Child and Family Studies Program


About the Department

The Department of Child and Family Studies Program promotes those educational experiences which lead to the enrichment of individual and family life. This approach to learning seeks to integrate conceptual knowledge of the family as a societal unit with those educational concepts from the natural sciences, social sciences, business and other related disciplines. Within an applied context of learning, broad explorations are made regarding the needs of the family as a system, emphasizing inter-and intra-communication of individuals and families; interaction with their near environment; and interrelatedness of the family with other societal systems. The department is committed to the preparation of graduates who wish to emphasize service and effective resource management for the enhancement of family well-being.

The department offers a B.A. degree in Child and Family Studies, with a choice selected from four areas of concentration: Child Development, Family Studies, Nutrition and Foods Studies. In addition, the program offers supportive instruction for majors in Education, Nursing and Women’s Studies, and other academic programs.

Students majoring in programs within the department are afforded various opportunities to diversify and enrich their studies. All students are encouraged to pursue additional learning opportunities through internships, independent or directed studies, and through the labor program. Other avenues for professional growth and development may be sought by participation in student organizations within the department.

The Child and Family Studies Program offers instruction in a variety of on-campus facilities. The Emery Building houses faculty offices, classrooms, laboratories for foods, human environments/design, and other areas, and a specialized library.The Harrison-Mclain Home Management House is utilized for the family resource management practicum and serves as an upper level female residence hall for selected programmatic majors. The Child Development Laboratory, located at the Ecovillage, offers settings for observations and interaction with children from infancy through preschool age.

In order that each CFS major gains an insightful and holistic perspective of the family as a societal unit, a core curriculum of six (6) courses is required to provide a common body of knowledge central to understanding the needs of the family, along with acknowledging potential strengths and contributions provided by the family. These courses include: Lifespan Human Development, Consumer Decision Making, Fundamentals of Nutrition, Family Relations, Family Resource Management (includes the Home Management House as a laboratory component) and Senior Seminar (includes an overview of the history and philosophy of the profession areas, and each student conducting and reporting on an individual research project). In addition to completing the core course requirement and specified courses within the area of concentration, each student must satisfy programmatic standards for effectiveness in written and oral communication.

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