Western Michigan University's child and family development major is focused on preparing individuals to work with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school-age children and their families in a variety of settings. This program meets state of Michigan requirements for child care center directors. It provides flexibility for students to complete their major either on the main campus or primarily online.
The child and family development major includes:
- Knowledge about how families work.
- The inter-relationship of families and society.
- Human growth and development across the life span.
- The physiological and psychological aspects of human sexuality.
- The impact of resource management on daily life.
- The importance and value of education for parenting.
- The effect of policy and legislation on families.
- Ethical considerations in professional conduct.
- Understanding and knowledge of how to teach and develop curriculum for varied settings.
Beyond the classroom
The Family Studies Student Organization provides opportunities for child and family development students to interact with peers, hone leadership skills and serve the community. During meetings and service projects, students network and learn about career paths and job opportunities.
After you graduate
The National Council on Family Relations approves this major, allowing graduates to become Provisional Certified Family Life Educators. This certification enhances employment opportunities and verifies professional credibility for educators who work with families.
Recent WMU graduates with degrees in child and family development are working as:
- Child life specialists
- Great Start parent educators
- Head Start teachers
- Parent educators
- Program lead teachers for preschoolers, infants and toddlers
- Program administrators
Among the organizations they work for are:
- Adoption and foster care agencies
- Child care centers
- Community health
- Faith and religious organizations
- Health organizations
- Family-focused agencies
Where is this program offered?