Academic journal article Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

Applying the FCS Body of Knowledge in Coursework: How Six Institutions Incorporate Components

Academic journal article Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

Applying the FCS Body of Knowledge in Coursework: How Six Institutions Incorporate Components

Article excerpt

For the 2017 AAFCS Annual Conference and Expo, the AAFCS Council for Accreditation invited six institutions to submit a proposal for a student/faculty poster for exhibit during the conference. This proposal was to highlight the teaching/learning connection focused on the Family and Consumer Sciences Body of Knowledge (FCS-BOK). Carol Anderson, Director of Accreditation, coordinated these efforts.

The FCS-BOK is the head, heart, and soul of the profession. An understanding of individual, family, and community needs, ecosystems, and life course development that undergirds the dynamic, holistic, and integrative nature of family and consumer sciences is an essential dimension of the undergraduate experience.

Faculty members design courses that challenge students to analyze, reflect, apply, and consider options using the FCS-BOK as a base. Students work alone and in groups. If an institution has a core, an introductory course or a capstone is organized around the FCS-BOK. Case studies may be the vehicle for becoming familiar with and using components. The FCS-BOK webinar series (click on Events, Archived Webinars, on AAFCS website) is a tool for an overview. Video clips and research issues become instruments to initiate action.

What follows is the content from each invited institution's presentations, including information about which FCS-BOK components they integrated into specific courses and how they were integrated.

Carson-Newman University

Title of Course

CS 135: Personal and Family Management


Heather M. Whaley, PhD, CFCS

Kylie B. Larkin (student)

Hope M. Adkins (student)

Body of Knowledge Component(s)

Core Concepts:

* Basic Human Needs: Choices are made that support families' material, bodily, social, and psychological well-being while also considering their financial capacity.

* Individual Well-being: Individual circumstances are considered. To achieve individual well-being, specific needs must be met. Students work within the constraints of the family's financial capacity to determine how to meet basic needs.

* Family Strengths: Financial and communication, social support, routines, and other potential areas of family strength are identified through the case studies and are evaluated to assess the family's current state and to set goals.

* Community Vitality: Students make decisions about community involvement and potential monetary donations to community organizations. Some case studies specify community activities. It is hoped that all students realize the importance of activities in support of the vitality of a community.

Integrative Elements:

* Life Course Development: Each casebook family represents a different life course stage: families with children in school, parents who are employed, involved grandparents, retired family members, family member in terminal decline, etc.

* Human Ecosystem: In one case study, students must analyze two decisions, tracing the impact of each decision on various family members and their environments. Different forms of housing, different locations, different family structures, etc. also must be considered in the response. One family is led by the grandmother due to the mother's incarceration and another family has a remarried mother raising her son independently because her husband is in residential rehabilitation, requiring consideration of the multiple levels of the human ecosystem on family functioning.

Cross-cutting Themes:

* Capacity Building: Students learn this FCSBOK element through problem-solving, bartering with neighbors for childcare or lawncare duties, and by creating a zerobalance budget through ongoing analysis.

* Resource Development and Sustainability: Emphasized through the designated areas of spending and saving within most case studies.

* Wellness: Students emphasize wellness in various ways by making choices related to food and hygiene expenses, family menu/ eating plan, health insurance, entertainment, and vacation planning. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.