Nov 28, 2020  
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog 
    
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog [NOTE!!!! THIS IS AN ARCHIVED CATALOG. FOR THE CURRENT CATALOG, GO TO CATALOG.NIU.EDU]

Master of Science in Applied Family and Child Studies


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This major provides professional career enhancement for advanced graduate work and research, secondary and college teaching, and programming and administration in family social services and child development settings in community and government agencies, including youth work, gerontological programming, child life programs in hospitals, infant and child care programs, family support services, and family life and parenting education.

A program of courses is developed cooperatively by the student and an adviser. In addition to taking the required courses, the student may focus on an individualized area of interest through the selection of courses within and outside the school.

Students-at-large intending to take courses required by this program should meet with the program coordinator.

Within the major, there is also the opportunity to specialize in marriage and family therapy.

Check departmental information for any additional requirements.

The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at http://www.niu.edu/assessment/clearinghouse/outcomes/index.shtml.

Admission


Upon admission into the program, students are required, within 30 days, to notify the area coordinator in writing of their intention to register for classes in the term for which they were admitted. Failure to do so may result in cancellation of admission.

An applicant is required to have a minimum of 9 semester hours of undergraduate courses in family and child studies, or the equivalent including a course in family relations and one in child or lifespan development. Three of the 9 hours must be an upper-division family theories or child development theories course. A student may be required to remove deficiencies in the area of family and child studies by successfully completing designated courses. These deficiency courses should be completed during the first semester after admission to the major. Graduate students’ undergraduate deficiencies have to be met with a grade of B or better. Failure to do so may result in removal from the program.

The maximum combined total of student-at-large hours plus transfer credit used in the degree program may not exceed 12 semester hours. For course work taken while a student-at-large, no more than 6 semester hours taken in the school and 6 hours outside of the school may be used in the degree program. Exceptions to these limits may be approved in special cases by the coordinator of the applied family and child studies faculty, provided that the Graduate School limit of transfer credit is not exceeded.

Since admission/enrollment in the major is limited, declared majors in the applied family and child studies program have priority for course enrollment. In such cases, students-at-large may not be allowed to enroll in some courses, or may be dropped from courses in the school within the graduate student drop period.

Comprehensive Examination


Students choosing a non-thesis option will fulfill the comprehensive examination requirement by successfully completing a proctored essay examination. Students choosing the thesis option fulfill the comprehensive examination requirement through the successful oral thesis defense and acceptance of the thesis by the Graduate School. Students must be enrolled in the term in which the comprehensive examination is taken.

Requirements


This program requires a minimum of 30 semester hours.

  • Additional courses with approval of the adviser (6)

Course work from the following (3-12)


Special Requirements


Special Requirements for FCNS 631


Prerequisites for enrollment in the child development internship in community programs (FCNS 631) are (1) completion of a minimum of 9 graduate semester hours in applied family and child studies; (2) previous full-time employment for at least one year in a licensed early childhood program or other professional setting related to young children and their families or the equivalent of the following: supervised on-campus internship (FCNS 590), both guidance and planning courses (FCNS 330 and FCNS 331/FCNS 331A), a parent-child interaction course (FCNS 537), and an early childhood professional programs course (FCNS 534); (3) FCNS 637; (4) provide written proof of a fingerprint-based criminal background check in compliance with DCFS’ policies; (5) proof of Illinois Network of Childcare Resource and Referral Agencies’ Gateway Registry; and (6) consent of school.

Special Requirements for FCNS 632


Prerequisites for enrollment in the family services internship in community programs (FCNS 632) are (1) completion of a minimum of 9 graduate semester hours in applied family and child studies; (2) previous full-time employment for at least one year in a social services program or family therapy setting or the equivalent of all of the following: (a) 50 hours of approved volunteer work, (b) a group process class (FCNS 382 or CAHC 540), and (c) a professional issues class (FCNS 581 or FCNS 692); (3) provide written proof of a fingerprint-based criminal background check in compliance with DCFS’ policies; and (4) consent of school.

