The undergraduate Community Outreach track in Child and Family Studies is designed to be interdisciplinary in nature in order to accommodate the special interests and strengths of students, while also allowing for flexibility and individualization. Students design a program of study in consultation with their advisor that includes a core of required courses, a complement of specialty area courses supportive of individual interests, and a 12-hour practicum that will complete their program of study. All students graduating with a child and family studies major will have in-depth knowledge about children and families, a broad integrative perspective, and means for application to variety of fields and academic careers.
The focus of this track is on learning about families as social systems, with special attention to family processes, the changing structure of families, socioeconomic differences, ethnic-cultural differences, and families that are at risk and face stressful circumstances. This track provides preparation for working in a variety of social and community agencies that serve families and their members. Child and family studies is a good choice for students who are planning to pursue graduate work in family studies or closely related fields.
For students pursuing the community outreach track, progression is governed by acceptance for the practicum. The practicum is thus the gateway for the successful completion of the CFS major.
In order for successful completion of the community outreach track, students must adhere to the requirements of their chosen catalog year. Students must also complete a 12-hour practicum, generally at the close of their academic career.
In addition, there are a few curriculum requirements:
- Students must make no less than a “C” in all CFS courses.
- Students must complete all core courses.
- Students must choose three specialty areas and complete 27 credits worth of applicable coursework within these areas.
- Students must successfully complete a 12-hour practicum.
Community Outreach Practicum
The course of study concludes with a 12-credit hour field-based experience that enables students to hone practical skills and knowledge in a work setting consistent with their personal and professional goals. Community outreach CFS students will choose one of two options, which include: (1) Community Placement Practicum (CFS 480) or (2) Research-Based Practicum (CFS 490).
- To apply for CFS 490: contact your faculty advisor
Prior to the practicum, students are to do the following:
- Complete the application one year prior to the intended practicum semester.
- Complete the self-disclosure forms allowing university personnel to obtain student conduct and criminal background information one year prior to the intended practicum semester. The department’s Undergraduate Committee will evaluate any negative background check.
Prerequisites for the practicum:
- The minimum student level is senior. Students must be in either their graduating or next to graduating semester.
- Students must have completed all core courses and prerequisites enforced by the registration system.
- Students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5.
- Students must have a minimum grade of “C” in all CFS courses.
- Students are expected to know the prerequisites (above) they must meet in order to progress into the practicum (CFS 480 or CFS 490). Students are to regularly monitor their progress in meeting these criteria.
- Students will not be allowed to progress into the practicum until the prerequisites are met.
- If students do not appear able to meet these criteria, they are encouraged to work closely with their faculty advisor or contact the Advising Coordinator for Community Outreach, Sally Hunter, to plan an alternative educational program.
- Students must work closely with advisors to ensure that they understand the requirements for progression and that they strictly follow the application process for the practicum experience of their choice.
Declaring the Community Outreach track in CFS
If you are interested in this program, you will first need to visit the Advising Center at the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences (CEHHS) to meet with an advisor. They are located at 332 Bailey Education Complex (1122 Volunteer Blvd.) and appointments can be made by calling 865-974-8194. The advisors in CEHHS will discuss all of the information summarized above, go over the CFS program and curriculum, look over your degree audit report (DARS), and academic transcript(s) to ensure this program is the best fit for your needs. Also visit the CEHHS Student Services online for further information. Students who have already met with the CEHHS advisors and have officially decided to pursue the community outreach track should set up an appointment with their faculty advisors for advising inquiries and needs.
Community outreach students are eligible to receive advising from the faculty advisor to whom they were assigned upon making junior status (60+ hours) and having, at minimum, a 2.5 GPA. Students should contact the administrative assistant for undergraduate studies if they have forgotten their faculty advisor.