Youth and Community Development Major

Department: Family and Consumer Sciences
Major: Youth and Community Development

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) degrees prepare 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 Youth and Community Development degree prepares students to enrich and advance youth and community well-being. Students cultivate youth advocacy skills and competencies through study of developmental theories, family and societal contexts, and evidence-based approaches. Community psychology and prevention sciences serve as foundations for developing effective practices, learning environments, and programming. 

The Youth and Community Development major readies students for service in a variety of public, private, and non-profit settings. Graduates pursue careers in human service organizations and agencies; out-of-school-time, community service, and youth activism programs; dropout prevention and alternative education; juvenile justice; and informal learning environments such as museums, camps, nature centers and environmental, outdoor, and adventure programs.   

The YCD degree builds the skills and knowledge outlined in the National After School Association’s Core Knowledge and Competencies for AfterSchool and Youth Development Professionals.

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). Many required courses for the Youth and Community Development major are available both online and in-person. 

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

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

Program Guides

Graduation Plans