Child Development Emphasis

High quality early childhood education is crucial for all children in order to get the best start in life. Consider a degree in child and family studies, and you can be a major contributor to that process and positively affect the lives of young children and families.


I child wearing headphones sits at a table.



Mission Statement

The mission of the department of child and family studies is to educate and inspire students to improve the lives of children and families by using a holistic approach based on family systems theory.  Faculty members in child and family studies strive to instill in students a standard of professionalism that reflects scholarship, integrity, diversity, collaboration, service and lifelong learning.

General Information

The child and family studies curriculum provides a broad general education through the university core, multidisciplinary supporting courses and coursework specific to the child and family.  This combination assures students the breadth and depth necessary for success in a variety of rewarding careers working with children and families.  In addition to the general education and college core, course work in child and family studies has a family systems perspective and focuses on developmental that inform best practices in serving children and families from a strengths-based perspective.

A broad knowledge of the child and family is acquired through courses in family systems, communication, psychology, developmental disabilities, computer technology and contemporary issues that affect quality of life.  The curriculum is carefully designed and includes several classes available through online delivery to best meet the needs of today's students. In addition, a variety of clinical experiences is included and considered integral to students' preparation. 

Career Options

Child development graduates have many exciting career choices.  In the area of teaching and administration, individuals can pursue the Mississippi educator special licensure to teach in the pre-k/kindergarten classroom and/or an alternate route licensure to teach Family and Consumer Sciences on the secondary level. In addition, graduates are qualified to work in other early care and education settings, including privately owned centers and government-funded entities such as Head Start.  Career choices are also available in the areas of early education program evaluation, non-profit agencies, parent education, and community service through community centers, YMCA/YWCA, consumer protection agencies, summer camp programs and programs servicing children with special needs.  Child development expertise can also be applied in the business world through employment in retail stores, manufacturing companies of children’s products and financial institutions.  There are additional career opportunities in the field of mass media such as print and audio/video.  Child development career opportunities are also available through government agencies such as health, education, welfare, cooperative extension, military childcare programs and overseas childcare and education programs.