Human Development and Family Studies, A.S. (Altoona)

Program Code: 2FSAL_AS

Program Description

Not all options are available at every campus. Contact the campus you are interested in attending to determine which options are offered.

This major integrates practical and academic experiences to provide the student with entry-level professional competence in the human service field. The objective of the major is to offer a general education background, a knowledge base in life span and family development, and a core of professional skills that may be applied in program planning and service delivery activities. The major is offered part-time, in the evening, and through independent learning.

Adult Development and Aging Services Option

Available at the following campuses: Altoona, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette, Mont Alto, Schuylkill, Scranton, Shenango, World Campus, York

This option is designed to prepare students for a wide variety of service roles in mental health facilities, nursing homes and other institutions for the aged, area agencies on aging, public welfare and family service agencies, women's resource centers, human relations programs, employee assistance programs and customer services and consumer relations programs in business and industry. An approved field experience in any of a wide variety of settings that serve adults, the aged, and their families, is required for this option.

Children, Youth, and Family Services Option

Available at the following campuses: Altoona, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette, Mont Alto, Schuylkill, Scranton, Shenango, World Campus, York

This option is designed to prepare students for service roles in preschools; day care centers; hospitals; institutional and community programs for emotionally disturbed, abused, or neglected children and adolescents; as well as a variety of public welfare and family service agencies. An approved field experience in a children, youth, or family services setting is required for this option.

Early Childhood Care and Education Option

Available at the following campuses: DuBois, Fayette, Shenango, York

This option is designed to increase professional capabilities in child care training in regard to issues of quality, affordability, and accessibility of programming. The primary foci are on language, literacy, and science reasoning. In the coursework, there is a blending of theory and practice that requires experience in a group setting with young children. Courses concentrate on infants and toddlers as well as older preschoolers. Each course has a strong parent/family communications component and stresses observation techniques appropriate for assessing and evaluating the development of young children.

What is Human Development and Family Studies?

The Associate in Science in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) integrates practical and academic experiences to provide you with entry-level, professional competencies in the human service fields. The Adult Development and Aging Services option focuses on the biological, psychological, and social development of adults and elderly persons, with special emphasis on the various contexts of adult development, including work and the family. The Children, Youth, and Family Services option is an ideal choice if you want to work with various age groups in centers, institutions, and agencies. The program's ultimate goal is to improve the quality of planned services for families from varied backgrounds and community settings. For both options, HDFS students complete an internship at a human service organization in their community. Real world experience will help you build professional networks, establish references, and reflect on what you have learned in the classroom.

You Might Like This Program If...

  • You already work in a human service–related field.
  • You aspire to work in human service–related occupations.

Entrance to Major

Students must have a minimum 2.0 GPA to change to this Associate degree after admission to the University.

Degree Requirements

For the Associate in Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies, a minimum of 60 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 21
Electives 0-3
Requirements for the Major 51-55

15 of the 21 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 6 credits of GWS courses; 3 credits of GS courses; 3 credits of GN courses; and 3 credits of GQ courses.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all associate degree students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 3 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 3 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 3 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 3 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 3 credits

Note: Up to six credits of Inter-domain courses may be used for any Knowledge Domain requirement, but when a course is used to satisfy more than one requirement, the credits from the course can be counted only once.

Foundations or Knowledge Domains

  • Any General Education course: 3 credits

University Degree Requirements

Cultures Requirement   

3 credits of United States (US) or International (IL) cultures coursework are required and may satisfy other requirements

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 60 degree credits must be earned for a associates degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 60 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Common Requirements for the Major (All Options)

Prescribed Courses
CAS 100Effective Speech Keystone/General Education Course3
ENGL 15Rhetoric and Composition Keystone/General Education Course3
HDFS 395Internship6
PSYCH 100Introductory Psychology Keystone/General Education Course3
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
HDFS 129Introduction to Human Development and Family Studies Keystone/General Education Course3
HDFS 301Values and Ethics in Health and Human Development Professions3
Additional Courses
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Human Physiology Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to the Biology of Aging Keystone/General Education Course
Human Body: Form and Function Keystone/General Education Course
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
SOC 30Sociology of the Family Keystone/General Education Course (SOC 30 does not require a grade of C or better)3
or HDFS 315 Family Development
Select one of the following:3-4
Analysis and Interpretation of Statistical Data in Education Keystone/General Education Course
Statistical Concepts and Reasoning Keystone/General Education Course
Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course
Requirements for the Option
Select an option21-24

Requirements for the Option

Adult Development and Aging Services Option (21 credits)

Available at the following campuses: Altoona, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette, Mont Alto, Schuylkill, Scranton, Shenango, World Campus, York

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
HDFS 249NAdult Development and Aging Keystone/General Education Course3
HDFS 311Human Development and Family Studies Interventions3
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 15 credits in consultation with the adviser from University-wide offerings that enhance competence in the option15
Children, Youth, and Family Services Option (24 credits)

Available at the following campuses: Altoona, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette, Mont Alto, Schuylkill, Scranton, Shenango, World Campus, York

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
HDFS 229Infant and Child Development Keystone/General Education Course3
HDFS 239Adolescent Development Keystone/General Education Course3
HDFS 311Human Development and Family Studies Interventions3
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 15 credits in consultation with the adviser from University-wide offerings that enhance competence in the option15
Early Childhood Care and Education Option (24 credits)

Available at the following campuses: DuBois, Fayette, Shenango, York

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
HDFS 229Infant and Child Development Keystone/General Education Course3
HDFS 230Overview of Curricular Practices in Early Childhood Care and Education3
HDFS 231Guidance in Early Childhood Care and Education3
HDFS 232Creativity and Play in Early Childhood Care and Education3
HDFS 233Emergent Language and Literacy: Development and Practice in Early Childhood Care and Educat3
HDFS 234Mathematics and Science Reasoning: Development and Practice in Early Childhood Care and Educat3
HDFS 311Human Development and Family Studies Interventions3
HDFS 330Observation or Experience with Children, Youth, and Families3

Program Learning Objectives

  • Understanding of the complexity of individual and family development across the lifespan in diverse contexts and in changing environments.
  • Evaluate and Apply Research and Theory to Practice and Policy.
  • Ability to analyze processes, policies, and contextual factors that affect the delivery of human services to individuals and families.
  • Professional ethical and culturally sensitive standards of conduct.
  • Knowledge and competence in helping, leadership, and administrative human service skills.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

Altoona

Lauren P. Jacobson
Assistant Teaching Professor, Human Development and Family Studies
Hawthorn Building 123
3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601
814-949-5333
lpj100@psu.edu

DuBois

Jessica Clontz
Lecturer
1 College Place
DuBois, PA 15801
814-375-4833
jlb5810@psu.edu

Fayette

Elaine Barry
Associate Professor
2201 University Drive
Lemont Furnace, PA 15456
724-430-4284
esb12@psu.edu

Mont Alto

Jacqueline Schwab
Associate Professor, HDFS
11 Bookstore Building
Mont Alto, PA 17237
717-749-6034
sen@psu.edu

Schuylkill

Anne Mercuri
Human Development and Family Studies Coordinator
A112 200 University Drive
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972
570-385-6083
aem141@psu.edu

Scranton

Janet Melnick
Senior Instructor
Associate Teaching Professor
Dunmore, PA 18512
570-963-2674
jam81@psu.edu

Shenango

Roxanne Atterholt
Assistant Teaching Professor
147 Shenango Avenue
102 McDowell Hall
Sharon, PA 16146
724-983-2953
rxa32@psu.edu

University Park

Sarah Krupp
Academic Adviser
119 Health and Human Development Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-1744
seg143@psu.edu

World Campus

Undergraduate Academic Advising
301 Outreach Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-3283
advising@outreach.psu.edu

York

Jean Marie St. Clair-Christman
Assistant Teaching Professor in HDFS / Field Coordinator
15 Romano Administration Building
York, PA 17403
717-771-4161
jxs176@psu.edu

Career Paths

Careers

With an associate degree in HDFS, you can work in the human services field, promoting health and preventing social and mental health problems for child, youth and families and adults and the elderly. You may also find employment in the following areas:

  • medical case worker
  • mental health worker
  • case manager
  • school support services
  • medical and public health services
  • substance abuse services

The associate degree in HDFS can also serve as a stepping stone to further education if you wish to work as a counselor or social worker.

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Many graduates go on to earn an HDFS bachelor's degree; some eventually enroll in graduate school.

Contact

Altoona

DIVISION OF EDUCATION, HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
Hawthorn Building 123
3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601
814-949-5333
lpj100@psu.edu

http://altoona.psu.edu/academics/bachelors-degrees/human-development-family-studies/request-information

DuBois

1 College Place
DuBois, PA 15801
814-375-4833
jlb5810@psu.edu

http://dubois.psu.edu/human-development-and-family-studies-0

Fayette

2201 University Drive
Lemont Furnace, PA 15456
724-430-4284
esb12@psu.edu

http://fayette.psu.edu/assoc-human-development-and-family-studies

Mont Alto

11 Bookstore Building
Mont Alto, PA 17237
717-749-6034
sen@psu.edu

https://montalto.psu.edu/academics/associate/associate-human-development-family-studies-degree

Schuylkill

ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
A112 200 University Drive
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972
570-385-6083
aem141@psu.edu

http://www.schuylkill.psu.edu/hdfs

Scranton

111B Dawson Building
Dunmore, PA 18512
570-963-2674
jam81@psu.edu

http://worthingtonscranton.psu.edu/human-development-family-studies

Shenango

147 Shenango Avenue
102 McDowell Hall
Sharon, PA 16146
724-983-2953
rxa32@psu.edu

http://shenango.psu.edu/hdfs-associate-degree

University Park

DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND FAMILY STUDIES
119 Health and Human Development Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-8000
HDFSinfo@psu.edu

https://hhd.psu.edu/hdfs

World Campus

DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND FAMILY STUDIES
119 Health and Human Development Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-8000
sac301@psu.edu

https://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/human-development-and-family-studies-associates/overview

York

15 Romano Administration Building
York, PA 17403
717-771-4161
jxs176@psu.edu

http://york.psu.edu/academics/associate/human-development-and-family-studies