Many schools offer online master's degree programs in family and consumer science, though some are hybrid programs requiring a few on-campus courses. Admission requirements generally include possession of a bachelor's degree in the field of family and consumer science or a teaching certificate. While most coursework for these programs is online, students seeking to become teachers must complete student teaching requirements. Most master's programs take two years to complete, and many online programs offer flexible schedules.
Family and consumer science is a broad field, and master's degree students take courses in a variety of subjects. They may study nutrition, family relationships, consumer education, parenting and financial planning. Students also take courses in how to teach these subjects at the secondary school level.
Students who want to become teachers should make sure that the online program they choose meets their state's requirements for licensing. Most states call for a degree, completion of an accredited teacher education program and passing competency exams.
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Master's Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences
Typically, master's degree programs in family and consumer science emphasize a teaching element. Students develop the skills necessary to teach others about areas like family economics, human ecology, nutrition, textiles and household management. To be eligible for enrollment, students must have at least a bachelor's degree in one of the family and consumer sciences, such as nutrition or human development, or a teaching certificate.
There are only a few programs available online in this field; of those, many are part of a collaborative online program between several schools. Programs commonly lead to a Master of Science, though some may grant a Master of Arts in Education (MAEd).
Information and Requirements
Family and consumer science programs are available entirely online. The programs take about two years to complete. Students who pursue the teaching specialization may need to complete a student teaching experience in their local area. The online program is flexible and allows students to complete courses on their own time and at their own pace through video lectures and assignments.
In addition to hardware requirements, such as a webcam, DVD player and a computer, students must also meet software requirements, like having access to the Microsoft Office Suites. Free downloadable plug-ins, including Adobe Flash and Acrobat Reader, may also be required to view certain files.
List of Common Family and Consumer Science Courses
At the master's level, there are no general education requirements. Students usually complete a series of courses that address both teaching methodology in general and family and consumer sciences education specifically. Electives that examine individual family and consumer science topics in depth are also available.
Technology in Family and Consumer Sciences
This course trains students in specific ways to incorporate and use technology in a family and consumer sciences classroom. The National Education Technology Standards are typically taken into consideration.
Students examine how family members interact with one another. They discuss normal and abnormal relationships and discover the health, or lack thereof, of relationships within their own families.
In this class, students learn modern techniques for raising children. They discuss the relationship between parents and their children and learn how communities can support parents as they bring up their kids.
At the introductory level, topics of study in this course might involve family and consumer sciences curriculum development, learning environments, student assessment and educational leadership. An intermediate teaching methods course might cover learning theories, program planning and management of classrooms or labs. The National Standards for Teachers of Family and Consumer Science are typically taken into account.
Financial Planning for Families
Millions of families live in debt in the United States and around the world. This course introduces students to taxes, insurance and real estate. Topics include salary trends, ways to create a budget and setting financial goals.
Career Information for Graduates
A master's degree in family and consumer science could lead to a career in family counseling, parent education, childcare and economics education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), vocational teachers made an average salary of $58,480 at the middle school level and $58,170 at the secondary school level in 2015.
Continuing Education Information
Doctoral programs leading to a Ph.D. in Family and Consumer Science Education are available, and some may allow students to complete certain courses online. These programs are geared toward K-12 educators; however, there are also programs leading to degrees like a Ph.D. in Family Studies and Human Development or a Ph.D. in Human Sciences - Family and Consumer Sciences that are intended for aspiring university professors and researchers. These programs are usually campus-based.
There are several fully online and hybrid master's degree programs available in family and consumer science. Students who plan on becoming teachers must also complete in-person teaching requirements as part of their education.