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The Department of Human Development and Family Sciences offers undergraduate majors in Early Childhood Education, Human Services, and Human Relations Administration, as well as minors in Human Development and Family Sciences and Medical Social Services. Also, students in either the Human Services or Early Childhood Education majors may apply, after earning 60 credits, for admission into the 4+1 HDFS Masters Program. The curricula prepare students for challenging careers with individuals and families throughout the lifespan. Graduates become leaders in early education, family support, human resources and human service programs, with many students pursuing advanced study.
Early Childhood Education
The major in Early Childhood Education is designed for students who plan on working with children in a variety of educational settings, including schools, preschools, early care and education, and home-based programs. The Early Childhood Education major prepares undergraduate students to educate young children in inclusive settings and to support their families. Students who graduate from this accredited, blended early childhood education and early childhood inclusive education program meet the requirements of the State of Delaware to be certified birth through second grade in both early childhood education and early childhood special education. The program emphasizes developmentally appropriate, family-centered practices to meet the needs of all children, including those with disabilities. An Honors Degree option is available for the major. Students may apply to the 4+1 in Early Childhood Development and Inclusive Education after earning 60 credits.
The Human Services major prepares students to pursue a career in human services, very broadly defined, as well as to enroll in graduate schools with a wide range of foci. Students in the Human Services major have the opportunity to choose one of five coursework concentrations, depending upon their interests. An Honors Degree option is available for the major. Students may apply to the 4+1 in Human Services Leadership after earning 60 credits.
The Clincal Services concentration is designed for students wishing to work within public and private agencies serving clients, infants through the aged, and their families. Combining course work and clinical experiences, the program of study prepares graduates for positions in direct client services, and developing quality programs for individuals and families. Students are also prepared to pursue graduate degrees in careers addressing the needs of individuals and their families, such as in community and school counseling, family therapy, and social work.
The Administration and Family Policy concentration is designed for students with interests in developing and administering human service programs, as well as making societal changes through advocacy and social policy. Through coursework and field placement opportunities, students are prepared for careers in public service or to pursue graduate degrees in such areas as public administration, community development and psychology, social work, family policy, studies, and law.
The Social Entrepreneurship concentration provides students with the opportunity to analyze complex social challenges and develop creative solutions to enhance community development and encourage community empowerment. The unique blend of coursework in entrepreneurship and human services prepares students to work independently and collaboratively to create societal change.
The Early Childhood Development concentration within the Human Services major provides a pathway for students who want to pursue careers in early intervention, child care administration, and early care and education programs. There is a high demand for trained early intervention specialists and for qualified teachers and administrators in early care and education programs. This concentration provides flexible options for coursework, field experiences and internships for those who want to teach in early care and education programs.
Human Relations Administration
The Human Relations Administration (HR-Admin) major is designed to prepare students for careers in the field of human resources, in both the not-for-profit and for-profit sectors. The major will provide students with the skills necessary to facilitate critical workplace training and development, manage employee relationships, enhance staff motivation and navigate important legal aspects of workplace administration including diversity and inclusion.
The curriculum includes courses in several academic disciplines including business, communications, human development, interpersonal relationships, and mentorship/counseling. The major curriculum and a required Organizational and Community Leadership Minor, provides students with a unique blend of courses and skills to make graduates marketable candidates upon entering the workforce. With 450-hours of internship experience, students will also have on-the-job training in a human resources organization and a two-credit seminar focused on professional development and professional issues. An Human Relations Administration Honors (HBS) option is available for the major.
Minor in Human Development and Family Sciences
The Human Development and Family Sciences Minor provides students across campus with the opportunity to integrate contemporary applied human development and family sciences concerns in our society with the primary focus on their majors. This 18-credit hour minor is designed to help students inspire stronger interpersonal, family and work relationships, and foster positive growth and development. Areas of study address lifespan development, marriage, families, relationships and diverse communities. This minor is open to students of all majors, excluding Human Services.
Minor in Medical Social Services
The Medical Social Services Minor is offered jointly by the departments of Human Development and Family Sciences and Behavioral Health and Nutrition. Medical social services provide assistance to patients and their families with accessing available community resources. Professionals in this field connect people to appropriate social and/or medical services. Typical employment settings include hospitals, schools, hospice, and nursing home facilities.
Open to all students in all majors, the minor introduces the intersection of social services and public health within an interdisciplinary context. Although the minor provides background content for students interested in pursuing a master’s degree in medical social work, this minor alone does not qualify students for professional licensure in social work.
4+1 Master’s Programs
4+1 BS/MS in Early Childhood Development and Inclusive Education
Students in the Early Childhood Education major may apply, after earning 60 credits, for admission into the 4+1 HDFS Masters program. Application to the 4+1 program can be made for the Masters of Sciences Program in Human Development and Family Studies: Concentration in Early Childhood Development and Inclusive Education. The graduate program application and qualifications for admission can be found on the HDFS website or on the Office of Graduate and Professional Education website.
4+1 BS/MS in Human Services Leadership
Students in the Human Services major may apply, after earning 60 credits, for admission into the 4+1 HDFS Masters program with a concentration in Human Services Leadership. Application to the 4+1 Program can be made for the Masters of Sciences program in Human Development and Family Studies. The graduate program application and qualifications for admission can be found on the HDFS website and on the Office of Graduate and Professional Education website.