Friday, August 8, 2008

PS 78-68: Human ecology education in the Department of Family and Child Ecology at Michigan State University

Robert J. Griffore and Lillian A. Phenice. Michigan State University

Background/Question/Methods The Michigan State University College of Human Ecology created and developed nationally and internationally prominent academic, research, and service programs for more than 100 years. When the College was eliminated, its programs were relocated in various forms. One department, the Department of Family and Child Ecology, was moved to the College of Social Science. This poster presentation in the form of an ecomap, captures the accomplishments and ecological reach of the Department of Family and Child Ecology at one point in time during its evolution and transition. How the department will manifest itself in this new context has yet to be determined. The ecomap is designed to show the ecological connections and collaborations of the department using a format of concentric circles and vectors. Concentric circles represent international, national, state, local and university ecological levels. Diagonal vectors show the functions of the department as they reach through the ecological levels. The functions include the composite accomplishments of instruction, outreach, research, and individual faculty accomplishments.

Results/Conclusions Examples of international connections of the department are depicted in the form of programs in Australia, Asia, Caribbean, Europe, and Africa. At the national level, there are examples of connections to a variety of professional associations and organizations as well as federal government department and agencies. At the state level there are examples of affiliations with state government, professional associations, schools districts, advisory councils, and other organizations. Within Michigan State University connections are shown to several colleges, research and outreach units, intramural funding units, and lifelong education functions. The functional diagonal vectors show on-campus instruction and distance learning; outreach to families, communities and local organizations; research in the areas of family, community, child development and youth development, and professional accomplishments of the faculty including professional roles and publications. These activities reflect a view of ecology as an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary science of human ecosystems; incorporating natural, social, and human constructed environments and grounded in positivism, hermeneutic, and critical science inquiry; seeking to describe, explain, and promote sustainable human development, wellness, effective human functioning, human betterment, and engaging in preparation of students to be effective decision makers and global citizens.