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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Marieka Klawitter
PB AF 578
Seattle Campus

Asset Building for Low Income Families

Explores assets and finances for low income families primarily in the United States. Identifies programs and policies targeted toward asset building and looks at evidence of their efficacy. Uses a multi-disciplinary perspective to examine the economic, social, and political contexts for these policies.

Class description

A new generation of social policy analysts and practitioners argue that building assets rather than income is the key to helping low income families prosper economically and socially. Governments and nonprofits have responded by developing new programs and retooling or repackaging old programs to support home ownership, education, and microenterprise.

This course will explore assets and finances for low income families primarily in the US. We will identify programs and policies targeted toward asset building and look at evidence of their efficacy. Using a multi-disciplinary perspective, we will examine the economic, social, and political contexts for these policies.

Student learning goals

How families make financial and asset decisions

Policies to build assets (individual development accounts, tax credits, microfinance)

Financial literacy and financial services

Housing as a family asset

Small business development

Education as asset

General method of instruction

Combination of class discussion, small group discussion, and lecture.

Recommended preparation

Previous study of the public policy process.

Class assignments and grading

The requirements for this class will be class participation and presentation, two short papers (3-5 pages), and one longer paper on an issue of your choice (10-15 pages).


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Blake N Cooper
Date: 01/11/2010