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The family relations and human development graduate program is committed to the study, generation and application of research on human development, and the influences of family dynamics on development across the life course. Students are expected to undertake a program of study that develops a broad and sophisticated understanding of normal and dysfunctional development and/or family functioning. The aim is to prepare scholars and professionals with a perspective that is not only multidisciplinary but that also integrates theory, research, and the application of knowledge for the enhancement of individual or family development. The faculty represents a variety of academic backgrounds and professional expertise encompassing human development, sociology, psychology, early childhood education, family relations, gerontology, social work, and couple and family therapy.

Areas of Study
  • Child or Adolescent Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Doctoral
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Master's
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Undergraduate
  • Family Science/Studies - Doctoral
  • Family Science/Studies - Master's
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Therapy (Couples, Marriage, or Family) - Master's
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Early Childhood

Earn two credentials in four years of full-time study: Honours Bachelor of Applied Science in Early Childhood & Diploma in Early Childhood Education

Our Early Childhood program focuses on the physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of young children from birth to eight years and their interaction with the world around them. You will learn how to engage children in learning, understand parent-child relations and assess a child's development. You gain the know-how to support children individually, as well as work with their families, schools and the community.

Your first two years look at children as individuals. In your first year, you are introduced to the areas, or "domains", of childhood development and key issues such as human behaviour in society, nutrition and safety. In your second year, you will learn the basics of child anatomy and physiology, how to create curricula, research and observation skills, and dynamics of relationships. The third and fourth years of the program expand your focus to children and the community. You will learn how to work with children with special needs, program administration, assessment and intervention, and leadership.

Industry Connections: You will complete more than 850 hours of workplace experience. Past placements include school classrooms, early learning centres, children's mental health centres, hospital pediatric units, and inclusive learning and therapeutic environments.

Opportunities: Know the why and how. You will develop a comprehensive set of abilities to assess children's development and be able to support and educate children based on that assessment in a meaningful way. Earn hands-on experience designing and implementing play materials that meet the developmental needs of children in our Play and Programming for Early Childhood course.

Teach with toys. You can borrow from our extensive collection of toys and educational materials in the Early Childhood Resource Room for use in your field placements. Choose from developmental, skill-building, cognitive and creative play.

Sample Careers: Registered Early Childhood Educator, Family Support Supervisor, Special Needs Resource Consultant, Childcare Supervisor/Director/Owner, Child and Youth Worker, Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) Technician, Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) Technician.

Samples of further education: Bachelor of Education (Teachers College), Master of Education, Master of Arts in Child Study and Education, Law School, Master of Social Work, Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, Child Life Studies Post-Professional Diploma Program.

Transfer students are welcome! For information about transfer credit, please contact [email protected].

Family and Community Social Services

Earn two credentials in four years of full-time study: Honours Bachelor of Applied Science in Family and Community Social Services & Social Service Worker Diploma

Make a difference in society in a very meaningful way. Our program explores current social issues, and the development and delivery of programs designed to assist individuals, families and communities. You will be exposed to different areas of social service work and learn how to understand the challenges faced by vulnerable populations so you can learn how to deliver impactful services, including counselling, mediation and crisis intervention.

Industry Connections: Starting in your second year, you will earn more than 850 hours of supervised workplace experience at three different placements. Past placements include children's mental health centres, hospitals, seniors' residences, addiction centres, research clinics, detention centres and correctional institutions.

Opportunities: Simulate a community agency. Take advantage of a lab simulating aspects of a typical community agency. The room is equipped with one-way observation mirrors, audiovisual equipment, interview furniture and offices. Use it for research and to practice administrative, interviewing and counselling skills.

Participate in professional development. The Social Services Symposium is an annual themed event organized by Family and Community Social Services students that gives you the opportunity to present research and learn from various practitioners and researchers in your field.

Hands-on practice. Two courses offer you the opportunity to practice interviewing and counselling. By videotaping the sessions and receiving peer support and instructor feedback you can analyze your techniques to help you learn to communicate and help people more effectively.

Sample Careers: Case Manager, Community Youth Worker, Hospice Support Worker, Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) Technician, Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) Technician, Social Service Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, Addictions Worker.

Samples of further education: Bachelor of Social Work, Master of Social Work Bachelor of Education (Teachers College), Master of Public Policy, Masters programs in Disability Studies, Law School, Postgraduate certificate in ABA/IBI.

Transfer students are welcome! For information about transfer credit, please contact [email protected].

