ECU student Mackenzie Dolecheck had a successful semester financially by using the lessons learned in her personal finance class. (Photos by Rhett Butler)

Mark Weitzel has been teaching East Carolina University students how to manage their personal finances for almost 20 years.

For more than a decade, he has partnered with fellow College of Business teaching instructor Len Rhodes in leading the personal finance class, which attracts 500 students per semester.

“The class is so popular, I think, because of word of mouth from student to student. They seem to think there’s real value in the class,” said Rhodes, who also serves as director of technology information and operations in the college.

The twice-a-week class is fast paced and entertaining – which Weitzel and Rhodes say is key for the students’ success. It also includes aspects of personal finance the pair wishes they had been taught when they were students years ago.

“If we can make it easily rememberable, if we can make it engaging, if it has a very sticky message to it, then the likelihood that it will be retained is greater,” Rhodes said. “The things that they’re learning in class, they can implement in their lives immediately – as soon as they walk out of the classroom.”

Each semester, Rhodes and Weitzel challenge the class to save $100,000 collectively by utilizing the tips they teach.

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Originally published May 16, 2018. Written by Rich Klindworth. Photos by Rhett Butler.

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