Child, Youth, and Family Studies

 

Overview

The Child, Youth, and Family Studies major represents an integration of theory, research, and practice from multiple disciplines, and it is a unique blend of liberal arts and professional education. CYFS graduates may begin careers as early childhood educators, social service agency administrators, parent educators, family advocates, youth workers, social services caseworkers, early intervention/special education assistants, and service providers for community agencies serving children, youth, and families. The major also provides a foundation of course work for students who intend to pursue graduate work in education, counseling, social work, public administration, juvenile justice, conflict resolution, or other related disciplines.

Program strengths include interdisciplinary seminars and extensive community-based practicum experiences. Students are commonly involved in practicum opportunities such as assisting with an infant/toddler classroom in a corporate-affiliated child care center, teaching parenting and other life skills to teen moms in a high school program, providing tutoring in a third grade classroom, conducting outreach to street youth for a community organization, working in a library as a literacy mentor to child care providers, helping children with severe disabilities in hospital setting, and many more community situations. Students have ample opportunity to explore and pursue varied career options.

Learning Outcomes

Child, Youth, and Family Studies students will be able to access, analyze, apply, and articulate theoretical knowledge to make professional decisions that improve the lives of children, youth, and families as they:

• Describe the development, roles, and interaction patterns of children, youth, and families within their social systems;
• Identify dimensions of diversity in children, youth, and families and recognize oppressive forces that hinder their positive development;
• Demonstrate professional standards of ethical conduct; and
• Assume the role of change agents regarding issues, policies, and community needs that affect children, youth, and their families.


Requirements for Majors

An Undergraduate Major in Child, Youth, and Family Studies consists of 76 credits.

Download list of program requirements (PDF) »

Prerequisites for Majors

90 credits (junior standing): ED 420 Intro to Education and PSY 311 Human Development or PSY 460 Child Psychology or equivalent.

Required courses for Majors (60 Credits)

  • CFS 310 Critical Histories in CYFS: Gender/Race/Class (4)
  • CFS 312U Families in Life Course Perspective (4)
  • CFS 381U Families, Stress, and Change (4)
  • CFS 391 Family Theories (4)
  • CFS 487 Examining Bias and Belief (4)*
  • CFS 488 Structural Oppression (4)*
  • CFS 489 Activism for Social Change (2)*
  • CFS 492 Families Law and Policy (4)
  • CFS 493 Professional Self: Ways of Knowing (2)*
  • CFS 494 Professional Self: Critical Thinking (2)*
  • CFS 495 Professional Self: Identity (2)*
  • CFS 496 Professional Self: Integration (2)*
  • CFS 497 Practicum I (5)
  • CFS 498 Practicum II (5)
  • HIST 343 History of American Families (4)
  • SOC 339 Marriage & Intimacy (4) or SOC 461 Sociology of the Family (4)
  • SPED 417 Introduction to Special Education (4) or SPED 418 Survey of Exceptional Learners (3)

*Indicates part of a sequence

Elective courses for majors (16 Credits)

The CYFS major requires 16 elective credits in addition to the core requirements. Students may fulfill this requirement one of two ways:

1. Choose 16 credits from the complete list of CYFS elective courses:

  • CFS 101 Intro to CYFS (2)
  • CFS 320U ABCs of ECE (4)
  • CFS 330U American Families in Film & Television (4)
  • CFS 340U Queer Families (4)
  • CFS 350U Impact of DV on Children & Families (4)
  • CFS 382U Mental & Emotional Disorders (4)
  • CFS 385U Working with Diverse Families (4)
  • CFS 390U Sex & the Family (4)
  • CFS 393U Community Resources & Family Support (4)
  • CFS 399 Special Topics (1-4)
  • CFS 410 Special Topics (1-4)
  • CFS 410 The Hospitalized Child: Introduction to Child Life (4)
  • CFS 450 Youth & Youth Work (4)
  • CFS 486 Parent & Family Life Education (4)

2. OR, Choose 16 credits of Advisor Approved Electives from one of these content areas:

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Family Life Education
  • Youth Work
  • Human Services
  • Human Development/Child Life

Download list of approved courses (PDF) »

Map previous CYFS major requirements to new requirements (PDF) »


Requirements for Minors

A minor in Child, Youth, and Family Studies consists of 26 credits.

