Financial Services

Financial Services provides students with an overview of banks and other financial services companies. The course begins by introducing students to the origins of money and banking, and then examines the early history of banking in the United States. Students move into an in-depth study of the financial services industry and explore the types of companies that make up this industry. Students learn about the services offered by such companies and analyze the ways these companies earn profits. This course also introduces students to the main concepts behind investing and discriminates among different ways to invest money. Students examine contemporary issues, including the level of personal saving in the United States, ethics in the financial services industry, and the industry’s effect on communities and families.

Students apply what they have learned over the course to the culminating project, making recommendations for two financial services products that will serve to both benefit their own community and be profitable at the same time. Working in strategy teams, students identify needs in their community that might be addressed through two financial services products. They then develop these ideas into a formal presentation that they give before an invited audience of community leaders. Finally, students get a chance to consider the types of careers that exist in financial services companies.

This course is expected to take a total of 67 50-minute class periods

Course Scope & Sequence

The Scope & Sequence lists the learning objectives for each lesson, providing you with an overview of what your students will learn during the course. You can use these learning objectives as a guide to determine how the course enables your students to reach the requisite goals set for them.

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Lesson Descriptions

The Lesson Descriptions document includes a brief overview of every lesson in the course. This is the narrative companion to the course Scope & Sequence document.

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Course Support

If you have questions about this course, need a hand with a particular lesson, or just have a great idea to share, please contact Kevin English directly at We are available to support you in teaching the course while also gathering feedback to improve the NAF curriculum.

Culminating Project Overview

In every NAF course, students complete a culminating project and present it in the final lesson. Download the Project Overview to learn the details about the culminating project for this course and to find out what advance preparation the project entails.

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NAFTrack Certification Course Guide

NAFTrack Certification is a nationally recognized, standards-based set of tools developed by NAF to evaluate students’ readiness for college and career. By completing all NAFTrack Certification requirements, students demonstrate mastery of academic skills and career-related knowledge. The requirements are as follows: for each of four NAF courses, students complete all coursework, pass the end-of-course exam, and fulfill culminating project responsibilities, as evidenced by uploading key pieces of work.

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Correlations to the Common Core State Standards

This document identifies which of the ELA and Math Common Core State Standards are met by each lesson in the course. You can use these correlations as an aid to preparing your students for college and careers.

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We welcome questions and feedback about these course materials. For a prompt response, please email the NAF Instructional Managers directly at

The ZIP file below contains the current version of every file for this course. Be sure to download it before the start of each school year. If you just need a specific file or two, it's quicker to use the individual links listed on this page.

All Course Files (ZIP file)

Unit 1: Getting Started

Lesson 1: Course Introduction

This lesson uses a .mov file that must be unzipped and requires an up-to-date video player such as Windows Media Player or Apple's QuickTime Player to view. If you have difficulty playing this file, please consult the tech coordinator for your school.

Lesson 2: Types of Financial Services Companies

Unit 2: Banking and Investing

Lesson 3: The Origins of Money and Banking

Lesson 4: Banking in the United States

Lesson 5: Services Provided by Banks

Lesson 6: Introduction to Investing

Unit 3: Capital and Financial Markets

Lesson 7: Alternative Types of Financial Services Companies

Lesson 8: Insurance


Lesson 9: Ethics and Financial Services

Lesson 10: Debt and Credit

Lesson 11: Regulation in the Financial Services Industry


Lesson 12: Culminating Project

Lesson 13: Working in the Industry

Lesson 14: Project Presentation and Course Closure

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