Cooperative Extension is a non-formal U.S. educational program, established in 1914, designed to help people use research-based knowledge to improve their lives. In most states, educational offerings are provided in the areas of agriculture; food, financial, and family issues; the environment; community economic development; and 4-H youth programs. Funding for Cooperative Extension is provided at the federal government level in cooperation with state, county, and/or city governments and land-grant universities.
Following are three initiatives that will take place in 2018:
- Implementation of National Cooperative Extension Personal Finance Program Impact Data Platform– For the past year, a team of Cooperative Extension faculty developed common impact evaluation indicators for personal finance programs. This culminated in the publication of a briefing paper in October 2017. In 2018, we plan to build an online system to accept program evaluation data from Extension educators across the United States and aggregate it for state and national reports to administrators, stakeholders and potential program funders.
- Savings Tips on an Index Card Social Media Project: The eXtension FSA CoP (a part of the Cooperative Extension System) received a grant from the Consumer Federation of America to promote savings during February 2018.The goal of this project is to encourage at least 100 people to enroll in America Saves and to create and share, via social media channels such as Twitter, a saving strategy on an index card. The index card strategies will be required to align with one of the America Saves Week daily themes: Save With a Plan (2/26), Save the Easy Way…Automatically (2/27), Save for Rainy Days (2/28), Save to Retire (3/1), Save the Extra (3/2), and Save as a Family (3/3). Participants will receive a blank digital PowerPoint index card that includes the America Saves Week 2018 logo, and are encouraged to personalize the card with photos and copyright-free graphics.
- Upcoming Webinars: The eXtension FSA CoP sponsors a monthly webinar as does the eXtension Military Families Learning Network Personal Finance team. Webinar topics, registration information and links to previously presented archived webinars can be found at http://articles.extension.org/pages/67907/personal-finance-webinars.
WHAT WE OFFER
Following are 10 major national Cooperative Extension personal finance outreach programs:
- eXtension Financial Security for All Community of Practice (FSA CoP): “One-stop shop” for resources on personal finance topics and archived answers to consumer Ask an Expert questions (FSA CoP Twitter handle: @moneyeXtension).
- eXtension Webinars: More than 100 archived webinars on personal finance topics delivered from 2012-2018; more added monthly.
- eXtension Military Families Learning Network Personal Finance Team: Professional development for financial educators
- eXtension YouTube Channel: Archived webinars and YouTube Live video chat recordings.
- Starting Over After Foreclosure Program: A Michigan State University program developed to assist homeowners who have experienced foreclosure.
- Recovery After Disaster Program: A University of Minnesota program for disaster survivors.
- Small Steps to Health and Wealth™ Program: Rutgers University program that integrates health and personal finance topics to promote positive change.
- Solid Finances Webinar Series: Montana State University multi-year webinar series on personal finance topics; free archived webinars.
- Outreach programs in states, counties and cities across the United States: Services provided include face-to-face and online classes, webinars, print and online publications, print and electronic media and social media outreach; we also partner with sponsors of America Saves Week and Money Smart Week to leverage national program impact.
WHAT WE NEED
At the local (county or city), state and national level, Cooperative Extension seeks partners to expand our program outreach efforts. This includes both in-kind (e.g., staff support and services) and monetary support. For contact information about potential Cooperative Extension program partners in each state, visit the Land Grant University Website Directory. (Click on the state dropdown menu for state name and the type dropdown menu for extension).
Dr. Barbara O’Neill, Land Grant University/Cooperative Extension System
Representative to the National Jump$tart Coalition Board of Directors
Rutgers Cooperative Extension, New Brunswick, NJ