What is meant by CA FCCLA being an “integral” part of the Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) instructional program?

Integral to instruction means that FCCLA is a teaching strategy that reinforces classroom learning. The planned activities, leadership opportunities, and competitive events extend and enrich the curriculum. 

What is meant by integrating CA FCCLA into the classroom?

This means that the FCCLA  activities (including STAR Events) take place during class time as a part of the instructional program, rather than operating outside of class time.

How should I start integrating FCCLA into the classroom?

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 CA FCCLA?” using the lesson plans based upon the STAR Competitive Events Guide 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.

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

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 would be involved and participate. An alternative would be to affiliate only those students eager to participate in CA FCCLA activities, meetings, conferences, and compete in the STAR events while others work on individual assignments or independent projects.

What do I do with those students who don’t want to participate?

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 FCCLA co-curricular projects and activities. The Career Technical Education Model Curriculum Standards reference CTSO leadership and teamwork must be taught in the curriculum.

Can students be required to join?

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 FCCLA activities are considered learning experiences.  Students who are affiliated and on the chapter roster are considered active members; those 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 Students Taking Action with Recognition (STAR) 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.
Is there a minimum requirement for students to become members?

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

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

These are several suggestions which advisors have found successful:

  • Plan a chapter fundraiser and affiliate the students who worked on the project.
  • 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.
  • Permit only those members who have participated in fundraisers aimed at paying chapter affiliation fees to have pictures taken for the school yearbook.
Are sixth, seventh, and eighth graders allowed to have CA FCCLA as part of the classroom instruction and to be members?

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

Do middle-grade chapters pay the same affiliation fees as high school chapters do?

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

How do students who are not currently enrolled in an FCS class but still want to belong to CA FCCLA participate in the planned activities?

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. Advisors can also schedule meetings during a school advisory period if available.   Another 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 an FCS course or be enrolled in an FCS course.

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

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

Melissa Webb
Education Programs Consultant & State FCCLA Advisor
Career and College Transition Division, Agriculture Education and Family and Consumer Sciences Unit
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 4202, Sacramento, CA. 95814
Phone: (916) 319-0773

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

What officers would the chapter have?

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 the 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.

How often does the chapter meet?

This varies upon the school situations, interests, and needs of the members.  Some chapters meet weekly, others twice a month. The Chapter Executive Council should meet a minimum of twice a month as well.

Would you have a CA FCCLA meeting in every class of FCS each week?

That is one approach. Another might be to have all the FCS 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 retain student interest and enthusiasm.

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

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.

How would you coordinate the activities of all those chapters?

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, activities, and chapter meetings.

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

By relating CA FCCLA chapter activities to classroom instruction student learning is reinforced.  For example, when the students are studying nutrition, a CA FCCLA project might be teaching nutrition to elementary students or making a survey of food selection habits of students in the cafeteria. This suggested activity could develop into the competitive event, Focus on Children.

How can I find the time to do both CA FCCLA and FCS content?

As an integral part of the instructional program, CA FCCLA chapter activities are based on the FCS 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 more realistic and relevant to them.

Will having CA FCCLA as an integral part of FCS reduce enrollment?

If CA FCCLA membership remains voluntary, there shouldn’t be any adverse effect on enrollment. If we can make CA FCCLA activities interesting, fun, and worthwhile enough, students will enroll in FCS to be able to join CA FCCLA.

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

If students are really allowed to plan and participate in CA 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.

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

Yes, a limited number do. Those who receive extra pay have developed:

  • A job description for their duties.
  • Specific program objectives for CA FCCLA in the district plan; and
  • A chapter that operates as an integral part of the Family and Consumer Sciences curriculum.
Is there an example of a job description for an advisor that could be used as a guide?

The following job description can be used as a guide:

  • Organize and manage a CA FCCLA chapter which is affiliated with the State Association and National Organization and integral to the FCS curriculum.
  • Coordinate chapter activities, which include experience for members in the areas of personal growth; leadership development; competition recognition events; career exploration and development; social, recreational, and fundraising; and community outreach.
  • Maintain documentation of expenditures of federal career technical education amendments funds, if applicable, for CA FCCLA leadership activities and affiliation in the district’s accountability file.
  • Maintain an ongoing public relations program for CA FCCLA and the FCS department.
  • Attend and chaperone attendance of members at local, regional, state, and national activities.
  • Attend and participate in professional development activities focusing on CA FCCLA.
  • Maintain a file of regional, state, and national correspondence and communiqués.
  • Assist chapter officers in planning, coordinating, and conducting an annual program of work based upon State Project Goals.
  • Assist the chapter treasurer to develop a budget and maintain accountable financial records.
  • Develop a chapter leadership training program for both officers and members.
  • Provide chapter officers and members with information pertaining to the region, state, and national levels of the organization.
  • Provide school and district administrators with information on all CA FFCLA activities.
  • Work with students to make a presentation annually to the school board.
  • Coordinate involvement of all instructions within the FCS department in CA FCCLA activities.
  • Provide information on goals, purposes, and relationship of CA FCCLA to the FCS curriculum.
  • Coordinate the involvement of chapter members in the district, county, and/or vocational fairs.
How can I convince my administrator that CA FCCLA should operate as an integral part of the instructional program and not as “another club” on campus?

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

  • When CA FCCLA operates as an integral part of instruction, federal vocational funds (P.L. 101-392, Carl D. Perkins Vocation and Applied Technology Education Act funds) may be expended for CA FCCLA activities, programs, services, and instructional materials and supplies.  For a list of appropriate expenditures, check with the FCS staff member that serves your area.
  • Only credentialed FCS teachers may serve as chapter advisors.
  • CA FCCLA activities are based on the FCS instructional program and, as such, expand and enrich classroom learning.
  • CA FCCLA activities are designed to assist students achieve competence in the Family and Consumer Sciences State Standards for transferable and employability skills, as well as content areas.
  • CA FCCLA activities are designed to assist students develop personal, leadership, and career skills for the home and community living and for the world of work.
  • 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 the career-technical education.
  • Chapter activities focus on personal growth; leadership development; competitive recognition events, career exploration and development; community outreach; and social, recreation, and fundraising.
Can local FCS clubs that are not affiliated with the State Association and National Organization use the name CA FCCLA?


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

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.

How can I get my school involved with CA FCCLA?

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

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

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.

What do schools/chapters receive when they first affiliate?

Upon affiliating for the first time, chapters receive a complimentary CA FCCLA Chapter Guide. Each year, every chapter receives a new set of Chapter Officer pins, access to all state and national resources, FCCLA National Membership Kit, and other pertinent information.