Texas Tech University

CCFCS Celebrates 50 Years

By: Ashley Brister
Photo Credit: Roger Saucedo

TTU CCFCS 50 YearsThe Curriculum Center for Family and Consumer Sciences (CCFCS) celebrated 50 years of service on October 20th in the CCFCS library with former faculty, staff, alumni, and students in attendance. A presentation and reception was held at CCFCS in honor of the many individuals who have helped make CCFCS a premier destination for family and consumer sciences curriculum.

CCFCS serves as the only curriculum center in the nation that specializes in developing curriculum materials for family and consumer sciences of various grade levels.

The Curriculum Center produces instructional materials for educators that are in-line with the latest Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) objectives as well as the national standards for family and consumer sciences. Online curriculum materials are made available for purchase with 36 family and consumer sciences courses; additional courses are added regularly.

Educators can find an abundance of teaching resources and materials as well as professional development products to use in their classrooms. Course products are thoughtfully designed in order for teachers to understand and easily follow each unit.

In addition to online curriculum offerings, the CCFCS hosts its library on the Texas Tech campus. This allows students working towards a career in family and consumer sciences to review applicable examples of lesson plans and unit structure.

CCFCS has extended their resources to students working towards their own teaching certification in family and consumer sciences with access to preparation materials for their teaching certification exams.

The celebration event included a presentation dedicated to the history of the Center, which was presented by the Director of the Curriculum Center Katy Blatnick-Gagné, Ph.D., alongside two former directors; Patti Rambo and Marilyn Wragg.

CCFCS was established in 1967 within the College of Human Sciences, formerly known as the College of Home Economics. During those times, much of the curriculum was referred to as home economics before state and nation-wide changes brought about the push to change from home economics to family and consumer sciences.

1991-2009 Director Marilyn Wragg described her time with CCFCS to be eventful with many changes across curriculum standards for educators. A state transition passed in which the standard career clusters curriculum transformed into a more modern approach with career pathway models.

"Our goal during this time was for teachers to feel that they were supported," Marilyn said. "The secret to success for us really was collaboration."

Upon Marilyn's retirement in 2009, Patti Rambo transitioned as the new director for CCFCS. Patti herself came from an educational background as a teacher who moved forward with the aim to keep the teachers in mind as the Center continued to establish curriculum.

When thinking back on her first year with CCFCS, Patti recalls a hectic season of curriculum adjustments and new implementations that were supported by a tremendously dedicated staff.

"We worked hard," Patti said. "In the past, we were sure to look for what the teachers needed and we always maintained that."

Before her retirement early this year, Patti welcomed in the shift to an updated online format for teachers to have easier access to curriculum materials.

As the new director of CCFCS, Dr. Blatnick-Gagné is currently working to push forward technology so that today's educators are met with a more interactive system.

"I'm honored to work at CCFCS knowing that there have been others before me that have put in the time and dedication to making curriculum for teachers in Texas," Dr. Blatnick-Gagné said. "Our celebration was about how we started, what we've accomplished, and where we are going.  There were so many accomplishments in the past that we would have had to have a multi-day celebration to hear about them all.  We are excited to continue our journey to be an excellent resource for teachers across the nation."

Moving forward, the Center plans to become further integrated in their partnerships with the College of Human Science's Family and Consumer Sciences Education department so that the two are one team sharing the common goal of building the educators of tomorrow.

Dr. Blatnick-Gagné notes that the Center will pursue more partnerships with the goal of obtaining further grant funding to support their initiatives. Future initiatives for the Center look to extend the scope of curriculum subjects.

"We are looking at providing curriculum to the justice system and other areas that have a need for human literacy," Dr. Blatnick-Gagné said.

Dr. Blatnick-Gagné notes that the goal is to provide professional development for family and consumer sciences teachers in high-demand areas such as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). There is also the target to partner with businesses and industry experts to further CCFCS' mission of becoming the leading destination for family and consumer sciences curriculum.

Dr. Blatnick-Gagné says she is excited for the future of the Center.

"The best way to predict the future is to create it. In our case, we're going to spend some time writing it too.  We are entering into a time where The Curriculum Center has the ability to integrate new technologies into our curriculum, deliver new products that are developed by teachers across the country, and extend our reach beyond family and consumer sciences."