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TFAS High School Division Reaches Record-Breaking Student Enrollment


This year, The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) is excited to announce record-breaking summer enrollment numbers for our high school economics programs. More than 900 students will participate in summer programs hosted by TFAS high school division, the Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE). Through a series of academic and leadership seminars, high school sophomores and juniors will learn the “economic way of thinking” regarding national and international issues through an engaging, active-learning curriculum. This is an astounding 47% increase of over last summer and is the highest enrollment in FTE’s 29 year history.

Since 1991, FTE has offered unique summer programs and opportunities to outstanding student leaders interested in learning about economics and leadership principles. This summer, FTE is hosting 25 programs for high school students and 13 programs for high school teachers.


FTE high school students
FTE students discuss economic principles during a session at Tufts University.

From June 14 to Aug. 2, TFAS will offer three primary student programs – Economics for Leaders (EFL), Economic Forces in American History (EFIAH) and Entrepreneurship in the Global Economy (EGE) – all correlated with both the Common Core state standards and all 50 states’ standards in economic education.

Student reviews have consistently ranked our core program, Economics for Leaders (EFL), as ‘top-notch,’ ‘wonderful’ and ‘life-changing.’ The EFL program provides students with a unique week-long opportunity to learn about economic principles and successful leadership.

“The Economics for Leaders program exceeded my expectations in every way,” said Aviva Teller ’20, who participated in FTE’s summer program last year. “The teachers were engaging, the content was interesting, and the other students were so friendly… it broadened my world view and opened my mind up to different ideas that I’d never considered before.”

The teachers were engaging, the content was interesting, and the other students were so friendly… it broadened my world view and opened my mind up to different ideas that I’d never considered before.” – Aviva Teller ’20

TFAS will host 21 EFL programs this summer, including one advanced session for AP economics students.

TFAS will also host Economic Forces in American History (EFIAH), an interactive program that teaches the economic forces behind key events in American history. Student leaders will take a detailed look at how the decision-making of American leaders impacted economic growth.

A view inside the 2020 Virtual FTE classroom as students learn the “economic way of thinking.”

The EFIAH program’s focus on economic history enables students to examine how policy responses to events in the early 20th century impacted social and economic trends.

“I’ve learned so much at this program, both about economic history and myself,” said EFIAH alumnus Andrew Protiva ’18. “I will remember my time here for many years to come.”

In addition to EFL and EFIAH, FTE will offer its newest student program, Entrepreneurship in the Global Economy (EGE), this summer. Through this program, entrepreneurial-minded high school students are given the chance to examine economics from a business perspective. Students will learn the leadership traits needed to run a successful organization in today’s economy through practical, real-life simulations.

 I’ve learned so much at this program, both about economic history and myself.” – Andrew Protiva ’18

Due to COVID-19 restrictions at most universities, the majority of FTE’s summer 2021 programming is still being conducted virtually. However, there is one in-person Economics for Leaders program for students taking place at Southern Methodist University in addition to several in-person programs for teachers.


In addition to providing top-ranked programs to high school student leaders, FTE has offered programs for educators since its founding in 1975. By participating in these programs, high school teachers receive guidance to become more effective instructors of economics.

Each year, hundreds of teachers participate in professional development programs that help them reach thousands of young minds with economic concepts. This summer, 270 teachers will participate in a variety of programs through in-person and online curriculums. With each program, FTE emphasizes active learning by utilizing engaging activities and lessons to effectively teach young people economics.

High school teachers learn techniques for teaching lessons on international trade during a one-day seminar in New York, New York.

FTE offers numerous courses: Environment and the Economy, Economics of Disasters, Economic Demise of the Soviet Union, Issues of International Trade and more. This summer, teachers will convene in Boise, Idaho; Boulder, Colorado; Austin, Texas; and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

With the help of exceptional instructors and faculty, FTE teacher programs allow educators to collaborate on creating strategies to teach the relevancy of economics to students.

“This program has challenged me to think more deeply about economic concepts and their application in the real world,” said one FTE teacher participant. “By taking these examples and ideas to my students, I will be able to show them how economics is relevant to their lives in ways they hadn’t yet imagined. I’ll be able to challenge their thinking and have them reason through possible solutions to real world problems using economic thinking.”

To learn more about programs for students and teachers, please visit FTE.org.


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