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2017 Conference Presentations

Dr. Donna Danns - The Role of Program Champions in Building Financial Education Programs

This study examines the role of program champions in building and sustaining successful financial education programs on college campuses. It uses case study data from diverse universities and across four organizational models to determine the role of program champions. Results suggest that roles differs depending on the university unit from which the program emerges, how it emerges, its raison d'être and the organizational model of the program. However, there are some commonalities across models. In general program champions have to be passionate about the cause, create interest in financial education and be tenacious in their struggle for funding, physical space and other resources. Program champions recognize that a financial education program must compete within the broader university arena for resources and recognition. Champions form alliances with other university units to market and popularize a financial education program.

Sandra Fowler - Career Readiness: Understanding How Personal Finance Impacts Careers

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has launched a Career Readiness Initiative that focuses on 8 key competencies. While "Personal Finance" was not considered, the lack of knowledge in this area can negatively impact students as they navigate their personal "Career Management," which is one of the 8 competencies. At GSW, Career Services is "Investing in a Culture of Financial Literacy." We have customized our programming to include this topic as a key component of our offerings. In this session, the presenter will share why this is important to career success and satisfaction, how the financial information is presented, and the impact on students who have participated. Successes and challenges will be shared. Next, attendees will be invited to share their own successes and challenges. It is hoped that those interested can work together beyond the conference to promote the importance of this knowledge to key decision makers, enabling more students to learn these important life skills.

Dr. Jenny Cotton - Best Practices for Creating and Implementing Effective Financial Education

Financial stress and obligations have been identified as the number one reason students leave college. In an effort to address this, colleges and universities have begun to reevaluate their role and responsibility as it pertains to financial education. This presentation highlights recent, original research that, explores how administrators within college money management centers perceive and meet the needs of college students on issues of personal finance. By identifying and showcasing best practices, as it pertains to financial education, those attending will be better equipped to represent and address this national issue at their respective institutions.

Rebecca Gonzalez-Ehnes - Student Financial Fitness: Campus and Community Engagement

The School of Business at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke has been working towards increasing financial literacy and awareness at the University and within the community. We see far too many students with excessive amounts of student loans. They are struggling to make ends meet, and sometimes they are making unsound financial decisions. As a finance professor, it’s important for me to show students how to grow their money, as well as how to not fall victim to common wealth detractors. We began our initiative called Student Financial Fitness, and our efforts on campus helped us recognize that there was also a need for this type of information in the community. We’ve hosted events while partnering with different organizations (chambers of commerce, non-profits, businesses, government agencies, and student organizations). Some of the topics we’ve covered include student loan debt, credit management, budgeting, consumer laws and protections, avoidance of fringe financial services (such as payday loans, rent-to-own, pawn shops, tax refund anticipation loans, etc.), identity theft, home buyer education, and investments. We hope to discuss the importance of building partnerships outside of the University as a way to increase awareness of our efforts and to reach a broader audience.

Paul Goebel - Adulting: Moving Millennials Into Life

Many students start experiencing elevated levels of stress when graduation is looming and they start thinking about life after college. Many wonder if they will “Adult” correctly? This session explores a cross-campus programming collaboration created to help students be better prepared for moving into life as graduates. Immensely practical and hands-on, this workshop is designed to inspire, engage, and help attendees identify the money skills students need to meet the challenges of life after college.

Dr. Christi R. Wann - The Impact of Teaching Financial Literacy to College Students

This presentation provides statistical evidence of positive changes in reported student behaviors, beliefs, and knowledge of students enrolled in a financial literacy course at a metropolitan university. A notable positive outcome is that 42 college students saved an aggregate of $30,198 in one 15-week semester. The average savings per student was $719. Many students began to save regularly, planned to start investing at a younger age, began to budget regularly, and decided that they would avoid the pitfalls of credit cards. The study results provide positive evidence for a possible solution to decrease the nation’s student loan debt, prevent money problems, and increase student retention.

Tara Overzat - Reaching Lower SES Students: A Personal View

Working with lower SES students can present myriad challenges to Financial Aid and other Student Affairs professionals. This presentation aims to help attendees understand not only the data surrounding this issue, but also personal points of view regarding how coming from, or being in, a lower SES affects college attendance, completion, and financial aid options.

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