Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Encourage the Heart

As December reaches it middle and the holiday break closes in, FCCLA advisers are thinking about finishing classes for the semester, fundraising efforts well underway, members’ STAR Events projects taking shape, and successful district meetings.

During the busyness of this season, take a few minutes to yourself. Have a seat, take a deep breath, and focus on all that’s been accomplished already. You may have read in Teen Times or The Adviser about FCCLA’s Student Leadership Challenge. One of the five practices in the Challenge is “Encourage the Heart. “

Encourage your heart today by celebrating the success of another wonderful semester, a great group of students, a supportive group of parents, and all the others that have helped make your chapter what it is. Take this holiday break as a time to relax and rejuvenate focusing on your success!

Monday, December 7, 2009

New STAR Event Demonstrations Available Online!

We know that leading an individual or team in one of the new STAR Events can be a tough job for chapter advisers. There’s not a whole lot of knowledge about what to expect and in the STAR Events world of rules and regulations, the unexpected can be a major fear. In an effort to simplify new events for both students and advisers, FCCLA has done a couple of things to ease their introduction.

First, we’ve stuck to familiar rules. Even though the past few years have seen the addition of several new events, we’ve been very careful to use a mixture of classic and innovative event components while trying to prevent the addition of more rules. Most of the structures of newer events can easily be compared to that of the events which have been in place for multiple decades. If you understand how to develop a STAR Events portfolio, the Environmental Ambassador and Fashion Design events should not be a challenge. If you know the rules for creating a display, you already know most of the rules for Food Innovations. If you are a new adviser, you might want to focus one year on only events with the same presentation style and ask an experienced adviser to help you become familiar with the rules of that style. Once you’ve gotten the structural rules down, you’ll primarily need to concentrate on the content that is laid out in the specifications and rubrics of each event.

The second thing FCCLA has been doing to help ease the introduction of new events is offering demonstrations and workshops on new STAR Events at the National Leadership Conferences and National Cluster Meetings. At the 2009 National Cluster Meetings, for example, FCCLA asked chapter members, state officers, and a few chapter advisers experienced in STAR Events to present presentations on the three new events. The presentations were developed by national FCCLA to maintain consistency at each site and are now available online for everyone to view. Check them out under “Resources” on the main STAR Events page of the FCCLA national website. The files are on the larger size so they may take a little bit of time to download, but this resource is worth it! These presentations probably won’t help you understand the presentation method for the events, but you will have a much better idea of the content that goes into each one.

As always, the most important thing to do when it comes to STAR Events is to read the rules carefully. Evaluate projects using the Point Summary Form and Rubric before competition to make sure your students completed everything and ask your state adviser any questions you might have early so there is time for your students to change anything you might not have understood correctly. Remember that successful STAR Events projects demonstrate a student’s ability to follow directions, their work throughout the year, and their presentation skills. There is no trick to getting a gold medal or moving on to the next level of competition beyond hard work and preparation.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thank you for attending a 2009 National Cluster Meeting. Please take a moment to complete the following evaluation. Your answers are important and helpful in planning successful meetings next year.

Providing your name and contact information enters you for a chance to win. Three (3) Grand Prize Winners, one (1) from each meeting will receive one (1) 2010 National Cluster Meeting Registration. Three (3) additional winners will receive an FCCLA Prize Pack. Prize winners will be posted on the FCCLA national website on December 7, 2009.

Click here for the Washington, DC National Cluster Meeting Evaluation

Click here for the Louisville, KY National Cluster Meeting Evaluation

Click here for the Salt Lake City, UT National Cluster Meeting Evaluation

For more information contact the FCCLA Meetings Team, at (703) 476-4900

Monday, November 23, 2009

National Cluster Meeting in Review

Thank you, advisers, for making National Cluster Meetings a success! The national staff returned home yesterday after completing three exciting conferences. Advisers in Washington, DC, Salt Lake City, UT, and Louisville, KY, had several opportunities to network with other FACS teachers and receive professional development. Sessions on work/life balance, integrating leadership and staying connected with core academics and Career Clusters in the classroom were popular topics.

We encourage you to keep the excitement of National Cluster Meetings going by voting for your favorite FCCLA Week Poster design, National Leadership Conference T-Shirt design, and Win the Icing Cake Decorating contests online November 23 through December 4.

Please remember to fill out a conference evaluation so we can continue to provide students and advisers with the best meeting opportunities in the future.

Thank you again to all who attended the 2009 National Cluster Meetings!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Adviser Networking

We all know that one of the best reasons to come to district, state and national meetings is for the networking opportunities. Whether you’ve been to 25 National Cluster Meetings or you are new to the whole idea, we encourage you to keep it up! So many great ideas were generated at the Washington, D.C., conference this past weekend. To further increase networking opportunities, we’d like you to share those ideas in the comments section below.

