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.


The Department of Child and Family Studies wants to help you help others. Learn about the services we offer to help our community while giving our students the hands-on experience they need.

Horizons Enrichment Center

The Horizons Enrichment Center encourages independence and community interaction for individuals with special needs. This program allows guardians and caregivers respite from the full-time responsibilities of caregiving. 


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

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