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family community human devFamily, Community, and Human Development

Program Description

The Family, Community and Human Development (FCHD) Major is housed in the Department of Family and Consumer Studies (FCS). The objective of the FCHD major is to provide students with a broad and detailed understanding of the processes of personal development in the context of the family, and as impacted by community and societal forces beyond the family. More specifically, students with a FCHD major will acquire an understanding of:

  • The key features of development through each stage of life (infants, children, adolescents and adults);
  • How these key features of development are impacted by experience to account for the ways that each of us is unique;
  • How family members develop and maintain relationships within and across generations;
  • The decisions people make about managing resources such as time, money, and material assets;
  • The ways that individual and family well-being are impacted by community and societal forces;
  • The impact of local, national, and international policies and laws on individual, family and community well-being;
  • How research in these areas is conducted and evaluated, and how the findings from these works may be applied to enhance the well-being of individuals (at every age) and families

In addition to the breadth and depth of our FCHD major as summarized above, our department offers students three opportunities for diving more deeply into specific areas of focus that are both relevant to the broader goals of our major and oriented toward specific career opportunities. These include:

Child Life If you plan to work with children in a medical setting this emphasis is for you! Learn how to meet the social and emotional needs of young children and their families in medical setting. This Emphasis is great for pre-med and pre-nursing students and fulfills all the educational requirements for those who want to become Child Life Specialists.

Early Childhood Education provides students with a foundation for a career working with young children (0-8) in early care, education, and other applied settings. We also have a pathway for earning a K-3 teaching license.

Financial Planning This emphasis meets specific criteria set forward by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards for preparing students for a professional career as a financial planner.

The Student Experience

Moving beyond the theoretical, students also have the opportunity to participate in undergraduate research, complete community service and internships, gain mediation skills, and the hands-on experience necessary to improve the lives of individuals, families and communities. Additional involvement opportunities in the form of a Student Advisory Committee and the Kappa Omicron Nu (KON) Honor Society are also available.

Career Opportunities

The career opportunities with a degree in FCHD, with or without an emphasis, are broad and varied. Just a few examples for what our Alumni have gone on to do include:

Bachelor’s Degree

Certified Financial Planner, Early Childhood Interventionist, Human Resources Assistant, Deputy City recorder, Preschool/Kindergarten teacher, Child Life Specialist, Parent educator/Family Mentor, Community Education Coordinator, Data manager, Health Unit Coordinator, Child Care License Specialist, Caseworker I, Public Affairs assistant.

Bachelor’s degree + further education

Pediatric Cardiologist, CEO/Program Director (various non-profits and government agencies), School Counselor/Psychologist, Lawyer, Special Education Consultant, Volunteer/Community Outreach Coordinator, Nurse, Development Director, Occupational Therapist, Speech Therapist, Behavior Analyst, Professor, Social Worker, Developmental Screening Coordinator. Lawyer to Lawmaker, Pre-med to Pre-school, Financial Expert to Family Advocate.

Major in FCHD and land a career that you love!

More Info


Exploratory Classes

  • FCS 1500 - Lifespan Human Development
  • FCS 2400 - Modern Family: A Life Course Perspective
  • FCS 3010 - Introduction to FCS and Career Development
  • FCS 3500 - Financial Skills for Life

Last Updated: 8/21/23