Economics at Community Colleges

NSF-sponsored initiative to enhance economic education at community colleges

This project runs workshops and webinars to help two-year college faculty connect with each other and stay current on important topics in economics and teaching. There is also a significant investment in learning from how education in other disciplines is conducted in two-year colleges.

The project is co-led by Mark Maier, Glendale Community College (CA) and Cathryn Manduca, Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College (MN).

Why study economics: a web page for students

Add the Why study economics page to your department website. It includes short videos of five recent graduates describing how they use economics in their new careers. It also contains information on job opportunities and earnings with an economics degree.

Cutting Edge Webinars

Webinar with Frank Ackerman - Teaching about climate change in the introductory economics course

Screencast of Ackerman presentation for April 26 2013 Econ2YC webinar Frank Ackerman, Synapse Energy Economics Download Teaching About Climate Change in the Introductory Economics Course (MP4 Video 99.3MB) Details

Watch or download the Screencast (MP4 Video 99.3MB Apr26 13) of the event

Download the presentation (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 4.7MB Apr26 13)

About the Presenter: Frank Ackerman, Synapse Energy Economics, is the author of Can We Afford the Future? Economics for a Warming World; The Economics of 350: The Benefits and Costs of Climate Stabilization; and Priceless: On Knowing the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing.

Webinar with Cecilia Conrad - Race and the Teaching of Economics

Conrad presentation for March 2013 Economics at 2 Year Colleges Webinar Cecilia Conrad, Director of the MacArthur Fellows Program. Download Race and the Teaching of Economics (MP4 Video 102.6MB) Details

Watch or download the screencast (MP4 Video 102.6MB Mar22 13) of the event.

Download the presentation (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 1.6MB Mar21 13)

Links to resources recommended by Cecilia Conrad (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 12kB Mar22 13)

About the presenter: Cecilia Conrad recently was appointed director of the MacArthur Fellows Program, $500,000 'genius' awards given annually to talented individuals. Previously, at Pomona College, Cece served as acting president and professor of economics. Her research focuses on the effects of race and gender on economic status.

Webinar with Thomas Buchmueller - Health Care: Current theory and current issues

November 2012 Economics in Two-Year Colleges Webinar presentation by Thomas Buchmueller. Thomas Buchmueller, Waldo O. Hildebrand Professor of Risk Management and Insurance, University of Michigan Download Health Care: Current theory and current issues (MP4 Video 87.5MB) Details

Watch or download the screencast (MP4 Video 87.5MB Nov30 12) of the event.

Download the presentation (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 80kB Nov30 12).

About the Presenter: Thomas Buchmueller is a health economist at the University of Michigan. His recent work has examined the relationship between employer-sponsored insurance and labor market outcomes, interactions between the public sector and private insurance markets and consumer demand for health insurance. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and was the Senior Health Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers in the Executive Office of the President.

Webinar with Russell Pittman - Antitrust: Current theory and current issues

Screencast of October 2012 Econ2YC webinar. Russell Pittman, Director of Economic Research, Antitrust Division, US Department of Justice Download Antitrust: Current theory and current issues (MP4 Video 127.7MB) Details

Watch or download the screencast (MP4 Video 127.7MB Oct12 12) of the event.

Download the presentation (PowerPoint 2MB Oct5 12).

Resources from the webinar and further discussion with Russell Pittman

About the Presenter: Russell Pittman is Director of Economic Research, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice. He is co-author of "The Proposed Merger of AT&T and T-Mobile: Are There Unexhausted Scale Economies in U.S. Mobile Telephony?"and "Consumer Surplus as the Appropriate Standard for Antitrust Enforcement." Russell served on the Core Team of the World Development Report, Building Institutions for Markets and he consults regularly with antitrust enforcers and economic reformers in transition and developing economies, most recently with the Federal Antimonopoly Service in Russia, and railroad restructuring projects in Brazil, China, and Poland.

Webinar with Gary Gorton - Lessons of the 2007 Financial Crisis for Teaching Principles of Economics

Watch or download the screencast (MP4 Video 79.4MB May24 12) of the event.

Download the presentation (Acrobat (PDF) 1015kB May18 12).

About the Presenter: Gary B. Gorton is Professor of Management and Finance at the Yale School of Management, and Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Webinar with Dean Baker – Lessons of the Economic Crisis for the Principles Course

Dean Baker presentation for April 2012 Economics at Community Colleges Webinar Dean Baker, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research Download Implications of the economic crisis for teaching introductory economics (MP4 Video 76.4MB) Details

Watch or download the screencast (MP4 Video 76.4MB Apr13 12) of the event.

