Applied Family Science
Human Development Across the Lifespan
This course explores developmental processes from conception through adulthood and aging. The interaction of environmental and genetic factors is stressed. Theoretical points of view are presented. Appropriate prevention interventions for individuals with social, emotional, and/or cognitive developmental problems at each stage of the lifespan are discussed and analyzed.
Research in Practice
This course will focus on the practical application of research within the nonprofit sector and in particular the fields of family science and human & community service. Students will learn the principles of research methods as well as have the opportunity to gain experience in survey design, interviewing, observation, data analysis, assessment and planning. Emphasis will be on students as practitioners who will research to effectively assess needs, develop programs and manage change.
This course uses an ecosystem perspective to view and address issues affecting families and their relationships to other institutions and to society in general. Students will develop an understanding of the complexities of family roles, relationships, interactions, and changes throughout the lifespan, emphasizing the interplay of social, developmental and health factors in affecting change, continuity and well-being. The course also reviews assessment tools used to analyze family systems and prevention education interventions designed to support family function and well-being.
Families and Crisis
This course will define what is meant by family crisis, identify some of the major theoretical frameworks for studying families and crisis, consider major lifestyle transitions, and explore the major catastrophic crises families face. It will also examine prevention resources and strengths that enable families to deal with crisis more adequately.
Family Resource Management
Family resource management theory is used to examine how family systems manage resources with an emphasis on examining the interconnections between families, communities, and resources through topics such as personal management (decision-making, time & organizational management, stress management); human and social capital (education, skill building, health, employability, relationships); physical capital (transportation, real estate, and housing); and financial management (credit and debt, budgeting, retirement issues, bankruptcy). Additionally, students will gain a better understanding of the basic principles relating to the process of creating family resource management education materials, and identifying, locating, and facilitating family resource management prevention education programs.
Using a cross-cultural approach, this course examines individual sexuality and sexual behaviors in the context of societies, including social mores and customs, and major societal issues that are integrally related to sexuality. The course explores the physiological and psychosocial factors affecting the development of a person's sexuality and sexual relationships across the life cycle. Topics addressed include contemporary prevention education models for topics such as sexual deviance and violence, pornography, sexual harassment and abuse, sexual ethics, sexuality education, spirituality and religion as it relates to sexuality issues, the media portrayal of sexuality and relationships, and critically analyzing advertising that uses sexual imagery to sell non-sexually relevant products.
This course will give students the tools/skills to use when working with parents using theoretically-guided and research based knowledge of parent-child relationships. Parenting practices will be examined to gain an appreciation for and an understanding of the experiences parents have while child rearing. This course also will provide the opportunity to examine personal beliefs, values, assumptions, and biases about parenting in order to recognize how these influences might impact work with parents. Additionally, students will gain a better understanding of the basic principles relating to the process of creating parent prevention education materials, and identifying, locating, and facilitating parent prevention education programs.
Legal, Ethical, and Policy Issues in Family Science
This course will examine contemporary issues relating to families from legal, ethical and policy perspectives. Skills for being an effective advocate for families in multiple realms (e.g., policy) will be developed. Ethical questions and issues as they relate to professional practice will also be emphasized.
Family Life Education
This course covers family life education methodology/prevention education. Specifically, students will acquire skills to develop, facilitate, and assess family life education programs including needs assessment, design, development, promotion, justification, evaluation and funding sources. Students also will learn how to locate and evaluate current family life education programs and how to adapt programs for specific audiences/needs.
Practicum I requires 120 hours of field work and offers an opportunity for students to enter the field and observe/participate in a professional setting under the guidance of a field supervisor. Besides gaining practical field experience, students will also relate content knowledge from their program to practice; develop awareness of professional expectations and their suitability to the field; reflect on their cultural competence; and reflect on their standards of ethical practice in a workplace setting.
Prerequisite(s): Faculty approval
This course is for students who wish to continue working at their practicum site beyond the minimally required 120 hours. The second phase of the guided practicum, also 120 hours in length, will allow students without a substantial work background in the field of human services to gain additional hands-on experience. More seasoned students may also choose to extend their practicum in order to complete a more complex field placement assignment.
Prerequisite(s): Faculty Approval
Capstone Project in Family Life Education
This course is offered as an alternative to the Practicum for students who have extensive workplace experience in a family life education. Consideration will be given to students who can demonstrate, through a portfolio of accomplishments, that they have five years of supervised, professional, full-time work experience in a human service agency or similar setting. Students will complete a capstone project that will be designed to meet a need of either the student’s current workplace or a selected human service agency and may include program development, evaluation or other research need identified by the agency. The student’s project will have a practical application and benefit to the host organization.
Prerequisite(s): Faculty Approval