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Join the Fast-Growing Field of Family & Consumer Sciences

Family & Consumer Sciences Major

Division of Professional Studies

Quick Facts:

  • 100% of FCS students at BC looking to teach in primary or secondary schools have a first-time pass rate on the Praxis II (since 2012)
  • FCS ranks as one of the top 10 degrees for finding a job (Education and Workforce Center, 2013)

Explore the world of family and consumer sciences (FCS) at Bridgewater College. FCS coursework emphasizes diversity in families throughout the life cycle. Complete coursework in human development across the life span, as well as family sciences. Choose from two tracks: Human Development and Family Studies or Family and Consumer Sciences Education, according to your career goals and interests.

Your degree in family and consumer sciences will prepare you for a variety of careers, including human services settings such as:

  • Early childhood education
  • Foster care and after-school programs
  • Domestic violence shelters
  • Non-profit work
  • Marriage and family counseling
  • Retirement and adult care

BC also offers a child development laboratory, giving you unique opportunities for real-life application of course concepts with 3, 4 and 5 year-old children. The child development laboratory is the only one of its kind in Virginia.

If you wish to be licensed to teach family and consumer sciences, you must also be admitted to the Secondary Teacher Education Program (grades 6-12) or the Elementary Teacher Education Program.

The Family and Consumer Sciences undergraduate program at Bridgewater College has been reviewed by the National Council on Family Relations. It has been recognized as an NCFR CFLE-approved program offering coursework covering the content required for the Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) designation. Graduates of NCFR CFLE-approved programs qualify to apply for the CFLE designation via an Abbreviated Application Process.

Family and Consumer Sciences Major

Students must complete 21 credits of core courses and 18 credits from one of the two tracks (Human Development and Family Studies or Family and Consumer Sciences Education). Consists of 39 credit hours distributed as follows:

Core Courses (21 credits)

An introduction to the history of Family andConsumer Sciences with consideration of familystrengths and weaknesses and internal dynamics offamilies. Emphasis placed on knowledge of the useof critical science and creative skills toaddress problems in diverse family community andwork environments. Exploration of the field ofFamily and Consumer Sciences career planning andknowledge of occupational skill development.

Unit(s): 3

Students will examine family and interpersonalrelationships from a variety of theoretical andconceptual frameworks to gain an understanding ofthe changes in society relative to marriage andfamily. Students will engage in criticalexamination of issues related to families workand their interrelationships. Using familyscience theories students will consider thecontextual factors that influence the family.Emphasis placed upon the reciprocal impacts ofrelationships within the family and a personsrelationships to individuals and society. Thiscourse focuses on family as a basic socialinstitution the various theoretical perspectiveson the family and provides an overview ofcurrent social scientific research on the family. The history structure and functions of thefamily will be addressed as will topics such asdating cohabitation marriage parenting familyviolence and divorce. Corequisites
Taught in the style of a seminar a small groupof students learn thinking skills throughdiscussion debate peer review andbrainstorming. Context varies from section tosection. Incoming students rank topic preferencesand then are assigned to a section. Focusesspecifically on two key areas of personaldevelopment (1) intellectual growth isstimulated through systematic criticalquestioning and (2) a sense of communityinvolvement and responsibility is developedthrough classroom group work collaborativelearning and a class community engagementproject. The course also contains success skillexercises and college orientation informationincluding an introduction to the portfolioprogram.General education master core skills2017 Fall Semester TopicsPDP-150-01 A Mans Man and a Womans WomanPDP-150-02 The Power of Physical Activity andSportPDP-150-03 Human Behavior in a Computational AgePDP-150-04 Strange IdeasPDP-150-05 After the ScourgePDP-150-06 Swimming in a sea of misinformationPDP-150-07 A Mans Man and a Womans WomanPDP-150-08 Creativity in the Arts SciencesBusiness Sports... in LifePDP-150-09 How to Rock the BoatPDP-150-10 Superhero NarrativesPDP-150-11 Dog is My Co-PilotPDP-150-12 Leadership and the Art of DecisionPDP-150-13 Free PlayPDP-150-14 Knowledge The Only FrontierPDP-150-15 Music Sweet Music PDP-150-16 The Fine Line between Glory & GuiltPDP-150-17 The Souls of Black Folk CriticalReadings By and About African Americans in the20th and 21st CenturiesPDP-150-18 Whos Sorry Now Thinking ThroughApologies Made on the Public StagePDP-150-19 Chickens Chickens ChickensPDP-150-20 The Narnian The Life and Imaginationof C.S. LewisPDP-150-21 Liberal Arts of the Living DeadPDP-150-22 Liberal Arts of the Living DeadPDP-150-23 Human Behavior in a Computational AgePDP-150-24 Latino USAPDP-150-25 Tweet Friend Pin Social Media &You as a 21st Century CitizenPDP-150-26 The Power of Physical Activity andSportPDP-150-29 Free PlayPDP-150-30 Media Narratives Spinning the Truth

