Human Development and Family Science
Head: April Few-Demo
Alumni Distinguished Professor: R. Blieszner
Professors: K. R. Allen, J. Arditti, M. Boucouvalas, E. McCollum, F. P. Piercy, K. A. Roberto, and L. Sands
Associate Professors: M. L. Dolbin-MacNab, M. Falconier, A. L. Few-Demo, C. Kaestle, K.J. Kim, T. Savla, and C. L. Smith
Assistant Professors: J. Case Pease, K. Choi, E. Grafsky, C. B. Hornburg, J. Jackson, B. Katz, A. Landers, J.M. Russon, C. Shivers, and R. Wesche
Research Scientist: I. Bradburn
Senior Instructor: M.E. Verdu
Advanced Instructor: K. Gallagher and I. Schepisi
Instructor: V. Lael, M. Komelski, and I. Schepisi
The Department of Human Development offers an undergraduate degree in Human Development, focusing on family relationships and of human development across the lifespan, and public policies and issues that impact individuals and families. It offers a second degree in early childhood education. The department's mission is to understand and improve the lives of people of all ages in relationships, families, organizations, and communities.
The program participates in the University Honors Program.
The department offers graduate programs leading to the M.S. in applied human development at the Blacksburg campus, as well as marriage and family therapy at the National Capital Region campus. The department also offers graduate programs leading to the Ph.D. in adult development and aging, adult learning and human resource development, child and adolescent development, family studies, and marriage and family therapy. Graduate students can earn the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology along with their degree or as Commonwealth Campus students (for more information, contact the Center for Gerontology, 237 Wallace Hall, (540) 231-7657). (See Graduate Catalog)
Career Advisors: M. E. Verdu
The degree in human development is for students interested in a wide variety of careers and graduate school programs. The option provides undergraduate majors with a theoretical and experiential grounding in child and adult development and in family and relational dynamics. Course work includes emphases on how individuals and families develop over the life cycle, on the critical issues and events that influence families, and on family transitions and dynamics. The curriculum also focuses on human sexuality, family diversity, and social and public policies that affect individuals and their families. Through course work and field placement experiences, human services students develop and practice skills and communication techniques for working with individuals, families and groups. In addition to course work with the Department of Human Development, human services students take courses in the areas of psychology, sociology, biology, statistics and mathematics, writing and communication, family economics, creative arts, cultural traditions, and international perspectives on human concerns. Students may tailor their studies to their particular professional goals and interests through the use of free electives.
The field study, which integrates theory, research and practice, is a pivotal experience in students' career development. It increases students' communication and practice skills and helps narrow career interests. Careers open to human services graduates include: preschool, elementary, family & consumer science and special education, employment and job training services, health and wellness programs, housing services, income programs, mental health services, nutrition and meals programs, protective services, recreation programs, respite services, social services, substance abuse programs, volunteer programs, and child care services. Graduate and professional options that human services graduates may consider include business, community health and public health, law, education, family studies, gerontology, marriage and family therapy, medicine and nursing, psychology and sociology, public administration, rehabilitation, and social work.
The graduation requirements in effect at the time of graduation apply. When choosing the degree requirements information, always choose the year of your expected date of graduation. Requirements for graduation are referred to via university publications as "Checksheets". The number of credit hours required for degree completion varies among curricula. Students must satisfactorily complete all requirements and university obligations for degree completion.
The university reserves the right to modify requirements in a degree program. However, the university will not alter degree requirements less than two years from the expected graduation year unless there is a transition plan for students already in the degree program.
Please visit the University Registrar website at http://registrar.vt.edu/graduation-multi-brief/index1.html for degree requirements.
Free Electives (Select 33-35 credits)
Students are encouraged to consider the wide array of courses across the university curriculum as potential choices for electives to support their Human Services major. In consultation with the major advisor, each student should confirm that prerequisite requirements have been met before enrolling in elective courses.
A student will be considered to have made satisfactory progress toward the degree when he/she has successfully completed the Curriculum for Liberal Education requirements for English, mathematics, and biology, and HD 1004, by the time the student has attempted 72 semester credits.
