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Family & Community Services Think, Value, Communicate, & Lead Faculty Learning Community. Faculty Learning Community Members

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Family & Community Services Think, Value, Communicate, & Lead Faculty Learning Community

Faculty Learning Community Members

Front row from left to right: Elizabeth Carroll, JD – Associate Professor of Child Development & Family Relations (CDFR); Sharon Ballard, PhD – Interim Chair of CDFR; Alan Taylor, PhD – Assistant Professor of CDFR

Back row from left to right: Bryce Jorgensen, PhD – Assistant Professor of CDFR; DeAnna Coughlin, MS – Teaching Instructor of CDFR; Eboni Baugh, PhD – Assistant Professor of CDFR; Emily Bollinger, MS – Teaching Instructor of CDFR

  • Accomplishments
  • The FCS TVCL Faculty Learning Group began with the fundamental question: “What do we want an FCS graduate of East Carolina University (ECU) to look like?”
  • The CREW:
  • Brainstormed the desired attributes of an FCS graduate
  • Were guided by criteria from several organizations including:
    • National Council of Family Relations Certified Family Life Educator content
    • American Association of Family Community Services core body of knowledge
  • Developed a core learning matrix that included:
    • THINK (content knowledge and skills), VALUE (core values necessary in FCS), COMMUNICATE (communication skills), and LEAD (necessary leadership skills and experience).
    • Four operationalized levels of competency: introduction, reinforcement, application, and proficient.
  • Completed mapping two courses to the matrix:
    • CDFR 1103: Marriage and Family Relations
    • CDFR 2280: Introduction to Child, Family, and Community Services
  • Reevaluated and made changes to the matrix that were necessary before going in depth with the next courses
  • Revised the evaluation that FCS internship site supervisors complete on all FCS interns so that it aligns with TVCL.
  • Made revisions to the matrix based on external input from:
    • Spring 2013 CDFR 4366 student input from a building block activity
  • This project aligns with the UDL by developing self-assessment and reflection.

Formative Evaluation

Spring 2013 CDFR 4366 students were given Duplos to build an image of what they thought an FCS graduate should look like. The students reflected on their own competencies within FCS and aligned their competencies with proficiency levels on the FCS TVCL matrix. Using the matrix to evaluate themselves during the activity empowered the students in their own learning and allowed students to make curricular connections to the whole profession.

FCS students designed & constructed bulletin boards centered around one of the four core competencies: Think, Value, Communicate, & Lead.


In response to the question “what do we want an Family Community Services (FCS) graduate to look like?”, we developed a Think, Value, Communicate, & Lead (TVCL) matrix specific for the FCS major at ECU. We mapped two Child Development and Family Relations (CDFR) courses to our matrix. We also completed a class activity where students reflected on themselves using the FCS TVCL matrix. We plan to map more CDFR courses and use student self-assessment at various stages throughout the curriculum to research the effectiveness of the FCS curriculum to prepare FCS majors with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful FCS professionals.

Background Information

Child Development and Family Relations (CDFR) is a department within the College of Human Ecology (CHE) that houses four undergraduate and five graduate programs. As one of the pilot program areas with the Title III grant, an initial Think, Value, Communicate, & Lead learning matrix was constructed that encompassed all four undergraduate majors. This initial matrix was shared with the CDFR faculty and received a positive response. However, when FCS, one of the programs within CDFR started to apply the matrix, it was determined that it might be more effective to develop a program specific matrix. A CREW was formed with College STAR composed of seven faculty members of the CHE at ECU.


The matrix and input allowed FCS TVCL CREW faculty to identify gaps in the program and unnecessary overlap in course content. The process of engaging with the matrix has had the additive effect of stimulating substantive discussions, within FCS faculty, related to what students should learn and what information and methods are necessary to get them to that point. These discussions and the mapping process are leading to revisions of teaching and learning strategies and the development of assessment strategies to improve undergraduate student learning.


National Council on Family Relations. (2013). Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) Standards & Criteria (1st ed.). Minneapolis, MN: National Council on Family Relations.

American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences Council for Accreditation. (2010). Accreditation Documents for Undergraduate Programs in Family and Consumer Sciences (2010 ed.). Alexandria, VA: American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences Council for Accreditation.

Next Steps

Currently the CREW is working on mapping CDFR 3290 (Theory and Practice in Family Community Services) and CDFR 4313 (Trends and Issues in Family Studies). Next, they will continue to map more courses within the program and discuss how infant-toddler specialist requirements are reflected in the matrix. Also beginning next fall semester, the CREW plans to collect data from students mapping themselves at the beginning of CDFR 2280, at the end of CDFR 4410 (Professional Seminar), and at the end of the internship. A manuscript will result from this data collection.