Guidelines for Program Productivity Review Reordered and Augmented to Align with ASU Undergraduate Program Prioritization

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1 Guidelines for Program Productivity Review Reordered and Augmented to Align with ASU Undergraduate Program Prioritization Family & Consumer Sciences, Secondary Education Fall Centrality to University's Mission (Section 1) Historical and Contextual Description The undergraduate Family and Consumer Sciences Secondary Education program (formerly Home Economics) has been in place at Appalachian State University for more than 70 years and is currently housed in the Department of Family & Consumer Sciences in the Reich College of Education. The major is a broad-based program preparing students to teach family and consumer sciences in middle schools and high schools, to work with the Cooperative Extension Service, and to assume a variety of educational positions in business, industry, and government. Students gain a background in all subject matter areas of Family and Consumer Sciences, including family living and parenting, child development, apparel and textiles, interior design, foods and nutrition, and consumer education. Students also gain an understanding of the teaching-learning process, becoming competent in communicating ideas and helping diverse individuals learn and grow. During their final semester, all family and consumer sciences education students complete a 15-week student teaching experience in a public high school. The curriculum includes the requirements for teacher certification established by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and qualifies students to teach middle school and high school Family and Consumer Sciences. From an economic perspective, the Family and Consumer Sciences, Secondary Education program has always been extremely cost effective. Because this program requires that majors be broadly prepared in a number of specialty areas (i.e., child development, apparel and textiles, foods and nutrition, etc.), students complete most of their professional coursework by taking courses in those other large-enrollment specialty areas. Since only three classes are required specifically for FCS Education students, only one-half of a fulltime faculty load is required to coordinate and teach in this area. Importance to the Mission of the Institution The fundamental mission of Appalachian State University is to discover, create, transmit, and apply knowledge to address the needs of individuals and society... We accept our responsibility to be actively involved in addressing the educational, economic, cultural, and societal needs of the changing region, state, nation, and world (November, 2007). The Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS), Secondary Education program is central to the university and plays a critical role in Appalachian State University s ability to meet its mission as stated above. FCS Education has been identified as a high need career-technical area in North Carolina secondary education (NC Department of Public Instruction, 2010). Experts (Steinberg, 2011) believe that one potential answer to reducing high school drop-out rates and transition problems of students who do not go on to college involves strengthening the links between the worlds of school and work (i.e., career tech programs such as family and consumer sciences education) during high school. Appalachian State University s FCS Secondary Education program is one of two in the state system and the only program in the western half of the state which can produce FCS teachers; the program provides the majority of newly certified graduates for the Appalachian region of North Carolina. These educators teach critical life and career skills which impact young people throughout their lives. Providing educators for programs that can reduce drop-out rates (Steinberg, 2011) is a priority recommended by the UNC Tomorrow Initiative (May, 2008). 1

2 As reported earlier, FCS Education is a high-need career technical subject in North Carolina; there is a shortage of certified FCS education teachers in the state. According to Takeda LeGrand and Janis Meek, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction: There are approximately 1,375 secondary FCS teachers in North Carolina (October, 2012) North Carolina public school administrators (2012) reported that in Family and Consumer Sciences Education was one of the top 10 areas where Local Education Agencies (LEA s) had difficulty finding licensed FCS teachers. About 40% of these educators have 30 or more years of teaching experience (making them eligible for retirement and potentially adding to the current teacher shortage) (September, 2010) During the school year, 127,187 middle and high school students completed FCS classes in North Carolina (October, 2012) It is imperative that we continue to prepare teachers for these secondary FCS programs as they provide some of the earliest and best opportunities for adolescents to learn about the importance of families, child development, parenting education, and healthy lifestyles. ASU's FCS Education program is one of only two programs in the state system which can provide new, fully certified FCS teachers for North Carolina. The other program is at East Carolina University. In terms of supply, Appalachian State University and East Carolina produce a combined total of approximately FCS Education graduates annually. The FCS Education program also serves lateral entry or certification-only students (students with related FCS degrees who pursue a teaching license). In the past four years, 4 such students completed FCS teaching requirements (and all became FCS teachers in NC high schools) but these four students are not reflected in the numbers of graduates from the program Following the last program review in 2010, we had 6 graduates in May 2010 and then 18 graduates from ASU's FCS Education program has more than doubled its graduation rate. Since 2010 ASU FCS Secondary Program has added 28 certified teachers for the system including lateral entry teachers. FCS Education Degrees Awarded at Appalachian State University (two years) Last Program Review & Potential for Combining with Other Programs The FCS Education program incorporates current coursework with the other programs in our department, in the college of education, and across campus. In addition, FCS Education is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and meets DPI standards; these requirements are not applicable to the other two areas. 2. Demand The demand for our program has increased since the last review. Graduation rates for the FCS Education program have more than doubled over the past two years (see table above). The growth can be attributed in part to the following which was proposed in 2010: Recruitment newsletters targeting high school students were sent to schools in the western half of the state which resulted in 4 new majors Faculty have promoted the program at the ASU Majors Fairs and Open Houses each year/semester Faculty have promoted the program at the North Carolina Association of Family & Consumer Sciences 2

