Making Economics Accessible to Thousands of High School Students Across the State of Texas
We are developing a college-level Microeconomics course, in partnership with OnRamps, that can be taken by thousands of high school students in the state of Texas. The course will be dual-enrollment, meaning that students are able to get UT college credit (equivalent to our Introduction to Microeconomics course) that can also be transferred to any public college/university within the state of Texas. The development of the course (by award-winning instructors Dirk Mateer and Charity-Joy Acchiardo) is already underway, with the pilot course to be delivered in Fall 2023 and a full rollout in Fall 2024.
Why it matters
Most students do not get exposure to a meaningful course in economics until college, if ever. The existing high school curriculum usually consists of a macroeconomics course that lacks the important microeconomic foundations required for a greater understanding of how the economy functions (including supply/demand, free markets, profit maximization, etc). The new course will bring the ideas of free markets and economic principles to a wide range of students within Texas. Importantly, the course will also reach traditionally underrepresented groups within the field of economics (women, ethnic minorities), with a goal of increasing the number of students who take additional economics courses and/or major in economics when they attend college. Economics serves as a gateway to impactful professions in fields including public policy, finance, law, technology, entrepreneurship, real estate, non-profit management, and many more.
What we're fundraising for
While we have funding for initial development of the course, we have a goal of raising $50,000 to support high school teacher training over the next five years. The course has a "flipped" format, where high school students view lectures by UT-Austin faculty (as well as other UT-developed materials) and their teachers review the material and work through problems/exercises during class time. As such, it is crucial that the high school teachers are appropriately trained in the material and effective pedagogical methods. This training will occur during the summer, and we would like it to be conducted by UT instructors. If sufficient funding for teaching training is secured, funds will also be used to support updates of course material (by UT students) and possible development of a Macroeconomics course.
By making a gift to support this initiative, you will be helping to deliver a world-class economics course to thousands of high school students across the state of Texas. The introduction to free market ideology and foundational economic principles will make them better citizens and prepare them for possible future study in college. With just 100 gifts of $500, we can reach our goal of $50,000 to support teacher training for the next five years. A generous gift of $10,000 can support teacher training and additional course updates for an entire year.