The UC Economics Center establishes Alpaugh i-Learning program for K-12 educators to expand reach beyond Southwest Ohio.
By: Lauren Boettcher
The University of Cincinnati will establish the Alpaugh i-Learning Economics Education program, thanks to a $1 million contribution from Peter Alpaugh and the Alpaugh Family Foundation. The gift is the nation’s largest private investment to support online continuing education in economics.
The online program builds on the UC Economics Center’s more than 30 years of success providing post-graduate professional development courses to K-12 educators and administrators in the Southwest Ohio region. The workshops place a special emphasis on giving teachers the resources and knowledge they need to accelerate their students’ understanding of economics.
Among more than 200 economics centers throughout the country, UC’s Economics Center is ranked No. 1 partially because of its high volume of students. On average, more than 400 educators participate in the center’s 40-plus professional development courses offered each year. The new distance learning program will make the center’s geographic reach limitless.
“The new i-Learning program will allow us to expand our reach exponentially to assist more K-12 educators,” said Julie Heath, director of the Economics Center in UC’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business. “Mr. Alpaugh’s gift will be used to leverage resources and experts in online economics education to most efficiently develop our own online platform. Educators will be able to look to us to provide a one-stop portal for economic and financial education resources.”
The new online program, expected to be in full swing by UC’s 2013 spring semester, will place most of the center’s existing professional development content online, including academic tutorials like: Introduction to Economics for Elementary or Secondary Educators, Teaching Personal Finance for Primary or Secondary Educators, Economic History, Business in the Economy, and Behavioral Economics.
“We are eager for the opportunity to offer the Economics Center’s premier teaching program to more educators beyond our normal scope here in the Southwest Ohio region,” said Val Krugh, student enterprise program director at UC’s Economics Center. “Online learning is the way of the future, especially for our post-graduate students seeking a more convenient way to continue their education. We are paving the way for future economics education, all thanks to Mr. Alpaugh’s generosity.”
Alpaugh’s passion for early economics education stems from an awareness of limited accessibility to economics education in primary and secondary classrooms. Alpaugh’s father, Walter G. (Pete) Alpaugh, was a founding member of the Economics Center and passed the passion for economics education on to his son, who continues to uphold the UC Economics Center’s core values.
“Educating our young people about Economics is very important for the future of our country,” said Peter Alpaugh, member of the Economics Center Board and President of Cincinnati Equitable Insurance. “The i-learning program will help educate our students about our country’s monetary system in the context of their own personal finances. My primary goal is to allow our educators to continue their education and then encourage their students to benefit from resources within the program, too.”
Alpaugh’s gift contributes to UC’s $1 billion Proudly Cincinnati campaign, which has raised more than $922 million in private support for the university since 2005. For more information about how to support the Economics Center or other university fundraising priorities, please visit www.uc.edu/foundation.