1004: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT I: CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENCE Basic concepts related to normal human development. Emphasis on developmental theories and principles of physical, social, and emotional growth, development, and behavior of children, individually and within families and cultures, from conception through adolesence. Designed as a general survey course for majors and non-majors. (3H,3C)
1134: INTRO TO DISABILITIES STUDIES Introduction to concepts realted to physical, intellectual, cognitive, and emotional disability, with a focus on disability as a social construct and lived experiences of people with disabilities across the lifespan. Exploration of texts, videos, and other created artifacts to evaluate concepts and models of disability. (3H,3C) 1984: SPECIAL STUDY Variable credit course.
2004: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT II: ADULTHOOD AND AGING Introduction to adult development and aging (gerontology). Basic concepts, principles, theories, research methods and social issues of development from emerging adulthood through the end of life. Biopsychosocial analysis of issues affecting aging processes. Includes multicultural and global perspectives and challenges in aging. (3H,3C)
2014: INTEGRATIVE PRACTICES FOR HEALTH, WELLBEING, AND RESILIENCE Theories of integrative (mind-body) health and wellbeing. Examination of multidimensional factors, including stress, personality, relationships, and social environment, as well as issues of identity and equity that influence health across the lifespan. Engagement in contemplative and evidence-based integrative health practices used for promoting health, wellbeing, and resilience. Attention given to ethical use and teaching of practice methods. (3H,3C)
2104 (SOC 2104): QUANTITATIVE APPROACHES TO COMMUNITY RESEARCH Computational methods and ethical issues in the collection, transformation, consumption, and use of quantitative data in the design and evaluation of community programs. Consideration of effective data visualization and communication of findings. Emphasis on evaluating the reliability and accuracy of data used to frame decisions about community-related policies and service-oriented programs. (3H,3C)
2304: FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS Overview of basic concepts, principles, theories, and issues of development and change in family relationships. Topics include families in historical and contextual perspective, structural and relational diversity in families, and processes of relational development, maintenance, and dissolution in families. (3H,3C)
2314: HUMAN SEXUALITY Explores the diversity of human sexuality using global perspectives. Biological, historical, developmental, psychological, sociological and self-reflexive approaches. Interdisciplinary examination of the social constructions of sexuality and gender; the historical and contemporary theoretical perspectives and research on sex; the interactions of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and nationality in shaping sexuality and family formation; the international commercialization of sex; the impact of violence and sexual coercion; the debates surrounding sexual ethics, unintended pregnancy, sex education, and biotechnology; the application of the scientific method, study designs, and methods of observation; the promotion of sexual and reproductive health across the lifespan; and the development of sexual practices, rituals, mythologies, belief systems and other cultural contexts for sexuality across time and around the world. (3H,3C)
2335-2336: PRINCIPLES OF HUMAN SERVICES 2335: Basic concepts, techniques, and structure of the human services profession. Survey of client/family assessment and problem management. 2336: Advanced topics in human services focusing on: case management, crisis intervention, program administration, specialized interventions, ethics, and professional development. Pre: 1004 for 2335; 2335 for 2336. (3H,3C)
2964: FIELD STUDY Pass/Fail only. Variable credit course.
2974: INDEPENDENT STUDY Variable credit course.
2974H: INDEPENDENT STUDY Variable credit course.
2984: SPECIAL STUDY Variable credit course. X-grade allowed.