If you learned something about membership recruitment, fundraising, working with administration, getting started as an adviser, taking the clutter out of your life, or had another important insight, pass it along to those who weren’t able to attend so they too can benefit from adviser networking.

Monday, November 9, 2009

This Blog is for You!

Thank you, advisers, for sending in so many great resources! We are always collecting publications, websites, newsletters, and tools you think are valuable to pass on to other advisers across the country. Our collection for the winter edition of The Adviser was so full of good ideas we decided to pass a few onto you early. You will find three of the resources suggested by advisers below. Share your favorite resource in the comments section.

From Angela Gott, KY:

I have used the following websites for several years in Life Skills, Nutritional Science, Child Development, Culinary, and and

Both sites (related) offer many nutritional tools. (Day to day tracking of nutrition and fitness; BMI; food composition; etc.) Both sites offer FREE membership and will help you track your food intake and fitness. It will suggest what you should do (eat or how much to exercise) to gain, lose, or maintain weight. My students have LOVED it and some tell me that they continue to use the site even after the class.

From Kathleen Buchanan, VA:

I have a Leadership Class. Several resources I have used and offer a number of ideas to use many ways are:
•Leadership Curriculum Guide by the Department of Student Activities from the National Association of Secondary School Principals
•Building Leaders for Life: A High School Leadership Class Curriculum by the National Association of Secondary School Principals
•Leading with Character by Barbara Farmer and others ISBN- 10: 0-538-44487-8
•What Do You Stand For? A Kids Guide to Building Character by Barbara A. Lewis ISBN 1- 57542-029-5

From Jan Gardner NBCT, MS:

I have many favorites, but one of my most used in the Early Childhood Education classroom is

Monday, November 2, 2009

Becoming Involved at School

Last week this blog discussed the importance of starting an advisory board to help maintain a healthy chapter. This week we’re turning the table a bit.
Not only is it important to have others give you the best information about what’s happening outside the school walls, but it’s extremely important for you to become involved and have your voice be heard. No matter what size of school you’re at, there are opportunities to volunteer. Any and all opportunities are great ones to help get you and your program noticed by others. Below is a great example from an adviser at a small school.

“The committee I am currently serving on is the Healthy Schools Committee. The committee addresses issues in and around our school that affect and influence the health and safety of our students. In the spring I will be on the professional development committee that is responsible for planning the professional development days in our districts.” - Lori Grant, OK

Lori Grant is a participant in the Adviser Academy program. For more information about how you can become involved in the Academy and learn additional ways to become involved and boost your chapter’s influence, check the Adviser Academy page on the national website.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Taking the Next Step

We all know that community support is the key to a successful chapter, but finding that support isn’t always obvious. Starting an advisory board can be one of the best ways to gain both financial and general support.

The make-up of an advisory board can vary depending on what your chapter needs are, but a good start is a chapter officer, two or three local business representatives, a parent of active members, and a member of the school board. Reporting monthly activities to the advisory board will make them aware of all that is going on in the chapter. First hand perspectives from parent and chapter officers will help the rest of the group better understand the need for support. Including administration such as a school board member can give your chapter a leg up when going to ask for more funding or travel vouchers.

Picking business representatives can be the trickiest part. Try to start with those that are interested. Send out invites to several people you’d like to be on the board. Not all of them will say yes or have enough time to give the support you need. Start with people on the school alumni board, booster club, city chamber of commerce. Choose businesses that directly benefit from chapter projects.
Remember to check your school’s guidelines for advisory boards to adhere to preexisting rules. After a year or two a successful advisory board will sustain itself and be an invaluable asset to your chapter.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Do YOU Dig It!?

FCCLA and Cause Creative are excited to present the 2009-2011 National Outreach Project benefitting the Children’s Miracle Network. All affiliated chapters should be receiving their Dig It! kits any day now. The kits will include information and materials – including seeds, envelopes, and guide sheets.

It is up to each chapter to figure out what to do with the seeds – although the possibilities are endless, some ideas include: planting a flower garden outside of your school to honor a sick student or with permission, plant them in a children’s hospital garden. Most importantly, chapters are raising money to make miracles happen for sick children and each seed planted will represent a miracle.

For more information on the National Outreach Project, please visit the national FCCLA website by following this link:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Power of Advocacy

Last week students and advisers from all across the country came to Washington, D.C., to participate in USA Leadership Training and Adviser Academy. Held simultaneously, these conferences build on earlier phases of state officer and new adviser training. Advisers attended sessions on legislative training and advocacy methods, fundraising and grant writing, and building leadership in student members. The group spent a day on Capitol Hill visiting their Congressional representatives to talk about the importance of Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs). Several groups met with staff while others had the opportunity to meet directly with their Congressperson or Senator. The Ohio group of students and advisers had a very productive session with Minority Leader Congressman John Boehner (R-OH). Con. Boehner weekly newsletter highlights his visit with the visitors. Congratulations, Ohio, on the great meeting and follow up!


