About Cheryl Ayers, MBA, PhD
Starting her career as a Career and Technical Education (CTE) high school teacher and cooperative education coordinator, Dr. Cheryl Ayers has more than 25 years of experience in creating and delivering customized professional development programs, undergraduate/graduate university courses, curricula, and certification examinations in economics, personal finance, and entrepreneurship for K-12 pre/in-service teachers, adult educators, adult service providers, workforce development practitioners, correctional educators, and other like-minded professionals from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds.
Her research and scholarship focus on teaching economics, personal finance, and entrepreneurship in an accessible and multidisciplinary way that empowers individuals for more productive and fulfilling lives and careers with an emphasis on economic reasoning skills and tools used to make more informed decisions. In fact, she helped mandate Virginia’s Economics & Personal Finance course as a high school graduation requirement and write the student learning objectives as well as created Virginia’s Economics Institute in 2008 to train Virginia’s educators to teach the course that is still being used today by the Virginia Council on Economic Education (VCEE).
Dr. Ayers is also passionate about providing retroactive opportunities for disenfranchised, marginalized, and underserved youth and adults with limited education and income who did not have the opportunity to learn about economics, personal finance, and entrepreneurship in school or at home. Her vision is to be a part of the solution in reducing poverty, stimulating economic growth, and empowering all members of society with a more prosperous future.
She recently published the first research-based theory of effective economics instruction at the secondary level and is the national 2023 NAEE Economic Pedagogy Scholar Award winner. She earned a B.S. in Career and Technical Education (Marketing/Adult Education) from Virginia Tech, M.B.A. from the University of Lynchburg, and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction/Teacher Education and Development (Economic Education) from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. Dr. Ayers enjoys wearing many hats and currently also serves as the director of the Center for Economic Education at Virginia Tech.