08/29/2014 - Take Charge America Institute for Consumer Financial Education and Research

University of Arizona logo Take Charge America Institute logo

Since 2003, the Take Charge America Institute for Consumer Financial Education and Research (TCAI) at The University of Arizona has worked to create research-based educational outreach programs that improve the money-management skills and financial confidence of youth and young adults.  

TCAI works with a national network of scholars to incorporate the latest insights about consumer financial decisions into all of its programs. The most prominent current research initiative is the Arizona Pathways to Life Success in University Students (APLUS) longitudinal survey, that is helping researchers to understand how young adults acquire positive financial attitudes and behaviors.

TCAI directly impact 600,000+ young adults annually through its high school/middle school financial education programs. Its unique collaboration model allows the organization to work with teachers and financial education leaders at the local, state, and national levels through a variety of programs.

  • Take Charge Today – The Take Charge Today program is the Institute’s award-winning, free, downloadable financial education curriculum used by over 40,000 educators nationwide. Take Charge Today’s materials are written and continuously updated “by educators...for educators” through an innovative partnership with teachers and schools. In addition to an activity-based curriculum, TCAI offers an extensive professional development program including educator trainings tailored to state mandates and needs.
  • Take Charge Cats – The organization engage youth in the greater Tucson community by training a group of University of Arizona students to conduct personal finance workshops for high school and college students and conduct local competitions.  
  • Consumer Jungle – a peer-to-peer youth-oriented website that enhances the content of the Take Charge Today program for teachers and students in the classroom. The site’s design encourages independent, experiential learning for students to access financial information and tools independent of a classroom, creating a long-term resource for young adults beyond high school.

Teachers and schools partner with TCAI to deliver curriculum to students. Corporate and foundation partners support  specific research projects, teacher training events and overall programming.  

We are looking for…

  • Local school districts and state education departments who seek an award-winning financial education curriculum to use in their schools, free of charge, and a companion program to provide professional development training for their teachers.
  • Private sector sponsors interested in underwriting teacher professional development workshops to raise their skills in teaching personal finance.
  • Individual and organizational partners to help underwrite research and educational resource development.

Be a part of our proven success…

  • TCAI reaches more than 600,000 high school and middle school students with curriculum each year across all 50 states.
  • To date, more than 9,000 classroom educators have participated in one of Take Charge Today’s trainings.
  • Over 17,000 Tucson-area youth have been impacted by a Take Charge Cats workshop.

Take Charge Today

  • New Advanced Level curriculum as of August 1, 2013 with updates for the 2014-2015 academic year
  • Distribution of Wealth Unit: New unit; Includes Estate Planning, Giving to Others, and the Live Well, Do Good Things assessment
  • New Active Learning Tools including Don’t Go For Broke, Rudy and The Lorax
  • Updated integration pages


Michael Staten, Ph.D.
Take Charge America Endowed Chair
Director, Take Charge America Institute
Phone: 520.626.4209
Website:  www.tcainstitute.org
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