Funding for Career and Techinal Education

Family and Consumer Sciences is considered a part of Career and Technical Education, or CTE. CTE covers a variety of courses and services all aiming to teach technical skills and knowledge needed for success in a global market. Some popular subjects offered by CTE include FACS, Agriculture Education, Business and Information Technology. In middle schools and high schools, CTE is not considered a core area, and therefore, is often the first program to have its funding cut.

While there are many grants available to CTE programs, it is often difficult for these teachers to find the time and resources to apply for and receive these grants. It is vital that a CTE teacher have the support of the community and administration so that their program remains relevant in the school district. This can be done through fundraisers and activities that reach out and involve community members.

Extension Education is another realm of CTE. Extension is similar to CTE at the secondary school level but it extends into the public in a different way. Extension programs offer educational activities, classes and workshops. An example of a FACS related Extension program could be a parenting class. Extension programs offer informative publications to the public as well. Like secondary level CTE, Extension programs often have a lack of funding.

Extension programs can also receive grants in order to survive, but often times the programs do not receive the necessary funding and have to close. If Extension programs are terminated, the public will lose the access to the unbiased research and information the program publishes. Extension Education also runs county 4-H clubs, which would also be minimized because of funding issues. Extension Education offers so much to the community and it would be a true disappointment if it were to disappear.

Funding for K-12 and Extension CTE programs is vital for the betterment of the community. Every person can benefit from Career and Technical Education programs as they cover a great deal of subjects and skills. I would encourage every person to become more familiar with the CTE programs in their area and give their support!

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FACS in the News

Not only can students participate in Family and Consumer Sciences within the classroom, they can also get involved through a student organization. Family, Career and Community leaders of America, or FCCLA, is the organization that correlates with FACS Education. FCCLA is the second largest student organization in the country with over 200,000 members. This organization focuses on developing its members into successful leaders in their families and communities.

The North Dakota FCCLA has been up to some fundraising lately. The group has partnered up with Children’s Miracle Network to help raise money for the new children’s wing at Sanford hospital in Fargo, projected to be complete by 2016. The FCCLA members made a goal to raise $100,000 in five years. Sanford agreed to name a room after the North Dakota FCCLA in honor of their donations.

The first year North Dakota members fundraised was 2013. The goal was to raise $20,000 in this year. Members shocked FCCLA administration when they doubled their goal, raising over $40,000 in one year. The 65 chapters that participated in this first year of fundraising were excited to have had such success.

Most importantly, the fundraiser is contributing to a good cause. Having a children’s wing in Fargo means doctors and nurses can better serve the children of North Dakota, hopefully saving lives. In addition, this fundraising is giving FCCLA Members an excellent opportunity to give back. The children’s wing at Sanford will be serving much of North Dakota, so this partnership is a way members can contribute to their communities and those who are in need of hospital care. The fundraiser can also teach members the importance of community support.

This project with Children’s Miracle Network is also putting FACS and FCCLA in the public eye. This fundraiser is an opportunity for FACS professionals in the area to speak up and make the public more aware of the many possibilities FACS and FCCLA hold. Having a room named after FCCLA at the children’s hospital will also act as public relations for the organization.

The partnership between Children’s Miracle Network and FCCLA is giving members a chance to learn and reflect on the necessity of community support. More vital than that are the children that will be better served and cared for in an adequate setting.

FACS Trade Journal

Subscribing to journals that relate to one’s field of work can be beneficial in many ways. Trade and academic journals can provide subscribers with information about related conventions, new ideas for their job, and even networking opportunities. I looked into a Family and Consumer Sciences journal called The FACS. The tagline for The FACS was: “connecting professionals, touching lives.” I think this line gives insight into what this trade journal might discuss. According to this line, the intent of the journal would be to help FACS professionals network with each other and impact others’ lives.

Some useful things I expected to find in this journal was information about FACS events, lesson plan ideas for FACS Educators, and promotional information. All of this information was included in The FACS plus more. In this journal there was also information on Career and Technical Education, which is what FACS is classified as. Lately, there has been a big push for CTE to be more prevalent in our schools, the fact that The FACS had so much written about CTE just proves this point.

Upon reading The FACS, I realized it was a journal published by The American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, which is a professional organization relating to FACS. This journal held a lot of information about membership opportunities for those interested. For example, there were membership applications printed in the back of the publication. For current members, there were webinars and elections listed for them to participate in. There was also quite a bit of information about the executive members of the organization.

I think the information from The FACS that could benefit me the most is the contact information listed for the Editor and the executive team members. As a college student, networking opportunities can really impact my future. The FACS gives me some interesting opportunities to reach out to prominent FACS professionals. Another way this journal could benefit me is because of the FACS conventions and gatherings advertised. Attending one of these gatherings could be another great opportunity for me.

By looking into The FACS, I have discovered some valuable information. This journal has opened the door to many new and exciting opportunities that I, as a Family and Consumer Sciences Education student, could take advantage of. In the future, I will definitely read this journal and look into to other FACS publications.

Family and Consumer Sciences Education

Family and Consumer Sciences Education covers a great deal of subjects. Many people I encounter assume I would only teach cooking and sewing classes as a FACS teacher. While those subjects stand out, there is a lot more to Family and Consumer Sciences.

Many people still refer to Family and Consumer Sciences as Home Economics even though the name switched over 20 years ago. The original intent of Home Economics was to teach female students to be capable housewives. With the name change came a whole new ideal for the subject. FACS professionals today are all working to combat the stereotype that FACS classes are only for female students. Every student, male or female can benefit from FACS Education.

Family and Consumer Sciences is an important field as it relates to every human being. At some point in their lives, every person will have to interact with a child, balance a checkbook, sew a hole in their shirt, or prepare food. FACS classes teach students how to do all of these things and more.

Every school district is different, but there are several classes that are generally offered in a FACS department. These classes relate to human development, interior design, consumer science, family science and economics, apparel design and construction, nutrition, hospitality and tourism, and food preparation.

With the recent push by First Lady, Michelle Obama, to include healthier options in school meals FACS has been brought to the forefront. The FACS classroom is where students can learn more about the importance of these healthier options. In cooking classes students also learn how to prepare healthy meals for themselves.

FACS professionals can be found in other jobs besides teaching. With a degree in FACS Education I will be qualified to work as an Extension Educator as well. In Extension I would share, or extend, my knowledge in FACS with the public through things like workshops, publications, and presentations. Often times, FACS majors also find jobs working with health and human service agencies or as public relations agents for companies.

Family and Consumer Sciences can be looked at as an all-encompassing field. Both young students and adults can benefit from all FACS has to offer. I am excited to continue my exploration in FACS at NDSU and eventually reach out to the public with my Family and Consumer Sciences Education degree.