Towson University

Department of Family Studies and Community Development
CFLE approved

About the Program

Last Updated: 
September 06, 2013

The Department of Family Studies and Community Development was founded on the belief that the family is the fundamental unit in contemporary society. Support of healthy family functioning strengthens individual, group, and societal functioning. The department offers the opportunity to study individual and family development, dynamics within families, and the interactions between families and society.

The department offers two undergraduate majors and one minor. Family and Human Services is an applied major that prepares students to be human service professionals. Students in this major choose among four different tracks: Humans Services, Services to Children and Youth, Introduction to Child Life, and Leadership in the Nonprofit Sector. Community participation is required in several core courses throughout the family and human services curriculum. The Family Science major emphasizes scholarship and research in the discipline. It focuses on the social and behavioral science foundation necessary for those working in family therapy, psychology, education, health and other human services. The family studies minor fits nicely for students who are interested in studying families along with their major focus of study, especially students in the health professions, liberal arts and education.

The academic coursework provides the foundation for graduate study in social, behavioral, and health sciences or for advanced professional training in counseling, psychology, social work, law, medicine, and the allied health professions, such as occupational therapy and physical therapy. The department offers the following graduate programs: Child Life, Administration and Family Collaboration (M.S.); Family-Professional Collaboration Post-Baccalaureate Certificate; Jewish Communal Service (M.A.) and Jewish Education (M.A.).

Program Overview

Program Administrator: 
Dr. Karen Goldrich Eskow (chair)
Department Emphasis: 
Area Percentage
  Human Services18%
  Services to Children and Youth48%
  Child Life19%
  Nonprofit Leadership3%
  Family Science12%
Campus Enrollment: 
Programs Options: 
Undergraduate, Master's

Undergraduate Program

Program Options: 
  • Family and Human Services Major

  • Human Services
  • Introduction to Child Life
  • Leadership in the Nonprofit Sector
  • Services to Children and Youth


  • Family Science Major
  • Family Studies Minor


Courses Offered: 

Introduction to Family Studies
Medical Terminology for Human Service Workers
Introduction to Child Life
Family Resources
Preparing Human Service Workers
Family Relationships
Theories of Family Functioning
Trends in Contemporary Family Life
Parent-Child Relationships Across the Lifespan
The Parenting Process*
Human Development*
Sexuality in a Diverse Society
The Hospitalized Child and Family
Introduction to Art Therapy
Fundamentals of Leadership in the Nonprofit Sector
Family Law
Community Services for Families
Internship in Family and Human Services
Services to Children and Youth
Writing and Research Methods in Family Studies
Senior Seminar
Advanced Internship in Family Studies and Community Development
Case Management
Fundraising, Friendraising, and Volunteer Management
Introduction to the Helping Relationship*
Intervention and the Young Child*
Small Group Dynamics*
Sociology of Death, Dying, and Bereavement*
Infant Intervention*
Advanced Internship in Family Studies and Community Development
*Required courses for some  tracks, but offered by other disciplines at Towson University


Majors in Family and Human Services complete 64 or 65 units of course work depending on the track of study. Students complete 43 units of required courses. For each track, they complete additional track-specific courses and electives. These requirements include a sequence of focused community courses including Preparing Human Service Workers, Community Services for Families, Internship and Senior Seminar. The units of internship requirements are specified by each track.

Majors in Family Science complete 24 units of required course work and 21 units of electives.

Graduate Program

Courses Offered: 

The Hospitalized Child and Family
Introduction to Art Therapy
Fundamentals of Leadership in the Nonprofit Sector
Applied Family Relationships
Family-Professional Collaboration
Applied Research Methods in Family Science
Project in Family-Focused Program Development
Medical Aspects of Illness: A Child Life Perspective
Thesis in Family Studies
Graduate Project in Family Studies
Advanced Internship
Transitions: Health Care Professions in a Changing Environment
Managing Health Care Professions
Administration of Health Care Organizations
Health Care Financial Management
Planning and Marketing Health in Business and Industry
Project in Family-Focused Program Development
Foundations of Jewish Education
From Vision to Practice in Jewish Education
Qualitative Research in Jewish Education
Curriculum Planning and Decision Making for the Jewish School
Exploration of Holocaust Education
Exploration of the History, Politics, and Culture of Israel
Moral Questions in the Classroom
Models and Methods of Teaching Jewish Holidays
Teaching Classical Jewish Texts
Teaching Classical Jewish Texts: A Developmental Approach
Teaching Classical Jewish Texts: A Literary Approach
Exploration of Holocaust Education
Teaching Internship
Strategic Management of Jewish Organizations
Theoretical and Practical Dimensions of Educational Administration
Leadership Theory and Practice
Internship in Educational Leadership
Biblical Literature and Civilization
Rabbinic History and Literature
The Jews in the Middle Ages
The Jews in the Modern World
Introduction to Jewish Thought and Mysticism
Diaspora Jewish Communities
American Judaism
Contemporary Jewish Ethics: Reshaping the Jewish Identity in Our Generation
The History and Dynamics of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
Teaching the History, Politics and Culture of Israel
Hebrew Language Instruction for Educators
Models and Methods of Teaching Law, Customs, and Practice  

Master's Level

Program Options: 
  • Child Life Administration and Family Collaboration (M.S.)
  • Jewish Communal Service (M.A.)
  • Jewish Education (M.A.)
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Family-Professional Collaboration

CFLE Information

NCFR recognizes schools offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs with course work that follows the Standards and Criteria required for approval as a Provisional Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE). NCFR approval allows the school to offer their graduates the opportunity to apply for Provisional Certification using the Abbreviated Application process. The CFLE Checklist represents the courses that meet the CFLE criteria at that school. Students must complete all the courses on a checklist in order to qualify to apply for the CFLE designation through the Abbreviated Application process.

Program Approved Since: 
February 2004
CFLE Contact
Karen Goldrich Eskow, Ph,D, CFLE


Faculty at Towson University