School of Home Economics

Posted on July 27, 2017

In 1917, the United States Congress passed the Smith-Hughes National Vocational Education Act, which, in part, created funding for vocational education in agriculture, home economics, trades and teacher training. This act led directly to the founding of the Department of Home Economics at the State Normal and Industrial College (later the University of North Carolina at Greensboro). The first bachelor’s degree in Home Economics was awarded in 1922. By that time the college had become The North Carolina College for Women. During the 1930s, the Department of Home Economics grew and greatly expanded advanced training in home economics. In 1949, the Department of Home Economics was designated as the School of Home Economics. In 1960, the doctoral program in home economics became the first doctoral program offered at the Woman’s College, and between 1960 and 1966, PhD programs were approved in all home economics subject areas offered. By 1972, the School of Home Economics was comprised of five divisions: 1) Child Development and Family Relations, 2) Clothing and Textiles, 3) Foods and Nutrition, 4) Home Economics Education, and 5) Housing and Management, which changed to Interior Design, Housing and Management in 1973. In addition, the School administered several special facilities, including the Carter Child Care Center, the UNCG Nursery, a Home Management House, and a Food Service Management Laboratory. Over the course of the 1980s, many of the departments in the School would merge, divide, and change names. By 1986, only two special facilities would remain, the Child Care Education Center and the Carter Research Center. In 1987, the existing five departments of the School of Home Economics merged with the Department of Social Work to form the School of Human Environmental Sciences.

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