As part of Dickinson High School’s (DHS) banking and finance curriculum, students not only study personal finance to include areas of career, checking and savings accounts, budgeting and decision making, but they also run an actual bank at the high school, with local assisting from Dakota Community Bank & Trust (DCB&T). While DCB&T is a parent bank to this internal high school venture, all accounts provided are completely separate of one another. Services at the Student Bank include loans, savings accounts, cashing checks, and making change.
“Our student bank is open in the morning and open at noon. We take care of a lot of banking issues during class whether that is creating a schedule or going down to Dakota Community Bank & Trust to make change or get a cash request or deposit checks,” says Brenda Loney DHS business teacher who has managed the Student Bank since 2002.
The Student Bank was started in 1994 in partnership with a different local bank. However, after that bank was bought out, the new ownership was no longer able to service the high school. “And so, at that time, we had to look for a different parent bank. We ended up going with Dakota Community Bank & Trust and have been with them since 2007. The willingness for the bank to take us on, with our special services that we offer with a Student Bank, speaks very highly of Dakota Community Bank and their feeling toward community,” recalls Loney. She continues on by stating that typically DCB&T sends a couple customer service representatives to the classroom to introduce the teller training and help the students. The DCB&T staff usually cover topics including customer service, responsibility and balancing of a cash drawer, safety measures, and other various subjects.
As part of the requirement of the class is to operate the Student Bank, not only are students learning about basic finance but they are also learning account balancing and reconciliation, marketing, and most importantly – responsibility. The roughly 10 to 15 students who take the banking and finance class each semester actually apply for various positions within the student bank including loan officer, teller, marketing, secretary, treasurer, and others.
The students also normally go on a fieldtrip to the DCB&T to witness what it is really like to have a career in banking and finance. “We talk about schemes and scams. They show us money and what to look for with counterfeit money. They talk about budgeting and what they look for in a loan, and so on,” says Loney. She states there is a huge benefit to having the students see what banking and finance would be like in real life as a professional career.
Loney closes by stating how she believes the Student Bank is a really great opportunity for DHS students to work on real life job skills, learn customer service, work with their peers, learn responsibility and authority, to work at finance as a career option, and to take what they learn within the Student Bank and apply it to their personal lives.
For more information on Dickinson High School in Dickinson, ND, please visit: https://www.dhs.dickinson.k12.nd.us/.
Written by Lindsey Hefta, Marketing Director