Agrilife: Family & Consumer Science Professionals Impact Young Lives

What Does it Take?

Eighth graders all across the country are being encouraged to think about a study track to enter when they begin high school.  That is always a difficult decision, because may adults are still trying to decide what they want to do!

My Family & Consumer Sciences colleagues and I are firm believers that our careers are making a difference in the lives of others.  We are professionals whose work assists individuals, families, and communities in making informed decisions about their well-being, relationships, and resources to achieve optimal quality of life.  By understanding today’s complex social and economic issues,  FCS professionals make an impact on our quality of life.

So, what does it take to be an FCS educator?  In my college days, the title was Home Economics, which conjured up thoughts of baking and sewing (which, by the way, is totally inaccurate!) Family & Consumer Sciences (founded as Home Economics), had its beginnings in 1899 when Ellen Swallow Richards, one for the first female graduates and female faculty members of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), led the way to use scientific knowledge to address water quality, food safety, and safety of home environments.  Today’s title better encompasses the vast competencies that Family & Consumer Sciences professionals exhibit on a day-to-day basis.  FCS courses are found within the following career clusters:

– Human Services

– Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources

– Education

– Finance

– Health Science

– Hospitality & Tourism

– STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics)

– Architecture & Construction

– Marketing, Sales and Services

Youth organizations, such as 4-H under the direction of FCS Extension Agents, and FCCLA, embedded within the FCS classroom, allow members to address individual, family, and community needs in experiences that expand and demonstrate knowledge and skills.  Educators prepare their students or other audiences for family life, work life, and careers in:

  • Consumer Studies and Retailing
  • Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Food Science, Nutrition and Wellness
  • Hospitality Services and Culinary Arts
  • Housing and Interior Design
  • Human Development and Family Studies
  • Personal and Family Finance
  • Textiles, Apparel and Design

On May 4, 2017, FCS educators all across the nation will host a “Say Yes to FCS Signing Day.”  My friend and colleague, Debbie Stribling, and I will partner to promote the FCS field and recognize high school seniors who plan to major in any of the FCS-related fields, so watch for more to come!  In the meantime, we encourage students to ask questions, visit professionals in the field, and check out resources!


What’s Next?

National 4-H Week is coming soon, and our Hopkins County 4-H members will be busy celebrating the occasion throughout the month of October.  Watch next week’s column for all the great opportunities for our youth.  If you or someone you know would like more information about joining 4-H, give us a call at 903-885-3443, and we’ll be glad to share the latest 4-H Gazette newsletter, information sheet, and enrollment information.  In the meantime, make plans to join us on the Courthouse steps on Monday, October 3, 4:30 p.m. for the reading of the 4-H proclamation, refreshments, and informational exhibit.


Closing Thought

What is truly important?  How precious life is!  Love is just a word until somebody comes along to share it – Marc Mero


Author: Staff Reporter

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