Integrating the Family and Consumer Sciences Body of Knowledge into Higher Education: Eight AAFCS-Accredited Universities Explain Their Process

Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, Summer 2016 | Go to article overview

Integrating the Family and Consumer Sciences Body of Knowledge into Higher Education: Eight AAFCS-Accredited Universities Explain Their Process


This article features eight AAFCS-accredited academic units in higher education that illustrate how the Family and Consumer Sciences Body of Knowledge (FCS-BOK) can be integrated into program curricula and educational procedures or structures. Contributors represent the following educational institutions (in alphabetical order): California State University-Long Beach, Carson-Newman University, Illinois State University, Louisiana Tech University, Southeastern Louisiana University, Southern University at New Orleans, Stephen F. Austin State University, and Tennessee Technological University.

California State University, Long Beach

College of Health and Human Services

Department of Family and Consumer Sciences

Long Beach, California

Wendy Reiboldt, PhD

Professor and Chair

Wendy. Reiboldt@csulb. edu

M. Sue Stanley, PhD

Associate Dean Emeritus

About the Program

The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) at California State University, Long Beach, is housed in the College of Health and Human Services. FCS is the largest department on campus with more than 100 faculty and staff serving more than 2,400 students in undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. The department maintains six accreditations, including American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS). In 2016, the largest area is the Child Development and Family Studies (CDFS) program, which includes the National Council on Family Relations-accredited Family Life Education area and 963 pre-majors, majors, and minors. The CDFS area also boasts a laboratory school accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children that serves campus, staff, and community children aged 18 months to 5 years.

The second largest discipline is the Fashion Merchandising and Design (FMD) program with 486 students. The FMD program hosts the largest student run event, Campus Couture, an annual fashion show that is highly regarded and heavily attended. The Nutrition and Food Science programs have 399 students and hold Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics-accredited programs as follows: a Didactic Program in Dietetics, an Internship Program in Nutrition and Dietetics, and an Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway. There are 324 students in the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration-accredited Hospitality Management Program, which also co-hosts a minor in Event Planning. The Consumer Affairs program has 182 students and hosts an annual Consumer Protection Day. Though not part of the AAFCS accreditation, the Department also houses a program in Gerontology that offers a minor, certificate, and graduate degree to 67 students. The Department operates like a traditional FCS unit, with program leaders in each discipline collaborating with the chair on scheduling, leadership, and decision-making.

The Department has been accredited since 1977 (originally as Home Economics) and has maintained accreditation standards since then. Throughout the years, the accreditations have informed the Department and disciplines in areas such as curriculum, space utilization, support of tenure track positions, and release time for leadership positions. We also have been able to use the accreditation to secure laboratory funding, including extensive laboratory renovations, and to keep current with active learning classrooms. AAFCS accreditation adds to the Department's reputation for excellence across campus and acts as a unifying force for the Department, helping us stay true to our mission.

Integrating the Family and Consumer Sciences Body of Knowledge (FCS-BOK)

The California State University system has set a limit of 120 semester credits for all of its bachelor's degrees. Of the 120 semester credits, 48 credits are set aside for General Education (GE). Programs with accreditations, licensure, and/or professional organization academic guidelines can find it challenging to prepare students for the first day of their careers as well as meet GE requirements in 120 credits. …

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