Office of Career and Technology Education
Family and Consumer Sciences

FAQs about FACS (Family and Consumer Sciences)

What is family and consumer sciences (FACS)? 
Answer:  Family and Consumer Sciences was formerly “family studies” in BCPS. This content area was once known as “home economics.”

  • In FACS classes, students learn about the importance of personal and family living from a practical, problem-solving approach, addressing enduring questions across the lifespan.
  • FACS teaches young men and women their roles in society, life skills, consumer rights and responsibility, and how to be involved in their community.

From its early science beginnings that led to the school lunch program and improved water quality, FACS has been in the forefront of applying science to benefit individual and family living. Family and Consumer Sciences remains the only educational program that directly addresses the preparation of students for adult roles, including work and family responsibilities.

What is addressed in FACS courses and programs?
Answer: FACS courses and programs address individuals and the family in current society and real-time societal problems. Major current problems in the U.S. include obesity; food related illnesses; child, date, and spousal abuse; foreclosure; and bankruptcy.  FACS courses help students learn and apply information to prevent and solve these problems. In FACS courses, students develop knowledge and skills in:

  • resource management, including time management and financial literacy.
  • individual, child, and family development.
  • nutrition and foods.
  • clothing and textiles.
  • living environments (housing and interior design).

Opportunities are provided for students to develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors for:

  • strengthening the well-being of individuals and families.
  • becoming responsible citizens and leaders.
  • promoting optimal nutrition and wellness.
  • managing resources to meet material needs.
  • balancing personal, home, family, and work lives.
  • addressing problems in diverse family, community, and work environments.

FACS courses provide education for the whole child and practical applications to develop 21st Century Learning Skills.

What does resource management include?
Answer:  Resource management includes the study of human (i.e., energy, intellect) and non-human resources (i.e., time and money).  For example, in Independent Living students learn how to make informed decisions about renting or buying housing, purchasing a car, insurance, living within their earnings, and managing savings and investments. They learn to manage time and other resources. There is a strong focus on personal financial literacy in Independent Living.  Resource management is integrated in all FACS classes.

What do students do in FACS classes?
Answer:  In FACS classes, students:

  • apply theory to real-time activities through laboratory experiences and hands-on learning. 
  • develop technical skills to provide for their physical needs and to become competent in the work of family and career.
  • apply content from mathematics, science, social studies, and other areas to the improvement of the home, families, and society.

For example, in child development courses, students observe and plan activities for pre-school children after studying theories of child development. While learning about financial literacy, students participate in computer experiences to apply what they have learned for their own spending or through simulations. After studying nutrition, students use current dietary guidelines to plan and prepare items that preserve nutrients and supply a well-balanced diet across the lifespan.

Will students use technology in FACS classes?
Answer: Yes.  FACS classes make technology seamless as students participate in laboratory experiences related to daily living, such as learning about electronic banking or analyzing fabrics used for a variety of purposes.
Students work with computers and a variety of other technological equipment.  For example, in the Teacher Academy of Maryland students use the latest instructional technology found in classrooms. Technological advances are integrated throughout FACS classes.

Why should students take FACS courses?
Answer: A former slogan for this content area was, “If you don’t pass FACS, you may not pass life.” FACS courses prepare students for their current and future roles as individuals, family members, and members of society.  They learn how to balance work and family in order to have a well-rounded, successful life.

Students may take FACS elective courses for personal interest or to explore possible career areas. FACS completer programs prepare students to enter post-secondary institutions or employment upon high school graduation. 
From learning how to communicate to learning how to manage, FACS prepares students for life! For example, future pediatricians, psychologists, and parents take child development to learn how children grow and develop. Students interested in careers serving people take courses in the Human Services Associate program. Information about FACS-related careers is integrated in all courses.

Can students earn articulated (college) credit in FACS programs?
Answer: Students completing a FACS completer program may be eligible to earn college, or articulated, credits which will save time and money in college.  Some of the completer programs have articulation agreements with the Community College of Baltimore County and area colleges and universities.

Where are FACS courses offered?  
Answer: FACS courses and programs are located in selected middle and high schools in BCPS. Some middle schools have family and consumer sciences as a requirement. Completer programs may be found in technical high schools and comprehensive high schools.  High school elective courses are found in comprehensive high schools only. The BCPS Course Registration Guide lists the courses and programs available in BCPS. Contact the school counselor to see what is available at a specific school.

Are there FACS college degrees and careers?
Answer: Yes, FACS college degrees are available in Maryland colleges and nationally. There are many careers related to FACS content areas. Listed below are some examples:

  • Consumer Resource Management – consumer affairs specialist; consumer reporter, personal financial advisor
  • Education –  Early childhood educator, Child care provider, FACS teacher or college professor cooperative extension educator, researcher
  • Family and Community Services – social services worker, personal home care aide, gerontology aide, disability counselor
  • Food and Nutrition Field – clinical nutritionist, dietician, food scientist, health educator, home health aide,
  • Hospitality Field – chef, director of catering, executive housekeeping manager.
  • Interior Design and Housing Field – interior designer, retail design consultant, housing planner, kitchen designer.
  • Textiles and Apparel Field – accessories designer, apparel designer, buyer, textile designer, fashion illustrator.

FACS middle and high school courses give students a chance to learn about and explore FACS-related careers.

 

Contact your school counselor for more information about the FACS course and program offerings at your school.

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