Home Economics at a College Level
History or Background Home Economics is a field of study that involves the financial and organizational management of a household and community. Home economics, commonly referred to as “home ec”, has been a vital academic subject since the late 1800’s. This subject prepares and preps students for daily home life management and other career paths by teaching, analyzing, and utilizing domestic skills. From cooking to balancing a check book, the skill set provided through home ec is vast and covers many areas of daily living. This field of study was introduced as an essential part of the scholastic curriculum with a woman named Ellen Richards. Ellen Richards was a leading force in transforming home ec from basic knowledge to a recognized profession. Ellen was a professor of sanitary education who stressed the importance of proper health and wellbeing for her students. She saw home economics a door opener for students who majored in economics as a field of study. This would ensure that these students were not only better prepared for homemaking, but also for career placement in education, the food industry, textiles, and hospitality. In 1899, Richards founded an organization known as the AHEA, American Home Economics Association. This group focused and worked on getting recognition for home economics as an academic subject. Through research, program development, interacting with school board members, and obtaining government funding AHEA was able to establish home ec educational programs in high schools and middle school throughout the U.S. Over the following decades, the efforts and hard work of Richard and AHEA proved to be successful. Home economists would pursue careers in various fields of business. From the food industry to interior design, the employment opportunities for these graduating students were endless. Home economists often found jobs in public-sector and nonprofit organizations in such fields as public health, institutional management, social work, housing, and education. This new field of study also played a large role in politics. Home economists were involved in many political decisions regarding social welfare, child development, housing, consumer protection and advocacy, and standardization of textiles and other consumer products. The successes of home economists have created a market opportunity for universities to offer home economics as a major. As employment opportunities decline, the demand for a major that is compatible with many career paths. By offering a new major study, Saint John’s market would expand and enrollment would increase significantly.
Objectives and Budget Requirements The addition of Home Economics as a major study at Saint John University will require certain financial support from the university. In order to establish this new major the following requirements must be met: Full development of courses and curriculum, newly hired staff of professors with appropriate teaching backgrounds, and a complete marketing plan to introduce Saint John’s new major to incoming students. Once all requirements are fulfilled in compliance with NYS Board of Education, Saint John’s University will be able to provide degrees specific to home economics. Course and curriculum development is the foundation of this project. This step will entail much organization and extensive planning through a team of professors who will successfully establish the curriculum. These professors must have knowledge of adult learning and an understanding of the goals of the university. This team will create course proposals for the following three credit semester courses: Food and Nutrition, Child Development, Housing and Home Furnishings, Home Care of the Sick, Clothing and Textiles, Personal/ Social/ Family Relations, Foods and Nutrition ,Advanced Food , Clothing and Textiles , Advanced Clothing ,Child Development,