Jul 13, 2024  
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2024-25 
    
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2024-25

Human Development and Family Science Major (B.S.)


Major code BS6477*

College of Health Sciences and Professions  
Department of Social and Public Health  
Grover Center W324
Phone: 740.593.4675
www.ohio.edu/chsp/social-public-health

Jenny Chabot, contact person
chabot@ohio.edu

Program Overview

This program prepares students to work with children, adults, and families throughout their lifespan in a broad range of settings. The developmental orientation of the program is designed to provide a thorough understanding of every major developmental period in life in multiple contexts from birth to adolescence, to working with mid-life and older adults. It includes child, adult, and family development classes in the Department of Social and Public Health, with a lifespan emphasis, as well as courses that include diversity in families, family ties and aging, human sexualities, the impact of stress and trauma, and death and dying. Professional skill development is an essential part of the program and is intended to give students the practical skill set needed by human services specialists.

Required courses from other departments or programs include early childhood and elementary education, health, psychology, sociology, and social work. Also required are a 75-hour practicum and a 400-hour full-time internship. These provide practical experience and the opportunity to integrate theory and course content into real-life situations. The program is also designed to provide a strong foundation for those students who plan to go on to graduate school. The human development and family science (HDFS) program offers four concentrations to choose from: family and community services; pediatric healthcare community settings; aging and gerontology studies; and child life specialist clinical. All HDFS majors must complete all other university and major course requirements before enrolling in CFS 4910 - Child and Family Studies Internship . The 400-hour internship is the final requirement of the degree.

*This program was previously BS6468 - Child and Family Studies. The pending name change is anticipated to be approved by the Ohio University Board of Trustees at the June 2024 meeting. Effective the 2024-25 catalog year, this program will award the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree.

Family and Community Services Concentration

This concentration prepares students to work with individuals and families in diverse settings, including human and social service agencies, as well as programs for children, adolescents, and young, mid-life, and older adults. Students learn about the nature of individual and family interactions, family dynamics, how individuals within the family contribute to and are shaped by these dynamics, and how broad societal contexts (e.g., schools, peers, gender, poverty) influence individual development and family functioning. By studying varied developmental pathways, including those pathways characterized by stress and trauma, students will have the opportunity to acquire the professional skills necessary to work with individuals, couples, and families in a broad range of human service settings.

Pediatric Healthcare Community Settings Concentration

This concentration prepares students for careers working with children and families in pediatric health care settings, including the Ronald McDonald House, national wish organizations (Make-A-Wish), pediatric hospice/palliative care, bereavement centers, centers for special needs children, autism clinics, behavorial health clinics, and other community-based programs focused on strengthening lives for children and families as they navigate health care related stressors and trauma.

Aging and Gerontology Studies Concentration

This concentration focuses on aging within the context of families, more specifically the implications, support needs, and outcomes for adults and their family members as they age and the quality of their relationships across the life course. Child and family studies students who choose this concentration will also receive an undergraduate gerontology certificate to help them better prepare for careers advocating for and helping older adults and their family members. With this concentration, students typically seek employment working with mid-to-later life adults and their family members or pursue graduate work in such areas as marriage and family therapy, social work, human development and family studies, rehabilitation services, and public/community health.

Child Life Specialist Clinical

This concentration prepares students to become a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS), as designated by the Association of Child Life Professionals, the organization that oversees this profession. The CCLS helps normalize the hospitalization experience for children and families and provides specific services that include preparations for medical procedures, coping skills for children during stressful health care experiences, support for siblings and parents, therapeutic medical play, planning and implementing activies to enhance growth and development, and interdisciplinary team involvement. In addition to core courses in the HDFS program, students in this concentration take courses that focus on helping pediatric patients and families navigate the stressors involved with a health care diagnosis. Further training at the undergraduate junior/senior level includes foundation and theories in child life, children and families in healthcare settings, professional practices in child life, medical and therapeutic play in child life, research methods and program evaluation, along with clinical training in the college’s interdisciplinary clinical simulation lab and in our child life dedicated training space.

By the start of fall semester junior/3rd year, students in this concentration must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher in both overall and HDFS coursework and accumulate 75 volunteer hours in a hospital where child life is present.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program:

  • Students will be able to demonstrate practical knowledge about current approaches to helping people in their chosen field within the profession.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to work effectively with diverse populations.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate written skills in the classroom and in required field experiences.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate verbal communication skills in the classroom and in required field experiences.
  • Students will be able to apply academic knowledge in a professional setting in a 400-hour final internship.

Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission

No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Change of Program Policy

No selective or limited admission requirements.

External Transfer Admission

No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Opportunities Upon Graduation

With an accumulation of over 700 hours of service-learning, practicum, and internship experiences (includes 400-hour final internship, 75-hour practicum, and required service-learning hours built into specific courses), students who graduate from this program will have ample opportunities to explore career options, gain valuable experience, and develop/refine marketable skills. human development and family science program graduates find employment in many areas of human services, including child and family services, adolescent groups homes, rehabilitation centers, community programs for the developmentally disabled, senior citizen centers and facilities, family planning centers, mental health agencies, probation services, emergency shelters, adult foster care, hospice, hospitals, 4-H programs, and other agencies that assist families and individuals in crisis. The HDFS program offers four different concentrations to choose from: family and community services; pediatric healthcare community settings; aging and gerontology studies; and child life specialist clinical. All concentrations are designed to provide a strong foundation for those students who plan to go on to graduate school.

Requirements

University-wide Graduation Requirements


Ohio University requires completion of a minimum of 120 semester hours for conferral of a bachelor’s degree. However, the Child and Family Studies major requires a minimum of 121 semester hours. For more information on the minimum hours requirement and other University-wide requirements, please review the Graduation Requirements – University-wide  page.

College-Level Requirements for the College of Health Sciences and Professions


View the College-Level Requirements for the College of Health Sciences and Professions .

Core Requirements for all Human Development and Family Science majors


Complete the following courses:

Complete all the requirements of one of the following concentrations:


Family and Community Services Concentration Requirements


Complete the following courses:

Concentration Related Requirements


Complete one of the following courses:

Pediatric Healthcare Community Settings Concentration Requirements


Complete the following courses:

Concentration Related Requirements


Complete the following courses:

Select four courses from the following:


Aging and Gerontology Concentration Requirements


Complete the following courses:

Child Life Specialist Clinical Concentration Requirements


For those students interested in this concentration, please note that this career field is extremely competitive. Maintaining a high GPA, completing demanding extracurricular opportunities focusing on hospitalized children and their families, and understanding the need to be geographically flexible in terms of internship and career placements are expected.

Complete the following courses:

Concentration Related Requirements


Complete the following courses: