Eastern Illinois University established the Literacy in Financial Education (LIFE) Center, which seeks to enhance the financial literacy skills of students and change their knowledge and behaviors related to money management by providing financial education through various tools and resources. The LIFE Center sponsors programs, activities, and events, which engage all levels of the student population.
Project plan and activities:
The new LIFE Center is promoted on the web through a new web site, the MyEIU/PAWS portal, a new monthly listserv, and webinars that promote financial literacy. Once students are admitted, specific information is presented to them relative to their academic stage through web-based video instruction, recorded and delivered using Panapto, and questions, using PollEverywhere record data, on MyEIU.
On campus, LIFE promotes financial education in elective and required freshmen seminars. The Student Success Center, faculty members, community organizations, Greek and service organizations, Off Campus Programs, and other student programs have access to financial literacy presentations and workshops. The LIFE Center had informational booths at several events on campus to promote awareness and interest. Student interns are available for peer-to-peer counseling sessions, promoted in presentations, workshops, and informational booths, for students looking for additional guidance.
A series including five archived, asynchronous, interactive webinars were developed and designed to enhance the financial literacy of the students and assess the program outcomes. For assessment purposes and data collection, each webinar utilizes polling tools and surveys to obtain student feedback. Students complete a webinar at each stage of their college careers. The themes of the webinar series include: Year 1: Getting on Track- How to avoid being forced to live with your parents after graduation due to finances; Year 2: Staying on Track- Do not close the door on opportunities because of poor financial decisions; Year 3: Financial Checkup- How is your financial health?; Year 4: Now What?- Graduation is here…what are my next financial steps?; and Graduate Students: I’ve made it this far, don’t blow it now!.
Graduate student assistants at Eastern Illinois University are required to complete a webinar designed by the LIFE Center on how to use the PAWS portal for budget planning, as well as reducing their debt load. Graduate students also have opportunities to conduct research related to financial literacy and mentor undergraduate students on financial preparedness.
Female students receive financial literacy presentations, workshops, mentoring, and career support from faculty, administrators, and prominent women leaders through student programs such as Web@ (Women Exploring Business and Technology), WISM (Women in Science and Math), and M3S (Minority Mentoring in Math and Sciences).
More information on the project can be found here.