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Q. What is meant by California FCCLA being an "integral" part of the Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) instructional program?

A. Integral to instruction means that California FCCLA is a teaching strategy which reinforces classroom learning. The planned activities extend and enrich the curriculum. Thus, a specific activity is integral to instruction if it is used as a teaching strategy to accomplish an instructional objective, and as such is commensurate with the Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) curriculum.

Q. What is meant by integrating California FCCLA into the classroom?

A. This means that California FCCLA activities take place during class time as a part of the instructional program, rather than operating outside of class time.

Q. How should I start integrating California FCCLA into the class?

A. A good way to start is with a beginning (FCS) course, although any specialized or advanced class could be used. First, teach a module on "What is California FCCLA"? using the lesson plans based upon the California FCCLA Members Handbook explaining the various types of chapter activities and how they relate to the FCS class. After the introduction to the program, survey the students to determine their interests. Experience has shown almost all students decide to participate if the activities are relevant and interesting.

Q. Are all students in the class a part of the chapter?

A. Ideally, this is the way a chapter should be organized. Leadership and career development activities as well as community outreach projects are appropriate for all FCS students. And if these activities are appropriately structured as "integral to your instructional curriculum," then all FCS students should be involved and participate. An alternative would be to affiliate only those students eager to participate in California FCCLA activities, meetings, conferences and compete in the Competitive Recognition Events (CRE) while others work on individual assignments or independent projects.

Q. What do I do with those students who don't want to participate?

A. Those students could work on class assignments, use the time for independent study or be allowed to do other productive activities. However, a real effort should be made to encourage them to become involved through interesting California FCCLA intra-curricular projects and activities.

Q. Can students be required to join?

A. No. Membership on both the state and national levels is voluntary according to the bylaws. All FCS students should be encouraged to become involved on the local level whether they are members or not since California FCCLA activities are considered learning experiences. Students who are affiliated and on the chapter roster are considered active members; those who do not affiliated with the state and national organizations are referred to as inactive members. However, as an inactive member, involvement in activities outside the classroom would be limited.

  • Only members on the chapter roster would:
  • Be eligible to be a candidate for chapter, regional, state or national office.
  • Attend region, state, or national leadership meetings.
  • Receive the national and state publications.
  • Participate in the California Competitive Recognition Events (CRE) Program.
  • Participate in leadership training conferences beyond the local level.
  • Be eligible for recognition awards such as scholarships and the Golden State Degree
  • Program provided through the State Association.

Q. Is there a minimum requirement for students to become members?

A. Yes, students must either be currently enrolled in an FCS course or program or have previously taken a course.

Q. How can I encourage the students to participate in paying some or all of the chapter affiliation fees?

A. These are several suggestions which advisors have found successful.

A) Plan a chapter fundraiser and affiliate the students who worked on the project.
B) Plan a chapter camp-out or recreational activity. Include in the price of admission an additional amount from each member to contribute to chapter affiliation fees.
C) Permit only those members who have participated in fundraisers aimed at paying chapter affiliation fees to have pictures taken for the school yearbook.

The key is to plan an active and attention-getting membership drive that will capture student interest early in the school year or at the beginning of the spring semester. Since California is now using a Flat-Tiered California FCCLA Chapter Affiliation system, it may be easier to do a fundraiser than many other methods.

Q. Are sixth, seventh, and eight graders allowed to have California FCCLA as a part of the classroom instruction and to be members?

A. Definitely. Any student who is or has been enrolled in a FCS class, grades 6-12, in a private or public secondary school or in an ROCP may belong to California FCCLA. Since middle and junior high school students often do not have other activities in which to participate, they become very interested in California FCCLA and develop leadership skills which are valuable at the high school level.

Q. Do middle grade chapters pay the same affiliation fees as high school chapters?

A. Yes, middle grade chapters have the affiliation structure as high schools/ROCPs do.

Q. How do students who are not currently enrolled in a Home Economics Careers and Technology (HECT) class but still want to belong to California FCCLA participate in the planned activities?

A. There are two ways this might be handled. One way is to have these students attend meetings during one of the classes if they have a study hall or free period. The other alternative is to periodically schedule a meeting outside of class time and invite them to attend. However, to become bona fide active members, students must have been previously enrolled in a FCS Course or be enrolled in a FCS Course.

