Family and Child Studies

Family and Child Studies focuses on human development during the early years as well as personal development across the lifespan. It emphasizes the nature of relationships and ways to help develop positive relationships with peers, family, and other members of society. Students earn a bachelor's of science with a concentration in one of the following specializations.

The mission of Family and Child Studies is to create competent and engaged professionals who enhance the human experience of individuals and families across lifespan. With a focus on human development, and emphasis on family relationships, and through applied field experiences, the Family and Child Studies program partners with communities for research, service, and education.


Applied Child Development

Applied Child Development concentration offers students a broad-based understanding of children and their physical, cognitive, and social-emotional developmental needs. Students learn how children grow, form relationships, and learn. Because the family is a strong influence on a child’s development, students also learn about family functioning, parenting, and child guidance techniques. The program prepares students to work with young children in a variety of community settings, including early care and education centers, child advocacy, adoption, Head Start programs, children’s ministry programs, and social service agencies. Students gain experience and professional skills at the Tech's Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC), part of the School of Human Ecology.  The ECEC provides opportunities for students to observe, interact with, and teach young children in connection with coursework.

Child Life

Child life concentration is designed to prepare students to become child life specialists. Child life specialists use play, preparation, education, and self-expressive activities to help children cope with stressful situations, especially those related to healthcare and hospitalization. They also provide support to parents and siblings during these challenging experiences. Through coursework and field experiences, the program provides students with a strong foundation in child life, child development, family theory, therapeutic play, coping with stress, and childhood diseases.

Upon completion of the degree requirements of the Bachelor of Science, students are eligible to apply for child life internships. Upon completion of the child life internship, students are eligible to take the Child Life Professional Certifying Examination to become certified child life specialists.

Family Science

The family science concentration provides students with knowledge and skills needed to help families build stronger relationships and fulfill their family roles throughout the life course. Courses focus on the various issues that confront families in our society including interpersonal communication, parenting, human development, sexuality, family law and policy, international families, stress, and financial decision making. Field experiences enhance students’ skills as they gain direct experience in settings which serve the needs of diverse individuals and families, including domestic violence and crisis pregnancy centers, truancy programs, boys and girls clubs, and parent education agencies.

Upon completion of the degree requirements, students are eligible to apply for provisional status as a Certified Family Life Educator through the National Council on Family Relations. Family Life Educators seek to educate individuals and families in order to prevent problems within families and interpersonal relationships.

FCS Contact Us

Anita Pumphrey, MS

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CTH 352