On Thursday, Congressman Boehner met with student leaders of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) in his Washington, D.C. Office. Included in the group were two residents of Troy. The students and their chaperones were attending a national conference of FCCLA Students in Washington.
"These students are the future leaders of our nation," Congressman Boehner said. "As the former Chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee, I am very familiar with the many challenges facing our education system today, and I understand how important these organizations are to the development and success of our young people."
Students grilled Congressman Boehner on everything from the future of Pell Grants (he supports them) to whether the congressman plans to run for president (he doesn't; he just wants Nancy Pelosi's speaker's gavel).
FCCLA is a nonprofit national career and technical organization for young men and women in family and consumer sciences education in public and private school through grade 12. Involvement in FCCLA offers members the opportunity to expand their leadership potential and develop skills for life - planning, goal setting, problem solving, decision making, and interpersonal communication.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Adviser-to-Adviser group was asked to share their favorite fundraisers with you.

Sheila T. from Arkansas shares her fundraising ideas below.

The first fundraiser we plan to conduct is selling Sonic Coupon Cards for $5.00 each. They do not cost us anything and it is all profit for the students. I check out 3 cards to each student to pay their membership dues, $15. After their dues are paid they may have 2 more cards to pay $10 on their state T-shirt. If they sell 5 cards they have $25 to pay their dues. Membership dues are definitely the first fundraiser we have. The next fundraiser is a high school dance and the proceeds go to our National, State, and District projects that need money. In November we will sell poinsettias for the month of December. We have a nursery 6 miles from the school they deliver to the school and members deliver to the customers. We make $5.00 per plant. We are looking into the “Crush “project for homecoming.

For more information on raising money check out the new Fundraising Ideas section on our website at

Monday, September 28, 2009

The National Research Center for College and University Admissions (NRCCUA) survey has been mailed to all FCCLA chapters. The information that you and your students provide is vital in planning FCCLA’s programs and events. Over the last three years, we’ve received invaluable research about what students and teachers need to be successful personally and professionally.

Take a look at a few statistics from the 2008 and 2009 surveys:

Please participate in this year’s survey, so that we can better serve you and your students. Middle school teachers are not required to fill out the survey.

We thank you for your time and feedback.

NOTE: you may receive two copies of the survey this year, because the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is participating and they have sent a CTE survey to all CTE teachers, which in some cases includes FACS teachers.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Continuing our topic from last week here are the top 5 ways to help a new adviser start FCCLA with success.

5.Stress the importance of media with the beginning adviser. Forward any press releases you receive and emphasize the importance of promoting FCCLA in your school and community.

4. Compile a list of fundraising ideas that has worked for you. This list will be helpful not only for the new advisers in your area but also for any adviser.

3. Offer to have your officers help with installation ceremonies. Allocating leadership roles will benefit both sets of officers, and take some of the stress from the advisers.

2. Demonstrate a quality STAR Event. Seeing a STAR Event in action can eliminate some of the fear that might come along with the new endeavor. Invite your beginning adviser to a chapter “Night of the STARs”; give them the opportunity to see what the judge’s role is all about.

And the number one way to help a new adviser…

1. Just be there. Maybe just having someone to listen and be in their corner is all that is needed to help your rookie find their own success.

Assisting a new adviser Toward New Horizons is a rewarding experience. Together we can help our organization grow and provide students with opportunities only available through FCCLA.

Thank you to NECA Kathy Werner for compiling these tips.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Today’s blog comes from Kathy Werner, NECA.

We all remember our first year as an adviser, STAR Events, national programs, fundraising. And with all that piled on your plate, when were you actually supposed to schedule a meeting? These are thoughts that plague every first year adviser, whether they are fresh from college or have just decided to start a new chapter. When all the fabulous FCCLA activities and opportunities are laid out in front of a new adviser (or member) it can be a bit overwhelming. Seasoned advisers can be the key to success for new advisers. Most of us have survived that scary first year and actually looked back at it with a smile. Now here is your chance to share your leadership with the rookies and help lead them into the Ultimate Leadership Experience (adviser style).

10. Let new advisers know that just like a smorgasbord restaurant, you don’t want to take everything all at once. Try out a few STAR Events, pick one national program that interests their students, get the officers involved with Power of One; this is a reasonable amount to get started, and then add more.

9. Host a co-chapter event. An outing in a park located close to both schools could be a fun way for members to get to know each other and form FCCLA friendships. Include Step One relay races and the day will be an event to remember.

8. Share your Be Part Of It CD with a new adviser. The information included could be just what they need to answer so many questions. Let them know that they could request a packet from national headquarters or their own state adviser.

