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Human Development and Family Studies

The baccalaureate degree program in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) prepares graduates, both personally and professionally, to provide support services to families and educate individuals for the responsibilities of family living. A major objective of the program is to strengthen students understanding of human and family development across the lifespan.
In addition the HDFS curriculum prepares graduates for professional careers related to working with children, youth, adults and families in social and human service settings. Kent State also offers a Master Degree in Family Studies. There are several special features of the HDFS program that strengthen educational and professional opportunities for undergraduate students. The curriculum was developed using the standards set by the national Council on Family Relations.
To apply to become a Certified Family Life Educators (CFLE). The CFLE designation provides documentation of the quality of the academic and professional preparation HDFS graduates receive.

Kent State University is one of only three CFLE- curriculum met academic standards in ten family life substance areas:

  • Families in society  
  • Family resource management
  • Internal dynamics of families
  • Parent education and guidance
  • Human growth and development
  • Family law and public policy
  • Human sexuality
  • Ethics
  • Interpersonal relationships 
  • Family life education methodology

The HDFS faculty maintains a strong relationship with professionals in community agencies, providing excellent practical experiences for students and opportunities for employment. Workshops, exploring areas of special interest to students, are offered through the College of Continuing Studies.

The HDFS major has four options that allow students to specialize in areas of interest to them and their career goals: Youth Development, Family Life Education, Case Management and Human Services Technology.

Option I: Youth Development 
Prepares graduates to work with 10-19 year olds in schools, community and residential programs. Graduates will be able to design and deliver developmentally appropriate programs preparing adolescents for productive adulthood by emphasizing skill and competency development.

Option II: Family Life Education
Prepares graduates to develop and implement family life programs in a variety of educational and human service settings. Graduates of this option will be eligible to apply to be Certified Family Life Educators (CFLE), a new credential granted by the National Council on Family Relations.

Option III: Case Management
Provides training in individual and family needs assessment and the utilization of available public and private resources. Graduates of this option will be eligible for securing positions in a variety of human and social service settings.

Option IV: Human Services Technology
Provides a strong foundation of applied social sciences, human development, family studies and interpersonal relationships. The concentration courses provide a solid foundation in assessment, client advocacy in the generalist human services perspective.

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