Abstracts Fall 2016

Fall 2016, Vol. 20, No. 2 
ISSN 1540 5273

Evidence-Based Evaluation Tools for Small Steps to Health and Wealth™

Barbara O’Neill, Rutgers University, Martie Gillen, University of Florida, Jennifer Hunter, University of Kentucky


Cooperative Extension family and consumer sciences (FCS) programs frequently address subject matter related to nutrition/health and personal finances. This article describes tools designed to collect evidence about the impact of the interdisciplinary Cooperative Extension Small Steps to Health and Wealth™ (SSHW) program. It begins by describing SSHW program components and recent research linking health, personal finances, and individual behavioral practices. SSHW is a signature program of NIFA-USDA that encourages people to make positive behavior changes to simultaneously improve their health and personal finances (e.g., more frequent physical activity and increased savings). The article then presents a description of available program evaluation methods and how they can be used to build the evidence base that SSHW is improving the health and financial well-being of individuals and families. It concludes with two examples of evaluation results for SSHW programs using specialized curricula that were developed for youth and older adults.  Full Text

Starting Over Financially After Foreclosure: Using Key Marketing Messages to Reach Clientele

Erica Tobe, Sarah Carter, Michigan State University Extension


Families that experienced housing instability during the Great Recession sought professional mitigation services to avoid foreclosure. After a resolution to a client’s housing situation was reached and counseling services ended, clientele continued to struggle financially and emotionally with credit, debt, and other fiscal situations. To fill that void, the “Starting Over After Foreclosure” toolkit was developed as a supportive resource to aid struggling clientele. To ensure the toolkit reached its end user, a marketing approach was used to specifically target industry professionals working with clientele. To maximize promotion of the toolkit, qualitative data collected from industry professionals were analyzed and targeted marketing messages were created. Special attention was paid to tone and language responses from the identified groups. Full Text

An Evaluation of Women and Money: Unique Issues

Martie Gillen, University of Florida, Lynda Spence, Diann Douglas, University of Florida/IFAS Madison County Extension Service, Brenda C. Williams, University of Florida /IFAS Alachua County Extension Service


Women and Money: Unique Issues, an Extension curriculum series developed by the University of Florida, is designed to increase women’s financial literacy and capability.From 2012 to 2015, 258 participants completed the program. Evaluations of the 2012 pilot study (n=91) indicated that 1) 100 percent of the participants learned about unique money issues facing women today; 2) 100 percent of the participants identified and set financial goals; and 3) 97 percent of the participants developed household spending plans. From before to after attending the Women and Money: Unique Issues program, 2013-2015 (n=167) participants increased their ability to manage their finances in all areas. Paired sample t-tests were conducted using a retrospective pre- then post- test design and statistically significant increases in perceived financial abilities were documented across all 10 areas. Twenty-six percent of the participants completed a six-month follow up survey to identify behavior changes. Full Text

All My Money:  Change for the Better – A research-based approach to updating a curriculum for individuals working with limited-resource audiences

Pam R. Atkinson, Karen M. Chan, Sasha L. Grabenstetter, Kathryn L. Sweedler, University of Illinois Extension


More than ever, today’s Extension programs are asked to do more with less. Educators providing services in multiple subject areas or expanded geographic areas need tools they can easily use to facilitate financial education programs. In addition, using a train-the-trainer format allows Extension educators to greatly expand their reach, their impact, and their center of influence. Training staff of other agencies and organizations positions Extension as the recognized authority in this field – the provider of research-based curriculum in the area of financial management.

To meet this need, University of Illinois Extension followed a carefully designed, research-based approach to develop the new, re-titled version of its curriculum, All My Money: Change for the Better. The process included a needs assessment survey and review of the financial education core competencies identified by the Financial Literacy and Education Commission, as well as field-testing and peer review of each lesson. Full Text

Intergenerational Land Transfer Program: A Cross Program Collaboration

Rebecca Hagen Jokela, Michael R. Reichenbach, University of Minnesota Extension


The University of Minnesota Extension’s Intergenerational Land Transfer education program, is provided to families as they engage in communication about keeping the forest intact, and passing hopes, dreams and the management ethic to the next generation. Support is also provided to help families’ select appropriate financial and legal tools to enable the land transfer process.  The University of Minnesota Extension offered 22 intergenerational land transfer workshops, webinars and classes between 2007 and 2015. For the workshops taught during this time frame. Full Text

Financial Security for All: A Pioneering eXtension.org Community of Practice

Elizabeth Kiss, Kansas State University, Barbara O’Neill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension


Launched in September 2005 as one of eight eXtension.org Pioneer Communities of Practice, the Financial Security for All (FSA) CoP continues to lead by engaging and empowering those seeking unbiased, research-informed education and tools to manage their personal finances and build financial well-being. It has also been a learning laboratory for CoP members, connecting intrigued and committed members to technology-enhanced learning environments and expanding Cooperative Extension personal finance programming efforts. Examples of recent FSA CoP deliverables include webinars, research briefs, Twitter chats, social media campaigns for America Saves Week, live video presentations via Google+ Hangouts, and Qualtrics surveys to evaluate program impact. In this article, we celebrate 10 years of FSA CoP connection, innovation, creative collaboration, and impact. We also look to the future, inviting fellow Extension professionals who seek to match content with technology to join the FSA CoP and share their subject matter and technology expertise.
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