Q. Neither my students nor I know much about California FCCLA, its purposes, organizational structure, etc. How do we find out?

A. The state office has a variety of resources, including lesson plans, which explain California FCCLA, the goals and purposes, the activities, and how it operates in California. The Family and Consumer Sciences Education state staff, state and regional officers, and region coordinators are available to assist interested schools with chapter organization. To request resources, contact:

California FCCLA: The California Affiliate of FCCLA
Family and Consumer Sciences Education
1430 N Street, Suite 4202
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 319-0890

As a follow-up, you could teach a unit on California FCCLA to all students. Ideally, this presentation would be done at the beginning of the school year or at the beginning of each semester.

Q. What officers would the chapter have?

  1. In keeping with the number of state and region elected offices, the chapter would have a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, historian, and reporter. Each chapter may determine the number of officers they wish to have. Whatever number of officers is selected, the more students who can have the opportunity to develop leadership abilities and serve in leadership roles whether it be as an officer or a committee member, the better.

Q. How often does the chapter meet?

A. This varies upon the school situations, interests, and needs of the members. Some chapters meet weekly, others twice a month. To maintain student interest, it is suggested a chapter meet a minimum of twice a month. The Chapter Executive Council should meet a minimum of twice a month as well.

Q. Would you have a California FCCLA meeting in every class of Family and Consumer Sciences each week?

A. That is one approach. Another might be to have all the Family and Consumer Sciences classes in a particular period join together for a meeting once a month, quarter, or semester. The important thing to remember is that a meeting on a regularly scheduled basis should occur to give continuity and to retain student interest and enthusiasm.

Q. In a department with more than one teacher, does every teacher have a mini-California FCCLA chapter which would serve as a branch of the total chapter?

A. Ideally, yes. One approach would be for teachers to arrange to have joint meetings of classes that meet at the same hour of the day. A coordinating council composed of representatives from each class could be established to plan joint activities. Not every class would necessarily work on the same project. Each class would plan its activities to relate to what is being taught in the class.

Q. How would you coordinate the activities of all those chapters?

A. A coordinating council might be set up composed of the chairman or president and secretary or recorder from each class. This council would meet regularly to plan joint projects and activities.

Q. What goes on during the chapter meeting?

A. Chapter meetings might be one or a composite of several types-business, such as election of officers and handling routine business; social, which are recreational type meetings-party, picnic, potluck; community outreach, in which the members work on projects to help people or work on State Project Goals; educational, designed to help members acquire additional knowledge on a particular subject through a special speaker, panel, film, etc.; and leadership training, designed to assist student participation in activities of personal and leadership skills. These might also be the components of one meeting.

Q. But, how does this help me teach Family and Consumer Sciences?

  1. Through relating California FCCLA chapter activities to classroom instruction so that student learning is reinforced. For example, when the students are studying nutrition, an California FCCLA project might be teaching nutrition to elementary students or making a survey of food selection habits of students in the cafeteria.

Q. How can I find the time to do both California FCCLA and the Family and Consumer Sciences content?

A. As an integral part of the instructional program, California FCCLA chapter activities are based on the Home Economics Careers and Technology curriculum; therefore, subject matter content is expanded. If the students plan projects and activities related to their interests and concerns in a particular subject such as child development, then their learning is likely to be much more realistic and relevant to them.

Q. Will having California FCCLA as an integral part of Family and Consumer Sciences reduce enrollment?

A. If California FCCLA membership remains voluntary, there shouldn't be any adverse effect on enrollment. If we can make California FCCLA activities interesting, fun, and worthwhile enough, students will enroll in Family and Consumer Sciences to be able to join California FCCLA.

Q. What if the students go off in different directions in their California FCCLA projects and activities than I had planned or shown in the unit?

A. If students are really allowed to plan and participate in California FCCLA learning activities, they may not always go in exactly the same direction as the teacher/advisor may have envisioned. However, the result may be more interesting, relevant, and realistic to them.

Q. Do any teachers/advisors in California receive extra-curricular pay for working with California FCCLA?

A. Yes, a limited number do. Those who receive extra pay have developed (1) a job description for their duties, (2) specific program objectives for California FCCLA in the district plan, and (3) a chapter which operates as an integral part of the Family and Consumer Sciences curriculum.

