The Early Childhood Education major prepares students to work with young children using research-based, developmentally appropriate educational practices. Students learn to apply developmental principles in the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs for young children. The Early Childhood Education major is accredited by the Commission of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Upon completion of the major, students may apply for the Child Development Certificate from the Alabama State Department of Education.
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Students majoring in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) have a genuine concern for children and families and seek the challenge of helping people learn, solve life problems and successfully interact with others. Students gain an understanding of the development of the family system, the dynamics of family relationships, and an understanding of growth and development throughout the lifespan. Concentrations are offered in Adolescence and Youth Development; Child Life; and Family Life Education and Advocacy. The HDFS major with no concentration provides a flexible curriculum and may be particularly appealing for double-majors or students preparing for professional degrees (e.g., medical school).
Adolescence and Youth Development Concentration
A major in HDFS with a concentration in adolescence and youth development is available for students who are interested in the growth and development of adolescents and youth within the family, peer, and school contexts. The goal of this concentration is to prepare students for work in a variety of settings including community-based programs, home-based programs, and mental-health agencies, or for graduate studies in a variety of fields.
Child Life Concentration
A major in HDFS with a concentration in child life is for students who wish to study and work with children and youth in health care settings. The curriculum consists of a comprehensive foundation of courses related to the growth and development of healthy children as well as children with illnesses. Through specific courses, students participate in laboratory and practicum experiences with children. These applied experiences, along with the conceptual information, provide the foundation necessary for working with hospitalized children and their families. This curriculum enables a student to become a candidate for the national certification exam administered by the Child Life Certifying Committee of the National Child Life Council.
Family Life Education and Advocacy Concentration
A major in HDFS with a concentration in Family Life Education and Advocacy provides an understanding of the development of the family system and the dynamics of family relationships. Upon completion of this program, some students may qualify for certification as a Family Life Educator by the National Council on Family Relations. This concentration prepares students to work in a variety of educational and enrichment programs such as parenting programs, family service agencies, industry, schools, social-service, churches, home economics, and 4-H extension. This concentration is also well suited for students interested in pursuing graduate degrees in marriage and family therapy as well as other areas in family studies.
The 18-credit minor in Human Development and Family Studies provides supplemental training for non-majors on child development, adolescent development, and family studies.
The 18-credit minor in Addiction and Recovery offers students an overview of the development and progression of addictive disorders and the process of recovery from addictions. Students will also learn the basics of drug education and methods for treating substance use disorders that incorporate family, peer, and community support.
All students in the Department of Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management are assigned an academic advisor. Please check your Degree Works to identify your advisor. If you have not been assigned an advisor, please email Mrs. Evans - firstname.lastname@example.org. Students will receive an email from their advisor with instructions for setting up an appointment prior to the start of advising each semester. Advising for Spring semester classes is in October. Students are advised for Summer and Fall classes in March.