Higher Education

Readers, I know we’re right in the middle of a sewalong here, but my brain gets a flowing and the thoughts start a pumping and I get a little interested in your thoughts on sewing related topics. So here’s one for ya.

My husband and I have had long exhaustive (believe me when I say exhaustive) discussions on going back to school for one thing or another. Mr. S and I both have music degrees. We’re both great appreciators of the art and at one point or another it was all we ate, drank and slept. Times changed when we graduated and found that the job market doesn’t really cater to musicians (at least the kind we want to be) – as I’m sure it is with many other subjects taught in colleges and universities the world over. Needless to say, after a time when college was done, I found myself extremely unhappy with my lot. I was a trained musician and all I could get for a job was secretarial work. And so it goes.

Anyway, a year or two ago, I was rather taken with the idea of going back to school and getting a degree in Family and Consumer Science with an emphasis in sewing. Friends, I wanted to be a Home Ec teacher. Yup. I would still love that job. I would love to teach students at the high school level and have subjects such as tailoring, costuming, pattern drafting and fashion design taught. I would totally be one of those teachers that would get completely geeked out about adding more sewing intensive courses to the course catalog each year. I mean, I’m sure there’s more to it than that, but still, do ya get where I’m coming from?

So, I started looking around at my local universities and colleges to see where this program was offered and I hate to be the one to say it, but these programs are seriously dying out. Like there is but one university here in Utah in which you can get the FACS degree with an emphasis in sewing and to that university I cannot go because I’m not of a certain religious affiliation. Oh, there are other universities in the state of Utah that have the FACS degree, but they don’t even offer a single sewing course. That would be completely silly for someone like me who actually only wants the sewing part.

At the time I was so taken with this idea of going back to school, I did a national search to see where this particular degree was offered and let’s just say, this is a degree that is in seriously short supply these days. This makes me sad. Also makes me wonder, seriously wonder why this degree is starting to die out. What do you think? What’s going on in your neck of the woods and have you ever looked into getting this type of degree for yourself? Any home ec teachers out there – what do you think? What is the deal with colleges and universities getting rid of this program? What can we do about it? Anything?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Let’s discuss!


  • Lavender - I LOVE the sewing lessons I’ve taught the middle school kids. It has been fantastic. Of course, it’s volunteer work, and I do need to make a living. I didn’t even know these degrees existed, and it sounds like they don’t, for the most part. The rise in independent studios is a counterpoint, but they don’t really address kids, or if they do have kid’s classes, they’re probably too expensive for a lot of parents. That’s part of the whole argument that craft in general is kind of bougie at this point in history. Which drives me craaaazy! I’ve been mulling the idea of starting a non-profit that teaches children these skills.
    Lavender recently posted..Blueberry Rhubarb PiReplyCancel

  • Kristen - I took sewing, cooking, and childcare (last of which was taught by my mom!) in high school and later returned to high school to teach fashion production. I only taught for a year because then my husband and I married and moved to Pennsylvania. It was a fabulous year though that I will never forget. Even the students that are put into that class without a desire to sew find themselves having fun. I really look forward to someday returning to the classroom setting, and can only hope it hasn’t completely died out. These skills are so important to help students focus, provide a break from the books, and help them realise there are other options out there. Best of luck in your decision and search.ReplyCancel

  • Lara - I have only been sewing since October, but I have now been tasked with starting up a fashions program at my school. Needless to say, I am excited about it, but also very nervous. I am a music teacher by education (I originally wanted to be a professional musician, but… you know… :), so this will be a bit different to say the least. I did look at doing some professional development in this area, and thankfully my old University does have an ecology department dedicated to sewing. Unfortunately, I don’t think it will be worth my time right now to take it. It’ll be expensive and I’m not even sure I’d have all the prerequisites. For now, I am content with doing lots of self study at home. More fun, and a heck of a lot cheaper!ReplyCancel

  • melissa - Oh, I’m not sure if you’d even want to, but you can totally go to BYU if you aren’t Mormon (which I’m inferring is what you meant). I went there, and 3/4 of the time had non-Mormon roommates. But of course, there’s the issue of wanting to deal with the Mormonness all around you, which of course is the case. And I’m pretty sure you’d have to agree to follow BYU rules, which again, you may not want to do at this stage in your life! But the professors and classes are all top notch.ReplyCancel