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
A Nationally Ranked ProgramThe Bama by Distance program in early childhood education is ranked third in the national top ten list of best online programs (The Best Schools, 2020). The program has held similar rankings in previous years.
AccreditationThe ECE major is a teacher preparation program accredited by The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). It was one of the first two ECE programs (at four-year institutions) accredited by NAEYC in the entire nation.
Learning OpportunitiesStudents in the early childhood education major study child development and learn skills in developmentally appropriate practice to teach children in infant, toddler, and preschool settings. With engaging practicum and internship opportunities, students learn about development and learning through hands-on experiences in top-notch early learning programs.
Career OpportunitiesBecause of these high-quality placements, ECE students are prepared to teach in a variety of early learning programs, such as Pre-K programs housed in public schools, private childcare programs, faith-based programs, community-based programs, and others. Students are also able to work in non-teaching careers as early interventionists, case managers, employees for non-profit organizations, and curriculum specialists.
Teaching CertificationEligible students may apply for teacher certification (Pre-Kindergarten: Birth To Age 4 Child Development Teaching Certificate) to work as classroom teachers in public Pre-K classrooms in Alabama.
Distance Learning OptionsThe ECE major is also available online through Bama By Distance. A degree earned through Bama By Distance is identical to one earned on UA's main campus. Distance learning students receive exceptional academic advising from faculty and advisors in The Department of Human Development and Family Studies and utilize the same campus resources as students on the main campus, such as The UA Writing Center and UA Libraries.
PartnershipsECE students have opportunities to complete practicum and internship experiences with The Children’s Program and The RISE Center on UA’s campus. They observe and practice in various classroom settings serving young children with and without special needs. Through these experiences, students watch and work in two of our State’s most highly regarded early learning programs (The Children’s Program and The RISE Center) as they connect learning to practice. Distance learning students complete practicum and internship experiences in early learning programs in their communities. Students commonly work with high-quality programs that are child-focused, relationship-based, and responsive to the whole child in a developmentally appropriate way. Content in distance education courses feature the exemplary practices of The Children’s Program and The RISE Center, so students experience these programs whether they are on UA’s main campus or in their own communities. The ECE major also collaborates with Child Development Resources (CDR) and the many resources CDR provides on child development and early learning. Walk into the Child Development Research Center (CDRC), and you’ll see students in The Learning Center, a resources room and lending library for childcare providers, teachers, and childcare professionals.For more information see:
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.