Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Adviser Academy: A Graduate's Perspective

Contributed by Jenny Demczyk, Adviser, Ohio

My experience in the FCCLA Adviser Academy was a rewarding one. Not only did I network and make friends with many advisers from across the country (many of which I see at national FCCLA events), but I also learned many skills to help my FCCLA chapter succeed at school and in the community.  By completing the activities in the program, I was challenged to put into action my job and responsibilities as an adviser for my students. Actually building a program of work, filling out a national award application, and working with the other adviser academy candidate from my state helped me to become a more well-rounded adviser and teacher. 

Attending national events for the first time through adviser academy helped me to see the meaning behind the steps in the program, and helped me to get a birds eye view of the organization without the responsibility of chaperoning students. I attended my first national conference by myself for adviser academy, and fortunately had a great state adviser (Paulette Farago) that let me tag along with her and her state officers.  By looking at what the state officers accomplished at national events, I was able to see that I too, could actively pursue a job at the state level.

The year I graduated from the adviser academy, I had a student interested in running for state office, so I took the next step to support a student with this wonderful organization.  I also seen an improvement in my class numbers, FCCLA membership numbers (up 15 students in membership from the year before), and noticed that I was less stressed after acquiring the skills learned in Adviser Academy. Overall, it was a rewarding experience and really helped me to grow professionally.

Friday, March 25, 2011

New Information About FCCLA Lesson Plans

The Lesson Plans and Activities webpage is now only accessible to affiliated chapters. To obtain the login information, please email  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Other CTSO: Connecting Teachers and Students to Operate

Contributed by Allison Kreifels, National Consultant Team, 

For most of us, in just a few short weeks we will be sending our students out for another summer.  Even though we’re teachers, I don’t think you can find another teacher, especially a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher who really believes they have the summer “off”.  Summer is filled with National Leadership Conference, cleaning up from this year, and preparing for another year.

Most likely, part of that preparation is getting a Program of Work started with your chapter leadership.  Now It is also the perfect time to connect with other Career and Technical Student Organizations.  We all know that FCCLA is one of the most dynamic student organizations but we also know that not every student is going to join FCCLA.  By connecting with other CTSOs we can encourage more students to get involved in larger activities, have a united front when it comes to the importance of CTE education, and get great ideas from each other.  Instead of seeing FBLA, FFA, or DECA as our enemy, we should see them as another resource to build our chapter by recruiting new members and involve our members in more activities.

Consider some of the following ideas to start you on the road to Connecting Teachers and Students to Operate:
·         Plan a back-to-school night for all CTSO members.  By diving the cost between multiple organizations you can save money and begin recruitment right there
·         Plan a “friendly” challenge during CTE week.  Challenge other CTSOs with fun games during CTE week.  For the extra creative, connect the games with something that each organization does.
·         Work together to knock a community service project out of the park.  Using the power of word-of-mouth and the power of sheer numbers can be valuable when you are trying to do a community service project.  Getting more than one organization involved during a Habitat for Humanity build or to help clean the highway can make a task more fun for students as they interact and will help you get more accomplished in less time.

Let’s team up with other CTSOs this year and get going!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Building an Advisory Board

Contributed by Lori Henry, National Executive Council Advisers, Minnesota

Advisory boards are so vital to Family and Consumer Sciences and our FCCLA chapters.  But how do you start or build a local advisory board?  
When I recruited members to serve on my local advisory board, I began with people I have connections and networks with already. The members who have served on my advisory board have been from our food service department at  my high school, local grocery manager that I do business with, parents of students in my classes, parents of FCCLA members, 1 administrator, 2 student members, county extension person, restaurant manager and community  youth service director.   I have found that a good number for an advisory board is about ten members, more than that it gets difficult to manage and may not be a productive as you need it to be.   They are asked to serve two years, except the student members, some of them have only served one year. 
When deciding how often to meet, I have found that two times a year is adequate.  Once you have your advisory board set up, connect with them and tell them why they are so important to your program.   The local advisory is important for many reasons:  
  • they help provide excellent feedback of your courses that you offer or may wish to offer 
  • they will look over curriculum and curriculum materials and provide input 
  • they provide valuable resources (material, networks and connections with other services, businesses, etc.) to enhance your program
  • they have current information in regards to the workforce and areas that relate to Family and Consumer Sciences that are helpful to share with your classes
  • they support your program and when you need a positive voice for what you have done or what you plan to do
  • they are there to support you in your efforts.   
The advisory board serves as your Family and Consumer Sciences foundation of support and your cheering partner.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Being Active in FCCLA

Contributed by Jean Clarke, National Executive Council Advisers, South Dakota

Becoming active in your state and region is one of the best personal and professional development steps an adviser—whether a “newbie” or “seasoned” adviser--can take. How do you become more involved in the organization beyond your local chapter? The first step is to find a mentor. This can be either a structured or an informal contact, but there are always advisers around that you look up to and can use role models. As a beginning teacher I admired a seasoned adviser who encouraged me to volunteer for this committee, go to that meeting, apply for this award—it seemed like she had an endless supply of activities she was sure were necessary for my professional growth and development! That encouragement and advice helped me look at the bigger picture of involvement in my state and region.

The second step to foster involvement is to set personal goals. Look at the positions and opportunities available to members at the state, region and national levels. Talk to state officer advisers and your state adviser. They all have connections and insight to help you find ways to help and become involved. Start small and choose one activity or position to get involved in or volunteer for each year. As you gain experience and confidence, you realize how you’ve grown and matured as an adviser.

One of the biggest benefits of FCCLA for advisers is the positive networking opportunities we have. Make use of those connections to search out ways to challenge yourself to become involved at all levels of our organization. It’s a great way to grow as a person and professional!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mentoring New Advisers in FCCLA

Contributed by Nicole Ruge, National Consultant Team, Georgia

What is a mentor?

If you think back to the path you have taken to get to this point with FCCLA, is there a person or a few people who were there for you along the way? A mentor is someone who is there to guide you, give advice, listen and encourage you.

As we close in on this year and look forward to next year, be on the look out for the new adviser who is in need of someone to take him/her under your wing. Perhaps you are one of those advisers who are looking for a mentor. Please contact your region, district or state advisers and, they will connect you with someone who can guide you along the way.

As an organization we need to stand together to keep FCCLA going strong! So, do you have what it takes?

House Passes H.R. 1, Action Shifts to Senate

On February 19, the House passed its FY 2011 appropriations bill, H.R. 1, by a vote of 235-189. The bill cuts the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act by $102.9 million by completely eliminating the Tech Prep program, and makes deep cuts to other education and workforce development programs as well. However, there is still hope for stopping these cuts!

The Senate is expected to begin working on the bill this week, and Senate leaders are in the process of developing their own funding proposal for the rest of the fiscal year. While the Senate proposal will contain spending cuts, the cuts will likely not be as deep as those proposed by the House in H.R. 1. Negotiations will then be required to work out differences between the House and Senate FY 2011 funding bills. Continued advocacy is needed to ensure the Senate bill does not include a cut to Perkins.
The debate around the short-term extension has the potential to cloud work on a year-long bill, but we must remain vigilant on the broader legislation. It is crucial that you continue to fight for a restoration of funds to Perkins! Although the process has moved to the Senate, the House will still be involved because both chambers have to agree on the final bill.  Please continue to contact your congressman.  Visit for more information about what you can do and encourage others to join your advocacy efforts!