Child Development
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Overview

The concentration in Child Development offers the academic background and field experience necessary to understand and work with children and their families. The curriculum is designed to prepare individuals for Child Development-related careers in a variety of employment settings. This concentration does not meet requirements for teacher certification.

Program Goals

The overarching goal of the Child Development concentration is to prepare students for careers working with children and families.

Our goals:

  • Help students acquire knowledge of human growth and development, as well as the biological and environmental forces that influence development.
  • Expose students to the latest child development research, as well as present and past theories of development.
  • Help students understand that development is a process embedded within ecological contexts.
  • Promote student understanding of the family as a system that interacts with, influences, and is influenced by other systems.
  • Provide students with the research skills necessary to observe and evaluate children.
  • Help students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to facilitate the healthy development of children.
  • Provide students with knowledge of curriculum development based on developmentally appropriate practices and individual developmental needs.
  • Provide students with knowledge of effective guidance to develop positive behaviors in children and teachers.
  • Help students develop the ability to work with diverse children and families in a complex society.
  • Help students develop effective oral and written communication skills.

Application Procedure

Individuals interested in the child development concentration are encouraged to apply for admission to the university.
     1. Make an application to the Family and Consumer Sciences program.
     2. Contact an advisor from the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences for a program
        overview and to plan an individual program and schedule.
     3. Successfully complete the required background check according to the departmental policy.
     4. Transfer students should contact the University Registrar's Office at 256-782-5400.

Minor in Child Development

A minor in Child Development may be obtained by completing a minimum of 18 hours including:  FCS 352, 353, 355, 450, 452, 454, and 463. The minor in Child Development provides students majoring in other fields with the opportunity to develop an understanding of the nature of child development. 

Child Development Minor for FCS Major

FCS 450 – 3 hours (prerequisite to the following courses)

FCS 454 – 3 hours

FCS 456 – 3hours

FCS 457 – 3 hours

FCS 460  - 6 hours (must be the last course taken in the minor)

Total – 18 hours

All of the courses require field hours in an approved Child Development Center.

Potential Careers and Places of Employment

  • Public or Private Child Care Facility Director
  • Teacher -- Public or Private Child Care Facility
  • Teacher Assistant -- Public Kindergarten
  • Early Intervention Programs
  • Public Social Service Agencies Serving Families and Children (e.g. DHR)
  • Non-Profit Community /Social Service Agencies Serving Youth, Families and Children
  • Parent educator
  • Family Service Coordinator
  • Family Resource and Referral Specialist
  • Recreational Programs
  • Child and Family Advocacy
  • Director of Children's Programs in Museums, Zoos, Libraries, etc
  • Public Health
  • Community Centers
  • Cooperative Extension Service
  • Child Protective Services
  • Adoption Agency
  • Mental Health Agencies
  • Child Life
  • After-school Program Director
  • Great foundation for graduate studies

Course Listing

122. Fundamentals of Food Preparation and Meal Management (3). Lecture and laboratory experiences. An introduction to the study of food, including selection, principles of preparation, evaluation of food products, survey of the market place, and management of resources in the preparation and serving of food.

200. Seminar in Family and Consumer Sciences (2). The philosophical base of family and consumer sciences and issues affecting the profession. Emphasis on managing the challenges of living and working in a diverse global society. Preparation of students for success including résumé writing, professional presentations, and the development of communication skills.

215. Introductory Nutrition (3). Introduction to the principles of nutrition including nutrient requirements for individuals of all ages OR 322. Normal Nutrition (3 ). Prerequisite: Four hours of Chemistry or Biological Science. Application of fundamentals of human nutrition including various nutrients, and requirements for different individuals and groups.

350. Lifespan Human Development (3). Overview of physical, intellectual, social, and emotional development from conception to death. Practical application of information to life stages and outside observations will be included.

352. Child Growth and Development (2). Development and guidance of young children from infancy through middle childhood.

353. Child Growth and Development Laboratory (1). Taken concurrently with FCS 352 lecture; two hours per week. Methods of guidance of young children, ages three and four.

355. Family Life Education (3). A study of family relations and the skills needed to function within the family setting. Emphasis on interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, and parenting.

360. Contemporary Issues in Human Development (3). Current topics in the areas of child and/or family development.

371. Management of Family Resources (3). Focuses on the practical application of management principles for use of resources to maximize individual and family quality of life.

450. Curriculum Planning in Child Development (3). Prerequisites: Junior status and FCS 352 and FCS 353. Planning a developmentally-appropriate curriculum for a child care program.

452. Advanced Child Development III (Infant through 5).  Prerequisites: Junior Status and FCS 352 and 353. Study of the biological and environmental influences on development from infancy through age 5. Examine theories, research, the family context, school context, and the impact of diverse family experiences.  Not available to students in the traditional or on-line Child Development concentrations. 

453. Parent-Child Relations (3). Prerequisites: Junior Status and FCS 351 or 352/353. Study of the dynamics and reciprocal nature of parent-child relationships, including internal and environmental forces that impact interactions between parents and children.

454. Administration and Supervision in Child Care Programs (3). Prerequisites: Junior Status, FCS 351 or 352/353, FCS450 and approval of instructor. The planning, implementing, and evaluation of a child care program.

456. Advanced Child Development I (Infant and Toddler Development) (3). Prerequisites: Junior status and FCS 352 and 353. Study of the biological and environmental influences on development from infancy through toddlerhood. Examine theories, research and the family context.

457. Advanced Child Development II (Ages 3 through 5) (3). Prerequisites: Junior status and FCS 352 and 353. Study of the biological and environmental influences on development from toddlerhood through age five. Examine theories, research, the family context, school context, and the impact of diverse family experiences.

458. Research and Statistical Methods in FCS (3). Prerequisite: Junior Status. Methods and basic skills for conducting, analyzing, and interpreting research.

459. Family Interaction (3). Prerequisites: Junior Status and FCS 351 or 352/353. Study of various theories of family interaction, with an emphasis on understanding the family as a system.

460. Directed Field Experiences (6). Prerequisites: Completion of general studies, professional and concentration courses, and approval of academic advisor. Supervised experiences in a community child care setting with observation and participation in approved programs for children.

463. Directed Field Experiences (3). Prerequisites:  Completion of general studies, professional and concentration courses, and approval of academic advisor. Supervised experiences in a community child care setting with observation and participation in approved programs for children.  Available only to students minoring in Child Development. 

471. Family Housing (3). Prerequisite: Junior status. An overview of present-day family housing needs including location, space needs, house construction and selection, alternative housing, and home furnishings.

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