Download the PowerPoint Presentation (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 126kB Apr13 12)

About the Presenter: Dean Baker, author of the weekly news commentary Beat the Press, and frequent commentator in major media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, CNBC, and National Public Radio.


View September 2019 newsletter (Acrobat (PDF) 1.4MB Sep24 19)

View February 2019 newsletter (Acrobat (PDF) 1.2MB Feb4 19)

View September 2018 newsletter (Acrobat (PDF) 1.7MB Sep11 18)

View February 2018 newsletter (Acrobat (PDF) 733kB Feb5 18)

View February 2013 newsletter

View November 2012 newsletter

View September 2012 newsletter

Past Workshops

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland: Integrating the Federal Reserve into Your Classroom Activities (including live Q/A videoconference with Ben Bernanke) November 13, 2013 12:30 - 8:00 PM
Bowling Green State University: Teaching Economics with Active Learning, Creative Assignments and High Engagement October 25, 2013
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco: What is still true about monetary policy? Friday, September 20, at San Francisco Federal Reserve. Workshop agenda
On Combating Misconceptions in Economics October 15, 2013 Westfield State University (MA) Agenda and registration information (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 124kB Sep4 13)
On Issues in Teaching and Learning Principles of Economics November 1, 2013 Finger Lakes Community College (NY) Agenda and registration information (Acrobat (PDF) 92kB Sep11 13)
Incorporating the Great Recession into Principles of Economics November 1, 2013 Mission College (CA) Agenda and registration information (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 14kB Sep14 13)
Key Ideas in Principles-Level Economics (featuring Yoram Bauman) November 8, 2013 Highline Community College (WA) Agenda and registration information (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 15kB Sep19 13)
Socratic Seminars for Economics Instructors October 2, 11, 23; November 9 Houston, TX Agenda and registration information

Past Meetings and Projects

Meeting for economic educators interested in community college instruction prior to ASSA/American Economic Association meetings in San Diego, January 3, 2013, 4 PM. Manchester Grand Hyatt, Room Molly A&B. Meeting summary (Microsoft Word 33kB Jan19 13) Advice for first time attendees (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 147kB Sep11 12)

Workshop at Riverside Community College, January 18, 2013. Workshop webpage.

In June 2011 a workshop that brought together 20 economic educators to plan regionally-based outreach programs for community college instructors. The economic educators were joined by 8 experts from other disciplines that have already developed national outreach projects targeting community college instructors. To learn more about the workshop, check out the Workshop Agenda and Participants pages.

DC/Maryland/Virginia Economics instructors met January 2012 and March 2013 for a conference on "Teaching Economic Principles." Alice Rivlin (former Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Director of OMB and first director of the CBO) spoke to the group over lunch. Attendees are forming an ongoing regional group to plan future events. For more information contact Bruce Madariaga or John Min

Midwest regional Economic instructors met November 2011 and 2012 at the St. Louis Federal Reserve's annual Professor's Conference. Participants had the opportunity to attend sessions demonstrating the use of innovative pedagogical practices from Starting Point:Teaching Economics. See 2012 agenda For more information on this conference and future plans contact Gail Hafer

Community college instructors met at the Chicago Federal Reserve in March 2013 to create new money and monetary policy teaching activities.

As a baseline for future work, four regional surveys were conducted to ascertain the current state of community college economics instruction. Results from these surveys are presented.

Online instruction:

Do you teach online? Join a newly-started study group on teaching economics online. For more information contact Eric Sturgess

Regional study groups:

Outreach Across Disciplines

Disciplines outside of Economics have also been working on the challenges and issues facing education at the two-year/community college level. Pages highlighting work done in other disciplines have been compiled with the help of the disciplinary experts who will be attending the workshop.

Links to resources on undergraduate teaching and learning economics

American Economic Association advice for undergraduate students

Resources for Economists Teaching Resources

Starting Point: Teaching and Learning Economics portal for 16 teaching pedagogies

Diversifying Economic Quality Div.E.Q. is an online resource that aims to advance diversity in the economics profession by improving the way faculty and departments present economics to undergraduates. Sponsored by the American Economic Association's Committee on the Status of Minority Groups in the Economics Profession, Div.E.Q. helps economists recalibrate both their teaching and their research with new insights on race, class, gender, culture, discrimination, and inequality.

For more information, contact project co-principal investigator, Mark Maier

This work is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Undergraduate Education under grant #1043245.

Disclaimer: Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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