Unit(s): 3
An introduction to the academic community ofBridgewater College to the liberal arts and tothe skills of critical thinking and reflectivewriting specifically designed for transferstudents. Transfer students will explore theunique challenges of integrating into a liberalarts educational environment and will begin theprocess of documenting their experiences andgrowth in the four dimensions of personaldevelopment intellectual growth and discoverycitizenship and community responsibility ethicaland spiritual growth and emotional maturationandphysical health.general education 2014 master core skills

Unit(s): 3
General Education social sciences

Unit(s): 3

Examine issues related to physical cognitive andsocio-emotional development of the child fromconception through early adolescence. Studentswill develop theoretical and practical knowledgeof child development concepts. Provisions aremade for observing and working with preschoolchildren.Prerequisite junior standing

Unit(s): 4

Developmental changes of individuals in familiesthroughout the adolescent years into emergingadulthood. Emphasis placed on knowledge ofphysical emotional cognitive and socialaspects of development.

Unit(s): 3

Overview of the process of parenting in diversecultural and familial structures. Exploration ofissues related to parenting at various stages ofdevelopment as well as formation of parentinggoals and styles. Emphasis placed on parent-childinteractions through the child rearing years.Provides an emphasis on evidence-based practicesand evaluation of programming.Prerequisites PDP 150 or PDP 350 Experiential learning

Unit(s): 3

Examines issues related to management process andits significance on the quality of lifeexperienced by families with consideration ofvalues goals standards decision making andallocation of resources. Topics includedevelopment and allocation of resources socialenvironment influences life cycle and familystructure influences and consumer issues anddecisions.Prerequisite Junior or senior standing

Unit(s): 3

This capstone course explores special topics inall family and consumer content areas. Specialtopics and problems are developed according tothe individuals specialization and professionalinterests. Students synthesize research in aparticular area of family and consumer sciencesto complete a capstone research project.

Unit(s): 2

Track 1-Human Development and Family Studies (18 credits)

Introduction to research process includingformulating research questions research methodsgeneral statistical evaluation presentationand research ethics.MATH 140 recommended but not required.

Unit(s): 3
Examine issues related to geriatrics withemphasis on issues including historicalcultural biological physiologicalpsychological and social contexts. Opportunitiesfor experiential learning in residential andintermediate facilities with appropriateagencies.Prequisite PDP 150 or PDP 350 Experiential learning

Unit(s): 3

Students will develop an understanding of thelegal issues policies and law influencing thewell-being of families. Topics include family andthe law relating to marriage divorce familysupport child custody child protection andrights family planning social serviceseducation the economy religion and publicpolicy as it affects the family including taxcivil rights social security economic supportlaws and regulations.

Unit(s): 3

Critical examination of principles of the generalphilosophy and broad principles of family lifeeducation in conjunction with the ability toplan implement and evaluate such educationalprograms. An understanding of the character andquality of human social conduct and the abilityto critically examine ethical questions andissues as they relate to professional practiceand community concerns and values.

