Department of Family Studies and Community Development

http://www.towson.edu/fmst

Office 

College of Liberal Arts Building, Suite 2210
410-704-5851

Programs of the Department 

The Department of Family Studies and Community Development offers two majors: Family and Human Services and Family Science. A minor in Family Studies also is offered.

The Family and Human Services major provides students with academic and field experiences related to the study of individual and family development across the lifespan, with an emphasis on human service education. A Family and Human Services major may choose among four tracks: Human Services, Services to Children and Youth, Introduction to Child Life, and Leadership in the Nonprofit Sector. Academic preparation includes the study of family life methodology, theories of family functioning, dynamics within families, and the interaction between families and society. The curriculum includes course work that emphasizes civic engagement through service learning. The service learning activities are designed to provide students with opportunities to integrate course work with real-life professional experiences. Field experiences include observation, small group community service assignments, and internships. Community participation is required in several courses.

The Family Science major provides students with academic experiences focusing on the study of families and relationships in the context of contemporary society. The major offers training in the scientific methods used to understand family behavior and development across the lifespan. Students learn to analyze the quality of family life through applied research, and they acquire both written and oral communication skills across the Family Science curriculum. Majoring in Family Science will provide a concentration on the social/behavioral science foundation necessary for those working in education and human services as well as those seeking graduate education in social sciences, health professions, education, and law.

Graduate Programs

The department offers a B.S./M.S. five-year program in Family and Human Services-Introduction to Child Life track (B.S.) and Child Life, Administration and Family Collaboration (M.S.); an M.S. in Child Life, Administration and Family Collaboration; a B.A. (or B.S.)/M.A. five-year program in Family Science and Leadership in Jewish Education and Communal Service; an M.A. in Leadership in Jewish Education and Communal Service; and Post-Baccalaureate Certificates in Family-Professional Collaboration, Jewish Education and Jewish Communal Service. See the Graduate Catalog for additional details.

Student Orgranisations

The Department of Family Studies and Community Development sponsors two student organizations.

The Towson University Student Council on Family Relations (TUSCFR) is affiliated with the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR).

The Towson University Child Life Club is open to undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in learning more about children's healthcare settings. Club members provide service to area facilities that work with children and families with healthcare concerns.

Advising 

Advising is an important component of a student’s experience. Family Studies majors meet regularly with department advisers who help them plan for the future. Please note the specific information about the advising process listed below.

  1. Family Studies students must meet individually with their assigned advisers at least once a term. All advisers have times set aside during the week to address students' questions and concerns or to speak with students who simply want to check in and review progress and plans. Students should contact their advisers to set up appointments.
  2. All new majors receive a welcome message with contact information for their assigned academic adviser, directions to the department’s Blackboard Advising Module, and forms to complete prior to their first advising appointment. New or potential majors may contact the Department of Family Studies and Community Development either via phone at 410-704-5851 or via e-mail at FMST@towson.edu.
  3. Some FMST courses require special permits. These are given out by the department chairperson. 

Transfer Credit Policy

Students may transfer no more than 18 credits toward the major in Family and Human Services or Family Science. Transfer credit must be approved by the department.

Courses

FMST 101 INTRODUCTION TO FAMILY STUDIES (3)

An interdisciplinary look at family studies. Prerequisite: none. GenEd II.C.2. or Core: Social & Behavioral Studies.

FMST 102 HONORS INTRODUCTION TO FAMILY STUDIES (3)

An interdisciplinary look at family studies. Emphasis on discussion and analyses of current issues. Honors College Course. GenEd II.C.2. or Core: Social & Behavioral Sciences.

FMST 140 MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY FOR HUMAN SERVICE WORKERS (1)

Introduction to medical terminology designed to increase familiarity with medical terms associated with bodily systems, disease processes, and clinical procedures commonly used in the health care setting.

FMST 201 FAMILY RESOURCES (3)

Individual and family decision-making related to the development and allocation of resources such as time, money, material assets, energy, space and support networks. Includes the exploration and application of managing resources for families at risk. Core: Metropolitan Perspectives or GenEd II.B.3.

FMST 240 INTRODUCTION TO CHILD LIFE (3)

An overview of the field of Child Life. The role of the Child LIfe Specialist, requirements necessary to become a Certified Child Life Specialist, and the challenges of the field.

FMST 250 INTRODUCTION TO THE NONPROFIT SECTOR (3)

Define and describes the nonprofit sector; including history, theory, mission, vision, communication, strategic planning and ethics. Specific practical tools and case studies will enhance student understanding and comprehension of issues related to the sector and its future. Prerequisites: FMST 101 or FMST 102; ENGL 102.

FMST 285 STATISTICS FOR FAMILY SCIENCE AND HUMAN SERVICE (3)

Introductory online statistics course that includes the role of statistics in hypothesis testing, frequency distributions, levels of measurement, measures of central tendency and variability, normal curves, sampling distributions, correlations, chi-square, one-way analysis of variance. Prerequisite: MATH 109 or higher (except MATH 204) with a "C" or better.

FMST 287 TECHNOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS IN HUMAN SERVICES (3)

Exploration of the impact of information systems and technology on individuals, families, and human service delivery through service learning. Prerequisites: FMST 101 or FMST 102; ENGL 102 or ENGL 190.

