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Online Human Development and Family Studies Degree – Jennifer Aberle

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Online Human Development and Family Studies Degree – Jennifer Aberle


I’m Jen Aberle, and I’m the director of the
undergraduate and the online programs in the department of human development and family
studies at Colorado State University, and I also teach in the online program. So, HDFS is unique as a behavioral science
because we look at three main domains of development across a life-span. We pay attention to the biological, physical
changes that are happening. We also pay attention to the cognitive changes,
and how our thinking, how our brain development, affects both our physical and our psychological
and our emotional development. We are also keen on paying attention to social
and emotional development. How our sense of self develops over the lifespan. The type of careers that a degree in HDFS
prepares people for are careers that will set them up to work with diverse populations
in all sorts of human service settings, such as teaching, intervention, counseling, healthcare-
So, the human and family studies major offers students a lot of flexibility. We have core classes that are required, we
also have a lot of room for students to customize what their program will look like. There are five concentrations in the human
development and family studies department. We have a general concentration that many
students choose who are interested in having broader skills like versatility and the research
skills. We have an early childhood professions concentration,
for people who are interested in working with children in different education settings. We have a pre-health concentration, and this
is an ideal concentration for people who are preparing to work in healthcare in some way,
who are preparing to continue on in research. We have a prevention and intervention science
concentration that prepares students to become counselors, to become interventionalists for
families, for individuals, and we have a leadership and entrepreneurship concentration that is
preparing students to become leaders in all sorts of human service fields. What I’m passionate about working in the field
of HDFS, and teaching in this area is seeing students progress in their own goals, and
what they’re able to do is really customize an education for them that we know they’re
going to go out and do good things.

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