Assessing the Effectiveness of a Financial Education Intervention for Appalachian Artists: Action-Based Research

Streaming Media

Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Professional Studies in Instructional Design Leadership (DPS)

Committee Chair

Yi Yang

Committee Member

Yuerong Sweetland

Committee Member

Xiaopeng Ni


The objective of this action research was to evaluate the effectiveness of a six-month financial education intervention for Appalachian artists by measuring and observing changes in financial knowledge, financial self-efficacy, and financial behaviors and by assessing participants’ perception of the program. By all measures, the financial education intervention was a success with survey results demonstrating positive and statistically significant gains in financial knowledge and financial behaviors, plus gains, although not statistically significant ones, in financial self-efficacy. Participants increased financial knowledge in revenue diversification strategies and tax literacy from 31.2% to 71.3%. Nine participants (81.8%) earned more in their creative businesses following the financial education intervention, and ten participants (90.9%) had up-to-date record-keeping systems by the end of the program, an increase from four participants (36.3%) at the outset. Five new creative businesses and five new sales tax licenses were registered with West Virginia. Participants also emphasized the importance of the community they built with each other, and shared they were proud of their accomplishments during the six-month program. This research has practical implications for curricular design for educators, industry leaders, and community partners, plus implications for economic development policies to support similar financial education interventions for creative business owners.