All emphases in this major have an applied as well as a theoretical orientation. The major emphasizes a developmental life-span approach to individual and family change. The influence of family and individual development on one another is the guiding principle in all programs.
Check departmental information for any additional requirements.
Emphasis 1. Family and Individual Development
This emphasis provides career enhancement for students who have prior work experience with individuals and/or families, or who plan to pursue a career in secondary education, or higher education in family and child studies and related fields. It is recommended as preparation for advanced degrees in related fields with a research rather than a service focus.
Requirements in School (30)
Three of the following (9)
Requirements outside School (21-23)
Total Hours for Emphasis 1, Family and Individual Development: 51-53
Emphasis 2. Family Social Services
This emphasis is intended for students who seek entry-level employment in family service, family life education, mental health, or community welfare agencies which serve primarily older children, adolescents, adults, couples, and/or the elderly. It is recommended as preparation for advanced degrees in social work, family and child studies, marriage and family therapy, and related fields.
Requirements in School (40)
Requirements outside School (18-20)
Total Hours for Emphasis 2, Family Social Services: 58-60
Students must be admitted to the emphasis before enrolling in FCNS 382. Students should apply for admission prior to the second semester of their sophomore year or upon entry to the university to allow for a more timely graduation without delays due to course sequences.
Complete a total of 100 certified hours of approved community service, at least 50 hours completed prior to enrolling in FCNS 383 and the balance completed prior to enrolling in FCNS 431B.
A grade of C or better in FCNS 180 is a prerequisite for enrolling in FCNS 382, a grade of C or better in FCNS 382 is a prerequisite for enrollment in FCNS 383. Prerequisites for enrollment in the internship FCNS 431B are an overall GPA of at least 2.20 in NIU course work at the time of application for the internship, completion of FCNS 180, FCNS 382, and FCNS 383 with a grade of C or better, completion of FCNS 481, senior standing, and consent of the school. Professional liability insurance is provided through a course fee. Application is required in September for internships during the following spring and summer terms. In the semester prior to enrollment in FCNS 431B, students are required to attend monthly meetings. Students must complete FCNS 431B with a grade of C or better.
Students not meeting the requirements for entry into the internship may, with the consent of the school, change to Emphasis 1, Family and Individual Development, in order to complete graduation requirements.
B.S. Completion in Emphasis 2
This completion program is limited to students with an Applied Associate of Science degree in human development and family studies from City Colleges of Chicago. Upon successful completion at NIU of at least 7 semester hours of FCNS 431B with a grade of C or better, the student will receive a total of 12 semester hours credit for: PHHE 306, FCNS 488, FCNS 431B and one 3 credit upper division elective. The required community service hours will be waived for students who have completed an Associates of Applied Science in Human Development & Family Studies from the City Colleges of Chicago. Graduates of other community colleges with similar programs can petition the School of Family, Consumer and Nutrition Sciences for a review of their transcripts.
Emphasis 3. Child Development
This emphasis provides preparation for professionals who serve infants, toddlers, and young children and their parents in parent-child programs both home- and community-based, in programs for parents and expectant parents, in child-life, early intervention, and early childhood education programs, and in leadership/ advocacy positions. With this preparation, graduates are qualified to apply for an Early Childhood Core Credential Level V, the Infant/Toddler Credential Level V, the Illinois Director Credential Level II, and an Early Intervention Developmental Therapist credential. Students can apply for the first three credientials by contacting the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies. Students can apply for the fourth credential by contacting Provider Connections. Students interested in the Illinois Director Credential must take: FCNS 434, FCNS 438, FCNS 445, and FCNS 483. The Child Development Emphasis is recommended as preparation for advanced degrees in child development, family and child studies, and related fields.
Requirements in School (51)
One of the following areas of study (9)
Parent/Infant Specialist (9)
Child Life Specialist (9)
Requirements outside School (15-17)
(All of the courses below are available for general education credit.)
One of the following (3-4)
Total Hours for Emphasis 3, Child Development: 66-68
Students must earn a grade of C or better in FCNS 230 or EPS 304 or PSYC 324 in order to enroll in FCNS 330, FCNS 331, and FCNS 332. Students are required to attend mandatory meetings every fall and spring semester prior to enrollment in FCNS 490.
At the time of enrolling in FCNS 490, the following prerequisites must be completed:
- declaration as a major in emphasis 3;
- an overall GPA of at least 2.20 in all NIU course work;
- completion of 50 hours of approved community service in a child development agency (completed after admission to program and prior to admission to FCNS 490);
- completion of FCNS 230 and FCNS 330 with a grade of C or better, FCNS 331 and FCNS 332 with a grade of C or better, and FCNS 432 and FCNS 498;
- meet DCFS licensing requirements for personnel, including:
- physical and mental competencies that do not interfere with child care responsibilities,
- verification of a nonreactive two step tuberculin skin test and physical exam within the last 6 months,
- fingerprint-based criminal background check,
- 3 letters of reference,
- certification in first aid and cardiac pulmonary resuscitation (CPR);
- and consent of the school.
- Professional liability insurance is provided through a course fee.
Students must complete FCNS 490 with a grade of C or better. Students electing the study area of parent/infant or child life specialist must have taken FCNS 439 or be concurrently enrolled in it when taking FCNS 490. Students not meeting the requirements for entry into the practicum or internship may, with the consent of the school, change to the emphasis in family and individual development in order to complete graduation requirements.