ProgramFAQs

Ellen Swallow Richard's Video
Ellen Swallow Richards believed that science served an applied purpose to improve the quality of life for all, and she worked to teach others the “Art of Right Living”. She spent most of her life working to open doors for women in education (Ellen was the first woman to enter the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a student, and the first woman professor at MIT) and became a world-renown expert in water-quality testing as well as providing much of the first writing on nutrition in the 1900s. She worked tirelessly to elevate the discipline of home economics to a standardized, systemized, and professional discipline, and she founded the American Home Economics Association in 1908. Ellen died before solidifying her real love: the “Oekology” movement, an intricate discipline linking science, the environment and human interaction.

What is the Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program?

"Master Volunteer" programs are not new to Cooperative Extension. Perhaps the most familiar master volunteer effort that is offered nationally through Cooperative Extension, is the Master Gardener Program started in 1972.

The Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program is a national volunteer training and involvement initiative to focus specifically on core areas of Extension Family & Consumer Sciences. A major feature of the Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program is to compile and share examples of successful Family & Consumer Sciences-related volunteer programs that have been implemented throughout the country.

2015-06-02 10.00 Master FCS Volunteer Program from USDA/NIFA & MSU Extension on Vimeo.

What is the goal for the Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program?

To develop a Master Family and Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program as a model that can be replicated in other states or regions.

To meet the goal of the Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program, what are the program objectives?

  • Actively engage and involve community volunteers in the outreach efforts of county and state Extension Family & Consumer Sciences programs.
  • Enhance the awareness of the Cooperative Extension mission and program areas of Extension Family & Consumer Sciences.
  • Direct Extension Family & Consumer Sciences educators/agents/faculty to successful program outcomes.

What is the purpose of Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program?

  • Build Family & Consumer Sciences capacity through recruiting/training and the utilization of volunteers.
  • Structure existing Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Programs under one umbrella.
  • Increase the visibility of Family & Consumer Sciences through the delivery of the program by volunteers.

What is unique about the Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program?

The Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program is specifically developed to promote all Extension Family & Consumer Sciences core program areas. To assist with planning and the implementation of the Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program, self-guided materials have been compiled for local customization.

Materials include:

  • Grab and Go planning toolkit
  • 12 Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer lessons
  • support website - www.masterFamily & Consumer Sciencesvolunteer.info
  • On-line directory of successful Family & Consumer Sciences Master Programs
  • evaluation and tracking tools

Extension Family & Consumer Sciences educators can learn more about the Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program by going to www.masterFamily & Consumer Sciencesvolunteerprogram.info

Where are Master Family & Consumer Sciences Programs located?

How does the program work?

The Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program provides the foundation training for volunteers to learn about the Cooperative Extension; the history and core areas of Family & Consumer Sciences; and, function and unique roles of volunteering. Before becoming involved with a specific Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer initiative, Cooperative Extension staff, State Extension Specialists, and perhaps local Family & Consumer Sciences professionals teach a series of classes to train volunteers in unbiased, research-based, background and practices of Extension and Family & Consumer Sciences core areas. There are three modules consisting of 12 lessons to the Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program. For instruction purposes, each lesson is formatted as a Power Point presentation and consists of a teaching script. While the amount of time spent on each lesson will depend on participants and instructor, each program lesson is designed to be taught in approximately 60 minutes, including classroom participation. Classroom participation enhances the educational understanding as students are encouraged to network and share their own experiences, thereby learning from each other. As an option, Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program coordinators may offer volunteers a self-paced option for reviewing the lessons. Self-paced Power Point lessons with voice-over embedded script is available on the program website. Following the completion of all or several of the lessons, at the discretion of the Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program coordinator, the volunteer may participate in a locally-offered Family & Consumer Sciences related Master Volunteer Program.

Module and lesson topics for the Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program are listed here:

  • Module 1: Cooperative Extension
    • Cooperative Extension History
    • Family & Consumer Sciences History
    • Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteers
    • Family & Consumer Sciences Core Areas
  • Module 2: Leadership and Public Policy
    • Effective Communication
    • Diverse Audiences
    • Facilitation Skills
    • Resource Development
  • Module 3: Marketing and Branding
    • Branding Family and Consumer Sciences
    • Value of Family and Consumer Sciences
    • Value of Volunteers
    • Telling Our Story

What are the benefits of the Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program to volunteer?

  • Provides comprehensive background and training about Cooperative Extension and Family & Consumer Sciences BEFORE getting involved as a volunteer
  • Provides structure and materials to be effective in the role as a volunteer
  • Following training, provides volunteers with Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program "Certificate of Achievement"
  • Connects the volunteer to community groups and individuals that share a common interest and desire to work in Family & Consumer Sciences core programs
  • Provides a national website platform to share highlights of the volunteer efforts

Must all the lessons be completed and tested by to volunteers before they can participant in a local Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Project?

A primary purpose of the Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program is to build Family & Consumer Sciences capacity through recruiting/training and utilization of volunteers. Therefore it is critical that volunteers understand Cooperative Extension and core areas of Family & Consumer Sciences as well as their unique responsibilities of being a volunteer. To ensure volunteers are effective in their role, the Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program has developed, with input from Extension Family & Consumer Sciences professionals across the nation, 12 Family & Consumer Sciences lessons. While it is not a requirement that volunteers complete all lessons and test their knowledge of each lesson, it is critical that Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program coordinators assess the knowledge and understanding of each volunteer. For those areas of uncertainty, selected lessons should be used and follow-up testing is strongly encouraged.

Can a State or County Extension office modify the requirements and lessons to suit their program needs?

To provide a comprehensive and accurate foundation of Extension, Family & Consumer Sciences and volunteer fundamentals, the Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program content was developed with input from Extension Family & Consumer Sciences professionals across the nation. To maintain the integrity of the Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program, changing the lesson objectives and deleting information from the lessons is discouraged.

However, to ensure all materials include local relevant and unique information and perhaps photos, Extension professionals are encouraged to add to the lessons.

Family and Consumer Sciences USDAMSU Extension