3014: RESEARCH METHODS IN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT Critical thinking and problem-solving involved in applying methods of scientific inquiry to the field of human development. Topics include methods of data collection, basic methods for displaying and analyzing data, and writing reports. Pre: 2004, 2304, STAT 3604. (2H,1L,3C)
3024: COMMUNITY ANALYTICS Application of data analytics concepts to community issues at local and global levels. Data sources, data quality, data representation and data ethics. Statistical analysis to improve community livability. Communication of data and statistics for community stakeholders. Evaluation of reports that use data. Sophomore standing or higher. (3H,3C)
3114: ISSUES IN AGING Seminar which investigates selected contemporary issues in adulthood and old age, such as family and friend relationships; work and retirement; political, legal, and economic issues; and women’s concerns. (3H,3C)
3144 (EDCI 3144): EDUCATION OF EXCEPTIONAL LEARNERS Introduction to the historical, ethical, legal, and economic models relevant to understanding students with disabilities and meeting their needs to increase their potential for success throughout their lives. Addresses research in early intervention, K-12 instruction, post-secondary education, and transition into work settings. (3H,3C)
3214: INFANCY AND EARLY CHILDHOOD Theories, principles, normal patterns of physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development from conception to the early school years. Micro and macro environmental influences on development are considered as they interact with genetic/biological determinants of development. Pre: 1004. (3H,3C)
3224: MIDDLE CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENCE Theories, principles, normal patterns of physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development from middle childhood to adolescence. Micro and macro environmental influences on development are considered as they interact with genetic/ biological determinants of development. Pre: 1004. (3H,3C)
3234: LIFESPAN COMMUNITY SERVICES Health and human service programs serving children, youth, older, adults, and families. Overview of community programs for individuals and families over the lifespan; methods of determining service eligibility; procedures for maintaining quality assurance. Pre: 1004, 2304, 2004. (3H,3C)
3254: CURRICULUM IN EARLY CHILDHOOD Supervised experience in planning and implementing emergent, play-based learning experiences for young children; examination of the role of the teacher; exploration of early childhood curricular design and materials suitable for addressing milestones of child development based on theory and research. Pre: 1004, 3214. (3H,3C)
3304: ADVANCED HELPING SKILLS Helping skills used in human services settings. Case management, evaluating crisis situations, and approaches to individual and family assessment. Pre: 2335, 2336. (3H,3C)
3464 (AHRM 3464) (APS 3464) (GEOG 3464) (HUM 3464) (SOC 3464) (UAP 3464): APPALACHIAN COMMUNITIES The concept of community in Appalachia using an interdisciplinary approach and experiential learning. Interrelationships among geographically, culturally, and socially constituted communities, public policy, and human development. Pre: Junior standing. (3H,3C)
3954: STUDY ABROAD Variable credit course.
3954C: STUDY ABROAD Variable credit course.
3954G: STUDY ABROAD Variable credit course.
3984: SPECIAL STUDY Variable credit course.
4304: HUMAN SERVICES ADMINISTRATION Issues, functions, and responsibilities involved in developing, implementing, and evaluating family and human services programs. Pre: 3234 or 3114. (3H,3C)
4324: ADVANCED FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS Investigation of challenges, stresses, and crises experienced by individuals and families; protective factors and resilience; coping strategies; prevention and intervention; public policies. Pre: 2304. (3H,3C)
4324H: ADVANCED FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS Investigation of challenges, stresses, and crises experienced by individuals and families; protective factors and resilience; coping strategies; prevention and intervention; public policies. Pre: 2304. (3H,3C)
4334: PERSPECTIVES ON ADDICTION AND FAMILY SYSTEMS Intra-personal and inter-personal dimensions of compulsive- addictive patterns manifested in the context of the family system. Reciprocal interaction between families and other systems. Junior standing required. Pre: 2304 or 2314. (3H,3C)
4354: FAMILY, LAW, AND PUBLIC POLICY Theoretical and substantive issues that relate to the development and implementation of family policies. Implications of political culture and family legislation for the well-being of children and their families. Pre: 1004, 2335, 2336, 2004, 2304. (3H,3C)
4354H: FAMILY, LAW, AND PUBLIC POLICY Theoretical and substantive issues that relate to the development and implementation of family policies. Implications of political culture and family legislation for the well-being of children and their families. Pre: 1004, 2335, 2336, 2004, 2304. (3H,3C)
4364: GENDER AND FAMILY DIVERSITY Examination of the changing character of individual and family diversity, as related to the intersections among gender, race, class, sexuality, age, and ability. Junior standing required Pre: 2304. (3H,3C)
4714: SENIOR CAPSTONE SEMINAR Intensive learning experiences in critical thinking and analysis. Opportunities to demonstrate breadth of learning while developing leadership skills and honing professional competencies. Topics include leadership and team development, problem solving, grant writing, program evaluation, and electronic portfolios. Senior standing in Human Services required. (3H,3C)
4964: FIELD STUDY Variable credit course. Pre: 1004, 2004, 2335, 2336.
4974: INDEPENDENT STUDY Variable credit course.
4974H: INDEPENDENT STUDY Variable credit course.
4984: SPECIAL STUDY Variable credit course.
4994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH Variable credit course.
4994H: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH Variable credit course.