The Child, Youth, and Family Studies minor is a valuable addition for students in disciplines concerned with the relationship between individual children and youth, their families, and the community systems in which they live (including sociology, communications, psychology, women and gender studies, and others). Through the major, these students will apply theory in the real world and build practice experience geared toward direct work in the field. Students in professional majors (like social work, community health, speech and hearing sciences, and more) will also benefit from the minor’s focus on children, youth, and families as a distinct practice population.

Our minor lines up closely with the Families and Society junior cluster in University studies. This means that by completing the Families and Society Sophomore Inquiry class, cluster requirements, and approved Capstone, students can finish a CYFS minor with the addition of just one more four-credit course. Courses are offered in multiple platforms, which lets students finish the minor through in-person classes, fully online courses, or a combination of the two.

Download CYFS minor academic worksheet (PDF) »

Required courses for minors (26 Credits)

Lower Division (4 Credits)

  • UNST 228 Families in Society Sophomore Inquiry (4)

Upper Division (16 credits)

  • CFS 101 Intro to CFS (2)
  • CFS 310 Critical Histories in CYFS: Gender/Race/Class (4)
  • CFS 312U Families in Life course Perspective (4)
  • CFS 320U ABCs of ECE (4)
  • CFS 330U American Families in Film and Television (4)
  • CFS 340U Queer Families (4)
  • CFS 350U Interpersonal Violence: Impact on Children & Families (4)
  • CFS 382U Mental Disorders: Issues for Families and Communities (4)
  • CFS 385U Working with Diverse Families (4)
  • CFS 381U Families, Stress, and Change (4)
  • CFS 390U Sex and the Family (4)
  • CFS 391 Family Theories (4)
  • CFS 393U Community Resources and Family Support (4)
  • CFS 399 Special Topics (1-4)
  • CFS 410 Special Topics (1-4)
  • CFS 450 Youth and Youth Work (4)
  • CFS 481U Family Health Issues (4)
  • CFS 486 Parent and Family Education (4)
  • CFS 487 Examining Bias and Belief (4)
  • CFS 488 Structural Oppression (4)
  • CFS 489 Activism for Social Change (2)
  • CFS 492 Family Law and Policy (4)

Community Based Learning (6 credits)

This part of the curriculum provides students with the opportunity to connect knowledge from the classroom to experience in community service activities. Students earn credits by working with community or campus organizations that serve children, youth, or families and/or focus on social justice issues. Approved Capstones or practicum placements can fulfill this requirement. Arrange your community-based learning course with a CYFS minor advisor in advance.

Fufill this requirement with an approved UNST 421 Capstone (6) OR CFS 407 Practicum (6).

Preapproved Community-Based Learning Capstone courses:

  • Street Roots: Exploring Issues of Homelessness
  • Social Justice Education
  • Effective Change Agent
  • Sexual and Gender Minority Youth
  • Tutoring to Empower Native American Youth
  • Educational Equity
  • Bilingual Education
  • Enhancing Youth Literacy
  • Leadership and Mentoring
  • Collaborations: Boys and Girls Club
  • GirlPower!
  • Global PDX: African Children
  • Global Youth in Portland
  • Access for Education
  • Addressing the Food Gap at p:ear
  • Farm Education for Youth
  • Music in the Schools
  • Sexual Assault Prevention Theater
  • Strengthening the Head Start Legacy
  • Philosophy for Children
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Outdoor and Environmental Education

Admissions

Students must be admitted into the program to earn a baccalaureate degree in Child, Youth, and Family Studies. Students enter the CYFS program by completing the requirements listed below and submitting the Opt-in Form. Admission requirements are the completion of 90 credits (junior standing), ED 420 Intro to Education and Society, and PSY 311 Human Development or PSY 460 Child Psychology or their equivalents.

Information sessions are held for students who are considering applying to the program. Visit the Public Events Calendar for upcoming session dates and times.

Newly admitted students must attend a program orientation, scheduled near the beginning of each term (Fall, Winter, and Spring).

Visit Events Calendar »

Complete CYFS Major Opt-In Form »

Contact

Hillary Hyde »
CYFS Program Director

Kate Constable »
SSW Undergraduate Advisor
(503) 725-5925

Staci Martin »
CYFS Practicum Coordination

Melissa Penners »
BSW Program Assistant
(503) 725-8241

Kim Utschig »
SSW Academic Advisor
(503) 725-8961


Program Information Sessions

Visit the Events Calendar for upcoming CYFS Info Session dates and times. Please RSVP for the session you wish to attend.

View Events Calendar »