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Human Development and Family Studies: Individual and Family Services

Bachelor of Arts

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Program Intro

The Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) major with a Individual and Family Services concentration is designed for an aspiring human services professional who wants to work with adolescents or adults (or in all-age settings) along with their families.

Department of Behavioral Sciences

HDFS courses prepare you for work with individuals and their families by focusing on cultural understanding, strategies for helping and securing the best possible resources for their needs. You’ll benefit from a program that emphasizes communication skills, critical thinking and professional ethics, as well as experiential learning and strong connections with community partners.

Curriculum Overview

The HDFS curriculum includes courses on family dynamics, stages of human development, law and ethics, human services skills/practice, research methods and diversity.

Begin your studies with a first-year experience seminar for behavioral science students, as well as introductory sociology and human development courses.

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Sample Courses

  • BHS 10300 – First-Year Experience in Behavioral Sciences
  • HDFS 10100 – Working with Parents
  • HDFS 21000 – Introduction to Human Development
  • SOC 1000 – Introductory Sociology

 

Continue building your knowledge with courses that focus on stages of development and family dynamics.

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Sample Courses

  • HDFS 34101 – Infants and Young Children in Family and Community
  • HDFS 20500 – Introduction to Family Dynamics
  • HDFS 34200 – Adolescence in Family and Community

Complete remaining HDFS requirements and any other required courses, as well as a field experience.

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Sample Courses

  • SOC 35000 – Sociology of Family
  • SOC 30600 – Methods In Human Services
  • SOC 31501 – Gender in Society

In your final year, you’ll study financial statements analysis, tax accounting and auditing. You’ll also complete the fourth-year seminar In business course.

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Sample Courses

  • SOC 30700 – Field Experience in Human Services
  • HDFS 41300 – Diversity in Families
  • HDFS 45200 – Family Resource Management

Highlights

This interdisciplinary program blends the study of sociology with courses that focus on individuals and their relationships to the family unit. HDFS degrees prepare you to pursue a professional certification from the National Council on Family Relations.

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Outcomes

As a HDFS graduate, you’ll have a broad set of skills that will facilitate your professional work with families, helping them through systems and enhancing their relationships. You will be prepared to obtain a Certified Family Life Educator certification.

Beyond the Classroom

We encourage you to get involved in activities like:

  • HDFS Student Group
  • National Council on Family Relations

 

Career Paths

This degree prepares you for a number of roles in organizations and agencies such as:

  • Family support services
  • Human services
  • Elder services

 

Employers

Our graduates often work for family, elder and substance abuse treatment agencies.

Accreditation

Our BA degrees in Human Development and Family Studies feature the “Certificated Family Life Educator” designation from the National Council on Family Relations. This designation strengthens your resume and professional opportunities.

Meet the Faculty

Anne Edwards

Anne B. Edwards, Ph.D., CFLE

Associate Professor of Human Development & Family Studies Coordinator

I am an Associate Professor of Human Development & Family Studies (HDFS) and the coordinator of the HDFS program. I am also the co-Director of the Institute for Social Policy Research.

Patricia Rodda

Patricia Rodda, M.Ed

Lecturer Human Development & Family Studies

I am a lecturer in the BHS Department and have worked here since 1992. I have worked at various child cares and was also a Child Life Specialist at U of C Children’s Hospital. I teach courses in HDFS.

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