Family Studies

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Graduates with a degree in family studies from Alderson Broaddus University will be prepared for the 21st century with its challenges in the social services. The graduate will be prepared to work in the "real world" or to pursue graduate training.

Personal and Individual Attention from Experienced and Concerned Faculty

The faculty is made up primarily of full-time college professors or faculty members. Some faculty have decades of experience "in the field" prior to becoming college teachers. They have worked in mental health centers, schools, welfare agencies, prisons, juvenile facilities, hospitals and court systems as licensed psychologists, counselors and social workers. All the faculty are committed to creating a high quality learning experience for students. Small class size and individualized academic advising allow faculty to create a supportive and caring environment in which students can learn, grow and mature.

Field Experience

Our program includes the opportunity for students to work with children and families in the community. Students will have "hands on" experience with children that integrates with classroom training that covers areas of child development and behavior, family dynamics, parenting skills, theories of learning and intervention techniques. The field experience will be supervised by licensed professionals that coach and review student performance and emphasize professional and ethical standards.

Program of Study

The family studies program at Alderson Broaddus is a demanding major. Course work emphasizes the theoretical and methodological advances in the field with consideration of psychological, sociological and family approaches. The program gives the student the opportunity of a life-course approach that integrates educational and research experiences. Each student will conduct his/her own senior research project through a sequence of data analysis, research methods and capstone courses in the major. Students are encouraged to compare American society to other countries across the world. Multiple theoretical and methodological perspectives are used to explore areas related to children, marriage, human sexuality, domestic violence and family-work intersections.

Students will learn basic interviewing and counseling techniques and a course in introduction to play therapy will help students integrate their knowledge of child development and behavior with assessment and intervention skills.

Opportunities for Graduates

The objective of the family studies program is to prepare students to work in the field as bachelors level child and family social service professionals or to pursue graduate training as supervisors, administrators or researchers for the scientific analysis of critical family issues in the decades of rapid social change ahead. Graduates have a wide range of professional opportunities in the following areas: children's' case manager, caseworker, child protective services, family services worker, parent trainer, probation/parole officer, correctional counselor, mental health case manager, gerontology, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse counseling. Graduate training opportunities exist in fields of family studies, marriage and family counseling, counseling psychology, clinical psychology, developmental psychology, child development, and social work.

High Quality Academics

The psychology faculty offer high quality classroom instruction integrated with research projects, practical demonstration and field experience. Small class size, emphasis on discussion and seminar format, use of computer technology, access to electronic media and internet resources, provide students an outstanding educational experience. Students receive an in-depth exposure to basic information of the field, are encouraged to conduct critical examination of both historical and contemporary social and psychological issues, to acquire the methods and techniques of analysis, and to relate theory to practical application.