7. Make a list of valuable contact information for the new adviser to keep at their fingertips. Include your state adviser, district consultant, other advisers who are willing to give a hand, your state website and of course, (Let them know they will use that one often.)

6. Share your best integration practices with your rookie. Give them a copy of your lesson plan that integrates a STAR Event into your classroom. Let them know the benefits of using national programs to teach the concepts that are already a part of their curriculum.

Part two will be posted next Monday.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

FCCLA is Upping the Ante with New Competitive Events!

FCCLA’s Competitive Events are an important part of the organization because they allow students to put their knowledge, creativity, and FACS skills to use. They can be a student’s first step in the door to FCCLA or they can showcase of an involved member’s FCCLA career. No matter who the student is or where their interests fall, FCCLA has a Competitive Event for every member. Help your students get more involved by learning about these new opportunities for 2009-2010.

STAR Events have been and will continue to be a great structure for students to complete projects and gain recognition. FCCLA is proud to provide members with 25 events to participate in during the 2009-2010 school year. Three of these events, Environmental Ambassador, Fashion Design, and Food Innovations, are brand new and will be demonstrated at the National Cluster Meetings in November. Be sure to check the FCCLA website next week for the 2009-2010 STAR Events Manual so your students can begin their projects now instead of later!

FCCLA is also offering three contests to help your students use their creativity to express their passion for the organization. Check out the rules for the FCCLA Week Poster Contest, the 65 Years of Leadership T-Shirt contest, and the Win the Icing…Decorate our 65th FCCLA Birthday Cake contest on FCCLA’s national website today. The winning entries will be decided by members and advisers through NCM onsite voting and online voting following the meetings. Encourage your students to start their designs today!

The final new Competitive Event is FCCLA’s Family and Consumer Sciences Knowledge Bowl. Information, rules, and an online test will be posted to the website soon. Until then, contribute to the success of the event by writing and submitting questions for the competition through the online form ( All questions should relate to one of the NASAFACS standards. Thanks in advance for your help!

Good luck to you and your students during the new year of FCCLA competition!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Read All About It!

The Fall 2009 issue of The Adviser and the September/October issue of Teen Times are available! Meet the new NEC and NECA, read more about each of the students and teacher who will be leading in the spotlight over the next year. Check out new lesson plans and information about the new National Outreach Project with Children’s Miracle Network. Discover new ways to involve business and industry partners—and ask for funding!

Don’t forget to check out Teaching with Teen Times on the FCCLA national website to incorporate the articles from the member magazine into your classroom.

Monday, August 24, 2009

As we kick off a new school year, we look to advisers in the field to give us their best back to school tips. Read below to barrow from our Adviser-to-Adviser group who will be featured in this blog throughout the year.

My best first year tip to advisers is to start getting your students excited about FCCLA the first day of school. Each year my officer team picks a theme for the year and we decorate the FACS room with decorations that go along with that theme. The first day that my students walk in my room that know what our FCCLA theme is for the year. I also include a part in my syllabus about FCCLA so the parents will know that their child has a chance to be a part of FCCLA. – Katrina L.

Make a list on a daily basis of your priorities. Make the list manageable, 2-3 items that you can accomplish. Making a list helps pace yourself so you do not become overwhelmed. You will get it done but not all at once! – Louise L.

Always elect officers in the spring so you can make a plan of work before school starts. Organization and pre-planning with your leaders is KEY to the success of the organization. The members need direction and that is the officer’s responsibility. Members are given opportunities to discuss and then vote on the projects that will be conducted during the year.

The members then sign up for the committees or projects that they would like to serve on. There is always plenty for everyone to assist with. It is vital to have an agenda and a plan so members can discuss and take ownership. Attending a meeting without an agenda is failure before you begin. A written agenda keeps you on task and allows member input. – Sheila T.

Monday, August 17, 2009

New Affiliation Process- Coming Soon!

FCCLA will see a change in its affiliation process. We have been working for over a year to fine tune a new national database and we are almost ready to unveil it. The first “module” will be membership affiliation. One of the exciting new tools that this database includes is that it remembers your students! To start, enter and save students one by one. Once a student has been saved in the system, affiliating is only a click away. Next year, those students will automatically be in your account to affiliate again. Additionally, advisers will be able to add new students throughout the year without losing old information. Affiliation receipts will be kept in your account and you may print or email them at anytime.

As with anything new, we expect there to be a few growing pains. Please feel free to call our office at anytime to ask for help, get more information, or provide feedback to help us stay current with your needs.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hicks, Tree Huggers and Divas...Oh my!

