TFAS high school programs division, the Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE), introduces young individuals to an economic way of thinking about national and international issues. FTE also promotes excellence in economic education by helping teachers of economics become more effective educators. This mission would not be possible without the dedicated professors, mentor teachers and program coordinators who devote their time and energy to facilitating these engaging and innovative programs.
FTE is known nationally for its emphasis on active learning and the engaging activities and lessons used to teach economics. Our faculty members are high-energy individuals who breathe life into the programs they facilitate, making each program unforgettable for students and teachers alike. Their passion for teaching economics and leadership skills shines through each interaction they have with the participants, leading to lifelong lessons and lasting change in the lives of thousands of students and teachers each year.
Longtime FTE Program Coordinator and alumna Andrea Weiss, FTE ’05, is one of the dedicated individuals who make economics memorable for hundreds of young leaders each year. Learn more about Weiss below.
Weiss is as passionate about FTE as she is adventurous – that is to say, extremely! She first became involved with FTE when she attended an Economics for Leaders (EFL) program at Hillsdale College in 2005. Just three years later, she began working as a program coordinator, a position that is indispensable to the success of the summer program participants. Andrea will be joining the FTE leadership faculty this summer and is scheduled to work six programs over the course of the eight-week summer schedule. We’re looking forward to having her on the team for her 17th summer with FTE!
In her role as a program coordinator, Weiss assists in leadership instruction and oversees student participants in multiple EFL programs each summer. Having worked with FTE for so long, Weiss has taken on additional responsibilities to help each program run more smoothly. This position allows Weiss to mentor students, motivate them, provide guidance, and foster camaraderie.
One of the most rewarding aspects of her job is being able to witness the personal growth the students undergo in such a short amount of time.
“It’s amazing to see the students working their way through our leadership curriculum, learning about themselves and how they make choices, and how those choices impact the group,” Weiss explained.
Aside from economics, Weiss is passionate about helping others, especially through teaching English as a second language. She has volunteered all over the world, from Italy to Tanzania, which allowed her to hone her teaching skills. She brings these cross-cultural teaching abilities to her role at FTE.
When Weiss isn’t challenging her students with activities like the Jump Rope Challenge (her personal favorite), in which participants try to jump 30-40 foot rope as a group to learn the necessity of teamwork, she is often exploring the great outdoors by backpacking, kayaking, snowshoeing or cycling. Her sense of adventure brings the activities she facilitates to life.
The students always inspire me, and the staff members are truly amazing. There’s something about the environment we create at EFL that provides a safe space to challenge yourself and grow. Even on staff, with the great people I’m working next to, I’m able to do that every summer.” – Andrea Weiss, FTE ’05
Having attended EFL herself, Weiss has a unique perspective on the program. She enjoys connecting her own learning experiences to what she teaches, which undoubtedly benefits her students. She explained that her students are a profound source of inspiration and that she loves collaborating with her coworkers.
“The students always inspire me, and the staff members are truly amazing,” she shared. “There’s something about the environment we create at EFL that provides a safe space to challenge yourself and grow. Even on staff, with the great people I’m working next to, I’m able to do that every summer.”