Texas Tech University

Family and Consumer Sciences Education Alumna Prioritizes Life Skills in Classroom Curriculum

Mallory Collins

March 16, 2022

Rachel Baxter

Rachel Higginbotham Baxter works as a culinary teacher, educating students on the skills in home economics

In 1983, Rachel Higginbotham Baxter received her degree in Home Economics, now referred to as Family and Consumer Sciences Education (FCSE). Today, Baxter works in Mobile, Alabama, as a culinary teacher. 

Baxter knew from a young age that she wanted to be a teacher. After many hardships and challenging times, she was encouraged by family members to become a home economics teacher. She now enjoys every part of her job and working with directly with students to improve their valuable life skills.

“I love working with my students and seeing the delight on their faces when they discover something new or when they figure out something,” Baxter said. “I enjoy creating lessons that will engage and challenge them.”

The Family and Consumer Sciences Education program gives students practical skills in numerous family and consumer science specialties, including food preparation, clothing design, nutrition, sustainability, and financial planning. The program also creates opportunities to work with researchers and professionals in the field. Baxter likes to give her students a variety of knowledge she gained from her experiences in the FCSE program.

“Even though I'm teaching culinary courses, my students still get a good dose of foundational home economics from our courses, including budgeting, foods for family, sewing skills, and restaurant design,” Baxter said. “I have gone back to school to pick up culinary skills, but my FCSE background is what has seen me through all the changes.”

During her time in the College of Human Sciences, she enjoyed all of her home economics classes and the broad appeal to future careers. Baxter recommends the FCSE program to anyone interested in teaching. She still often reflects on the experiences she had and its impact on her current career.

“Texas Tech was such a supportive community, and the College of Human Sciences really helped me to find my way,” Baxter said. “I almost quit school at one point because my personal life was such a wreck, but I received such encouragement from the professors.”

There were many instructors that supported her during her time at Texas Tech. Baxter credits her current skill set and knowledge to what she learned in the FCSE program. The College of Human Sciences prepares students for future careers through multidisciplinary education, research, and service focused curriculum.