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Human Development and Family Science

  • Overview
  • Careers
  • New Freshmen
  • New Transfer
  • Illinois State Students

The Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) major prepares students to provide educational, preventive and intervention services to individuals and families which enhance personal, family and community well-being. Students may focus on family services, child care services or teacher education in Family and Consumer Sciences. Students develop the skills needed to assist people of all ages with personal and consumer choices for individual and family well-being.

The Human Development and Family Science major is an approved program for Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) provisional certification status through the National Council on Family Relations. This allows graduates who have completed the required CFLE coursework to become certified through an abbreviated CFLE application versus taking the certification exam, saving them time and money.

Why Study Human Development and Family Science?

The Human Development and Family Science major prepares students to provide educational, preventive and interventive services to individuals and families which enhance personal, family and community well-being. Students develop the skills needed to assist people of all ages with personal and consumer choices for individual and family well-being.

Related Majors

Related Skills

  • If pursuing teaching one must obtain certification by the State of Illinois for teaching Family and Consumer Sciences coursed grades 9-12
  • Child and Day Care Services, Interpersonal and Family Relationships and Parenting, and Institutional and Home Management also offer cert ifications

Being Successful in the Field

  • A master's degree in counseling, social work, occupational therapy, or related field, in addition to appropriate professional licensure, is usually necessary to provide therapy and for advancement to supervisory or administrative positions
  • Complete practicum experiences and internships to determine suitability for the helping professions and to gain exposure to various practice settings and clients
  • Candidates should possess empathy for others, an appreciation for diversity, and an interest in social change
  • Gain experience with a diverse range of clients and client systems including individuals, families, groups, communities, and minorities

Related Fields

Social Services / Nonprofit

  • Administration and Planning
  • Case Management
  • Advocacy
  • Program Evaluation
  • Policy Development
  • Volunteer Coordination

Employers

  • Public welfare agencies
  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Private social service agencies
  • Group homes
  • Religiously affiliated organizations
  • Drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers

Strategies

Social services are designed to provide support for poor, disabled, ill, elderly, or juvenile clients.

Volunteer at homeless shelters, soup kitchens, battered women homes, literacy programs, or other social service agencies to gain relevant experience and demonstrate interest.

Criminal Justice / Corrections

  • Counseling/Therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Probation
  • Parole
  • Youth Services
  • Victim Assistance

Employers

  • Prisons and correctional facilities
  • Courts
  • Police departments
  • Probation and parole offices
  • Victim services organizations

Strategies

Human services workers incorrections focus on rehabilitating clients and assisting victims.

Obtain experience by volunteering at a corrections facility or a victim services organization such as a rape crisis center.

Gerontology

  • Advocacy
  • Counseling
  • Case Management
  • Programming
  • Public Policy

Employers

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing and retirement homes
  • Senior centers
  • Hospice

Strategies

Gerontology involves working with older adults, healthy or ill, and their families.

Become involved with programs or organizations designed for senior citizens.

Administration

  • Management
  • Policy Development
  • Planning

Employers

  • Family service agencies
  • Child welfare departments
  • Social service agencies
  • State mental health departments
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Probation departments
  • Public interest groups
  • Local, state, and federal government

Strategies

Administrators are involved with planning, budgeting, public relations, management, fund raising, and other crucial operating responsibilities that keep an organization functioning. Obtain a master's degree in social work or related field for additional opportunities. Gain management experience through internships, part-time employment, or leadership in relevant student organizations. Supplement curriculum with coursework in areas such as public relations, advertising, accounting, or management.

Business and Industry

  • Human Resources
  • Management
  • Sales
  • Public Relations
  • Corporate Giving
  • Development
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Financial Counseling

Employers

  • Business firms in various industries
  • Developers of educational products
  • National foundations and associations

Strategies

Graduates of human services programs may apply their skills and knowledge in the private sector of business and industry.

Earn a minor in business orrelated field. Develop computer skills particularly with spreadsheets, databases, word processing, and desk top publishing.

Gain experience through part-time jobs, summer jobs, and internships in business environments.

Child Welfare

  • Case Management
  • Advocacy
  • Service Coordination

Employers

  • Public or private child welfare agencies
  • Adoption agencies
  • Foster care organizations
  • Day care centers and nursery schools
  • Recreational facilities (i.e., YMCA or YWCA)
  • Head Start programs

Strategies

Child welfare workers strive to ensure the safety and well-being of children through interventions and programming.

Volunteer at day care centers, children's shelters, camps, YMCA/YWCA, Scouts, or other agencies that aid youth and children. Take additional courses in child development or early childhood education.

Developmental Disabilities

  • Case Management
  • Advocacy
  • Program Planning and Evaluation
  • Policy Development
  • Rehabilitation

Employers

  • Community residential homes
  • State and local agencies
  • Medical facilities
  • Mental health organizations
  • Schools
  • Employment agencies
  • Vocational Rehabilitation

Strategies

Human services workers specializing in this area help people with disabilities to adjust to and lead productive lives.

Volunteer at special needs camps, child care centers, schools, or hospitals to gain experience. Gain experience with and knowledge of a variety of disabilities.

Obtain specialized training in areas such as sign language or assistive technology for additional opportunities. Earn a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling for opportunities in Vocational Rehabilitation.

Health Care

  • Case Management
  • Counseling
  • Program Development
  • Administration
  • Rehabilitation

Employers

  • Hospitals
  • Community health centers
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Public health programs
  • Health maintenance organizations (HMOs)
  • Nursing homes
  • Group homes
  • Hospice

Strategies

Human services workers inhealth care facilitate the medical and emotional treatment of patients.

Volunteer in health related settings such as hospitals or the American Red Cross to gain experience. Supplement curriculum with coursework in nursing or health.

Complete appropriate prerequisites for entrance into professional programs such as occupational therapy, physician's assistant, or physical therapy.

Other Professions

  • Child Life Specialist
  • Child Services Coordinator
  • Consumer Advocate
  • Consumer Services Specialist
  • Family Resources Specialist
  • Family Services Coordinator
  • Health and Wellness Consultant
  • Human Development Analyst
  • Intervention Specialist
  • Personal Life Coach
  • Preventive Care Consultant
  • Program Coordinator
  • Project Manager
  • Researcher
  • Resident Service Director

Career Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Megan Kayfish  110 Student Services Building  meturne@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-0735 

Internship Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Michele Ruby  Turner Hall 106  mcruby@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-4608 

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for freshman students for the fall semester is September 1-November 15. Applying early is encouraged, as the University must limit enrollment due to space at the University and in specific majors/programs. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for fall transfer students is September 1-January 15. For the spring semester, the preferred filing period is from April 1-August 1. You are encouraged to apply early in the preferred filing period for best consideration for admission into competitive majors. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Minimum GPA

2.50

Middle 50% GPA

2.88 - 3.43

Required Courses

None

Recommended Courses

  • Fundamentals of Psychology (PSY 110) or
  • Introduction to Sociology (SOC 106)

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone Note
Clint Smith  Turner Hall 106  cmsmit2@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5011  Current FCS students 
Michele Ruby  Turner Hall 118A  mcruby@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-4608  Prospective FCS students  

Middle 50% GPA

2.88 - 3.43

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Application Period

August 1 - September 21, January 1 - February 21

Application Information

Current students can use the Apply to Your Program tool on My.IllinoisState.edu.

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone Note
Clint Smith  Turner Hall 106  cmsmit2@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5011  Current FCS students 
Michele Ruby  Turner Hall 118A  mcruby@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-4608  Prospective FCS students  
2016-08-03T11:23:40.188-05:00 2016
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