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Unique data science curriculum sponsored by Principal® Foundation now available at no cost

With a goal of shaping a diverse and future-ready workforce, Principal® Foundation and EVERFI have joined together to create a new data science and financial literacy program for high school students in the U.S. The interactive digital curriculum, called DataSetGo, is a first-of-its-kind education program designed for students to learn how to apply data science and analysis concepts, build their personal financial literacy and wellness, and get introduced to the value of data science fundamentals in the job market.

This curriculum, available at no cost to schools, will debut in 11 markets during the 2022-2023 school year – reaching at least 70,000 students and educators by 2025. The initial markets are New York City; Charlotte, NC; Washington, D.C.; Raleigh, NC; Atlanta; Wilmington, DE; Seattle; Folsom, CA; Minneapolis; Dallas; and Des Moines, IA. Youth-serving community organizations are also able to sign up for free access to the curriculum.

According to the Data Literacy Index, only 21 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds are data literate. And the National Assessment of Educational Progress says an estimated 75% of students have not taken a probability or statistics course by high school graduation. 

“Our goal is to empower students with education that pairs financial literacy with college and career readiness,” said Jo Christine Miles, Principal Foundation and community relations director. “We also aim to inspire a diverse set of students across a diverse set of school districts to pursue long-term educational and career goals that are attainable, meaningful, and helpful in positioning students for economic mobility and financial security.”

Principal Foundation has worked with EVERFI, a leader in digital educational programming, for the past 10 years on various financial literacy projects. In 2021, Principal® data science and actuarial employees worked with EVERFI to develop the courses that make up DataSetGo. To make the content even more engaging and easier to understand, Principal and EVERFI created an interactive simulation that gives students hands-on experiences. The simulation asks students to apply problem-solving skills to investigate the triggers that cause young adults to make poor financial decisions, like maxing out a credit card, and suggests data-informed solutions to intervene.

The DataSetGo program was piloted during the 2021-2022 school year, impacting 6,000 students in more than 160 schools. After completing the program, students showed a doubling in assessment scores related to knowledge of the types of skills and processes used by data scientists in their careers.

“Every day, in schools across the country, EVERFI works with teachers and students harnessing the power of technology to address the missing learning layer and teach critical life skills,” said Ray Martinez, president and co-founder, EVERFI. “We have seen through our years of experience providing innovative learning solutions that this type of programming introduces students to careers they may not have considered.”

According to the LinkedIn 2020 Emerging Jobs Report, “data scientist” topped the Emerging Jobs list for three years in a row, and has a projected 37% annual growth rate. Similarly, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that data scientists and mathematical science occupations have a projected growth rate of 31% from 2020-2030.

“Today’s students need additional learning in two crucial areas,” said Miles. “They need basic financial literacy to navigate life’s decisions with confidence. They also need exposure to future-ready post-secondary opportunities that are sustainable, pay family-supporting salaries, and are accessible to students.”

Educators and community-based organizations interested in learning about the DataSetGo program should visit: Principal Financial (everfi.com)

For additional free financial education resources from the Principal Foundation, visit: Achieve for Consumer | Principal Financial Group (everfi-next.net)

To learn more about the Principal Foundation commitment to financial inclusion, visit: Financial inclusion | Principal

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