Texas Tech University

Family and Consumer Sciences Education Alumna Leads the Next Generation of Educators

Mallory Collins

February 15, 2022

Carmen Pedersen

Carmen Pedersen is passionate about the field of family and consumer science education and educating the next generation

Carmen Pedersen graduated from Texas Tech's Family and Consumer Sciences Education (FCSE) doctoral program in 2018. Today, Pedersen is a middle school family and consumer sciences teacher and serves as the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Adviser. 

“FCSE is my passion and I wanted a degree in this field,” Pedersen said. “The department offered me the opportunity to serve as a Graduate Part-Time Instructor where I received many invaluable experiences. TTU FCSE not only prepared me to be a better teacher but also to help the next generation of FCSE teachers.

Texas Tech University offers the nation's only Family and Consumer Sciences Education Ph.D. program. This program provides the training and qualifications needed for a faculty position, especially in Family and Consumer Sciences Education or home economics teacher preparation.

“Courses include content related to careers and professionalism, personal and family finance, nutrition and food science, early childhood education, teaching as a profession, interior and fashion design, and leadership,” Pedersen said. “In the Career and Technical Student Organization, students develop critical thinking skills, interpersonal communication skills, professionalism, and character development that prepare them for their futures.”

For Pedersen, the best part of teaching is the opportunity to teach students valuable skills and make a long-lasting impact on students' lives. 

“The most rewarding part of my job is helping students learn practical and relevant knowledge and skills that they need to be successful in life,” Pedersen said. “Helping students realize their full potential and gaining new experiences is not only meaningful but also fun.” 

Pedersen co-authored a published textbook about FCSE related content with Deborah Tippett, Ph.D., a former Family and Consumer Sciences Education professor at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

“Dr. Tippett requested that I review the textbook and provide feedback and suggest edits and additions based on my experience as a middle school teacher,” Pedersen said. “Dr. Tippett and the publisher liked the comments I shared, so they asked me to consider writing the new revision as a co-author.”

The demand for qualified FCSE instructors continues to increase across the nation. Texas Tech's Family and Consumer Science doctoral program has given students, including Pedersen, a strong foundation to lead the next generation of family and consumer science education educators.

“Without my time at TTU, I would not have met Dr. Tippett nor would I have had the opportunity to be involved with various professional organizations which allowed me to present workshops at state, national, and even international conferences,” Pedersen said.