Center Director Steve Cobb

Steve Cobb

UNT Center Director Steve Cobb

My appointment at UNT is unusual.  My primary responsibility is administrative in my role as Associate Dean of Administrative Affairs for the College of Arts and Sciences.  In terms of my faculty workload, that would normally be a 100% administration appointment.  In my case, I also teach one course per semester.  The class that I have been teaching for the last 3 years is HIST 4700/URCS 4750.  This is a required Social Studies methods class for all students that want to be certified to teach Social Studies at the Middle School or High School level.  This is 20% of my workload.   My additional responsibility is that I continue to serve as Director of the UNT Center for Economic Education.  This responsibility is considered to be 10% of my workload.

As Center Director, I continue to provide teacher training and curriculum development to teachers throughout Texas.  Most of the teachers I work with are Social Studies teachers, but because of the increased emphasis on Personal Finance since the recent recession, I also work with Math teachers.  The new Personal Finance standards are in the Math curriculum for grades K-8 and in the grade 12 Economics course.  In 2013, I provided economic education seminars and programs for teachers and students at Plano ISD, Arlington ISD, Denton ISD, Frisco ISD, Lewisville ISD, Desoto ISD, Region XI Education Service Center, Region X Education Service Center (twice), Texas State Historical Association, and TCEE workshops in Houston and San Antonio.  I also present awards and distinctions for the Stock Market Game for the DFW area.

From 1994 until 2011, I served as a consultant and trainer for the Council for Economic Education’s EconomicsInternational Training of Trainers program in developing and transitional nations.  The program was funded by the U.S. Department of Education and designed to provide materials and training to allow economists in these nations to teach economics using an active learning approach.  I conducted training programs in Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, South Africa, Mexico, Egypt and most recently Indonesia and Paraguay.

In 2011, the Council for Economic Education lost the funding for the International programs.  Last year, I was selected to offer Advanced Program courses for the U.S. Department of Defense for military personnel trying to complete degrees while on active duty.  In 2013, I offered courses at Hurlburt AFB in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida (International Trade), Panzer AFB in Stuttgart, Germany (International Finance), and Offutt AFB in Omaha, Nebraska (Comparative Economic Systems).  To keep the international programs alive in the absence of Department of Education funding, I joined 5 other Economic Educators to start a nonprofit 501c3 organization known as the Global Economic Education Alliance (GEEA).  We have been able to continue to offer programs in Ukraine, South Africa, Indonesia, Peru, Chile, and Mexico.  I currently serve as Founding Board Member and Vice President of GEEA.

In March of 2013, I was invited to make a presentation for the Society of Economic Educators (SEE).  This is an invitation only society of scholars that work in Economic Education.  The membership of the organization is limited to 30 individuals and I was being considered for an opening.  In May of 2013, I was extended an invitation and became the latest member of the Society. Current members include Michael Salemi, William Walstad, William Becker, Mike Watts, Kenneth Elzinga, Paul Grimes, and John Sigfried.  I am also currently a member of the American Economic Association’s Committee on Economic Education.   On that committee, I organize the annual poster session for each year’s annual meetings and have served for two years on the organizing committee for the annual Conference on Teaching and Research in Economic Education held in May.  I chair the Awards Committee for the National Association of Economic Educators and serve on the CEE Task Force for Center Creation and Affiliation.