Today was full of presentations, hicks, divas and grease monkeys. The national officers did a great job with their skit and really got the crowed pumping with their great dancing skills. Tomorrow we will see how FCCLA has helped the group of reality stars go “beyond the label.”
The guest speaker, Sergeant Ken, motivated members to be leaders. During his speech Ken challenged a group of members to do pushups on stage for one minute. The entire audience was cheering them on and created even more excitement in the room.
With the energy in the room jumping and the party hopping, the national officer candidates introduced themselves to the delegation for the first time.
After the session, states got together and decided who to cast their vote for in the 2009-2010 national officer team. After all was said and done, the hotel was again buzzing with pin trading and members networking.
Tomorrow is another day of STAR events, workshops and an evening at Nashville shores. So in true Nashville fashion, ‘night ya’ll!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

National Leadership Conference 2009 Kicks-off

Well it is finally here, over 5,000 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America had descended on Nashville, TN for what is sure to be a great event. Many delegates arrived yesterday or early this morning and spent the day today seeing the sights and exploring a little of what the “Music City” has to offer.

While some took off to learn a little toe-tapping line dancing at the famous “Wildhorse Saloon” others embarked on the country music tour to learn what gives Nashville its “music city” name.

While some were seeing the cool sights of Nashville it was heating up in the kitchen as competitors in the culinary arts STAR event showcased their culinary skills

Incoming state officers learned what it means to be the Ultimate leader in USA Leadership Training while the outgoing officers learned about mentorship and continuing the ultimate leadership experience beyond FCCLA.

STAR event competitors got down to business and registered for events that will start bright and early tomorrow morning and continue through Wednesday evening. Sprinkled in between are workshops, general sessions, exhibits, spotlight on projects and pin trading. Overall, tomorrow looks like a great day filled with fun, friends and the ultimate leadership experience.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

2009 National Leadership Conference

The 2009 FCCLA National Leadership Conference (NLC) is here! This year, two FCCLA alumni will be blogging about their experiences daily. You can read all about how members from all over the country are learning to go “Beyond the Label” at NLC. Read how motivational speaker Ken Weichert; (aka “SGT Ken”) a six-time Soldier of the Year, Master Fitness Trainer, and veteran of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Desert Storm, affects the members. See the generosity of FCCLA chapters as they partner with Feed The Children, managing a 10-truck food drop, to deliver 4000 boxes of food, 4000 boxes of personal care items, and 20 pallets of miscellaneous goods to hungry children and families. Learn about the excitement that over 2,800 members will feel when participating in STAR Events and having the opportunity to be awarded over $2 million in scholarship money! Learn about the experience through the eyes of alumni on the FCCLA National Leadership Conference Blog!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Summer Vacation!

We’ll be back to blog about the National Leadership Conference from Nashville, but until then we’re taking a break to prepare for the meeting. Until you see us again, enjoy the links below.

See you in Nashville!





Monday, May 25, 2009

Enjoy A Summer By Planning Today

Summer break is a great time to refresh and renew your teaching spirit! Use the precious weeks away from the students and classroom to wind down from a successful year and reenergize for a new one packed with fun.

Before you leave the classroom, take a few moments to evaluate the year. What did you do right? Where did things go wrong? What did students enjoy? Where can students be challenged further?

By answering these questions you can easily begin to form goals and plan for next year. If you are attending National Leadership Conference, having this plan in hand will help you better prepare for professional development opportunities, exhibitor visits, general sessions, etc. If not, take your plan and scan through the FCCLA website for new things going on or areas you can expand. Don’t forget to include chapter officer goals in the plan!

Now that you’ve worked out a plan for the year, sit back and enjoy a much needed vacation!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Traveling With Students

National Leadership Conference is approaching! No matter what kind of experience advisers have at this and other meetings throughout the year, one this is true, managing students and chaperones is not an easy task.
Earlier this year Catherine Digioia-Laird, an alumi and former NEC, wrote an article for the Alumni & Associates website on chaperoning.

She lists key things every chaperone should know. Use her guide to successful traveling to educate and encourage good chaperones for NLC!

Monday, May 11, 2009

More Benefits from FCCLA!

For the first time, FCCLA has produced an online summer edition of The Adviser. We are excited to offer year round coverage of important topics for teachers!

This issue focuses on membership and the importance of recruitment, retention, and recognition throughout the school year and into the summer. Additionally, we have provided all the regular columns that advisers enjoy reading. You’ll find a note from Connie Rhoton, Chair of the Board of Directors, an article from Executive Director Michael Benjamin, a fun lesson plan from a new member of the National Consultant team and much more.

Click here to begin reading now! The Adviser/summer edition

Monday, May 4, 2009

Do you feel overwhelmed with your chapter's activities?

Are your FCCLA adviser responsibilities growing at a rate that you cannot believe?

If yes, than you need the help of an FCCLA alumni!

FCCLA alumni around the nation are more than willing to help the organization that turned them into ultimate leaders.

