Human Development and Family Studies

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Overview

The Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) Associate of Arts Degree is an interdisciplinary major that will prepare you to work with children, youth, and families in a variety of settings. The program is a study of theories and research of the human lifecycle, family systems, and the larger socio-economic environment. 

Why Choose Human Development and Family Studies at TMCC?

HDFS graduates are in demand in community settings, businesses, and organizations for their knowledge of family and group dynamics, as well as their skills in program development and training. Graduates also have an excellent foundation for additional training in teaching, school counseling, marital and family counseling, social work, family law, and occupational therapy.

TMCC’s Human Development and Family Studies major offers several key advantages:

  • Our Associate of Arts degree is designed to seamlessly to transfer to UNR. You will complete your lower-division courses at TMCC and then transfer to UNR to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in HDFS.
  • You will have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on practicum experience in the TMCC Child Care Center and apply the skills you are learning in the program.
  • The demand for HDFS graduates in Northern Nevada and the US, in general, is strong because the HDFS major provides students with a valuable foundation for understanding important social trends:
    • The aging population is growing, and the number of people with training who can provide help and assistance to them falls far short of the need;
    • Dual-earner and single-parent families have become the norm, resulting in the need for more high-quality daycare;
    • Social problems such as child abuse and drug and alcohol problems affect many individuals and families who need resources and specialists in these fields.
  • Careers in HDFS fields are growing at a higher than average rate in Nevada through 2026. For example:
    • Social and Human Service Assistants is projected to grow 23%
    • Child, Family, and School Social Workers is projected to grow 19%
    • Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers is projected to grow 22%
    • Community & Social Service Specialists is projected to grow 22%
    • Social and Community Service Managers is projected to grow 24%

I chose to major in HDFS because this is a field in which I will be able to help people of all ages in a wide variety of ways. Once I graduate from TMCC I hope to be able to work under a social worker in the pediatric emergency department at Renown Hospital, where I am already employed and have a foot in the door, and then work on my certification in marriage and family therapy to advance my education. I am so grateful that TMCC offers this HDFS program because the low cost of tuition helps me not to worry about my finances while the flexibility of classes has been great for me as a working student.

Nathalie, TMCC HDFS Major

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What Will I Study?

As an HDFS major at TMCC you will complete foundational coursework in human development (i.e., infancy and childhood, adolescence, emerging and young adulthood, middle and later adulthood/aging) and in the area of family studies. You will study theory and innovative research in the field and learn to identify diverse factors influencing cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development across the lifespan. A hallmark of the HDFS degree program is participation in a semester-long practicum experience in the TMCC Child Care Center during which you will have the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills acquired in foundational course work and gain valuable experience in your professional field.

Your degree program will include courses in child guidance, lifespan human development, families, diversity in children, sociology, and early childhood education. You will take general education courses including nutrition and psychology and will have the opportunity to customize your education with electives such as substance abuse, child psychology, students with diverse abilities and backgrounds, neuroscience, cultural anthropology, women’s studies and more.

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Career Paths

The career paths for Human Development and Family Studies majors are quite diverse and include occupations such as:

  • Administrator of child development or family service program
  • Youth service organization manager
  • Child development specialist
  • Community education instructor or programmer
  • Parent educator
  • Family financial planner
  • Consumer advocate
  • Life skills instructor
  • Family public policy advocate
  • Juvenile and adult corrections and criminal justice
  • Administrator in adult and aging facilities
  • Women’s program administrator
  • Child protection worker
  • Case manager
  • Victim assistance worker
  • Residential center manager
  • Senior center director

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