Q. Is there an example of a job description for an advisor which could be used as a guide?

A. The following job description can be used as a guide:

A) Organize and manage a California FCCLA chapter which is affiliated with the State Association and the National Organization and integral to the Family and Consumer Sciences curriculum.
B) Coordinate chapter activities which include experience for members in the areas of personal growth; leadership development; competitive recognition events; career exploration and development; social, recreational, and fund raising; and community outreach.
C) Maintain documentation of expenditures of federal career technical education amendments funds, if applicable, for California FCCLA leadership activities and affiliation in the district's accountability file.
D) Maintain an ongoing public relations program for California FCCLA and the Family and Consumer Sciences Department.
E) Attend and chaperone attendance of members at local, regional, state, and national activities.
F) Attend and participate in professional development activities focusing on California FCCLA.
G) Maintain a file of regional, state, and national correspondence and communiqués.
H) Assist chapter officers in planning, coordinating, and conducting an annual program of work based upon State Project Thrusts.
I) Assist the chapter treasurer to develop a budget and to maintain accountable financial records.
J) Develop a chapter leadership training program for both officers and members.
K) Provide chapter officers and members with information pertaining to the region, state, and national levels of the organization.
L) Provide school and district administrators with information on all California FCCLA activities.
M) Work with students to make a presentation, annually, to the school board.
N) Coordinate involvement of all instructors within the Family and Consumer Sciences Department in California FCCLA activities.
O) Provide information on the goals, purposes, and relationship of California FCCLA to the Family and Consumer Sciences curriculum.
P) Coordinate the involvement of chapter members in district, county and/or vocational fairs.

Q. How can I convince my administrator that California FCCLA should operate as an integral part of the instructional program and not as "another club" on campus?

A. Make an appointment to discuss California FCCLA with your administrator. Take California FCCLA resources such as the fall affiliation packet, members handbook, or the CRE Guide. During the conversation, emphasize the following points:

A) When California FCCLA operates as an integral part of instruction, federal vocational funds
(P.L. 101-392, Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act funds) may be expended for California FCCLA activities, programs, services, and instructional materials and supplies. (For a list of appropriate expenditures, check with the Family and Consumer Sciences Education staff member that serves your area).
B) Only credentialed Family and Consumer Sciences teachers may serve as chapter advisors.
C) California FCCLA activities are based on the Family and Consumer Sciences instructional program and as such expand and enrich classroom learning.
D) California FCCLA activities are designed to assist students achieve competence in the FCS State Standards for transferable and employability skills, as well as content areas.
E) California FCCLA activities are designed to assist students develop personal, leadership, and career skills for home and community living and for the world of work.
F) The U.S. Office of Education recognizes the educational programs and philosophies of career-technical education student organizations (CTSOs) as being an integral part of career-technical education.
G) Chapter activities focus on personal growth; leadership development; competitive recognition events; career exploration and development; community outreach; and social, recreation, and fund raising.

Q. Can local Family and Consumer Sciences clubs that are not affiliated with the State Association and National Organization use the name California FCCLA?

A. No.

Q. Are 4-H Clubs and other non-designated CTSOs eligible to receive Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act Funds?

A. No. 4-H Clubs and other non-designated CTSOs are not considered career-technical student organizations, because they are not directly based upon an in-school instructional program.

Q. How can I get my school involved with California FCCLA?

A. To establish a chapter, you must submit complete and submit appropriate affiliation materials online at the California FCCLA Web site. In addition, you must file a chapter constitution and/or bylaws with your school's student governing body.

Q. In how many meetings above the local level could my chapter participate?

A. There are a minimum of two region meetings for chapters in your geographic area, one in the Fall and a second one in the Spring. There is also an annual State Leadership Conference held in either March or April. Other leadership development conferences and opportunities are held periodically throughout the year.

Q. What do schools/chapters receive when they first affiliate?

A. Upon affiliating for the first time chapters receive complimentary copies of available videos, an California FCCLA Chapter Guide, an California FCCLA CRE Guide, lesson plans for integrating California FCCLA into the classroom, and other pertinent information.

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