Child Development and Services Major

Department: Family and Consumer Sciences
Major: Child Development and Services

This program offers an Accelerated Graduate Degree Program.

Anchored in knowledge of human ecological systems; human development throughout the lifespan; and features of individual, relational, and familial well-being and resilience; Family Science and Human Development (FSHD) degreesprepare students for effective practice in a range of human service roles and settings. Students select one of three majors–Child Development and Services, Family Science and Services, or Youth and Community Development–to further individual academic and professional interests, goals, and preparation. Each major includes 27 credit hours of coursework in core FSHD courses (cognates) and 27 credit hours of major-specific credits. (Cognates help support transitioning from one FSHD major to another when needed.) A grade of “C” or better is required for all required FCS classes in the majors.Three 15-credit hour minors are also available.

The Child Development and Services degree prepares individuals to work with children, and their families, in a range of care and service settings. This major centers on the development of children, birth through school age, and the cultivation of skills, environments, and programs that promote healthy child development and outcomes. Interpersonal relationships and communications; diverse family systems; parent education; family law and policy; and professional ethics and competencies are emphasized.

The Child Development and Services major includes selection of courses within one of two tracks: Child Programming and Administration (fulfills State of Michigan requirements for childcare center directors) or Child Life Foundations (provides fundamental knowledge for service as child life specialist).

Graduates are prepared for work in a wide variety of child-centered services–parent education, adoption, foster care, behavior intervention, childcare, program administration, child welfare, alternative education– and for graduate studies in Child Life, Family Science and Services, Youth and Community Development, and other related programs. The Child Development and Services degree does not provide Michigan Department of Education teaching certification. Additional courses and clinical experiences beyond those offered in Child Development and Services with the Child Life Foundations track are necessary in order to become eligible for certification as a child life specialist.

All required FSHD core courses are available online. Students can also take the majority of FSHD classes for any majorin-person (FCS 1030, FCS 2190, and FCS 4295 are only offered online). The Child Programming and Administration track can be completed fully online, provided that the student chooses classes with an online option.

There is no minor required with the Child Development and Services major. Students must successfully complete the WMU Essential Studies requirements.

Advising and registration for FCS 2020 Field Experience and FCS 4295 Internship is provided within the FCS department. Please contact Melinda Holohan for more information.

Program guides


Child Development and Services: Child Life Foundations Track

Child Development and Services: Child Programming and Administration Track

Graduation plans before 2022