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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What happened to the Family and Child Studies Major?

Family and Child Studies changed to Human Development and Family Sciences beginning the fall semester 2017.  If you started with a Family and Child Studies major before fall 2017, your degree will be changed to Human Development and Family Sciences.

Can I graduate in four years?

Completion of the program in four years is possible if your general education requirements are completed at the end of your sophomore year and you apply to the department and are accepted during your sophomore year. We recommend checking in with your advisor every semester in order to stay on track.

How competitive is the admission process?

The competitive nature varies by emphasis and over time. The minimum GPA to be accepted to any of the emphases is a 2.20, and it might be as high as a 2.60.

Can I get a job after graduation with a degree in this area?

Yes. The emphases with an internship or practicum are designed to facilitate your employability.

Does this degree certify me to teach in the Illinois Public School system?

Earning a B.S. in Family and Child Studies does not certify you to teach.

Family and Individual Development (FID)

What GPA do I need to be admitted into Family and Individual Development emphasis?

At least a 2.20 is needed for admission to FID, although since the program is competitive, a GPA as high as 2.60 may be needed.

What is the difference between Family Social Services (FSS) and Family and Individual Development (FID)?

FSS includes a pre-professional sequence leading to an internship; FID is intended for students with prior work experience in the field, or who wish to continue directly to graduate school, particularly with an academic focus.

Do I have to do an internship with a Family and Individual Development emphasis?

FID does not have an internship.

Family Social Services (FSS)

What GPA do I need to be admitted in to Family Social Services emphasis? Someone from the agency to which I have applied has asked me for a revised budget. Whom should I contact?

At least a 2.20 is needed for admission to FSS, although since the program is competitive, a GPA as high as 2.50 may be needed.

Is a Family Social Services emphasis the same thing as a bachelor's degree in Social Work?

The Family Social Services emphasis is not exactly the same as a degree in social work. In most cases, you will be eligible for jobs advertised as requiring the equivalent of a Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.)

How many hours of volunteer work for Family Social Services do I need to complete?

50 hours prior to enrollment in FCNS 382; 100 hours (total) prior to enrollment in FCNS 431 is required.

Which semester will I do my Family Social Services Internship?

You will begin your internship usually the final semester before you graduate.

What is Family Social Services Intern Orientation Day?

Held in mid to late September on a Thursday morning, the orientation day is primarily for students who will be finishing their degrees in FSS during the next calendar year. Twelve agencies send representatives who speak to students about jobs and internships. Students receive their application for their internships and information about upcoming required meetings.

Child Development (CD)

What GPA do I need to be admitted in to Child Development emphasis?

At least a 2.20 is needed for admission to CD, although since the program is competitive, a GPA as high as 2.60 may be needed.

What are the differences among the three different sub-emphases within Child Development?

Each sub-emphasis provides a focus for certain positions. The coursework helps prepare for certain career paths and different entries into credentialing for early childhood roles. All CD students will gain practical experience working with children in the NIU Child Development Laboratory (CDL) which is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), also is a Gold Circle center by IL ExceleRate.

What is the Parent/Infant Specialist sub-emphasis?

This sub-emphasis offers academic and practical training for students who are interested in serving infants, toddlers, and their families. Students graduated from this program are able to received Infant Toddler Credential Certificate Level 5 through the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA).

What is the Child Life sub-emphasis?

Child Life sub-emphasis provides the academic training for students who want to become a Child Life Specialist. Child Life Specialists are professionals who help infants, children, youth, and families cope with the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury, and treatment. For other additional requirements to become a certified Child Life Specialist, please visit the Association of Child Life Professionals’ website at childlife.org/certification

What is the Leadership sub-emphasis?

Students who are interested to become an administrator of a childcare program will receive training in managing and planning a total inclusive program. Students who take several additional required courses are eligible to receive Illinois Director Credential Certificate-Level 2 through the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA).

Can I pursue coursework for all of the emphases within Child Development?

Yes, this is recommended so you will be better prepared for type of position in the field. It will increase your career opportunities.