Western Michigan University

Department of Family & Consumer Sciences
CFLE Approved
Last Updated

The department's mission is to provide integrative educational programs and conduct research focused on reciprocal relationships among individuals, families, and their near environment toward the goal of improving the quality of life within a dynamic world community.

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Dr. Gary Bischof
Department Emphasis
  • 65% Child and Family Development
  • 35% Family Studies
Campus Enrollment
24,000
Program Options
  • Undergraduate
  • Master’s
Areas of Study
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Undergraduate
  • Family Science/Studies - Master's
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
Department Address

1903 W. Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-3899
United States

Phone Number
269-387-3704
Undergraduate Program
Undergrad Program Options
  • Child and Family Development
  • Family Studies
Undergrad Courses Offered
  • Introduction to Family Science
  • Lifespan Development
  • Principles of Research in Family Science
  • Family Resource Management
  • Human Sexuality
  • Infant/Toddler Development
  • Child Development
  • Adolescent Development
  • Later-Life Family Relationships
  • Personal Nutrition
  • Global Ecology of the Family
  • Diverse Children, Families & Communities
  • Intimate Relationships
  • Crises and Resiliency in Families
  • Effective Parenting
  • Raising Children in Contemporary Society
  • Family Policy
  • Elective Topics in FCS
  • Administration of Programs for Young Children
  • Early Childhood Assessment and Curricula
  • Teaching Family Life Education
  • Field Experiences and Internships
Undergrad Accreditations/Approval
CFLE
Undergrad Comments

For students who desire dynamic careers in serving children, youth, adults, and families, the Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) department at Western Michigan University offers two unique degrees that focus on the needs of children and families within the context of their communities. Family Studies and Child & Family Development majors are designed to provide a comprehensive educational curriculum taught from an ecological perspective. The program features a multicultural perspective that helps families and individuals interface with a diverse and changing global community. Students explore relationships among individuals and families and their environment and culture with the goal of improving quality of life within communities and society at large.  Both majors have access to the Accelerated Graduate Degree Program in which qualifying students may earn up to 12 graduate credits during their final semesters as an undergraduate student.Courses are offered in person, and most courses are also offered online or in hybrid formats. In a new initiative, students can complete the majority of their coursework online while coming to campus for two multi-day unique learning and networking experiences. This format provides students with the flexibility to complete their degree from anywhere in the world.

Graduate Program
Graduate Director
Dr. Karen Blaisure
Graduate Courses Offered
  • Gender, Culture & Families
  • Consumer Education
  • Human Sexuality
  • Family Life Education
  • Adult/Child Interaction
  • Family Law, Ethics, & Professional Issues
  • Studies in Family Relationships
  • Introduction to Basic Research Design & Methods
  • Interpersonal Techniques for Working with Families
  • Practicum
  • Independent Research
  • Masters Thesis (optional)
Graduate Accreditations/Approval
CFLE
Master's Level
Masters Program Options
  • Family Life Education
Masters Comments

The MA in Family & Consumer Sciences (with options in Child Life and in Family Life Education) is offered on the main campus in Kalamazoo and in Grand Rapids. Selected courses are offered on line, including nine credit hours of course work in Kinship Care Families. Certificate programs are available in Holistic Health, Non-profit Administration, and Specialty Program in Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

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.

Note: Those who entered the Child & Family Development and Family Studies programs after fall 2015 should use the 2015 checklist. Those who entered the programs prior to fall 2015 may have to use both the 2011 & 2015 checklists to cover all course requirements.

Program Approved Since
January 2010 (CFS), November 1998 (FS-BS, FCS-MA)
CFLE Contact
Bryce Dickey, MS, CFLE; Karen Blaisure, Ph.D., CFLE
CFLE Contact Email