Hiram College is forging a strategic financial education partnership with Cardinal Credit Union through the launch of a full-service credit union branch on campus. The official opening will be marked by a ribbon cutting ceremony early in the fall semester. The partnership will empower students by providing them volunteer opportunities and financial literacy education.
The branch, housed in the College’s student center (Kennedy Center), will be open to all Hiram College students, faculty, staff and community members, on Wednesdays and Thursdays, with the possibility of the hours expanding as demand for the branch’s services increases. Serving as the cornerstone of a disciplined, integrated financial literacy education program, the branch will provide access and exposure to a not-for-profit financial cooperative with a strong emphasis on saving and responsible money management as well as opportunities for one-on-one financial counseling.
The branch will be staffed and run by student volunteers under the close supervision of Cardinal management, providing students with an opportunity to develop career, math and marketing skills in a financial retail setting. Broader internship opportunities with Cardinal will also be available to student volunteers, potentially providing a pipeline of future employees for the Credit Union.
“We are living in an age when it’s more important than ever for college students to have financial literacy skills,” said Elizabeth Okuma, M.Ed., vice president and dean of students at Hiram College. “By partnering with Cardinal Credit Union, we can give students an opportunity to learn about and apply these skills in a low-risk but very real environment, while also providing the campus community with a valuable and convenient service. The partnership will also connect students to hands-on learning opportunities and internships — which is especially beneficial given that accounting is our most popular major.”
Cardinal will collaborate with Hiram educators to author financial literacy content and potentially be part of in-class lectures and collaborative teaching. It will also host seminars, lunch-and learn workshops and other events.
“Students who are exposed to financial education during college are better prepared for life outside of the classroom,” said Cardinal CEO Christine Blake. Learning how to manage their finances early on is a critical part of their long-term success.”