A capstone course is a culminating experience during which students integrate and synthesize the knowledge they have gained through their course work and community experiences.
The Family and Human Service Capstone: Methods in Family Life Education, FMST 490, is the culminating experience for students majoring in family and human services and is taken during the final undergraduate semester. In this course, students integrate and synthesize the knowledge and community experiences they have acquired as family and human services majors.
There are several assignments that are incorporated into this four credit course. The assignments include a final exam and a research paper that is used to develop and lead a 75 minute family life education (FLE) program. Portions of the capstone course simulate a lab during which each student individually presents his/her FLE program to classmates. Each presentation requires incorporating the family life education methodology.
In this course, students are expected to demonstrate competency in the three department learning outcomes.
Family life education focuses on healthy family functioning within a family systems perspective and provides a primarily preventive approach. The goal of family life education is to provide skills that allow individuals and families to function optimally. Family life educators believe that societal problems such as substance abuse, domestic violence, unemployment, debt, and child abuse can be more effectively addressed from a perspective that considers the individual and family as part of larger systems.
Assignments in this course are based on one or more of the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) ten family life education content areas. Each content area is the focus of one or more courses required to complete the family and human services major. The ten vital areas of family life education are: Families and Individuals in Societal Contexts, Internal Dynamics of Families, Human Growth and Development across the Lifespan, Human Sexuality, Interpersonal Relationships, Family Resource Management, Parent Education and Guidance, Family Law and Public Policy, Professional Ethics and Practice, and Family Life Education Methodology.
Family life educators use many methods and settings to provide training to people who want to be more effective family members. Family life education professionals consider societal issues, including economics, education, work-family issues, parenting, sexuality, and gender, within the context of the family.
Capstone experiences, while demanding, are linked to student success. This course has different instructors but was developed by the department, so requirements and objectives are consistent.