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Bachelor's Degree in Human Development and Family Science

Concentration: Early Childhood (BA)

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Early Childhood Concentration Overview

Purdue University Northwest’s bachelor’s degree in human development and family science (HDFS) major paired with a concentration in early childhood is designed for an aspiring human services professional who wants to work with children (from birth through age 8) and their families.

Department of Behavioral Sciences

HDFS courses prepare you for service-based work with families by focusing on cultural understanding and strategies for helping and securing resources.

As an Early Childhood concentration student, you’ll study children’s development and education, behavioral science and family dynamics. You’ll also have the opportunity to undertake experiential learning in the community.

Early Childhood Concentration Curriculum

As a student in the early childhood concentration, you’ll take a balance of general education courses, College of Humanities, Education and Social Science core courses and human development and family science courses. Your HDFS courses will be supplemented by early childhood courses to get you ready for the professional world.

The HDFS curriculum includes courses on family dynamics, stages of human development, law and ethics, human services skills/practice, research methods and diversity. To specialize in working with children, you’ll complete a number of classes that focus on their social and educational development.

Begin your studies with a first-year experience course for behavioral science students, as well as Working with Parents and Introduction to Human Development.

Early Childhood Concentration Course of Study

Sample Courses

  • BHS 10300 – First-Year Experience in Behavioral Sciences
  • HDFS 10100 – Working with Parents
  • HDFS 21600 – Introduction to Early Childhood Education

Continue building your knowledge with courses that focus on child development, early childhood education and family dynamics.

Early Childhood Concentration Course of Study

Sample Courses

  • HDFS 34101 – Infants and Young Children in Family and Community
  • HDFS 20500 – Introduction to Family Dynamics
  • DFS 30800 – Language and Literature in Early Childhood

Finish your required sociology courses and explore HDFS topics like special needs education.

Early Childhood Concentration Course of Study

Sample Courses

  • SOC 35000 – Sociology of Family
  • SOC 38300 – Introduction To Research Methods in Sociology
  • HDFS 34000 – Teaching Very Young Children with Special Needs

Complete remaining HDFS requirements, including the practicum experience courses.

Early Childhood Concentration Course of Study

Sample Courses

  • HDFS 35400 – Practicum In Early Childhood I
  • HDFS 45501 – Practicum In Early Childhood II
  • HDFS 45601 – Practicum With Infants And Toddlers

Early Childhood Concentration Highlights

Our B.A. degrees in Human Development and Family Science have the “Certification Family Life Educator” designation with the National Council on Family Relations. The Certified Family Life Educator designator enhances a student’s professionalism and resume.

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Early Childhood Concentration Outcomes

Graduates of this program have the ability to work with children aged 0-8 and their families by helping them through systems and enhancing their relationships. You’ll be qualified to obtain a Certified Family Life Educator credential.

Early Childhood Concentration Career Paths

An early childhood concentration from PNW prepares you for a number of careers in the field, including:

  • Child Care Program Director
  • Early Childhood Teacher
  • Early Intervention Specialist
  • Youth Worker

Early Childhood Concentration Beyond the Classroom

You’ll have many opportunities to get involved in on- and off-campus activities, including:

  • HDFS Student Group
  • National Council on Family Relations

Early Childhood Concentration Employers

Our graduates often work in early childhood classrooms, child protective service organizations and special needs service agencies. Examples include:

  • 1st Kids, Inc.
  • Head start
  • Department of Child and Family Services
  • First Steps

Early Childhood Concentration Scholarships

In addition to the scholarships available to all PNW applicants, students seeking an early childhood concentration may also apply for program-specific scholarship awards, such as:

  • Michael and Geraldine Macenski Behavioral Scholarship

See All CHESS Scholarships

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It’s nice to be in a more intimate, smaller setting. It makes me feel like I’m actually a student, not a number.

Mya Bell, Human Development and Family Science, ‘24

Michelle Watkins

The faculty in the department took the time to build a rapport with students and displayed a genuine concern about the quality of education we received. I am proud to have chosen HDFS as a major.

Michelle Watkins, Human Development and Family Services

Meet the Faculty

Anne Edwards

Anne B. Edwards, Ph.D., CFLE

Professor of Human Development and Family Science Coordinator

Anne Edwards is an associate professor of human development and family science (HDFS) and the coordinator of the HDFS program. She is also the co-director of the Institute for Social Policy Research.

Patricia Rodda

Patricia Rodda, M.Ed

Lecturer, Human Development and Family Science

Patricia Rodda is a lecturer in the BHS Department and has worked there since 1992. She has worked at various child cares and was also a child life specialist at the U of C Children’s Hospital. She teaches courses in HDFS.

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Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Human Development and Family Science with a Concentration in Early Childhood at PNW

Purdue University Northwest’s early childhood concentration prepares you for future work with members of families, helping them through systems and enhancing their relationships through experiential learning in the community while providing a foundation of knowledge for your career

To see how a bachelor’s degree in human development and family science with a concentration in early childhood from PNW opens doors, from classrooms to non-profits, take the next step today!

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