You want to help others, influence change in society, and mold the next generation of learners: you’ll do that here.

Students who earn a degree from the Department of Child and Family Studies at Southeast Missouri State learn the science behind human development, the dynamics of interpersonal relationships, the stages of a child's development and learning, and so much more. From day one, you'll be immersed in hands-on learning experiences in and out of the classroom, developing technical and interpersonal skills to prepare you for a career right after graduation. Don't let life pass you by. Study it.

This department is housed in the College of Education, Health and Human Studies.

Academic Programs

The Department of Child and Family Studies has five majors and minors, so you are certain to find the program to help you achieve your career and personal goals.

Gain knowledge inside and outside the classroom

Learn how you can refine your skills through real-world, hands-on experience in The Department of Child and Family Studies.

Redhawk Social Advocates

Living on campus but know you want to be with your peers from Child and Family Studies? Our living and learning community is designed for students who possess a strong conviction in their ability to effect positive change. Engage in events, activities, community excursions, and faculty mentorship as you lay the groundwork for a career dedicated to social advocacy.

Expert Faculty

Join our expert faculty on a journey to grow in your industry. With real-world experience and research-driven knowledge, our faculty are here to support students and help them become career-ready.

"I am a senior Family and Consumer Science (FACS) Education major here at SEMO, with a minor in Interior Design. I started my freshman year at SEMO in 2020 and I was immediately submersed in FACS classes. From the very beginning, to graduating in a couple of months, I have been greeted with the kindest and most supportive professors in all of my classes. With the help of my professors, and advisor, as well as the small but mighty community of classmates also majoring in FACS, I could not have asked for a better college experience. I have thoroughly enjoyed the variety of informational courses that included real-world experiences to help me get to where I am now. As I am ending my college career at SEMO, I am proud to be a Redhawk. Thanks to the FACS program at Southeast Missouri State University, I am excited to announce that I already have a job for next school year teaching Family and Consumer Sciences, specializing in Sewing and Interior Design. I would like to give special thanks to my FACS and education professors at SEMO. I would not be where I am today without your continued support and encouragement to succeed."

Mattie Still

Family and Consumer Sciences student, Mattie Still, standing on SEMO's campus smiling at the camera.


  • Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) credential
  • National Council on Family Relations logo

"The content that has been discussed in the Family Studies program has been content that is necessary to be successful in the workforce. A class that I would recommend to other students would be ED535, it is important to understand empathy and how to apply it when interacting with individuals that have experiences with trauma. I plan on taking the information learned through the program into my classroom of 2's/3's and helping them as they try to regulate their new emotions. I am so grateful for the support and guidance that the Family Studies program has provided for me over the past four years."

Emily Cummins

Emily Cummins a family studies student at Southeast Missouri State University smiling at the camera.

"When I was a young girl, I loved to hold babies. As I got older, I enjoyed being around children and toddlers and listening to the crazy things they said. Once I was old enough, I begged my mom to start to babysit in our neighborhood. When I got into high school and was told I needed to start thinking about what I wanted to study in college, it just seemed so natural to me to work with children and go to college to study Child Development. I started working at a preschool near my house after I graduated high school and I have really enjoyed the time I have spent there. People always look at me funny when I say I work at a daycare and they tell me that it sounds like torture, but I find working with children exciting and extremely fun! My favorite age group are the toddlers. Some days are better than others, but in the end, the children all make it worth it. It takes a special person with a big heart to work with children, and I believe I am one of those people."

Kayla Bertani

Kayla Bertani, a student in Child Development at Southeast Missouri State University smiling for the camera.

Program Objectives & Outcomes

Southeast's degree programs are designed to prepare students for a career. Degrees are developed with program objectives and student outcomes to help students succeed.

Child Development program learning objectives are adapted from the National disciplinary and accreditation standards proposed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Council for Professional Recognition (the Council) as part of earning a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential.

Theories and principles of child and adolescents’ development and learning: Students will identify and apply theories and principles of children and adolescents’ development and learning (Birth - age 19). 

Diversity in development and cultural influences on development: Students will differentiate individual variations in developmental millstones of children with special needs, recognize cultural and ethnic diversities influences on development, and display skills to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with people across cultures.   

Observing, documenting, and assessing behaviors: Students will apply age and developmentally-appropriate methods and strategies for objective observation, documentation, and assessment of children and adolescents’ behaviors to identify needs for proper individualized effective intervention strategies. 

Nurturing and advancing children and adolescents’ development and learning: Students will demonstrate the ability and knowledge of age and developmentally appropriate strategies to promote children and adolescents’ physical, cognitive, social, and emotional developments and positive learning and mental health outcomes. 

Mental and physical health and safety of children and adolescents: Students will demonstrate the ability and knowledge of age and developmentally appropriate strategies for planning safe and healthy learning environments for children and adolescents.   

Vulnerable children and at-risk families: Students will recognize signs of vulnerabilities in children, youth, and families, and identify proper intervention approaches and resources they need to overcome their life stressors and support resiliency.

Family support and education: Students will identify principles of building positive and productive relationships with children’s families and recognize approaches to form partnerships with other service programs in the community to meet children’s and family’s needs (e.g., Communication and parent involvement strategies, home visits, conferences, offer resources and referrals services, etc.). 

Family Studies students will learn about concepts, research, and theory to help them understand the complexity of individuals and families across the lifespan. Students will think critically and apply their knowledge to solve real-life problems, all while upholding ethical principles and standards aligned with being culturally responsive and trauma-informed. 

Family Studies program learning objectives are aligned with the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR)  Approved Family Life Education (FLE) Program Requirements.

Knowledge and Theory: Students will demonstrate a foundation in human development and family studies empirical knowledge and theories.

Application to Practice: Students will demonstrate the ability to apply research and theory to practice, education, and/or policy.

Critical Thinking: Students will demonstrate the ability to assess factors that affect individuals and families.

Culturally Responsive and Trauma Informed: Students will demonstrate an informed and responsive understanding of culture, diversity, inclusion, and trauma.

Professional Integrity: Students will demonstrate preparedness to enter the professional world in service-oriented or helping profession fields by exhibiting skills such as ethical reasoning and professionalism.

Family and Consumer Sciences Education program learning objectives are aligned with the Missouri Teacher Standards and the National Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences Education developed by the National Association of State Administrators of Family and Consumer Sciences (NASAFACS).

Content Knowledge and Skills: Students will demonstrate content knowledge and skills in Family and Consumer Sciences.

Teacher Preparation: Students will demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for entry-level teaching in Family and Consumer Sciences.

Critical Thinking: Students will demonstrate the ability to problem-solve and make informed judgments.

Professionalism: Students will demonstrate ethical professional behavior and effective working relationships. Students will demonstrate the ability to practice reflexivity, assess areas of needed growth, and seek out appropriate professional opportunities.

Office Location
Scully Building 114
Mailing Location
One University Plaza, MS 5750
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701