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Message from CFS Interim Department Head Spencer Olmstead


Thank you for your interest in the Department of Child and Family Studies. As I mentioned on our department’s main page, preparations are underway for some exciting changes that will be implemented beginning in Fall of 2024. First, I will emphasize that our undergraduate program with its three tracks (CFS – Community Outreach; CFS Teacher Licensure – PreK-3 program; CFS Teacher Licensure – Birth-Kindergarten Integrated program), our Master’s programs with their two tracks (CFS – Research and Application; CFS Teacher Licensure – PreK-3), and our Ph.D. Program (Child and Family Studies) will remain intact with regards to course requirements and licensure preparation. However, beginning in Fall 2024, the Early Childhood Education Programs (ECE) at the Undergraduate and Master’s levels will be housed in the Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education. Also beginning in Fall 2024, the CFS Master’s (Research and Application) and Doctoral programs will be housed in a newly formed department (name yet to be determined).

With this change, the CFS Early Childhood Education faculty, instructors, and program coordinators, including the Early Learning Center for Research and Practice (Directors and Staff) will be joining the TPTE Department. This includes Dr. Jun Ai, Dr. Samara Madrid Akpovo, Dr. Lori Caudle, Dr. Robyn Brookshire, Dr. Melody Hobbs, Jessica Adkins, Anne Miller Stott, Melanie Roberts, Elizabeth DeMartino Newton, Kathy Kidd, and Dani Thibus.

The CFS Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) faculty, instructors, and program coordinators who will be joining the new department will include Dr. Megan Haselschwerdt, Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, Dr. Jeremy Kanter, Dr. Spencer Olmstead, Dr. Amy Rauer, Dr. Heidi Stolz, Dr. Julia Yan, Dr. Sally Hunter, Dr. Elsa Nownes, Dr. Juli Dolezal, Robin Anderson, Dr. Daniela Salinas, and Dr. Alex Tucker.

The new department to be formed in Fall 2024 will join the HDFS faculty and instructors with faculty, instructors, and program coordinators affiliated with the Counseling Education program in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling. During the 2023-2024 academic year, we will begin transitioning personnel and programs to their new departments, and we will work diligently to reduce the potential for disruption and provide guidance throughout the process.  As I mentioned above, our programs will remain consistent in terms of degree requirements for the foreseeable future, but if you have questions about this, please feel free to reach out to me or our Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Amy Rauer. We are excited about the future ahead and the new opportunities that these changes will bring about for our programs and our CFS community!