Dr. Sandra Huston serves as Director of Program Evaluation and Curriculum Development for the Group. In that role she uses her experience as a personal finance researcher and educator to assess program effectiveness. She also helps firm clients with the development and delivery of impactful curricula designed to increase knowledge and change behavior of target audiences. Her extensive curriculum development expertise extends to both in-person and on-line learning environments.
Dr. Huston’s program evaluation work has helped a variety of organizations to understand the gap between a program’s present results and its potential impact. For instance she has performed evaluations of college-level personal finance courses and has used the findings to guide her training of instructors. Dr. Huston has also evaluated a financial counseling initiative including a thorough review and assessment of the methods, materials, structure and staffing of the program.
Dr. Huston has also compiled an impressive body of work developing innovative financial literacy curricula. In a recent firm project, Dr. Huston lead a team of consultants that developed an on-line simulation game for US college athletes which utilized findings from behavioral economics research and included facilitation materials for coaches. The program was successfully rolled out to 1,600 postsecondary institutions and received strong positive feedback from the client and program participants. She has also developed curricula for a number of courses on a variety of financial issues. These topics include: introducing young people to financial decision-making and goal setting, teaching youth the basics on investing and risk management and educating college students on how to obtain their first jobs.
Dr. Huston’s research work has been featured in a variety of important academic publications including the Journal of Consumer Affairs, the Journal of Personal Finance, the Journal of Financial Services Professionals and the Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning. Her research interests focus on human capital specifically related to personal finance and the financial planning process, including financial literacy, household use of financial advice, and the impact of financial sophistication on resource allocation within household portfolios.
Dr. Huston earned her Ph.D. in consumer economics from the University of Missouri. She also holds a Master’s in consumer policy from the University of Guelph in Ontario and graduated with honors from the University of Manitoba while earning her Bachelor’s of Human Ecology degree. Additionally she obtained a Professional Certificate in Online Education from the University of Wisconsin.
Below is a clip of one of Dr. Huston’s public appearances.
The Promise of Behavioral Economics