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CSU, Fresno, CA 93740-8019

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The following answers some of the most common questions about California’s Family and Consumer Sciences Education and its related career-technical student organization, FCCLA.

Who We Are

1. What is Family and Consumer Sciences Education?
Family and Consumer Sciences is the umbrella term for two programs that prepare students with skills for living and earning a living. Those two programs are Consumer and Family Studies (CFS) and Family and Consumer Sciences Related Occupations (FCSRO).

Courses are taught at middle and senior high schools as well as Regional Occupational Centers and Programs (ROCPs). Career-related subject matter is integrated with academic content to prepare students for post-secondary education, entry-level employment and professional careers.

2. What is the relationship between the Consumer and Family Studies (CFS) and Family and Consumer Sciences Related Occupations (FCSRO) programs?
The Consumer and Family Studies program equips students with essential skills for living through instruction in eight content areas: child development and guidance; consumer education; family living and parenting education; fashion, textiles and apparel; food and nutrition; housing and furnishings; individual and family health; and leadership development. The coursework is a foundation for transitioning to the FCSRO curriculum.

The Family and Consumer Sciences Related Occupations program prepares students with skills for earning a living in nine industry-related career pathways: child development; education; consumer services; family and human services; fashion design, manufacturing and merchandising; food science, dietetics and nutrition; food service; hospitality, tourism and recreation; and interior design furnishings and maintenance. Equipped with a “learn by doing” education, students go on to high-skill, high-wage careers in sectors key to California’s economic growth.

Together, the two programs prepare students for the rigors of higher education and the modern-day challenges of career and personal life.

3. What is the history behind the program’s name?

Our name—Family and Consumer Sciences Education—reflects a proud history of preparing students for the dual challenges of personal and career life. Decades ago, home economics education focused more narrowly on preparing students for managing home and family life. Today, the expanded curriculum of our two programs primes students for both the demands of careers as well as personal and family life. Like the coursework itself, our name connects the origins of our curriculum—home economics—to the career and technology training that is central to our mission.

About the Curriculum

4. Can students in Family and Consumer Sciences classes expect a challenging curriculum?
Family and Consumer Sciences courses are both engaging and challenging. Students must apply knowledge and skills in reading, writing, math, science, art and social studies as well as current technology in the context of life management and career preparation. Students are evaluated on performance, competence and acquired skills related to standards established with the help of community members, post-secondary educators and employers.

5. Does the curriculum prepare students to go to college?
Yes. Both the CFS and FCSRO programs prepare students for college. Specifically, the Family and Consumer Sciences Related Occupations program’s nine career pathways each lead to post-secondary education and career-specific training. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 80 percent of the fastest growing jobs in the United States require at least some education beyond high school. Our program enhances college preparatory courses by imparting leadership skills, teaching responsibility and instilling confidence in students. In addition, Consumer and Family Studies courses can prepare students for the transition to higher education and, eventually, a high-skills career.

With careful planning, students can take at least three courses to complete a career pathway in high school. In addition, students may earn college credits for advanced-level courses. Many high schools also collaborate with four-year colleges and universities to ensure that students are well prepared to enter a related major. Moreover, students will graduate from high school with the skills needed for entry-level jobs that can help finance a college education.

6. What kinds of careers are available to students who take Family and Consumer Sciences courses?
Students who enroll in Family and Consumer Sciences courses are prepared for bright futures in many of California’s leading industries. From careers in everything from tourism to financial services, teaching and education, human services, manufacturing, and marketing, our students graduate with the aptitude and attitude to help them succeed in the workplace. These same industries are poised for rapid economic growth in the coming decade, so students can expect long-term employment and career advancement.

Past students have gone on to rewarding positions as professional chefs, fashion executives, interior designers, theme park managers, financial advisors, dietitians, and educators. There is no limit to students’ career potential.

7. Does the coursework appeal to young men and women alike?
Family and Consumer Sciences is a dynamic program that meets the needs and interests of both young men and women. In fact, young men comprise approximately 37% of enrollment in California. All students, regardless of gender, can benefit immensely from learning how to manage their personal lives and excel in their chosen career.

8. Are family and consumer sciences classes still taught in middle schools, high schools and ROCPs?
Yes. More than 300,000 secondary students (grades 6-12) enroll in Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) courses each year. Today’s family and consumer sciences curriculum includes courses that are relevant to everyday living while also preparing students for high-skill, high-wage careers. These courses teach practical skills that enrich every student’s life, regardless of their career aspirations.

9. Is food and nutrition still a part of the curriculum?
Yes. Students have ample opportunity to learn about safe and nutritious food preparation for achieving optimal health. Food preparation skills are directly transferable to careers in food service, food science, dietetics and nutrition. California boasts countless opportunities for careers in food technology, processing, advertising, restaurants, hotels and theme parks. Moreover, students gain the life-long reward of learning to nourish themselves and others.

Student Involvement

10. Is there a career technical student organization (CTSO) for Family and Consumer Sciences?
FCCLA is the co-curricular student organization for California’s Family and Consumer Sciences programs. In addition to friendship and fun, FCCLA offers leadership, citizenship, career development and recognition opportunities for students. FCCLA extends the classroom content into an advisor-guided, student-led organization that enhances members’ skills through individual and group activities. Examples of activities include serving as chapter, regional, state and national officers; working on community service activities; and competing in one of the competitive events related to the FCS curriculum. FCCLA students are poised for leadership positions in the workplace thanks to the strong foundation in leadership they acquired as students.

No person shall, on the grounds of sex, race, color, national origin, or handicap,
be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefit of, or be subject to discrimination under this program.