Center for Economic Education

About the Center

The Director of the Center for Economic Education is a faculty member in SCSU’s Department of Geography and Planning. The Center is an affiliate of the Minnesota Council on Economic Education (MCEE) and the Council on Economic Education (CEE).

The Center’s Mission:

To help develop a well informed and economically literate citizenry in Central Minnesota.

To that end, we organize, develop, and conduct economic education activities designed to bring about a deeper understanding of our economic system and effective, sensible economic decisions. These activities include the annual Winter Institute, the Heartland Economics Challenge, in-service and pre-service for-credit workshops, short courses, and traditional courses in Economics for K-12 educators. The Center also offers a variety of non-credit workshops and programs that appeal to broader audiences.

The Winter Institute is the Center’s most significant activity and has over the years become one of SCSU’s “crown jewels.” Usually held each February or March, the Winter Institute is organized around some important contemporary economic topic. Highly acclaimed speakers with expertise on that topic are invited to campus to give talks. The list of past speakers is literally a “Who’s Who” in Economics and includes Nobel Laureates in Economics, Federal Reserve Board chairs, prominent international businesspersons and policy analysts. Workshops for teachers are offered and there is also the highly acclaimed Annual Economic Outlook, which consists of a 3-4 person panel of economic experts, who provide their forecasts for the local, state, national and international economies for the year ahead. The Winter Institute also sponsors social events for teachers, the SCSU community and Central Minnesota community that give opportunities for attendees to mingle and exchange ideas.

Each Spring, the Center, with the support of the MCEE, sponsors the Heartland Economics Challenge. This is an economics quiz bowl for high school students from Central Minnesota schools. Winning teams then participate in the statewide Economics challenge conducted and sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. In the past, Central Minnesota high school teams have participated in the National Economics Challenge as well.

The Center also participates in the preparation of the St. Cloud Quarterly Business Report, a quarterly publication that profiles the St. Cloud and Central Minnesota economies.