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Lakeland University has been awarded two grants totaling $275,000 from The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation to house the Office for the Advancement Free Enterprise Education (OAFEE) and expand economic and financial literacy programs in the community.

For the last two years, OAFEE was housed at the Business and Economics Academy of Milwaukee (BEAM), which closed on June 9. The Bradley Foundation financially supported that partnership.

Over the past two years, OAFEE has developed and offered economic and financial literacy seminars for Wisconsin veterans and police, teachers, school leaders, journalists (with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago), elected officials and others.

This new Bradley Foundation grant will house OAFEE at Lakeland University, and the institution will expand programming to include:

  • Economics for Heroes: A series of two-day, face-to-face, web-supported seminars on personal finance and free-market economics for Wisconsin’s heroes – military veterans police officers and fire fighters and their spouses – as a way to improve their financial well-being and to increase their understanding of free enterprise.
  • Economics for Opinion Leaders: A series of two-day, face-to-face, web-supported seminars on free-market economics for Wisconsin opinion leaders – teachers, clergy, managers of non-profits, elected officials, and media professionals – to increase their understanding of free enterprise.
  • Entrepreneurship Economics Community Partnership: A five-day, face-to-face, on-campus education program for high school juniors and seniors to increase their understanding of free enterprise and stimulate their interest in starting a business and/or working in the private sector.
  • Economic Episodes in American History: Offer workshops for Wisconsin high school U.S. History teachers on integrating economics into their history curriculum.

Seminar participants, because of their various positions, will share what they have learned in their professional and personal circles, further contributing to the impact of the programming.

A goal of the high school program is to change the trajectory of these students’ lives by providing quality instruction focused on the key principles of entrepreneurship, economics and personal finance.

Mark C. Schug, a professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, will be named OAFEE program director and a seminar instructor.

Schug taught for 36 years at the middle school, high school and university levels. A widely recognized scholar, he has written and edited more than 230 articles, books and national curriculum materials. His latest books are “Teaching Economics in Troubled Times” published by Routledge Press and co-edited with William C. Wood of James Madison University and “Economic Episodes in American History” published by Wohl Publishing and co-authored with Wood.

Schug has received national awards for leadership, service and research in economic education. He received the Governor’s Financial Literacy Award in 2011. He has served on the boards of several non-profit and professional organizations including the (national) Association of Private Enterprise and the Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy.

Scott Niederjohn, dean of Lakeland’s School of Business and Entrepreneurship and Charlotte and Walter Kohler Professor of Economics, will serve as OAFEE senior program advisor and a seminar instructor.

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