3 annual conferences each year FCS Education majors have recruited at the annual FCS Department Showcase Program faculty have met with interested high school students and their parents to provide department tours and program information Faculty have networked with FCS teachers in the field to encourage them to promote FCS Education as a future major for their high school students During the last 5 years, graduates have been teaching FCS Education in North Carolina high schools; many have had up to 5 job opportunities and all have had multiple job offers. 75% (21 graduates) teach FCS in NC public schools or in North Carolina Cooperative Extension two attend graduate school working on masters and doctoral degrees five work in other areas (including South Carolina positions) Superintendents and career technical directors frequently contact the department seeking graduates for their FCS positions. In fact, Burke County contacted the department after school started this fall, having been unable to fill an FCS teaching position before then. Justification for Continuing the Program: In the past two years, the program has more than doubled its number of graduates The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has identified Family and Consumer Sciences Education as a high need career-technical program area with documented teacher shortages across the state and a graying teacher population (approximately 40% eligible for retirement according to Meeks, 2010) FCS enrollment in North Carolina high schools and middle schools is strong, making the need for FCS teachers even greater The Family and Consumer Sciences, Secondary Education program at Appalachian State University is one of only 2 programs in the state system that offers undergraduate teacher education to prepare family and consumer sciences teachers; it is the only program in the western half of North Carolina The FCS Education program at ASU also serves lateral entry students in their pursuit of FCS teaching certification. This program, which is available to students with FCS-related degrees, provides a highquality alternative route to FCS teacher certification. While these students are not counted in the numbers of FCS Education graduates, ASU makes an important contribution to public schools through this program. Job prospects for FCS Education graduates are excellent. Most FCS Education graduates secure FCS teaching or extension positions in North Carolina upon graduation. The FCS Education program is extremely cost effective. Since only three classes are required specifically for FCS Education students, only one full-time faculty is necessary to coordinate this program and that faculty also serves in other areas. 3. Quality The FCS Secondary Education program aligns with the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards which relate to a candidate s: (1) development of teacher leadership; (2) ability to establish respectful educational environments; (3) development of content and curriculum expertise; (4) facilitation of students learning; and (5) reflection on their practice. Student learning outcomes are measured by evaluation of candidates work in individual courses, performance based evidences from student teaching, and scores on the Praxis 2 exam. All 24 graduates from the past 3 years exceeded required scores on the Praxis 2 exam. 3

4 All 24 were rated by their cooperating teachers as consistently meeting or exceeding their required professional competencies during student teaching. The mean GPA of graduating student in FCS Secondary Education is Other indicators of quality include: Four of the past five years (2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012), the Betty Feezor scholarship, a prestigious program which honors outstanding students from Family and Consumer Sciences programs in North and South Carolina, was won by FCS Education majors from ASU; several others have won in the past. Each of the past several years, FCS Education majors have won departmental scholarships. Program quality is also measured by graduates employment performance. As mentioned earlier, 21 of the last five years' 28 graduates have secured teaching positions in the state or in Cooperative Extension; a few have chosen other kinds of related employment or are in graduate school. Among all past graduates, two have been selected as Teacher of the Year in their respective counties, several have earned their masters degrees and/ or national board certification, and several have fulfilled extensive leadership positions in their respective regions. The program is accredited by NCATE and approved by the NC Department of Public Instruction. As part of the FCS Department, the program is and has been accredited since 1974 by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. The program s average time to degree is years, typically 4 years for a major who enters ASU as a freshman and 4.5 years for a transfer student. Courses are being offered and scheduled in a timely way, especially as they apply to the major who spends all four years at ASU. For the transfer student, an extra semester is often needed to allow for pre-requisite courses, both in the major and in the professional education core. Some courses are offered in the summer which can assist transfer students in completing the program in 4 years. Graduates have been and continue to be tracked, and information regarding graduates from the past five years has been previously discussed. 4. Faculty Involved One full-time tenured faculty member coordinates and teaches in the Family and Consumer Sciences Education program. That faculty member also coordinates the FCS Education certification only program and supervises FCS student teachers. Seven other full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty offer course work that is required or elective of Family and Consumer Sciences Education majors. Three faculty who provide coursework for the program are non-tenure track. The average teaching load in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences is three courses per semester. 5. Facilities/Equipment Most Family and Consumer Sciences Education instruction currently occurs in the new Reich College of Education Building with its state-of-the-art classrooms, computer labs, and technology. In addition, students engage in learning experiences within schools in the community (at newly constructed Watauga High School with its premier equipment and facilities), as well as at schools in the neighboring counties. Family and Consumer Sciences Education majors also have access to resources in the curriculum materials lab at Belk Library. 4

