Texas Tech University

A Look at The Past 100 Years Of Family and Consumer Sciences Education

Matilda Beckanovic

February 14, 2023

1942 Nursery school

The Family and Consumer Sciences Education program has evolved and continues to implement fundamental material into coursework

In 1923, Texas Technological College established six original schools, including the School of Home Economics. Eventually, the School of Home Economics became the College of Human Sciences (COHS). Today, the fundamentals of Home Economics are taught within the Family and Consumer Sciences Education (FCSE) program in the college. 

"The first course catalog of Texas Technological College included 'Teacher Training in Home Economics' as one of the four majors in the School of Home Economics, and teacher training courses were offered in the second semester of the first year of courses," said FCSE Chair, Karen Alexander, Ph.D. "The major was described as being for the student who wishes to prepare herself for the profession of home economics teacher in the state's high schools."  


 In 1928, Texas Tech was one of the only three state institutions authorized to prepare vocational home economics teachers. A year later, the program was approved by the state and federal Boards of Vocational Education. The FCSE program has remained accredited by the Texas Agency to prepare secondary classroom teachers for family and consumer sciences programs. 

The FCSE program has continued to be interdisciplinary within the college. Students take coursework in all content areas, so they are well prepared to teach the courses across the human sciences disciplines. Within the current undergraduate and graduate program, students are able to receive a FCSE teaching certification. 

"Graduates can teach more than 40 courses in middle school and high school programs," Alexander said. "We are also unique in that we offer the only doctoral program in the nation that is specific to Family and Consumer Sciences Education."

One of the most important evolutions for Family and Consumer Sciences Education was the transition to online programs for the graduate degrees. Both master's and doctoral programs are authorized for distance delivery and have distance options. In recent years, FCSE created a popular elective course FCSE 2300, Adulting 101: Real skills for Real Life. This course covers key topics necessary for successful adulthood, including responsible choices, job readiness, healthy food choices, budgeting, coping with stress, wellness, problem-solving, and other applicable skills. 

"The FCSE program will continue to evolve as we train educators for classrooms and other educational settings such as Extension, state and local agencies, and non-profits," Alexander said. "Our programs will continue to expand through distance education. FCS educators are in high demand, and our program will continue to address the teacher shortage."

Since the doors opened in the Home Economics building, the program has continued to expand and evolve. As middle school and high school programs are expanding, the demand for certified teachers expands as well. FCSE has a bright future as time goes on and the demand for teachers grows. It is always a priority for the Family and Consumer Sciences Education program to prepare the highest quality educators for the classroom and other opportunities.