Ways to utilize the alumni in your area:

Alumni as Chaperones
Alumni enjoy reuniting with their advisers and working with your student members. If you are in need of assistance during your chapter's activities or an FCCLA local, district/region, state, or national meeting give one of them a call and ask them to be a chaperone, or "chapterone."

Alumni as Co-Advisers
Do you need help with the logistics of managing a chapter? Alumni have the experience necessary to assist you with managing your chapter. Utilize them in managing chapter community service committees or give them adminstrative duties such as creating spreadsheets, making copies, etc.

Alumni as Evaluators
Alumni enjoy seeing what your chapter has been up to. Use them as evaluators for STAR Events projects or have them proofread your chapter's program award application.

Alumni as Networkers
Gather a team of alumni and have them brainstorm area businesses that might be interested in donating funds or goods towards your chapter's efforts. You never know who they might be in contact with!

Alumni as Mentors
Alumni have been there. They know what it is like to be a teenager and have lived to tell the tale! Start an alumni mentorship program matching members with alumni in careers that are of interest to the member. Alumni can give members the time to help create resumes or apply for scholarships.

These relationships are usually just as important to the alumni as they are to the member.

How do I find these helpful alumni?

Contact your state adviser for a list of alumni in your area. Or, join the Alumni & Associates online community to access a data base of alumni in every state at

Monday, April 27, 2009

National Leadership Conference Preview

Spring meetings are coming to an end and students are deciding whether or not to attend National Leadership Conference in Nashville, TN. In looking at the schedule this year, you’ll notice a few changes.

First, we have responded to adviser concerns of high hotel bills and shortened the conference by one day. However, we have packed all the regular activities and plenty of learning opportunities into the week.

Advisers have multiple opportunities for professional development. On Monday Adviser-to-Adviser is being offered for teachers chosen to represent their states. Additionally those who have been enrolled in Adviser Academy have special sessions on Monday.

Tuesday adviser professional development sessions will take place and cover a range of topics including integrating core academics, using STAR Events in the classroom, teaching Generation Y and more! Each session will be offered three times for maximum opportunities for attendance.

Wednesday advisers will be recognized at the Adviser Recognition Session (formerly the Adult General Assembly). All advisers are encouraged to attend to support fellow teachers in their hard work. Additionally, advisers will elect a representative to the FCCLA Board of Directors. After the recognition Phil Lempert, Supermarket Guru, will address advisers as the session keynote speaker.

There are many opportunities for involvement and professional development at NLC. Don’t forget to contact the national office if you’d like to earn Continuing Education Units for your time. Please review the schedule carefully as you plan for your NLC experience.

We look forward to welcoming you to Nashville!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Recognizing to Retain

As teachers and advisers there may be no better reward than seeing students shine in STAR Events, offices, and other leadership roles. Students who automatically jump into these projects are easily recognized at chapter, state and national levels, but often there are members who need to be pushed a little more to engage in chapter activities. It can be difficult to find ways to recognize and encourage these students in order to keep their membership.

One way to keep encouraging students is to set each member up with an upperclassman mentor. They can go to that older member with questions, concerns, or for brainstorming. They are encouraged by their peers and less likely to be intimidated by older members or long term projects.

What do you do to encourage the younger or less experienced members to become engaged in your chapter?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Remaining Relevant: Business & Industry

Chapter success is often dependent on groups outside of the classroom. Business and industry leaders are one of the outside groups that can positively impact programs. By involving professionals in the community, students are able to apply the skills they’ve learned in the classroom in a meaningful way.

Interaction through classroom lectures and site visits encourages students to continue advancing their skills. Business and industry supporters can talk to classes about trends, provide sites for job shadowing, evaluate class projects and STAR Events, and in some cases these groups may fund field trips or travel to district, state, or national meetings.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Remaining Relevant: Paying Attention to Public Policy

Over the last few weeks we’ve discussed several things advisers can to do increase awareness and develop long lasting relationships to enhance their FCCLA program. These local or state level activities are some of the most important you can do to sustain a successful program. However, this week we are focusing on public policy—something most advisers tell me they don’t have much experience with.

You may have noticed that the national headquarters has begun offering information on policy to advisers through our monthly communications, publications, and even this blog. We want to encourage advisers to use their voice to influence policymakers. For example, last week’s blog was a call to action from the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE) asking teachers to sign a petition to increase Perkins funding. These issues are important to maintaining programs that effect all around student success.

When legislators are writing policy they are best influenced by those that have a story to tell. Who better to tell the story of CTE and FACS than FCCLA advisers? Making an impact isn’t difficult, it isn’t time consuming. It only takes a quick phone call, email, or visit and can be done anytime of the year. Without your story, the voice of FCCLA is silent.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Help Sign 100,000 Names to the Perkins Petition!

