Date on Honors Thesis



Career and Technical Education/ Family & Consumer Sciences

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Kemaly Parr, Advisor

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Kelsey Chadwick, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Miguel Gomez, Committee Member


This research aims to identify and explore the changes in the family and consumer sciences (FCS) education program at Murray State University from 1928, when the major was first offered, until 2023. The following questions were answered:

  • What are the notable changes in Murray State University's FCS education program, involving curriculum, from 1928 to 2023?

  • What are the notable themes, topics, and changes to the overarching FCS field from 1928 to 2023?

  • How have the events in society and the FCS field influenced the FCS Education program at Murray State University?

The researcher noted the changes in the Murray State University FCS education curriculum in 20-year intervals, the overarching themes in the FCS field throughout history were identified, and the history, trends, and curriculum changes were synthesized to discover why the curriculum changes may have occurred to answer these questions.

By completing the method, the researcher discovered:

  • Due to the diversification of the FCS field after the 1970s, there were fewer foods and nutrition courses and clothing and textiles courses.

  • Food preservation courses were available in 1928 and 1948 because of experiences from wartime food rationing and preservation.

  • A school lunch class was offered in the 1948 academic bulletin in response to the implementation of the National School Lunch Program in 1946.

  • With the nationwide phase-out of home management houses, Murray State University replaced its Home Management Residence experience with a standard, lecture-based family resource management class.

  • An equipment class emerged from 1948 until 1988 to address the need for instruction on maintaining and selecting household equipment and materials after household appliances became popular.

  • Students were required to take a class involving educating students with disabilities beginning in the 1988 time frame due to the relevance of the issue and the implementation of legislation that required equal CTE for students with disabilities.

  • CTE courses started being required in 2008, soon after the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Act of 1998 was passed and introduced new verbiage as well as programs of study.

From these findings, the researcher concluded that the study's limitations include time constraints that affect the methodology and scope of the large study. Other limitations include the categorizing in the analysis method and a lack of prior research on similar topics. The researcher suggested topics for future research involving postsecondary FCS education programs and curricula.

Keywords: family and consumer sciences, FCS, CTE curriculum, home economics, home economics curriculum, postsecondary family and consumer sciences education, postsecondary FCS, history of FCS, history of home economics