The major in Addiction and Recovery offers students an in-depth examination of the development and progression of addictive disorders and the process of recovery from addictions. Students will also learn methods for preventing and treating substance use disorders that incorporate family, peer, and community support. This major has a one-semester internship requirement. Students who choose to gain additional hands-on experience at prevention agencies or treatment centers while completing this major may apply for certification as prevention specialists or alcohol/drug counselors through Alabama Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association (AADAA).
The Early Childhood Education (ECE) major prepares graduates to work with a diverse population of young children and families using research-based, developmentally appropriate educational practices. The ECE major is a teacher preparation program accredited by The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), with curricular emphasis on the years spanning birth to age five. Experiential learning activities, assessments, and classroom practicum experiences with children in birth to pre-K settings are provided for all students. The knowledge and skills that ECE students learn help prepare them to teach in a variety of early learning programs, such as programs that use emergent curriculum, Pre-K programs housed in public schools, private childcare programs, faith-based programs, community-based programs, and others. Students also are prepared for non-teaching careers as early interventionists, case managers, employees for non-profit organizations, and curriculum specialists. Eligible students may also apply for teacher certification (Birth to PreK Child Development Certificate) to work in public Pre-K classrooms in Alabama. This major has a one-semester internship requirement
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Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) focuses on helping children, families, and relationships thrive. Students majoring in HDFS have a genuine concern for children and families and seek the challenge of helping people learn, solve life problems, and successfully interact with others. Students gain an understanding of the development of the family system, the dynamics of family relationships, and an understanding of growth and development throughout the lifespan. HDFS offers concentrations in adolescence and youth development, child development practitioners, child life, and family life education and advocacy. The HDFS major with no concentration provides a flexible curriculum and may be particularly appealing for double-majors or students preparing for professional degrees (e.g., medical school).
Adolescence and Youth Development Concentration
A major in HDFS with a concentration in adolescence and youth development is available for students who are interested in the growth and development of adolescents and youth within the family, peer, and school contexts. The goal of this concentration is to prepare students for work with youth and adolescents in a variety of settings including community-based programs, family service agencies, and mental-health agencies, or for graduate studies in a variety of fields. This concentration has a one-semester internship requirement.
Child Life Concentration
A major in HDFS with a concentration in child life is for students who wish to pursue the healthcare career of a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS). The curriculum consists of a comprehensive foundation of courses related to child development, family systems, and play, as well as coursework specific to children in the healthcare setting. Laboratory and practicum experiences, along with the conceptual information, provides the foundation necessary to support children and their families in the healthcare setting. CCLS’s provide education about diagnosis, support through procedures, and promote development. Graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification exam administered by the Child Life Certifying Committee of the Association of Child Life Professionals. This concentration requires completion of an internship in a child life clinical setting. A minimum GPA of 3.0, 100 practicum and volunteer hours, competent interviewing skills, and the resources to relocate are basic requirements for students to enter the national competition for a child life internship.
Family Life Education and Advocacy Concentration
A major in HDFS with a concentration in family life education and advocacy is available for students who are interested in family relations and want to learn how to create and deliver educational programming to enhance family functioning. Graduates may qualify for certification as a Family Life Educator by the National Council on Family Relations. The goal of this concentration is to prepare students for work with families in a variety of settings including community-based programs, family service agencies, and mental-health agencies, or for graduate studies in a variety of fields. This concentration has a one-semester internship requirement.
The 18-credit minor in Human Development and Family Studies provides supplemental training for non-majors on child development, adolescent development, and family studies.
The 18-credit minor in Addiction and Recovery offers students an overview of the development and progression of addictive disorders and the process of recovery from addictions. Students will also learn the basics of drug education and methods for treating substance use disorders that incorporate family, peer, and community support.