Unit(s): 3

The nature of racial relations and inequalitiesinAmerican society including their historicalorigins and relationship to Western capitalistdevelopment. The ethnic composition ofcontemporary American society impact of legalandillegal immigration patterns dynamics of modernstructures and institutions the Civil RightsMovement inter-ethnic conflicts and attitudesmulticulturalism and status of affirmative actionare analyzed in the context of national andglobal social change.Prerequisite PDP 150 or PDP 350 and SOC 101General education global dynamics

Unit(s): 3

An introduction to the theories and concepts inthe interdisciplinary field of cultural studieswith special emphasis on the political economyand identity politics of contemporary Americancollege campuses.Prerequisites PDP-150 or PDP-350

Unit(s): 3

Theoretical and practical survey of interculturalcommunication processes. Examines intrapersonalinterpersonal organizational and mass mediadimensions of intercultural communication. Thecourse specifically focuses on the distinctivecultural behaviors expectations values andpower dynamics that affect our abilities tocommunicate effectively and people from diversecultures.Prerequisite PDP 150 or PDP 350General Education global dynamicsAlternate years offered 2017-2018

Unit(s): 3

One additional FCS course based on career goals

Track 2-Family and Consumer Sciences Education (18 credits) 

Basic nutrition concepts nutrition needsthroughout the life cycle and current nutritionissues.

Unit(s): 3

Investigation of the scientific principlesinvolved in basic cookery with emphasis onquality characteristics and product evaluation.Structure composition and nutritive value offoods are studied as well as food selectionstorage preparation processing and mealmanagement techniques. Food safety and anecological approach to food selection andpreparation is emphasized. Instruction requirestwo class meetings per week and one three-hourlab.

Unit(s): 3

Examine the management of the decision-makingprocesses related to housing furnishings andequipment for individuals and families withattention given to special needs and thediversity of individuals.

Unit(s): 3

Emphasis on factors influencing fashion includingthe sociological psychological and physiologicalaspects of clothing and basic construction ofclothing.

Unit(s): 3

Instructional practice management and evaluationappropriate for the secondary Family and ConsumerSciences classroom. Laws governing vocationaleducation its management and guidance and itsrelationship to state and national programs isconsidered. Emphasis on organizing andimplementing a FCCLA program into classroominstruction.Alternate years offered 2015-2016

Unit(s): 3

Principles of economic systems in relation tostandards in selection of goods and services andsources of reliable consumer information.Prerequisite ECON 200 or ECON 210 or permissionof instructor

Unit(s): 3

For students wishing to pursue Teacher Education endorsement, admission to the Teacher Education Program (TEP) is required. The following TEP requirements apply:

Secondary (6-12) Education Licensure 

  • Education course requirements for teacher candidates must be completed (EDUC 140, 200, 215, 334, 372, 380X, 412 and 470 in 6-12 classroom).
  • Must complete Praxis II in Family and Consumer Sciences content area.

Activities and Clubs

You could intern at:

  • Bridgewater College FCS Student Unit
  • Family Connections Program at Sentara RMH Medical Center
  • Harrisonburg Rockingham Department of Social Services Foster Care
  • Parent Education Program at the Office on Youth
  • Pathway Program for Expelled and Suspended Youth at the Office on Youth
  • People Places of Charlottesville (Therapeutic Foster Care)
  • Sunnyside Retirement Community

Careers and Graduate Schools

What can you do with a degree in family and consumer sciences?

Like the department’s recent graduates, you might enter graduate schools such as:

  • College of Charleston
  • Chelsea College of Art & Design
  • University of Delaware
  • Delta State University
  • University of Florida
  • Georgia Southern University
  • James Madison University
  • Louisiana Tech University
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Maryland‑Baltimore County
  • University of Maryland‑Eastern Shore
  • Mississippi State University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Northwestern State University
  • Old Dominion University
  • Shenandoah University
  • University of Virginia
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Virginia Tech

Or pursue a career in:

  • Child Care and Development
  • Cooperative Extension Agent
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Event Planning
  • Gerontology
  • Marriage and Family Counseling
  • Non-profit Work
  • Nutrition
  • Teaching

Learn more about career paths, employment and advancement in the field of family and consumer sciences from the professional organizations listed under Family and Consumer Sciences on the Career and Professional Resources page.

Visit the Department Homepage

Questions? Contact Us!

Dr. Donna Hoskins, Assistant Professor
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