Department of Family Studies & Community Development
The family is the fundamental unit in contemporary society. Family science is a discipline
grounded in research that enhances knowledge and understanding of the family. Healthy
family functioning strengthens individuals, groups, and society.
Our undergraduate and graduate programs foster a multidisciplinary and multicultural
understanding of families, communities, and service systems throughout the lifespan.
Through coursework and experiential learning opportunities, our students study individual
and family development, dynamics within families, action-oriented and policy-relevant
research, and the interactions between families and society. We encourage civic responsibility
and professional development through required community engagement opportunities that
broaden our students' communication and critical thinking skills.
The department is affiliated with the National Council on Family Relations, the only national program to certify family life educators. After completing required
coursework, family and human services undergraduate students may apply for provisional
certification as family life educators. Full certification may be obtained as soon
as students document sufficient work experience in family life education.
The Certified Child Life Specialist credential, issued by the Child Life Council, is the exclusive certification for the profession. The Introduction to Child Life
Track in the family and human services major prepares students for certification and
careers as child life specialists.
Beyond the Classroom
Family and human services students are required to participate in service learning
and internship courses. FMST 387 Community Services for Families offers group-based
experiential learning in the area of program development. Students work in small groups
in the community for 30 to 60 hours while learning new skills and theories in the
classroom. Internships are individually-based experiential learning courses that require
a combination of classroom and field-based hours. Student internships include a minimum
of 120 field-based hours. Specific sites are selected from over 75 approved sites.
Approximate annual number of family and human services students we place in the field.
About half of the fieldwork experiences are in the Community Services for Families
course and the other half are in the Internship and Advanced Internships courses.
Number of students who completed either the family and human services or family science
capstone course in the past year
Number of students who have attended our annual Disability Awareness Workshop since
its inception in 2007