Family & Consumer Science Education

About the Program
Do you have a bachelor's degree in nutrition, human development, another area of family and consumer sciences or a related area?  Would you like to become certified to teach family and consumer sciences in your state and earn a master's degree at the same time?  If so, consider a new collaborative online program through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (Great Plains IDEA).

The program is designed for individuals who have a bachelor's degree in a family and consumer sciences (FACS) content specialization or a related area, and are seeking initial teaching certification/licensure in family and consumer sciences.  The program will offer the pedagogy (professional development) courses needed for certification/licensure.  Teacher certification/licensure standards vary by state, and students must meet all the requirements in the state in which they wish to become certified.  These may include additional courses in the teaching specialization, testing, and other requirements.  Prior to admission, students will be required to develop a certification plan based on the standards of the state in which they want to be certified.

Participating Institutions
In addition to North Dakota State University, the following Great Plains IDEA institutions participate in the program: Iowa State University, South Dakota State University, Texas Tech University, and University of Nebraska-LincolnStudents may be admitted to the program at any one of the participating universities.  This university becomes the student's "home" (degree-granting) university.  Students will register for all courses at the home institution, although graduate faculty at any of the member institutions may teach courses.

Demand for Family and Consumer Sciences Teachers
The online Master's Degree program was developed in response to the need to increase the supply of FACS teachers, a need that has been documented by historical data showing dramatic declines in the number of FACS teacher preparation programs and the number of individuals completing these programs.  According to the most recent National Directory of the Family and Consumer Sciences Division of the Association for Career and Technical Education (2003-04), there were only 168 pre-service family and consumer sciences teacher education program in the U.S., representing a decline of 40% during the last twenty years.  Several states have only one institution that offers FACS teacher preparation and some have none.

In response to a 1990s survey by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS), most state administrators reported an inadequate supply of qualified FACS teachers.  The majority believed their state faced a severe shortage.  The survey results showed that undergraduate enrollments in FACS teacher preparation programs would supply only about 25% of the demand for new FACS teachers.  A more recent study published in 2006 confirmed that most states continue to experience a serious shortage of FACS teachers and revealed that shortages are particularly severe in rural areas.  All of the states participating in the Great Plains IDEA FACS Master's Degree program reported that the supply of FACS teachers was inadequeate.

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