Child and Family Services Requirements

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Child and Family Services is a dynamic and multidisciplinary field. This program provides a broad education in the areas of child development, family studies, and social services. Graduates of this program have found employment in a variety of settings including: child care, non-public schools, social service agencies, early intervention, and hospitals. The application of this major enables students to pursue interests directly related to the career of their choice. In addition, there are several opportunities to gain real-life experiences in the field that enhance and guide the student in their career choices in working with children and/or families.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Child and Family Services

The child and family services major offers preparation leading to a variety of positions involving work with children and families in early childhood and home visiting programs and social service agencies. Such positions may include: administrator and/or teacher in non-public school programs, including child care centers; child development specialist; infant-toddler teacher; child life specialist in hospital; family life specialist in social service agencies; specialist in parent education; and parent liaison and family advocate. Also, students are eligible to seek several credentials once they complete the program of study such as Early Care and Education, Illinois Director, the Infant Toddler and Family Specialist credentials through Gateways to Opportunity.

There are sequential steps for advancement in the Child and Family Services major. Such advancement is based not only on continued satisfactory academic performance, but also on acceptable professional behaviors that the faculty deem essential for competent and effective work with children and families. In order to assess mastery of these behaviors, students are evaluated on their performance in their courses and in the field.

An overall minimum GPA of 2.5 is required to register for the following major courses: CI 318A, CI 318B, CI 405A, CI 405B, CI 417, and CI 419. Students must earn a grade of C or better in EDUC 214 to enroll in CI 318A, CI 318B, and CI 405A, CI 405B. CI 318A, CI 318B, CI 395, CI 405A, CI 405B, and CI 495 may not be taken more than two times, and students must have the consent of the program to repeat these courses.

To be eligible for the internship, the student must have attained a minimum GPA of 2.5 in the major, an overall GPA of 2.5, have completed CI 227, CI 318A, CI 318B, CI 327, CI 337, CI 395, and CI 405A, CI 405B with a grade of C or better, and have consent of the field experience instructor. A minimum of twelve semester hours of coursework from one of the recommended elective areas is also required prior to enrollment in the internship.

B.S. Child and Family Services Degree Requirements

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 39
To include: EDUC 214; PSYC 102 or PSYC 102H
Child and Family Requirements 51
CI 217, CI 227, CI 318A, CI 318B, CI 327, CI 337, CI 395, CI 403, CI 405A, CI 405B, CI 417, CI 419, CI 495 38
PSYC 211; PSYC 305, PSYC 306, PSYC 307, or PSYC 331 7
PH 351 3
SPED 300 3
Recommended Tracks (12-15 hours in one of the following recommended tracks) 12-15
Recommended for Early Childhood Program Director: The following 15 hours are required for the Illinois Director Credential: CI 418; CMST 383; ENGL 291; FIN 270; MGMT 350.
Recommended for Child Development Specialist: CI 225, CI 413, CI 498H; CMST 383; REHB 401, REHB 407; PSYC 425; SOCW 291, SOCW 275, SOCW 295, SOCW 361; SPED 405, SPED 412, SPED 425.
Recommended for Parent Educator: CI 225, CI 413, CI 498H; PH 312; PSYC 306, PSYC 425; SOC 302, SOC 321; SOCW 275, SOCW 295, SOCW 383, SOCW 421; SPED 425.
Recommended for Social Service Specialist: CMST 201, CMST 262, CMST 383; CI 498H; PSYC 301, PSYC 303, PSYC 331, PSYC 333; SOC 321, SOC 340, SOC 423; WGSS 201, WGSS 341, WGSS 442.
Recommended for the Individualized Plan (IP): Program of study is compiled by the student in conjunction with the advisor, as approved by the CI coordinator of the Child and Family Services Program. The student and advisor complete the Individualized Plan with justification for the set of electives comprising the plan. The electives are chosen to meet a specific career goal.
Electives 15-18
Total 120

Child and Family Services Minor

The minor in child and family services is designed to provide students with basic knowledge in early childhood and family studies. The selection of coursework is flexible so that courses can be adapted to the special interests of students with diverse backgrounds and goals. Students are expected to honor all prerequisites in their selection of courses. A minimum of 18 hours of coursework is required as follows:

CI 227, EDUC 214 - 6; electives to be chosen from the following: CI 217, CI 327, CI 337, CI 390H, CI 390Q, CI 403, CI 413, CI 419, CI 498H.

A grade of C or better must be earned for all courses in the minor.

Capstone Option for Transfer Students

The Capstone Option is available to students who have earned an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree, or an Associate of Engineering Science (A.E.S.) degree, or an equivalent certification, and who have a cumulative 2.0/4.0 GPA on all accredited coursework prior to the completion of the A.A.S./A.E.S., as calculated by the transfer institution's grading policies. The Capstone Option reduces the University Core Curriculum requirements from 39 to 30 credit hours, therefore reducing the time to degree completion. See the Capstone Option section for more information on this option.