Our goal is to have all video content ready for final publication by the end of May.  We will be The rest of the budget will be dedicated to programming interactives to work on all devices and browsers. The official course launch date is end of May, 2015 – just in time for summer school!  It’s a rapidly approaching deadline we aim to meet head-on! We need your help in bringing this product to life! If you have young people in your life, you know how important it is to teach them about managing their finances – as early as possible. This course is positioned to do just that – but we need your help! 

Please help us bring a new look to financial literacy for young people! Here’s what some of our teachers and students have to say: 

“Having the luck to receive finance education at a young age has helped me greatly over the years. (Not to say I haven’t made mistakes, we all make bad decisions sometimes.) Being smart about my financial choices helped especially as a young college graduate making little money in my first post-college job in one of the country’s most expensive cities to live in.” – Jim Swift, Associate Editor at The Weekly Standard, Class of ’01, Saint Ignatius High School 

“As for the materials, they are tremendous in introducing the vocabulary of Personal Finance. Students never posed the question ‘when am I going to use this in real life?’ They found the class to be very relevant and instantly useful!” – Denis Cushing, Teacher – St. Joseph Academy, Cleveland, Ohio. 

“Mr. Hess’ class left one of my deepest academic impressions during my time at St. Ignatius. The course was ahead of its time due to its real world applications. Understanding market forces, basic supply and demand and being introduced to entrepreneurism. I took my knowledge along with me into a career in the fixed income markets on a U.S. Treasury bond trading desk. Aside from influencing my career, the topics that we covered in personal finance built my foundation for understanding how banking works in the U.S. We live and die by our credit score. Becoming proficient in that aspect is incredibly important for everyone, regardless of occupation.” – Seweryn (Sev) Sztalkoper, CFA Class of ’99, St. Ignatius High School

Risks and challenges

We have carefully planned and thought out all of the details of the course and are committed to meet our end of May publishing date. Right now, we have all of the classroom materials produced digitally and ready for distribution. There are two obstacles that still stand in the way of this deadline. The first and biggest piece is the editing and processing of the 20 unit video lectures.

We want these to be amazing videos. The filming process finished the first week of April, and that’s the easy part. Processing, editing, and polishing the videos will take the largest chunk of time on this project, and is currently underway.

The second obstacle is the interactive content. We are in development on several of these projects, but will need to test them on a variety of devices. We know all the content and videos will work fine on any device, but interactive testing still has to be done to ensure mobile compatibility and portability of class projects and elements. Should any of these elements need to be redeveloped or bug-tested, we can still deploy the course, and release periodic updates to the materials.

As important as the interactive elements are, they are not essential to the course release. That is, one does not depend on the other. The videos, printables, downloads, and other worksheets and projects are able to be completed without interactives at launch.

Our licenses never expire, and provide users with ongoing access to our courses. Should we not be able to meet our end of May deadline for any elements, these would be added as they are finished – and users would be able to access new and updated content any time, with the same original license.

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