In the fall of 2016, Student Affairs Officer Jamila Brown coordinated financial education programming at the UC Davis campus in partnership with the First-Year Aggie Connections (FYAC). FYAC breaks first-year students, including transfer and international students, into groups of about 25 based on a shared purpose, interest or theme. Brown found this partnership helped both her department and FYAC reach a shared goal of financial literacy while providing a built-in audience for her programming.
Brown says, “Throughout the years, we have partnered with many different programs and departments. What was our big turnaround was finding a large partner with similar goals. We found a perfect partner in First-Year Aggie Connections to help promote our financial education programs. They focus on topics that are crucial to students transitioning to life on the UC Davis campus and financial literacy is one of those topics. They have about 3000 students which helped us find an audience.”
UC Davis was also a recipient of the CashCourse fall 2016 Reimbursement Program. Brown used this funding to hire a peer financial educator who helped plan the events and even ran their first student-led workshop. Their mix of programming included social media promotions, workshops, “brain breaks” (snack bags with financial literacy information passed out during finals), and tabling.
“During our Aggie Dollars and Sense week we do presentations on key topics related to financial education, including: budgeting 101, needs versus wants and credit 101. During the fall we had our first peer-led workshop completed by our peer advisor, Jennifer Duong. At We use a prize wheel at our campus fairs to get students’ attention and give out prizes if students can answer a financial literacy question. We always ask if they know about CashCourse and help get them signed up,” Brown explains.
Brown incorporates CashCourse throughout her programming. She uses the workshop kits and articles for content sources, and she directs students to set up an account. When asked why she uses CashCourse, Brown emphasizes ease of use.
Brown says, “We use CashCourse because it makes it really easy for students to understand different money topics. CashCourse breaks it down and gives them different ways to work with these different subjects in way they can easily understand. The feedback we’ve gotten from students is that it is easy to understand and they like the videos and worksheets.”
They promote their programs and CashCourse in a variety of ways on campus. Brown explains that campus partners have helped enormously with marketing too. They have worked with both student housing and Aggie Connections to promote events through their newsletters, LCD screens and social media. When asked on advice for schools doing similar work, Brown stresses collaboration.
“It is so important to develop relationships with campus partners. That has really helped us with promoting financial literacy which really should be a shared campus effort,” Brown says. “We all have a part in helping our students be successful. Through this work, we can really help relieve the stress that students have around money.”