5 6. Costs Family and Consumer Sciences, Secondary Education is a single program with no concentrations or options. The requirements for accreditation are too great to allow a concentration. 7. Duplication One other university in the state system offers an undergraduate FCS Education program: East Carolina University. The program s objectives cannot be accomplished equally well through another program at Appalachian or at another UNC institution. Other programs on this campus do not address the unique requirements (of NCDPI, NCATE, and AAFCS) necessary for this program. In addition, the program serves students primarily from the western half of the state who would likely experience economic hardship if they had to attend ECU in order to major in FCS Education. This undergraduate program is not suitable for online instruction given the myriad of required practical hands-on experiences (e.g., observation of children in laboratory settings, participation in apparel and foods labs, engagement in service-learning in the community, micro-teaching in methods classes, completion of multiple field experiences in the public schools). 8. Future Directions The Family and Consumer Sciences, Secondary Education program at Appalachian State University has a solid past and significant future potential. Enrollment has the potential to increase further if the following steps are taken: Promote the concept whereby students would attend community college for two years and then transfer to ASU to complete their degree in FCS Education within the four year period o Work with community colleges to develop articulation agreements for this plan Community college general education requirements + approximately 12 hours from child development, nutrition, art, and communication classes ASU professional education and bulk of major requirements o Develop recruitment materials for dissemination Brochures Sample checksheets o Communicate with FCS secondary teachers to encourage their sharing of recruitment materials with students o Participate in appropriate community college functions to promote this concept Work with alumni and cooperating teachers in the surrounding five counties to recruit new FCS Education majors Continue to publicize the need for greater numbers of FCS teachers at professional meetings, CTE summer conference, and in correspondence to FCS teachers across the state Recruit FCS Education majors at the spring FCCLA (Families, Career, & Community Leaders of American) state meeting Continue to publicize the need for FCS teachers to ASU students enrolled in the FCS 1400 Professional Orientation class Continue to work with NC Department of Public Instruction FCS consultants in the development of FCS teacher recruitment materials 9. Critical Mass All subject areas within the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences are critical to the quality and effectiveness of the whole. Accreditation by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences is 5

6 based on this holistic, integrative structure. Each major is dependent in part upon the contribution of content and expertise of another. Elimination of the Family and Consumer Sciences Education program would result in reduced enrollment in department courses, as well as general education courses From an economic standpoint, the Family and Consumer Sciences Education program provides maximum benefits for minimal costs. The very nature of the Family and Consumer Sciences teaching career requires that majors be broadly prepared in a number of specialty areas, i.e., foods and nutrition, child development, apparel and textiles, and housing and interior design. Therefore, Family and Consumer Sciences Education students take most of their department course work from the Child Development, Apparel Design and Merchandising, and Nutrition programs, requiring only three FCS Education specific courses. In short, the Family and Consumer Sciences Education program is extremely cost effective and provides substantial returns to the department, to the university, and to the North Carolina Public School System. References Public Schools of North Carolina. (September, 2012). Teacher Education Turnover Report: Annual Report on the Reasons Teachers Leave Department of Public Instruction. LeGrand, T. (October, 2012). North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (personal communication). Meeks, J. (September, 2010). North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (personal communication). Steinberg, L. (2011). Adolescence (9 th Ed.). New York: McGraw Hill. UNC Tomorrow Initiative. (May, 2008). 6

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