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The HDFS program integrate practical and academic experiences. 

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.

There are two HDFS program options:

Adult Development and Aging Services Option:

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:

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.

Fast-track Option

This program has a recommended academic plan that will enable you to complete all required courses by taking classes during a summer session. Some courses will be offered in the evenings, on Saturdays, and online to better accommodate students' busy schedules.

For more information and to obtain a copy of the fast-track recommended academic plan, contact the program coordinator.

Career Opportunities

A variety of career opportunities are available to students who earn an associate degree in Human Development and Family Studies. Working parents, dual-career families, new family structures, and an growing elderly population have increased the demand for professional practitioners who can respond to the increasing needs of each of these segments.

Graduates may find employment as:

  • Social service assistant
  • Case management aide
  • Social work assistant
  • Community support worker
  • Alcohol or drug abuse counselor
  • Mental health aide
  • Community outreach worker
  • Health program assistant
  • Adult daycare assistant
  • Life skill assistant
  • Daycare center supervisor
  • Gerontology aide

For more information, contact:

Ms. Anne Mercuri
Program Coordinator
570-385-6083
aem141@psu.edu 


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