Higher Education Program Viability

Vol. 17, No. 2
ISSN: 1546-2676

Guest Editor:

Richard Tuveson

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Kappa Omicron Nu FORUM
, Vol. 17, No. 2. 
1546-2676. Editor: Dorothy I. Mitstifer. Official publication of Kappa Omicron Nu National Honor Society. Member,
Association of College Honor Societies. Copyright © 2007. Kappa Omicron Nu FORUM is a refereed, semi-annual publication serving the profession of family and consumer sciences. The opinions expressed by the authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of the society. Further information: Kappa Omicron Nu, PO Box 798, Okemos, MI 48805-0798. Telephone: (727) 940-2658 ext. 2003

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From the Editor:

This study of professional competency domains raises more questions than it answers. Certainly the authors have provided an important service in showing the confusion in communicating within and across countries about competence and competencies in the profession of home economics/family and consumer sciences. Let’s hope this study creates a clamor for dialogue among practitioners, higher education programs, and organizations.

I agree with Hager (1993) that one way to increase clarity is to identify general key professional tasks (knowledge, abilities, skills, and attitudes) to describe the intentional actions of professionals. When the attributes (characteristics or qualities of individuals) required for competent performance are combined with key tasks, the result produces a holistic description of practice. This approach will provide a clear statement of what is considered important in competent performance in the profession, thus providing common ground for providers of professional education and the profession to establish a cooperative environment for discussing the totality of professional practice. In addition, an agreement on the language and process of development of professional competency domains would do much to provide a platform for professionals across countries to collaborate in the professional practice of enabling individuals and families to improve their quality of living—and a better world.

Dorothy I. Mitstifer

Hager, P. J. (1993). Conceptions of competence. In A. Thompson (Ed.), Philosophy of Education Yearbook. Retrieved August 13, 2007, from


Table of Contents

Analysis to Determine Canadian, American, and Australian Agreement about Home Economics/Family and Consumer Sciences Professional Competency Domains

Sue L.T. McGregor, Anne J. MacCleave


Despite several initiatives over the past decade, there is no widely recognized conceptual framework for family and consumer sciences (FCS) professional competency. Results are shared from a content analysis of seven Western documents depicting current thinking about competency domains to guide professional practice (Canadian, American, and Australian). Although 37 competency domains were identified, there was only a 22% agreement. It was found that different competencies were deemed salient in the early 2000’s, compared with those from the 1990s. Low levels of agreement on competency domains were also evident within and between countries. These analyses led to a wide range of recommendations for future efforts to generate agreement on the intellectual core that sustains professional practice.



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