Open Access Webinars - Work Based Learning in FCS

Work-Based Learning in FCS: Planning for High Quality Opportunities in 2020 and Beyond

About the Session

Career and Technical Education can act as a gateway for students to enter into authentic learning environments, not only in the classroom but also through work-based learning experiences. Students taking Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) courses have the opportunity to be exposed to potentially hundreds of careers within its program pathways. Perkins V legislation has also put emphasis on these real-world experiences for students in all CTE programs.

In this session, participants will learn about the use of Individual Career and Academic Plans (ICAP) to provide students with holistic opportunities that engage them in career exploration and development. Presenters will share a variety of ways to engage your students in and out of the classroom, including various methods to provide virtual work-based learning opportunities.  Examples and resources will be provided for participants.


Participants will be able to

  1. Understand the role of authentic work-based learning experiences. 
  2. Utilize Individual Career and Academic Plans (ICAP) to implement work-based learning in the FCS classroom
  3. Explain rules and regulations related to legal and safety issues when placing students in WBL experiences
  4. Identify the various types of virtual WBL opportunities available in FCS
  5. Discuss how virtual WBL opportunities address several common barriers for participation

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Work Based Learning in FCS

About the Presenter(s)

Katy-Blatnick-Gagne, Ed.D
Career & Technical Education Program Consultant
Iowa Department of Education

Dr. Katy Blatnick-Gagné is a product of CTE, starting her career as a high school student and state officer for the FHA/HERO (now FCCLA) student organization. After graduating from Colorado State University with an FCS degree, she taught in several high schools in Colorado and worked at the Colorado Community College System as the FCS Program Director overseeing middle school, high school and postsecondary programming. She received her doctorate in educational technology in 2017 and became the Director of the FCS Curriculum Center at Texas Tech University and a member of the Family and Consumer Sciences Education faculty team. In February 2019, she joined the Bureau of Career and Technical Education at the Department of Education in Iowa. Katy has spent time working on Perkins V initiatives such as middle school programming, CTSOs, and the Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment (CLNA) and oversees the FCS programming in the state. She has spent countless hours serving in leadership positions on several CTE professional organizations, has presented a variety of workshops/webinars and worked on enhancing teacher professional development opportunities for educators. Over the past 21 years, her dedication to CTE has become evident in the work she has done to improve CTE for students and educators.

Cindy Miller, Ph.D.,  CFCS, CPFFE
Assistant Professor of FCS Education
Texas Tech University 

Cynthia (Cindy) Miller is an Assistant Professor of Family and Consumer Sciences Education in the College of Human Sciences at Texas Tech University. Prior to coming to Texas Tech, she was an Assistant Professor for Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Coordinator of the Bachelor of Applied Arts & Sciences degree program at Eastern New Mexico University for three and half years. She was also a former CTE administrator for two West Texas school districts for 13 years and before then was a secondary education teacher for 11 years in Lubbock. She received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Education in Secondary Education, and her Ph.D. in Family and Consumer Sciences Education from Texas Tech University.  Cindy served as President, Past President, and Board of Director At-Large (2017-2020) for the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS), and nationally certified in Family & Consumer Sciences and as a Personal Family & Finance Educator by AAFCS. She is also a member of the LeadFCSEd, the Texas Affiliate of AAFCS, and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). 


Kristy Volesky
Business and Marketing Program Consultant
Iowa Department of Education

Kristy Volesky joined the Iowa Department of Education as a business and marketing program consultant, which also includes working with the Iowa Intermediary Network and Iowa work-based learning programs. Prior to joining the IDOE, Kristy was a high school business educator for 16 years in Iowa, including a brief program abroad with The American International School of Egypt. The last 11 years were spent teaching business and computer courses while overseeing and expanding the high school internship program at Johnston High School. Kristy is a proud Iowan and graduated from Collins-Maxwell High School before earning a bachelor’s degree in business education and then a master’s degree in organizational leadership from St. Ambrose University.