Department of Consumer Sciences

The major in consumer sciences is the only major of its kind in Alabama and one of the few in the United States. This program offers two practical, application-oriented concentrations designed to prepare students to work successfully in leadership roles to empower consumers to make economic well-being a reality. Students in this dynamic, interactive curriculum become part of a growing discipline built on the understanding of consumer behavior and the motivations behind individual and family financial decision-making. Knowledge and skills acquired apply across many diverse career fields. The Consumer Sciences faculty has extensive distinguished careers in both private and public sector settings and maintains strong networking connections with industry leaders and employers.

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Programs

The consumer sciences curriculum allows students to select a concentration of courses in either consumer affairs or family financial planning and counseling, depending on the student's career goals. Each student will work with a department adviser to plan the appropriate courses.

The concentration in family financial planning and counseling has been registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. Students who successfully complete the concentration are eligible to sit for the CFP® Certification Examination that leads to the professional designation of Certified Financial Planner™, CFP® certificant.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the marks CFP®, Certified Financial Planner™ and CFP (with flame logo)®, which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification requirements. These marks are awarded to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements. The University of Alabama does not certify individuals to use the CFP®, Certified Financial Planner™ and CFP (with flame logo)® certification marks. CFP certification is granted only by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., to those persons who, in addition to completing an educational requirement such as this CFP Board Registered Program, have met ethics, experience and examination requirements. Ideally, the family financial planning and counseling concentration suits students interested in careers as family financial planners or counselors in financial planning firms, banks, insurance companies, investment companies and social services.

The consumer affairs concentration prepares students for careers as consumer specialists in government, business, industry, communication and community services.

Faculty

Dean
  • Boschung, Milla D.
Chair
  • Boschung, Milla D.
Professor
  • Wright, Kenneth E.
Associate Professor
  • McFadden, Anna
Assistant Professor
  • Choi, Shinae
  • Cook, Reuben
  • Fulmer, Caroline S.
  • Kim, Kyoung Tae
  • McGahey, Courtney L.
  • Pentecost, Eve
  • Reddoch, Kym
  • Wilmarth, Melissa
Instructor
  • McMath, Juanita
Professor Emerita
  • Abdel-Ghany, Mohamed
  • Brakefield, Jan L.
  • Hodge, William H.
  • Price, Barrie Jo

Courses

CSM
101
Hours
3
Introduction to Digital Tools

Students are expected to demonstrate basic proficiency in the word processing, presentation, and spreadsheet tools as well as other emerging productivity tool sets. Specific emphasis is placed on introducing skills and uses related to data storage applications, basic technology privacy and security issues, mobile device applications, social media, communications technology, and work-place applications. Students exit this class with a basic introduction to each topic and other emerging topics deemed relevant for today’s digital citizens, consumers, and professionals. Student may not receive credit for both CSM 101 and CS 102.

CSM
116
Hours
3
Quantitative Methods of Financ

This three-credit hour course is intended to develop mathematical fluency within the context of financial planning/literacy. It is broad in scope and content rather than specific to a particular discipline, is an introduction to the basic tools and techniques necessary for the development of a successful personal financial plan over one’s life span and emphasizes the use of mathematical techniques as a tool for analysis. CSM 116 includes topics such as real and nominal rates of return, probability, and algebra functions. An emphasis is placed on mathematical reasoning in solving financial problems. It uniquely serves as a course for students not intending to pursue further study in mathematics, science, or engineering, but for students who will be able to utilize mathematical tools to make sound financial decisions. Students will apply practical skills by setting and reaching financial goals as elements of an integrated system, manipulation of quantitative data, calculating future financial needs, and using mathematical induction formulas and tools to determine predictability of expected outcomes. The course commences with money management and credit use, progresses to investments, insurance, retirement planning, and culminates in wealth accumulation and estate planning as the basis for mathematical problem solving exercises. CSM 116 is designed to provide a foundation both for further study and for personal enrichment.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 100

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