Home and Career
“Top Ten” Q and A for Administrators
- What is Home and Career Skills?
Home and Career Skills is a New York State mandated course taught in grades 5-8 in the discipline of Family and Consumer Sciences. It is a course designed to prepare students to meet their present and future responsibilities as family and community members, consumers, home managers, and wage earners. The goal is to educate students to think constructively, make sound decisions, solve problems, and manage resources.
- What is the mandated requirement for Home and Career Skills?
Commissioner’s Regulation 100.4 states that every student must complete a ¾ unit course in Home and Career Skills by the end of grade 8. Some schools may find it convenient to schedule one full unit. The curriculum is comprehensive and practice is needed in applying the process skills to daily living. The local school determines how it will meet the requirement. Instruction should not be given prior to grade 5. It is strongly recommended that the entire course should not be taught in grades 5 and 6, but should be taught over multiple grade levels to allow for student maturation and experiences related to their personal development.
- Who can teach Home and Career Skills?
This course must be taught by a certified Family and Consumer Sciences teacher.
- How does the Home and Career Skills curriculum relate to the Learning Standards?
This course is the vehicle through which middle school learners attain the intermediate level New York State New York State Learning Standards in Family and Consumer Sciences (Personal Health and Fitness, A Safe and Healthy Environment, and Resource Management). It also addresses the intermediate level New York State Learning Standards in Career Development and Occupational Studies (Career Development, Integrated Learning, and Universal Foundation Skills).
In addition, Home and Career Skills supports the New York State Learning Standards taught in the academic disciplines of Math, Science, Technology, English Language Arts, Social Studies, Languages Other Than English, and the Arts by providing real-world opportunities in which to apply the key ideas and skills taught in those courses.
Home and Career Skills process skills and content topics align with the National Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences.
- How does Home and Career Skills meet the unique needs of early adolescence?
Early adolescence encompasses an enormous range of individual differences in all areas of development – biological, social, and cognitive. Since this stage of the life cycle is so intense in character, and teachers are dealing with subject matter and issues which are personally relevant to students, the teachers must keep the significant changes of adolescence clearly in mind when planning, implementing, and evaluating the concepts and skills to be developed throughout the curriculum.
The Home and Career Skills course affords all students multiple opportunities to read, write, and compute in the context of real-world situations that are relevant to early adolescents. Home and Career Skills projects show students the answer to the question, “Why do I have to know this?” Home and Career Skills is a skills-based curriculum. Students acquire and demonstrate communication, critical and creative thinking, and leadership and management skills that can be applied at home, in school, in the community and in the workplace now and in the future.
- How is the Home and Career Skills course organized?
Home and Career Skills is organized into four process skills (the “how” of learning) and ten content topics (the “what” of learning). The process skills are not taught as separate entities but are infused into the content areas using the vehicle of essential questions. In order for the full curriculum to be delivered, teachers must dovetail process skills with content topics.
The process skills are:
- Communication (C)
- Leadership (L)
- Management (M)
- Thinking (T)
The content topics are:
- Community Connections (CC)
- Career Development (CD)
- Clothing Management CM)
- Consumer Resource Management (CRM)
- Family/Parenting (F)
- Financial Management (FM)
- Human Development (HD)
- Interpersonal Relationships (IR)
- Nutrition and Wellness (NW)
- Personal Environment Management (PEM)
- What instructional strategies best support student learning in Home and Career Skills?
The purpose of the instructional strategies is to deliver the New York State Learning Standards in Family and Consumer Sciences and Career Development and Occupational Studies as well as applied academics. Teachers should select strategies and sample tasks that are aligned with the key ideas and performance indicators for each standard.
The Home and Career Skills course should be taught using a hands-on, experiential approach to learning so that knowledge and skills are applied in a planned, sequential manner.
Strategies which should incorporate appropriate technology could include, but are not limited to:
- Applied Academics
- FCCLA activities
- Group discussions
- Group problem solving
- Laboratory experiences
- Library research
- Multi-age activities
- Preschool activities
- Service learning
It is recommended that the course be delivered within a laboratory setting and involve a minimum of 75 percent hands-on instruction. The use of real-world relevant tasks, laboratory simulations, scenarios, and community involvement is an integral part of the course as is the use of library research, class discussions, and group activities. The student is expected to be actively involved in learning in a participatory, supportive environment and to have the opportunity to practice and develop skills related to the course content. It should be recognized that through the practical, hands-on coordinated approach of Home and Career Skills, students recognize their responsibility for making choices, for taking action, and also for subsequent consequences.
The Home and Career Skills classroom affords hands-on, relevant, real-world applications of academic standards in a nurturing environment. Students in Home and Career Skills may experience success in attaining academic standards that have given them difficulty in traditional academic settings.
Providing student access to other school staff (e.g., guidance counselors, nurses, librarians, special education teachers, etc.) and community members as speakers or through service learning will strengthen their network of academic and personal support.
- How does Home and Career Skills support positive youth development?
In addition to strong academic achievement, positive youth development is the other pillar upon which successful middle-level education is built. The Home and Career Skills content topics of Community Connections, Human Development, and Interpersonal Relationships directly address the personal and social development of each student. The youth development component of middle-level education can be organized as a co-curricular and/or extra-curricular activity. Projects, leadership opportunities, and service learning experiences through Home and Career Skills enhance the process skills and content topics. Students have the advantage of a practical forum to demonstrate leadership skills in an action-oriented format and have the potential for recognition of their achievement at the local, state, and national levels, through participation in FCCLA.
- How can special needs students succeed in Home and Career Skills?
Family and Consumer Science educators acknowledge the need to differentiate instruction, recognize multiple intelligences, and maximize the strengths of varied learning styles to accommodate all students. This can be accomplished through a variety of alternative instructional and assessment strategies. Information on adapting space and equipment for special needs students can be found in the Family and Consumer Sciences Facilities Guide.
- How can Home and Career Skills programs and student achievement of the
New York State Family and Consumer Sciences Learning Standards be assessed?
Program assessment should be an ongoing departmental activity. Teachers and administrators can evaluate Home and Career Skills programs using the Rubric “The Middle-Level Checklist for Home and Career Skills.” The Checklist includes program indicators for student performance, collaboration, curriculum, integration, youth development, professional staff, administrative support, scheduling/student access, instructional technology, facilities/equipment, and resources.
Students should be assessed on a regular basis. All students can demonstrate the acquisition of skills learned and apply those skills to real-world situations through the use of:
- Authentic assessments
- Math computations
- Written reflections
- Tests and quizzes
- Public speaking
Scenario assessments are comprehensive, challenging, purposeful, integrated- and standards-based. Scenarios are real-life situations for current or future roles in which a problem is posed for the student to solve. Scenarios require students to apply academics as they relate to Home and Career Skills and the situation of the scenario. They require students to use technology as needed in problem solving and are assessed through the use of rubrics. Rubrics can also be used for evaluation along with other forms of assessments, such as portfolios, laboratories, projects, etc.