Family and Child Life (B.S.)
The Family and Child Life Major emphasizes skills in interpersonal communication, oral presentation, leadership, problem solving, and conflict resolution. Students choose to specialize in either Family Science, Child Life, or Child Development.
Family Science is the interdisciplinary study of what makes families successful. We focus on understanding the dynamics of families in a changing society, as well as the impact that family interaction has on individual development and success. Family Science emphasizes a systems perspective in helping families stay together and build strong and happy relationships. Graduates are prepared to work in community social service agencies, to provide family life education, or to pursue graduate school in family science, social work, marriage and family therapy, or other related fields.
Students in the Child Life specialization learn skills to work with children and their families in diverse settings, and particularly in times of crisis. Graduates of the child life specialization are also prepared to pursue child life graduate studies, internships, and certification as Certified Child Life Specialists. Child Life Specialists are child development experts who help children and families cope during hospitalization. They promote coping through play, self-expression activities, and medical preparation. Students in the child life specialization are also prepared to work with children outside of the hospital context or to pursue graduate school in social work, marriage and family therapy, or related fields.
Students in the Child Development program will apply child development theory to the practice of helping children from birth through adolescence in diverse settings, including child welfare and social service organizations. Child Development students take several applied skills courses taught by clinicians. In these courses, students develop therapeutic skills and are well-prepared to work with children and families in many settings following graduation.