SUNY Oneonta’s Human Development and Family Studies (formerly called Child and Family Studies) major provides students with a lifespan human development focus for working with children and families. Coursework emphasizes the dynamics of interpersonal relationships within diverse families and other social contexts.
In addition to hands-on experience observing and working with children at the Child Development Center on campus and the Bugbee Children’s Center nearby, students get exposure to the day-to-day workings of a human service agency through required internships at a variety of sites. Interns shadow employees, attend meetings and often transition into carrying their own caseloads at domestic violence shelters, drug and alcohol programs, social services offices, housing organizations and other agencies.
Special opportunities, such as a short-term, faculty-led service-learning course working with children in South American communities, are frequently available. Human Development and Family Studies majors are also eligible to receive provisional Family Life Educator certification by the National Council on Family Relations.