PwC and Knowledge@Wharton High School, an edition of the University of Pennsylvania business school’s online journal, last week launched the inaugural PwC-KWHS Seminar for High School Educators on Business and Financial Responsibility.

The three-day seminar welcomed 150 educators to the Penn campus, and another 75 virtually, to help strengthen the financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills of high school students by providing their teachers with financial-education lessons and skills.

The event addressed two major issues in teaching financial literacy; that teachers feel ill-equipped to do so (20 percent, according to a University of Wisconsin-Madison study) and the cost barriers to proper training.

The customized training was provided by PwC executives and Wharton professors of management, marketing, finance, leadership, legal studies and business economics.

"Everyone at the Wharton School shares my deep pride that Knowledge@Wharton High School has joined with PwC for this important program," said Mukul Pandya, executive director and editor-in-chief of Knowledge@Wharton, in a statement. "As we inaugurate this seminar series, our goal is to provide tools for educators to improve financial literacy for students worldwide. Although our ambitions are great, the need for such knowledge and insights is even greater."

The event is part of PwC’s $160 million initiative, Earn Your Future, to advance youth education and financial education, as is the newly established PwC Financial Literacy Award, which was presented during the seminar to an individual who has contributed to the cause.

The winner received $5,000 for his or her high school to support financial literacy education and two honorable-mention recipients were awarded $2,500. All three winners will gain priority entry to next year’s event. More information on the award can be found here.

This year, PwC covered the expenses of all attending educators, who also received electronic copies of the firm’s financial literacy curricula and a certificate from Knowledge@Wharton.

"Particularly with financial literacy, the business community is in a position to make a direct impact on students and provide them with valuable money management skills based on responsible decision making that they can begin using right away, even as teenagers," stated Shannon Schuyler, PwC's corporate responsibility leader. "PwC knows that one of the best ways to reach those students is through their teachers, so we are bringing 150 educators to this seminar, giving them access to our people and our resources, so that they walk into their classrooms on Monday better equipped to teach their students how to save, how to invest, how to borrow, and most importantly, how to be successful in the future." 

Future seminars are planned for across the country, with emphasis on the 13 states that require a personal finance course as a high school graduation requirement (Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Missouri, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia). More information about the seminar is available here.