Jul 14, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2023-24 
    
Graduate Catalog 2023-24

Master of Arts in Family & Consumer Sciences (FCSM)


Advisors: Karen Blaisure
Room 3326, Kohrman Hall

The graduate program in Family and Consumer Sciences provides an advanced program of study in child life, family life education, youth and community development, or textile and apparel studies.

The student will work closely with graduate faculty to develop a plan of study and individual research agenda that fits with personal career and academic goals. The tracks in child life, family life education, and youth and community development include a minimum of 32 credit hours (or 34 credits hours if a Child life practicum was not completed prior to entrance). The track in textile and apparel studies is a minimum of 30 credit hours. Half of the credits completed for the MA in FCS must be in courses at the 6000 level or higher including at least two hours of FCS 7100 Independent Research.

The program is appropriate for students interested in pursuing professional positions or as a foundation for continued graduate work leading to a doctoral degree at WMU or another institution.

Admission Requirements


For admission to the master’s program in Family and Consumer Sciences, students must satisfy all the requirements identified in the Graduate Catalog as well as specific departmental requirements. No one requirement is sufficient to guarantee admission or dictate denial of admission. See below for specific admission requirements for Child Life, and Youth and Community Development.

  1. Possess a Bachelor of Science from an approved accredited school and a major closely related to the selected concentration.
     
  2. Have a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the last two years of undergraduate work. Admit with conditions may be granted if a GPA in the last two years of undergraduate studies is under 3.0 and will be converted to a regular admission if a B or better is earned in the first two graduate courses (six credit-hours) taken.
     
  3. Include a resume indicating previous education experiences and listing positions held over the past 10 years. Indicate the exact title of each position, the agency, school, or firm where employed, and the duration of each employment. Also note particular awards or accomplishments.
     
  4. Submit a 500-750 word essay:

a. In the first sentence identify the track you are applying to.

b. Describe experience(s) that influenced your career choice and your desire to return to graduate school.

c. Explain how a Master of Arts in Family and Consumer Sciences degree will advance your career.

 

Program Requirements


All master’s programs include a minimum of 30-32 credit hours, half of which must be in courses at the 6000-level or higher, and at least two hours of FCS 7100 Independent Research. A minimum of 15 credit hours must be completed in Family and Consumer Sciences graduate level courses, planned in consultation with a Graduate Advisor.

Assistantships may be available to those wishing to pursue full-time graduate study.

 

Child Life Track


The Master of Arts in Family and Consumer Sciences (Child Life track) prepares students to pursue a career in the child life profession. This 32 credit hour track (or 34 credit hour track if a Child Life practicum was not completed prior to entrance) involves course work aligned with recommendations of the Association of Child Life Professionals, the primary professional organization of child life specialists. The curriculum provides classroom and field experiences enabling students to build on skills and knowledge key to working as a child life professional. See the department website for information on admission requirements and the admissions application process.

Child Life Admission Requirements


  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;
  • A bachelor’s degree or minor in human development, family science, child and family development, health services, or a related field;
  • An undergraduate or graduate course in child development;
  • An undergraduate practicum/internship and/or volunteer or work experience with children, youth, and/or families;
  • Recommended: Undergraduate course work in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology with a grade of “B” or better.

Child Life Program Requirements


  1. The concentration in Child Life includes a minimum of 32-34 credit hours, half of which must be in courses at the 6000-level or higher, and at least two hours of FCS 7100 Independent Research.
  2. Students who have taken undergraduate or graduate coursework that meets the Association of Child Life Professionals academic eligibility requirements for certification as a child life specialist may select alternate graduate courses with the approval of the Graduate Advisor.

 

Family Science and Services Track


The Family Science and Services track prepares graduates for leadership roles in child, youth, and family programs that use prevention and educational approaches to empower families and enhance effective coping with life events and family transitions. Graduates serve individuals and families across the life span in a variety of agency, organizational, and faith- based settings.

Students will work closely with graduate faculty to develop a plan of study that fits with personal career and academic goals. Students will complete a practicum or internship.

Family Science and Services Program Requirements


  1. The Family Science and Services track includes a minimum of 32 credit hours, half of which must be in courses at the 6000-level or higher, and at least two hours of FCS 7100 Independent Research.
  2. Students who wish to obtain the Provisional Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) designation offered by the National Council on Family Relations may take the Certified Family Life Educator Exam through the National Council on Family Relations.

Youth and Community Development Track


The Youth and Community Development track in the MA in Family and Consumer Sciences is an advanced course of professional development for leaders in informal learning environments and the out-of-school time sector. It is based on theoretical perspectives in childhood, adolescent, and family development and organizational change, and grounded in an ethic of community engagement and social action. It prepares change agents to transform communities through an intentional investment in youth with interdisciplinary coursework and community-based experiences.

The Youth and Community Development track is a 32-credit hour program. Students will work closely with graduate faculty to develop a plan of study that fits with personal career and academic goals. Students will complete a practicum or internship.

Engaging youth in prosocial activity has long been a priority, as schools and neighborhoods create overlapping systems of support to encourage healthy youth and communities. Youth-serving settings, including informal learning environments and program joins the larger movement to elevate and professionalize the field of youth development, and encourages thriving communities by building capacity and developing new leaders in youth-serving settings.

The Youth and Community Development track is situated at the intersection of developmental theory, social action and justice, and organizational leadership and change. This program is rooted in community psychology and the prevention sciences to provide a foundation for studying setting-level interventions and developmental needs. This program invites students to critically examine root causes and how individuals and organizations can address social inequalities. Students will study organizational change to develop understandings and competencies in transformational leadership to promote human flourishing.

Admission Requirements


  • A bachelor’s degree in youth development or a related field
  • A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4-point scale) in the last two years of undergraduate studies. Admit with conditions may be granted if a GPA in the last two years of undergraduate studies is under 3.0 and will be converted to a regular admission if a B or better is earned in the first two graduate courses (six credit-hours) taken.
  • Experience working with youth. Submit a resume that includes work, volunteer, practicum, and internship experience.
  • A statement that describes how experience(s) have influenced career goals and a desire to pursue a graduate degree, and how the Youth and Community Development program will advance these career goals.
  • Recommendations from three persons able to comment on the applicant’s potential to success in the graduate program.