Taking a break from our “Remaining Relevant” series, today’s post is a call to action from ACTE.

The Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and Participant Media have joined forces to advocate for Perkins funds. You can help by signing the petition and asking your friends and colleagues to sign today!

To make an impact, we need 100,000 people to call on Congress to increase Perkins fund by August. This is a very achievable goal if every ACTE member signs along with 5 colleagues/friends.

Over the past few years the primary federal funding stream for career and technical education, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins), has been gradually decreased, despite increased student enrollments, equipments costs, and need for skilled workers.

It is time that we stand up and demand that Congress increase Perkins funds to acceptable levels to ensure that the United States is able to compete in this ever-changing global economy. This is especially true as the United States faces uncertain economic times. The need to educate and train students and displaced workers for skilled employment has never been more critical to our nation’s economic success!

Sign the petition today call upon Congress to fund the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act at no less than $1.7 billion in Fiscal year 2010. It is time to increase awareness and funds for CTE to ensure that America keeps its competitive edge in the global economy.

Go to and sign the petition today!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Remaining Relevant: Share Your Success!

Groups that influence your chapter’s ability to success (or even exist!) are called stakeholders. You probably know them as administrators, parents, business and industry, fellow teachers, and others.

This time of year represents the wrap up to many successful projects. Some of you have students involved in community service projects, workshop presentations, STAR Event competitions, and officer elections. It’s important to share your success with your stakeholders. Demonstrate your ability to impact students’ lives, but letting students shine.

Take students to the next school board meeting to demonstrate their STAR Event, work with your chapter’s Vice President of Public Relations to write and send press releases on state meeting success to all the newspapers in your area, have chapter members personally deliver thank you notes or gifts to supportive business and industry leaders, celebrate chapter success with an end of year banquet and invite parents to celebrate and support their students’ hard work.

Don’t forget the end isn’t here yet. There are still many more opportunities for student success at National Leadership Conference in July. Register to attend the meeting in Nashville, TN today!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Remaining Relevant: Networking With Others

Networking is a fancy word for finding common ground. From time to time we can all use someone to reach out to when we face challenges. Whether virtual or face-to-face, we all benefit from making a connection.

We’ve seen a surge of emails from advisers on the Chapter Adviser Listserv this week! Several advisers have been networking across the country to find better solutions to elect new officers, provide recognition, and fundraise for their chapters. The Chapter Adviser Listserv was set up for just this purpose and we are happy to see advisers use the tool to connect.

In must the same way, state and national meetings are a time for advisers to come together face-to-face to connect. These meeting provide insight and training for advisers of all demographics, experiences, and challenges. Trainings at these meetings provide valuable professional development.

I encourage you to try to attend these conferences with or without students to grow in FCCLA.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Remaining Relevant: Creating New Advisers

This is the first in a blog series about remaining relevant and how chapter advisers can use FCCLA to move FACS programs forward. Each edition of this series will provide a quick tip on using FCCLA or incorporating student involvement in the community to benefit FACS programs.

Each year, the national office hears of several FACS programs that have been cut from middle school and high school offerings. We hate hearing this and want to help when and where we can. One of the ways to do this is to encourage students to seek careers in FACS education. This is easier said than done, but one of the best ways is to show students what being a FACS teacher is all about.Take your classes on a field trip to a local (or the closest) college or university that offers a degree in Family and Consumer Science. While there students can sit in on classes, visit with professors, go on a campus tour, and meet with the financial aid office to discuss scholarships. Advisers, connect with the department chair in advance to schedule a presentation to the future educators so you can share your FCCLA experience with them, or invite them take their own field trip to your classroom.

Not only does this visit get your students thinking about a career in FACS education, but future teachers will be exposed to the benefits of FCCLA. Follow up with a career day where other FACS professionals come speak to your students in your classroom.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Share Your Expertise!

The Lesson plans and Activities web page needs your ideas to make it a complete resource for all FCCLA advisers! Lesson plans and activities come from advisers all across the country, so please use the Lesson Plan or Activity Template under Chapter Adviser section to submit and share your tools with fellow advisers.

Use the FCCLA website to upload/download lesson plans and activities to integrate FCCLA programs into your classroom. All affiliated advisers are able to access the Lesson Plans and Activities page by entering a username and password.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Awards & Scholarships!

Being an effective adviser takes special skills and a tremendous commitment of time and energy. Exceptional advisers motivate their chapters to take advantage of opportunities beyond the local level, use a wide variety of resources available to them, and encourage student involvement.

In addition to adviser awards, chapter awards and scholarships are a fantastic way to grab the attention of administrators, parents, and key community leaders. They reflect the outstanding work of students and leadership of advisers.

Applications for recognition and scholarships are available on the National FCCLA Web site under awards/Scholarships.