Areas of Study
  • Early Childhood - Undergraduate
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Community - Undergraduate
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The Child and Family Studies Program at Nipissing University is a unique program with a particular focus on two thematic areas of study:

1) Human Development and Learning; and

2) Child and Family Well-Being: Issues, Services, and Social Justice. Students can pursue a General or Honours program of study.

Multidisciplinary Approach

The CHFS program engages students in a multidisciplinary approach to the study of children and families. In drawing on disciplines and fields such as psychology, sociology, political science, social welfare, and social work, the program develops a broad and in-depth understanding of issues and themes related to children and families. The focus of the program includes but is not limited to psychological development, the increasing variation in family structure, the changing roles of men and women, the status of children, children's rights, and the role and status of caregiving in society. Students who select this program would be interested in the changing interrelationships among individual development, family systems, communities, and the larger culture. Program objectives include providing students with a solid educational basis upon which to pursue their future goals, whether related to post-degree educational pursuits (such as education or social work), or career aspirations in areas like child welfare, community mental health, social services, and counseling. The possibility of jobs in these areas is excellent.

Thematic Areas of Study

The two thematic areas of study are designed to prepare students for these future aspirations and goals. Coursework in the 'Human Development and Learning' thematic area reflects and enhances program objectives, notably in relation to education, and coursework in the thematic area of 'Child and Family Well-Being: Issues, Services, and Social Justice', encourages students to exercise their critical thinking capacities in assessing the conditions of child and family well-being in a variety of policy and practice areas, as well as within societies and culture generally.

Nipissing University is continually ranked with A grades for:

  • Quality of Teaching
  • Campus Atmosphere
  • Class Size (A+)
  • Student Residences
  • Academic Support Services
    (According to Globe and Mail - GlobeCampus)

Don't take it from us, here's what student's say:

  • "The best thing ... is being able to see your professors outside the classroom and they greet you on a first-name basis. There is nothing better than being able to talk to your professor like they are a friend."
  • "There is a large focus on research at the undergraduate level which does not always happen at larger universities. This gives Nipissing science students a path to further education and graduate schools."
  • "It is in a very scenic, northern setting. There are many trails on campus and a pond and waterfall to relax by to relieve stress and just think."
  • "The residences here are amazing with excellent dons and managers and activities. The residences are new and have amazing laundry, phone and kitchen facilities."
  • "Recreational and athletic programs offer a wide variety, lots of activities to sign up for, appropriate for all levels of skill."
Areas of Study
  • Child or Adolescent Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
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The Family Studies program at Brescia University College provides students with an interdisciplinary approach to understanding family life and its relationship to the wider community and cultural context. Brescia University College has two degree options under Human Ecology, a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science. The BA provides students with a foundation for pursuing professional careers to work with families through courses in Family Studies, Human Ecology and the Social Sciences. The BSc offers students an opportunity to develop a foundation in the study of the family and Foods and Nutrition science. A new BA module, "Nutrition and Families," provides a similar foundation. Professional Designation: Students who complete Human Ecology 2222 (Professional Perspectives) are eligible for the Professional Home Economist (PHEc) designation offered by the Ontario Home Economics Association (OHEA). This designation is endorsed by the Ontario Family Studies / Home Economics Educators Association (OFSHEEA) and the Ontario Family Studies Leadership Council (OFSLC).

Areas of Study
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
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Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies (SMF) is housed at St. Jerome's which was the founding college of the University of Waterloo. It addresses human interactions within relational and sexual contexts. It examines not only basic anatomical knowledge and sexual health, but also the formation and maintenance of relationships, parenting skills, and the impact of culture on sexual and family-related values, ideas, and attitudes. Issues that are rarely discussed in secondary education are studied in-depth; some examples include the effects of pornography on societal attitudes, family conflict and its escalation to violence, and sexual dysfunctions. An SMF plan of studies will be of interest to those considering a career as a social worker, sex educator, school teacher, family lawyer, or any occupation where relationship issues and human sexuality are involved. The specialized training will help prepare students for careers in counseling, teaching, health services, and scholarly research.

Areas of Study
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
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The Childhood & Social Institutions Program is a cross disciplinary, limited enrollment program designed to provide students with a useful academic foundation in the subject matter. The program combines the new insights from recent studies of childhood and families in today's society with the best of the more established perspectives to offer a timely, comprehensive and responsive academic experience.

The CSI program is structured to enable and encourage students to combine it with other areas of study. CSI may be taken as an Area of Concentration (3-year BA), as an Honors BA, or as part of an approved Combined Honors program.

Areas of Study
  • Early Childhood - Undergraduate
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Community - Undergraduate
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