Child, Adult, and Family Services Concentration
In this track, you prepare students to work with individuals and families in diverse settings, including human and social service agencies, and programs for children and adolescents, as well as young, mid-life and older adults. You will learn about the nature of individual and family interactions, family dynamics, how individuals within the family contribute to and are shaped by these dynamics, and how broad societal contexts (e.g., schools, peers, gender, poverty) influence individual development and family functioning. By studying varied developmental pathways, including those pathways characterized by stress and trauma, you will have the opportunity to acquire the professional skills necessary to work with individuals, couples and families in a broad range of human services settings.
Child Life and Pediatric Healthcare Settings
This concentration is for students seeking careers working with children and families in pediatric healthcare settings, including Ronald McDonald House, Make-a-Wish organizations and children’s hospitals. This concentration also prepares you to become a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS), as designated by the Child Life Council, the governing organization that oversees this profession. The CCLS helps normalize the hospitalization experience for children and families, and provides specific services that include preparations for medical procedures, coping skills for children during stressful healthcare experiences, support for siblings and parents, therapeutic medical play, planning and implementing activities to enhance growth and development, and interdisciplinary team involvement.
In addition to core courses in the Child and Family studies program, students in this concentration are required to take courses in biology, psychology, early childhood education and health. Students following the CCLS career path must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher in order to apply for the required child life practicums and internships. However, many other career options working with psychosocial issues for children and families navigating stressful healthcare experiences exist within this concentration (besides CCLS).
NOTE: By 2022, all individuals sitting for the CCLS certification exam must have a master’s degree in child life. We are currently transitioning our undergraduate program to focus on children and families in healthcare settings/pre-child life. We do offer a graduate degree in child life.
Family Gerontology Concentration
This concentration focuses on aging within the context of families, more specifically the implications, support needs and outcomes for adults and their family members as they age and the quality of their relationships across the life course. Child and family studies students who choose this concentration also will receive an undergraduate gerontology certificate to help them better prepare for careers advocating for and helping older adults and their family members. With this concentration, students typically seek employment working with mid to later life adults and their family members or pursue graduate work in such areas as marriage and family therapy, social work, human development and family studies, rehabilitation services, and public/community health.
For more information on the program requirements, view the course catalog.