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Family and Consumer Sciences

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Headlines list issues daily which support the fact we live in a complex society. We live in a world that demands skills in critical thinking, problem solving, management and flexibility along with respect, collaboration and understanding. Students are no different as they are members of families, communities, and the workplace. They need to be able to act responsibly and productively to synthesize information from multiple sources, to work cooperatively with others, and to make informed decisions about all aspects of their lives. Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) has been focused upon this work for over 100 years. And through the decades, the field has transitioned to (and will continue to transition) to meet the needs of society transitions. See below how Kansas FCS is striving to build success skills in middle and high school youth to live in this ever changing world. From social and emotional development to civic leadership and career preparation, FCS develops life literacy to promote students ability to be successful, which can also impact their community and society as a whole.

The Mission of Family and Consumer Sciences Education: 

Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Education prepares students for family life, work life, and careers in Family and Consumer Sciences through:

  • Strengthening the well-being of individuals and families across the life span.
  • Becoming responsible citizens and leaders in multiple settings.
  • Promoting optimal nutrition and wellness across the life span.
  • Managing resources to meet their own and families material needs.
  • Balancing personal, family, and work lives.
  • Using critical and creative thinking to address problems in diverse family, community, and work environments.
  • Developing successful life management skills.
  • Functioning effectively as providers and consumers of goods and services.
  • Appreciating human worth and accepting responsibility for one's actions leading to a more success personal and work life.

Kansans Can and Family and Consumer Sciences:
The Kansans Can vision “Kansas will lead the work in the success of each student” has many components, but the most foundational is social and emotional learning. Social emotional learning is “the process through which students acquire the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions; set and achieve positive goals; feel and show empathy for others; establish and maintain positive relationships; and make responsible decisions.” An additional Kansans Can vision component is civic engagement where students lead initiatives to address issues to improve their lives, their families, communities, nation and the world. Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) are directly aligned and are best practice for social emotional learning and civic engagement. See the following two documents which can be shared with local decision makers about these connections—“Kansans Can Initiatives and Family & Consumer Sciences Education Connections” and “Social Emotional Learning and Civic Engagement In Action

Program FCS Standards and Course Competencies:
Kansas FCS Education is based upon the Family and Consumer Sciences state and national standards forming a comprehensive instructional model which is project-based, student centered and 21st century process skill focused. Kansas FCS with industry and non-profit partners have developed locally developed competencies linking to life literacy and workforce needs. (The National FCS Education standards can be reviewed at NASAFACS. The Kansas level FCS Education secondary standards can be reviewed here. The Kansas FCS course competencies are linked through the career cluster design sheets accessed under the FCS Menu on the right.)

Life Literacy and Career Pathways Connections:
FCS Education addresses content knowledge and skills through foundational life literacy instruction at the middle and secondary levels as well as workforce training related to the Education and Training, Hospitality and Tourism, Human Services and Visual Arts career pathways. Refer to the related links in the FCS menu for more about these initiatives.

Career Ready Practices:
FCS Educators address the Common Career and Technical Core (CCTC) career ready practices and 21st century process skills through direct instruction in goal setting, problem solving, creativity, critical thinking, decision making, management, leadership and cooperation in family, work and community applications. This is achieved through strategic opportunities between the FCS classroom and the Family, Community and Career Leaders of America or FCCLA student organization. (For related information regarding the career ready practices, see: Career Ready Practices.)

Family and Consumer Sciences FAQ

The following questions address Family Consumer Science Education and the various topics related to the field. 

Q1. What is Family and Consumer Sciences?


Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) is the comprehensive body of skills, research, and knowledge that helps people make informed decisions about their well being, relationships, and resources to achieve optimal quality of life. The field represents many areas, including human development, personal and family finance, housing and interior design, food science, nutrition, and wellness, textiles and apparel, and family relations. (Adapted from:www.aafcs.org)

FCS Education Issue Brief: Importance in Schools - This issue brief was developed to share with decision makers, community leaders and business and industry partners to share the role of FCS Education in today's schools.

