Texas Tech University

Unmatched Resource for Family and Consumer Sciences Professionals: Curriculum Center for Family and Consumer Sciences

Ashley Brister

January 26, 2022

Family and Consumer Sciences student in Curriculum Center for Family and Consumer Sciences

Students, Faculty, and Alumni are able to benefit from materials provided by the center

The Curriculum Center for Family and Consumer Sciences (CCFCS) is the only center in the United States dedicated to creating family and consumer sciences curriculum for high school educators. The center has more than a 52-year track record of producing quality curriculum in the College of Human Sciences. It is proud to work closely with Family and Consumer Sciences Education (FCSE) students and faculty. 

“Our purpose is to produce and disseminate instructional materials that support family and consumer sciences programs and to provide related pre-service and in-service professional development to educators and administrators within those program areas,” Assistant professor of practice Melanie Schmitt said. “The curriculum is written and consistently updated by former FCS teachers and other leaders of impact in the family and consumer Sciences profession nationally.  We are also continually seeking community partners to help support curriculum funding for teachers who are utilizing specific pathways,” Schmitt said. 

Schmitt is a former secondary family and consumer sciences (FCS) teacher from Arkansas. She taught for 16 years at the high school level before moving to higher education and counts herself fortunate to have been able to find the resources from the CCFCS during her career.

“The fact that FCS professionals who have been in the classroom are helping to develop the curriculum is extremely valuable. They know the content and how to frame activities to meet the needs of today's students. The Curriculum Center for Family and Consumer Sciences does an outstanding job serving teachers in the profession.”

CCFCS is the only curriculum center of its kind in the United States, working with FCS educators across the country. In addition to training and seminars, the center offers free online course materials for educators.

“The CCFCS is offering additional online resources free of charge to assist teachers and educators adjusting to online learning platforms due to the disruptions caused by COVID-19,” instructional designer Mara Driscoll said. “Our free webinars include Google Classroom Basics, Pear Deck for Google Slides, Collaboration Tools and Resources in Learning Management Systems, Tips for Making Quality Instructional Videos, and LiveBinders for Active Learning.”

A recent project within the center has been migrating 60 curricula to Texas Tech's continuing education version of Blackboard. The project took nine staff members and ten months to complete. 

“One special focus was on attaching 29 newly developed rubrics so that teachers would have academically appropriate methods of grading and giving quality feedback to student projects and products,” Driscoll explained. “A second special focus was on updating the language of the curriculum to reflect a more inclusive attitude.”

Other projects at the center include refining digital resources to accommodate diverse accessibility, updating the only college-level FCS education textbook, creating a Farm to Table curriculum, and developing the Real Skills for Real Life middle school course. The center also has hopes to integrate student research in lesson plan packets for FCS teachers who use the center's resources. 

“Students in the FCSE program have access to a library of resources and classroom space that is housed in the CCFCS,” Department chair Karen Alexander, Ph.D. said. “Graduate students with classroom teaching experience frequently serve as consultants with the curriculum. We recently collaborated with the Center for Financial Responsibility to review new training materials for adolescent financial literacy and career awareness and to assist with the alignment of the materials to the relevant Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).”

Students in the student teaching portion of their Family and Consumer Sciences Education degree can access the digital curriculum resources at the center for class projects. Students can also take classes within the center to count toward their degree program. FCSE alumni are encouraged to become community partners or work in the center to bring the student experience full circle. 

Outside Texas Tech, the center has partnered with Lubbock ISD and Cooper ISD to develop student assessment items for family and consumer sciences courses. Alumni also use components of the CCFCS curriculum to teach an Adulting 101 course within both school districts. 

“As a part of a Tier 1 research university, one of our goals is to form more collaboration within the College of Human Sciences, across the campus, and across the nation,“ Driscoll said. “We look forward to maintaining national recognition as producers of quality curriculum and materials for family and consumer sciences.”