Human Development

Human Development Major

Students majoring in human development are prepared for graduate programs in counseling, counseling psychology, social work, marriage and family therapy, education, or related allied therapy fields, and for entry level positions in human services. By developing a strong foundation of self-knowledge and understanding of others across the lifespan, students learn how to help people reach their fullest potential whether in business, government, education, private practice, or human service agency settings.

Human Development graduates are expected to possess:

  • Knowledge of the key theories of human development; the basic approaches to helping individuals, groups, and families resolve problems and maximize their potential; and a multicultural perspective on human growth and functioning.
  • Skills in interpersonal communication, public speaking, and group facilitation.
  • Skill in research methods and writing employed by those in the helping professions and effective use of library and computer-based resources.
  • An understanding and application of ethical principles and personal responsibility in the helping professions.

These competencies are demonstrated through satisfactory completion of the required courses and the senior comprehensive examination course.

Career Opportunities

This major prepares students for entry level positions in the human services field and for graduate school and professional careers in counseling, social work, youth services, wellness education, addiction counseling, and other applied therapy fields. Human Development also serves as a strong foundation for students moving into any career where self-knowledge and working effectively with people are essential.

Degree Requirements

The core in the Human Development major consists of the following courses which must be completed with a grade of C- or better:

Lower Level Courses

  • HD 101S Introduction to Human Development
  • BE 160M Statistical Methods
  • HD 210 Counseling Strategies: Theory and Practice
  • HD 207S Group Dynamics

Upper Level Courses

  • HD 327 Research Methods in HD
  • HD 328 Cross-cultural Communication and Counseling
  • HD 386S Ethical Issues in Human Development
  • HD 404 Leadership and Administrative Dynamics
  • HD 401 Internship in Human Development
  • HD 498 Comprehensive Examination

The sequence of courses involves certain prerequisites:

  • HD 101S Introduction to Human Development must be taken first.
  • BE 160M Statistical Methods must be taken before HD 327 Social Ecology and Mental Health.
  • HD 210 Counseling Strategies: Theory and Practice must be taken before any higher level counseling course (HD 328 Cross-cultural Communication, HD 403 Practicum in Peer Counseling, HD 322 Fundamentals of Alcoholism Counseling) and HD 327 Social Ecology and Mental Health.
  • HD 327 Research Methods in HD must be taken before HD 404 Leadership and Administrative Dynamics.
  • HD 401 Internship in Human Development should be one of the last courses taken.

All required courses must be finished before HD 498 Human Development Comprehensive Examination course is taken.

Focus Area

All students must complete a focus as part of this major. A Human Behavior and Counseling focus is offered in PEL's Human Development major. This track consists of the following courses:

  • 1 counseling course
  • 1 developmental course
  • 3 electives in human behavior and counseling

Other focus area may be designed depending on the student's background of previous college work, experiential learning, and future plans. Some possibilities for other tracks are mental health, wellness and holistic health, children or adolescent/youth services, aging, and social work.

Human Development Minor

The Human Development minor consists of the following five courses:

  • HD 101S Introduction to Human Development
  • HD 210 Counseling Strategies: Theory and Practice
  • Three Human Development electives

Courses used for the minor require a grade of C- or better.

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