Child and Family Studies (B.A.)

Designed to work with a wide spectrum of the human family, Child and Family Studies majors evidence a genuine concern for and interest in the welfare of children, families, and the general well-being of others. It is critical for students of Child and Family Studies to serve as willing advocates for changes in political and other systems and set aside prejudices in order to view each individual as a person of worth. As professionals, we believe in the ability of persons to change and grow and to assist persons within ethical guidelines.

The program is designed around the life lab concept emphasizing a partnership between academics and out of classroom placements. Core courses are designed to provide students with hands-on experiences through service-learning placements such as: Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services, the Benefit Bank, The Sickle Cell Association, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands, The Nurturing Center, Co-operative Ministries, Camp Rise Above, EdVenture Children’s Museum, Harvest Hope Food Bank, Children’s Garden, Ronald McDonald House, and Richland County First Steps.

Students are required to enroll in a semester practicum during the second year in order to understand the possibilities and complexities of their vocational choice. In the senior year, students are required to enroll in a second practicum in order to gain professional experience, network in their area of specialty, and bridge academics and practice.

Professional Services

This emphasis provides students with the capacity to work with families throughout the entire life span from early interventionist positions to work with senior centers and end of life care. It also provides a sound foundation for graduate work in family therapy, family ministry, child life specialist (medical placements), or family health care. Emphasis on family dynamics prepares students for a number of professional options such as:

  • Family Service Coordinator
  • Parent Educator
  • Early Interventionist
  • School/Home Liaison
  • Early Care/Elder Care
  • Nonprofit services for children and families
  • Graduate study in fields such as law, health care, therapy, ministry, or child life

Family Law and Social Advocacy

This specialized track was developed to provide students with the foundation needed to be successful working with families and children in a legal setting. In addition to the standard CFS curriculum, students are required to take courses with the social work and political science departments to increase familiarity with laws and legal process regarding vulnerable populations. Many classes are held in partnership with the South Carolina Statehouse, including an opportunity to train as guardian ad litem for course credit. Upon completion of this degree students are uniquely qualified for a variety of professional options including positions with:

  • Department of Juvenile Justice
  • South Carolina State Department of Social Services
  • Richland County Department of Social Services
  • Richland County Guardian Ad Litem/Victims’ Advocates
  • Graduate study in law or social work

Required Major Courses

CFS 221: Family Development (taught every semester)
CFS 301: Human Development and the Social Environment I
CFS 316: Parent Education
CFS 320: Intervention with Children and Families
CFS 480: Field Experience in Child and Family Studies

Concentration Requirements

The Services to Children and Families concentration requires PSY 342 (Psychological Disorders), CFS 280 (Early Internship in Child and Family Studies), 302 (Human Behavior and the Social Environment II), 318 (Aging), and 12 additional s.h. from the following:

BUS 202: Principles of Management
BUS 325: Entrepreneurship
CFS 205: Introduction to Theories of Child Development
CFS 208: Children in a Violent Society
CFS 455: Family Law and Advocacy
CFS 430: Death and Dying
EDU 346: Issues in Early Childhood Education
PHIL 154: Introduction to Philosophy
PHIL 205: Introduction to Logic
PSY 360: Group Process
PSY 369: Psychology of Personality
PSY 430: Biological Psychology
PSY 459: Clinical and Counseling Psychology
SW 201: Professional Ethics
SW 312: Child Maltreatment and Family Preservation
SW 314: Out of Home Care and Permanency Planning
REL 341: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
SOC 268: Ethnic and Minority Groups
SOC 448: Community Organizations and Advocacy
SPED 332: Exceptional Learners

The Family Law and Social Advocacy concentration requires CFS 205 (Introduction to Theories of Child Development), 280 (Early Internship in Child and Family Studies), 318 (Aging), 455 (Family Law and Advocacy), SOC 268 (Ethnic and Minority Groups) or PSY 254 (Understanding Diversity and Inclusion), POSC 420 (Constitutional Law) and 9 s.h. from the following:

CFS 208: Children and A Violent Society
ENG 275: Advanced English Grammar
ENG 285: Critical Approaches to Interpreting Texts
Any ENG 300+ level literature course
PHIL 205: Introduction to Logic
POSC 219: Political Participation and Advocacy
POSC 355: The Judicial Process
SW 312: Child Maltreatment and Family Preservation
SW 314: Out of Home Care and Permanency Planning
WRIT 210: Advanced Composition
WRIT 305: Writing for Business and Public Affairs
WRIT 340: Methods of Teaching Writing
WRIT 355: Writing, Ethics, and Law

Dr. Joyce Fields, Child and Family Studies Program Coordinator

Wil Lou Gray 109
phone: 803-786-3688