Special Requirements for FCNS 638


Prerequisites for enrollment in the parent education internship (FCNS 638) are (1) undergraduate course work in child or adolescent development, including principles of guidance (FCNS 330 or equivalent) and course content in ethics (FCNS 534, FCNS 581, FCNS 692, or equivalent); (2) completion of a minimum of 9 graduate semester hours in applied family and child studies, including FCNS 538 and one other content course related to the focus of the practicum; (3) completion of or co-enrollment in FCNS 637 or FCNS 684; and (4) consent of school.

Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy


The specialization in marriage and family therapy, accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education, emphasizes the practical application of systemic family therapy principles to the diagnosis and treatment of problems in human relationships. Through extensive course work, clinical experience with client couples, families, and individuals, and supervision by approved supervisors of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, students in the specialization learn to integrate theory and research while developing the clinical skills of marriage and family therapists. The specialization prepares students to function in mental health, family service, hospital business, and human service settings, and upon graduation students have completed all requirements for associate membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Application Process


The specialization in marriage and family therapy admits a limited number of students once a year with application review in the spring semester to begin the program in the following fall.

Application materials for the Graduate School and this program are available on-line at http://www.grad.niu.edu/grad/apply/index.shtml and must be submitted on-line by January 15. Admission requirements and procedures for the specialization in marriage and family therapy are fully described in documents posted on the FCNS website http://www.chhs.niu.edu/fcs/smft/default.asp.

There are two concurrent parts to the application process: 1) the Graduate School application, 2) the Specialization in Marriage & Family Therapy supplemental forms. Graduate School application materials and guidelines are available online at http://www.grad.niu.edu/grad/apply/index.shtml. All application materials must be received by January 15. The SMFT supplemental forms and directions are provided at http://www.chhs.niu.edu/fcs/smft/default.asp. The SMFT supplemental forms must be received by the program no later than January 15, by postal mail, hand delivery, or parcel delivery service (no fax or e-mail will be accepted). Late applications will be considered only if enrollment slots are available.

Except in extraordinary circumstances, applicants must be available for a personal interview with the clinical faculty of the specialization.

Admission


An applicant is required to have a minimum of 9 semester hours of undergraduate courses in family and child studies, or the equivalent, including a course in family relations and one in child or lifespan development. Three of the 9 hours must be an upper division family theories or child development theories course. A student may be required to remove deficiencies in the area of family and child studies by successfully completing designated courses. These deficiency courses should be completed during the first semester after admission to the major. Graduate students’ undergraduate deficiencies have to be met with a grade of B or better. Failure to do so may result in removal from the program. The maximum combined total of student-at-large hours plus transfer credit used in the degree program may not exceed 12 semester hours. For course work taken while a student-at-large, no more than 6 semester hours taken in the school and 6 hours outside the school may be used in the degree program. Exceptions to these limits may be approved in special cases by the coordinator of the applied family and child studies faculty, provided that the Graduate school limit of transfer credit is not exceeded.

Special Requirements for Practicum


A fingerprint-based criminal background check, as defined by the Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy, is required prior to starting practicum. The Specialization in Marriage & Family Therapy faculty may be unable to allow a student to begin practicum if he or she has a criminal record. Therefore, the student may not be able to complete the Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Comprehensive Examination


Students choosing a non-thesis option will fulfill the comprehensive examination requirement by successfully completing a proctored essay examination. Students choosing the thesis option fulfill the comprehensive examination requirement through the successful oral thesis defense and acceptance of the thesis by the Graduate School. Students must be enrolled in the term in which the comprehensive examination is taken.

Requirements


Students must complete a minimum of 54 semester hours in the program for graduation. This includes 500 supervised clinical contact hours completed within the field of marriage and family therapy. This may be done through required course work and work experience or internship.

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