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Joan Sprain, University of Wisconsin-Extension St. Croix and Missy Bablick, UW-Extension Barron, and Erica Timmers Mabis, St. Croix County AmeriCorps VISTA recently were awarded the Rosalie Powell Financial Management Award at the Joint Council of Extension Professionals state conference in La Crosse. This award by the Wisconsin Association of Extension Family and Consumer Sciences is given to a team who has developed an outstanding educational program on some aspect of family financial management.
Sprain, Bablick and Mabis created a financial education program based on trivia contests and simulated learning activities for college students. Topics covered included paying for college, understanding credit, living within a budget and understanding money values and goals. This effort began at the University of Wisconsin-Barron and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College. The team soon learned each student body had very differing needs. According to Sprain, “UW-Barron students tended to be younger and planned on transferring to a four year campus where WITC students were older and planned on getting a job upon graduation.” Because of this distinction, Sprain and Bablick chose to focus on UW-Barron County and this fall will be replicating the program at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
A total of 252 students (duplicated) have been reached in two semesters. Students reported they learned how to set financial goals, how to budget, how to obtain a free credit report and the value of building good credit for the future.