Scholarships and Awards due March 1, 2009


Scholarships and Awards due April 1, 2009


Monday, February 16, 2009

Staff celebrated FCCLA Week with a trip to a local school!!

On Wednesday, staff celebrated FCCLA Week with a trip to a local school to see FACS teachers and students in action. We observed students at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, VA. While some staff danced and played with kids enrolled in the school’s onsite Head Start preschool during Early Childhood Careers, others created spaghetti pie with International Foods students. We had a great time seeing the classes at work. Below is a picture of some staff in the kitchen.

National Staff:
(from left, Kristin Zullo, Amy Daone, Leslie Shields, Edie Doane)

Monday, February 9, 2009

FCCLA's successful Adviser Academy is now taking applications!!

FCCLA is proud to continue the successful Adviser Academy—a five track program for FCCLA national recognition. The Adviser Academy is comprised of four professional development tracks held during FCCLA national meetings and one track completed with state advisers. Advisers selected to the Academy are encouraged to commit to attendance at each track. Advisers will receive a certificate of completion for the Adviser Academy.
  • Track 1: New Adviser – Developing a Chapter Vision(Held in conjunction with the National Leadership Conference)

  • Track 2: Using Legislation to Change the Classroom(Held in conjunction with the USA Leadership Training)

  • Track 3: Leading at School(Held in conjunction with the National Cluster Meetings)

  • Track 4: Remaining Relevant as a Chapter(Held in conjunction with the National Leadership Conference)

  • Track 5: Participating at the State Level
    Adviser Academy participants will be required to volunteer in at least one state meeting (e.g. conduct a workshop).

Deadline: May 1st, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009

FCCLA Board of Directors Meeting Update

Attached you will find the FCCLA Bylaws (Revised 2009). The revised Bylaws are based on the membership vote during the 2008 National Leadership Meeting and National Board of Directors approved editorial changes. FCCLA will include a copy of the revised FCCLA Bylaws in the 2009-2010 Be Part of It! membership kits.

The FCCLA Board of Directors, including the National Executive Council, met in Reston, Virginia. In addition to receiving various reports, located under the Chapter Adviser section of the website you will also find modifications in the Strategic Scenario 2012.

To generate a high level of consistence between national and state/local planning, the Board urged advisers to use the Scenario and the Strategic Plan 2012 as the basis for their strategic planning. The Board also directed that a task force on Civic Engagement be instituted charged with developing an action report that would be submitted to the Obama Administration.

Monday, January 26, 2009

From Top Design to Teen Times

In the current issue of Teen Times alumni and former senior style editor for Martha Stewart Living, Eddie Ross, describes going from FACS student to building his dream job. Eddie’s blog, is a great resource for anyone needing inspiration.

Check out his response to the Teen Times feature . Be sure to read the comments from friends and fans too!

Monday, January 19, 2009

CTSO's and the Obama Presidential Transition Team

In late December, Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) executive directors had an opportunity to meet with the Obama Presidential Transition Team (PTT) to discuss our policy issues of concern to the incoming administration. As a follow-up to that meeting, Executive Directors of the CTSOs formulated a policy letter with recommendations to the PTT:

  • Recommended for the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Vocation of Adult Education position Dr. James R. Stone III, Executive Director of the National Center for Research in Career and Technical Education at the University of Louisville.

  • Encouraged the Obama administration to support the important Career and Technical Education component of education reform by continuing to reinforce the relationship that historically has existed between administrations and the CTSOs.

  • Encouraged the administration to sponsor a White House conference designed to bring national attention to the value of co-curricular student leadership activities in our nation’s schools.

In addition, we submitted to the PTT a statement regarding “Civic Engagement Post Inauguration.” We welcome your ideas on service learning and civic engagement.

More information is available online at or contact Michael L. Benjamin at

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cash for College!

It’s only January, but graduation seems just around the corner to most seniors. Below is an amazing scholarship opportunity from Johnson and Wales University. Maybe one of your students will be one of the deserved recipients.

Urge seniors to complete a Leaders at Work project and apply for the 2009 J.W. Gaebe Entrepreneurial Scholarship, worth up to $20,000 for programs in Business, Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Technology. There are four (4) scholarships available.

More information is available on the Scholarship Applications page at

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2009. I hope it will be full of exciting adventures and good memories. Many of you will be closing out the first semester in a couple of weeks. Some have already finished are beginning the second half of the school year now. This is a perfect time to think about additional recruitment activities.

Membership recruitment should happen all year round. You may have new faces in your classrooms or new students in your school system. This is a great time to include students in FCCLA activities so new members can be prepared to jump in next fall. Maybe you already have a great spring recruitment plan. If so, share your idea in the comments section. If not, use the Be Part of It! kit with your current members and officers to develop a plan for expanding your chapter