What is this program?

This is a nationally accredited teacher preparation program designed to give its students the necessary knowledge and abilities to teach family and consumer sciences (FCS) curriculum in middle school, high school and adult settings.

What would be my degree or major?

After successfully completing the undergraduate program, you would have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher Education from the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences, The University of Akron. If you are interested in a graduate licensure program, we offer a Master of Science with licensure in FCS in cooperation with the College of Education.

What courses could I teach?

In Ohio, the vocational FCS licensure enables you to teach students (4th through 12th grade and adult) the following courses:

  • Nutrition & Wellness
  • Parenting
  • Family Relations
  • Personal Development
  • Life Planning
  • Resource Management
  • GRADS

Is this what my parents called, "Home Ec?"

Yes, but with some significant differences. Traditionally, home economics focused on skill development for girls to be better homemakers. Today, FCS uses a critical science approach: helping students, both male and female, learn to think, reason, reflect, and take action through the study of recurring, practical problems.

Who majors in this program?

In FCS education at The University of Akron, we have a diverse population of students. Our students range from 18 to 55 years of age. Both women and men are currently enrolled in this program.

Are there any jobs in this field?

Yes! Due to a national and state shortage of FCS teachers, our students have job opportunities in Ohio as well as nation-wide. Many current teachers are nearing retirement and administrators are concerned that there will not be qualified replacements for these teachers.

Can I teach this subject in other states?

Family and consumer sciences teachers are needed in every state. Due to the high standards required by the Ohio Department of Education, a current Ohio license is accepted in most states.

I thought they got rid of these programs?

Well, that would be news to the approximately 1,300 employed FCS teachers in Ohio! The misunderstanding probably has to do with the various names schools choose to give to their FCS programs. Some of the names used for family and consumer sciences programs include Work and Family, Life Skills, Career Connections and even Home Economics.

Is FCS required in middle and high schools?

Each individual school district determines if a family and consumer sciences course is required. Most schools designate FCS courses to be an elective. This can have both positive and negative implications. In a time when educational budgets are being cut, sometimes school districts have chosen to eliminate some or all of its elective courses. However, most FCS courses receive additional funding from the federal government making it the only "elective" that receives such funds. A district that chooses to reduce or eliminate FCS programs not only denies its students of a much-needed curriculum, but also reduces the amount of funding received by the school district. The positive implication of teaching an elective is that students are choosing to be in the course, which usually leads to a well-behaved classroom.

What courses would I need to take to be a FCS teacher?

Click onto the button marked "Program Plans" on the far left of this page for this information.

Are there other Ohio FCS licensures available at The University of Akron?

Yes. We offer degree programs in all of the Ohio FCS licensure areas:

  • Job Training - Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Job Training - Hospitality, Hotels, and Resorts
  • Job Training - Culinary & Food Service Mgt.

What else could I do with this major?

A degree in family and consumer sciences education would be the appropriate credential for many different social services which may include: youth development and services; family services; non-profit agencies; adult education; services to those who are developmentally delayed.

Who would I talk to regarding this program?

The program coordinator for both the undergraduate and graduate program is Dr. Virginia Gunn. Her contact information is listed below.

Dr. Virginia Gunn, Director
School of Family and Consumer Sciences
215 Schrank Hall South
Akron, OH 44325-6103
330-972-7729
vgunn@uakron.edu