The B.A. in Family Studies focuses on the development of individual, couple, and family wellness across the lifespan. Hence, particular attention will be given to the interactions among individuals, families, communities, and cultures. The program is designed to prepare students for (a) professional careers in a variety of human service areas, including but not limited to, child and family services, community mental health, consumer affairs, county and state extension, family life and parent education, and gerontology services; (b) leadership roles in church, school, and community; (c) effective functioning within families; and (d) graduate education.
Students majoring in family studies will take a series of courses that provide a foundation for understanding the complex issues related to the family. The family studies curriculum will cover the family life cycle, family stress and coping, family financial management, human development from infancy through late adulthood, marital and family interaction, parenting, issues related to gender and ethnicity, human sexuality, theoretical frameworks for studying families, and the relationship between the family and other social systems. In addition, courses in community and family services, family intervention, family ministry, research methods, and statistics will provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to meet their academic and professional goals. Finally, each student majoring in family studies will participate in an off-campus practicum designed to facilitate professional growth and development.
Graduates of the family studies program will have met all the standards and criteria needed for Provisional Certification as a Family Life Educator, a designation granted by the National Council on Family Relations. Certification will increase a graduate's credibility as a family life educator and thus will expand his or her employment opportunities. Currently, the minimum requirements for becoming a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) include a baccalaureate degree and two years' experience in family life education if the degree is in family-related field or five years experience if the degree is in a non-related field.
Graduates with a degree in family studies may find employment in the following areas:
- Child-care professions
- Extension service
- Hospital child life specialist
- Family life education
- Youth & family ministry
- Children's ministry
- Gerontology services
- Children's Protective Services
- Family Service Agencies
- Adult Protective Services
- Women's Protective Services
- Nursing home service
- Treatment of addictive disorders
Graduates with a degree in family studies may pursue graduate work in the following areas:
- Family Studies
- Marriage and Family Therapy
- Human Development
- Consumer Science
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