Developing Life Literacy in KS FCS Education - KS Family and Consumer Sciences is needed now more than ever to address obesity prevention, healthy relationships, foundational employability skill development and human services related workforce training.


Q2. What is Family and Consumer Sciences Education?

Answer: Family and Consumer Sciences Education introduce middle school and high school students to the skills and professions needed to meet the needs of individuals and families, be they their own or those they interact with. The skills learned are applied through experiential learning projects within the classroom and through the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) career and technical student organization.  

Today’s FCS professionals practice in multiple settings. They are early childhood, middle-level, secondary, university/college, and Extension educators, administrators and managers, human service professionals, researchers, community volunteers, business people, and consultants who address the issues most important to our quality of life. 

Family and Consumer Sciences Education directly addresses many of the issues of concern in today’s society including obesity prevention, bullying, personal and family finance and family relationships (see below for more information). It also introduces students to careers in the human services areas (early child, geriatrics, social work, credit counseling) as well as others (interior design, textile design, event planning/management, culinary arts and food science). 

Family and Consumer Sciences Education itself is a viable career option, in fact CNN identified Family and Consumer Sciences Education as the number one overlooked major with strong employment potential (Source: CNN.com) along with Food Science, Social Work and Gerontology (all addressed by FCS Education linked careers). 

(Adapted from: AAFCS)


Q3. What is the need for Family and Consumer Sciences Educators in Kansas?


It is predicted that Kansas will need to fill approximately 140 FACS Education openings by 2018 to keep the positions that exist today. Expansion of FCS programs would be in addition to this number. (Source: KSDE data search). Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Education is looking for enthusiastic, dedicated people to become middle and high school FACS teachers.

  • There are two methods of becoming FCS Education teachers in Kansas. They are:

·  High school graduates who want to earn a four-year degree in Family and Consumer Sciences Education

·  Adults who have a degree and/or work experience in a FCS-like career and want to become certified  to teach.

  • You can make a difference in the lives of Kansas students by promoting FCS Education as a career. The following FCS Education promotional video link shares what FCS Education involves today and impact that those in the field can make.  In addition, a flyer is provided that describes how the field fits personal and professional needs.

FCS Education Promotional Video

FCS Ed: A Career for You! (Flyer)

  • Contact the following universities to find out how you can earn a teaching degree in FACS Education in Kansas.

Pittsburg State University – Jennifer Snell (Teacher Educator)

Kansas State University – Sally Yahnke (Teacher Educator)


Q4. What is the Career Cluster and Family and Consumer Sciences Connection?


Kansas career and technical education (CTE) has adopted the career cluster model (CTE: Learning that works for America) . Kansas CTE is focused on building a skill set of employable skills in the CTE students enrolled. Family and Consumer Sciences Education is leading the Human Services, Education and Training and Hospitality and Tourism career clusters. In addition, Family and Consumer Sciences courses can be found in eight other career clusters , in a total of twelve pathways. The course Intro. to Family and Consumer Sciences allows students to learn about all the pathways connected to FCS and as well provides an introduction to the unique field of FCS. To review course competencies and pathway design sheets, refer to the right side bar menu at the beginning of this webpage for links.


Q5. Where are the Professional and Support Organizations for Family and Consumer Sciences Education?


American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences 
Association for Career and Technical Education 

Family and Consumer Sciences Education Association 
Family, Career and Community Leaders of America 

Kansas Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (KAFCS)
Kansas Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences

Kansas Family, Career and Community Leaders of America 
National Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences  

Family and Consumer Sciences 

(785) 291-3538

Deputy Commissioner
Division of Learning Services
Brad Neuenswander
(785) 296-2303

Career, Standards and Assessment

Scott Smith
(785) 296-3142

Assistant Director
Career and Technical Education

Stacy Smith
(785) 296-0979

Assistant Director
Curricular Standards
David Fernkopf
(785) 296-8447

Assistant Director
Beth Fultz
(785) 296-2325

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