University of Wisconsin - Stout

I recommend that the present M.S. in Home Economics program be revised and renamed to M.S. in Family Studies to represent degree seeking students in studies related to family relations, early childhood, and other life-span disciplines.  Currently within the M.S. in Home Economics, there are two concentrations which focus on preparing students for teaching careers: Family and Consumer Education and Early Childhood Education.  I recommend that these programs be restructured as concentrations under the M.S. in Education program which is transitioning to the new School of Education planned for Fall 2003.  The M.S. in Family Studies will remain in the College of Human Development.  Of the 66 students (head count) currently enrolled, 51 or 87% are not enrolled in a concentration or a track leading to teacher education certification.  These 51 students would appropriately fit into this revised curriculum and program title.  Early Childhood students not seeking a certification could enroll, as well as those continuing on for a degree in Family Studies and related fields.  Future programming tracks in gerontology and other related life span studies will be natural next steps in further developing and expanding this degree program.

While there was only one PRC recommendation made to the dean which was to provide needed course coverage and other resources to sufficiently offer the present degree program, I believe there exists a larger issue that influences my response to this request.  The impending restructuring of teacher education on campus leading to the establishment of a stand-alone School of Education requires that we reorganize other aspects of our degree offerings.  The implications for change are significant as it is intended to gather all programs with a focus on preparing PK-16 teachers into one unit on campus separate from the discipline they may represent.

PRC Recommendations to the M.S. in Home Economics Program Director

  1. Encourage program faculty and committee members to agree on a program name that represents the four concentrations housed within it.


    The Program Advisory Committee voted to rename the program at the spring, 2002 advisory program meeting.  The program revision with the new name will be forwarded through the appropriate channels during fall semester, 2002.

  2. Reestablish the process of formally meeting the advisory committee on a biannual basis.


    The Program Advisory Committee met spring, 2002 and will meet fall semester, 2002.

  3. Research the opportunities available to provide additional human resource as well as course-related support to the Early Childhood, Family Studies and Human Development, as well as the Family and Consumer Education concentrations.


    Three faculty vacancies in ECE have been placed on hold due to university restructuring and the formation of a new School of Education.  Several courses in HDFL and FCSE have been renumbered so that graduate students can enroll in these courses.  These changes do not completely answer the recommendation, but do begin to address the issue.

  4. Consider improving the student assessment process as well as the means by which technology is promoted with the various concentrations.


    The student assessment process will be addressed as we move forward with annual program assessments in the AQUIP process.  The technology objective and ways to achieve this will be reexamined by the program advisory committee at the fall 2002 meeting.

  5. Investigate the means of further promoting the program to prospective students and thus take advantage of current/projected demands for program graduates.


The program director is working on a recruitment plan to further promote this program.

  • Narrow and strengthen the focus of the program.  Consider housing one or more of the four concentrations under other Master’s degrees.


    The program director has met with Carol Mooney and Rita Christoffersen to discuss housing the Apparel Design, Manufacturing and Retailing concentration under another graduate program in CTEM.  They are considering this issue.

  • PRC Recommendations to the HDFLCES Department Chair

    1. Encourage the key faculty to gain consensus on a program name that represents the four concentrations housed within it.


      The Program Advisory Committee has already met and proposed a new program name which will be forwarded through appropriate channels this year.

    2. Support the research of opportunities available to provide additional human resources and courses to bolster the Early Childhood, Family Studies & Human Development, and Family & Consumer Education concentrations of the graduate program.


      The filling of three faculty vacancies in ECE has been placed on hold with the university restructuring and the formation of the new School of Education.  However, three courses which have not been recently offered for graduate students are being offered this year on weekends to accommodate graduate students:  HDFL 703:  Child Development Seminar for 3 credits;  FCSE-720-600A Update on Family and Consumer Education Content and Curriculum for 1 credit, and FCSE 651-Family Life Programs for 2 credits.