FMST 297 PREPARING HUMAN SERVICE WORKERS: PRE-INTERNSHIP (3)

Prepares students for professional internships in community agencies. Students learn about ethical and professional competencies, intervention with diverse populations, reports in administrative settings, and development of learning plans including goal setting. Technological components will be utilized. This course is a prerequisite for FMST 397 and FMST 497 internship courses. Corequisite: FMST 387. Prerequisites: STATS (MATH 231 or MATH 237 or PSYC 212 or ECON 205 or FMST 285); junior/senior standing.

FMST 301 FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS (3)

Family dynamics along the continuum of family development and across generations. Focuses on family communication, conflict management, and education. Prerequisites: FMST 101 or FMST 102; PSYC 101 or SOCI 101.

FMST 302 FAMILY THEORIES (3)

An overview and application of theoretical frameworks underlying research on families. Theories include Family Systems, Family Development, Symbolic Interaction, Social Exchange, Ecological, Conflict, and Feminist. Prerequisites: FMST 101 or FMST 102; PSYC 101 or SOCI 101.

FMST 303 CONTEMPORARY TRENDS IN FAMILY POLICY (3)

The impact of macro social issues on family and policy responses in social and historical context. Prerequisites: FMST 101 or FMST 102; SOCI 101.

FMST 305 PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIPS ACROSS THE LIFESPAN (3)

Parent-Child relationships from pregnancy and childbirth through the death of elderly parents using systems and life course perspectives. Cultural and contextual factors shaping the parent-child relationship. Prerequisite: FMST 101 or FMST 102.

FMST 310 LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER FAMILIES (3)

Introduction to research-informed guidelines for working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families in professional settings. Will explore LGBT families and relationships. Ways to help LGBT families and youth thrive will be emphasized. Promotes in-depth understanding of the systemic context of LGBT families and lends itself to application of knowledge in diverse professional contexts. Prerequisite: FMST 101, FMST 102, PSYC 101, or SOCI 101. Core: Diversity & Difference.

FMST 315 AMERICAN FAMILIES ON TELEVISION: REPRESENTATION AND REALITY (3)

An examination of the American family in popular situation comedies from the 1950s to the 1990s, with focus on issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Attention to cultural and social context in which comedies were made, and contrast between representation and actual historical events. Prerequisite: FMST 101, SOCI 101, PSYC 101 or ANTH 207 with a C or better. Core: United States as a Nation.

FMST 325 ETHICS IN HUMAN SERVICES (3)

Examination of ethical dilemmas related to human services, involving individuals and families across the lifespan. Broad assessment of consumer and professional issues related to moral judgment and ethical sensitivity. Prerequisite: FMST 101 or FMST 102 or PSYC 101 or SOCI 101. Core: Ethical Issues & Perspectives.

FMST 340 THE HOSPITALIZED CHILD AND FAMILY (3)

Psychosocial and developmental needs of infants, children, adolescents, and families in a health care context, with a focus on the roles and interventions of the child life specialist. Prerequisites: FMST 101 or FMST 102, PSYC 101, SOCI 101, PSYC 203, and FMST 240.

FMST 345 INTRODUCTION TO ART THERAPY (3)

An overview of the art therapy field, presenting its history, major practitioners, and theoretical bases. Prerequisites: FMST 101 or FMST 102 and PSYC 101 and PSYC 203. Lab/Class fee will be assessed.

FMST 350 FUNDAMENTALS OF LEADERSHIP IN THE NON-PROFIT SECTOR (3)

Overview of non-profit organizations, roles and responsibilities of leaders in the non-profit sector, issues concerning nonprofits. Junior/Senior standing required. Prerequisites: PSYC 101, SOCI 101, FMST 201, and FMST 250.

FMST 355 FUNDRAISING, FRIENDRAISING AND VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT (3)

How nonprofit organizations generate and manage financial and human resources, including the theoretical, behavioral and pragmatic foundations of philanthropy, fund development, and volunteerism. Prerequisites: FMST 350 & MKTG 341.

FMST 360 DIVERSITY, CULTURE, AND TEAM DYNAMICS (3)

Strategies for effective participation on a team with colleagues, friends and relatives for use in a globalized society or a local context. Examination of the components that influence group dynamics in teams and how members' culture and diversity shape them. Examination of people's differences, how they can agree on goals, and how they can work together effectively despite their differences. Engagement in team exercises to learn to overcome obstacles to teamwork. Prerequisite: FMST 101 or FMST 102 or PSYC 101 or SOCI 101. Core: Diversity and Difference.

FMST 370 SPECIAL TOPICS IN FAMILY STUDIES (3)

In-depth study of a selected topic in Family Studies. May be repeated for a maximum of nine units. Prerequisite: FMST 101 or FMST 102.

FMST 380 FAMILY LAW (3)

Legal and public policy framework for the analysis and application of family law issues facing families across the lifespan in American society. Prerequisite: FMST 101 or FMST 102 or PSYC 101 or SOCI 101.

FMST 387 COMMUNITY SERVICES FOR FAMILIES (3)

Application of conceptual knowledge within community support and service programs, including needs assessment, program planning and direct or indirect intervention with families. Prerequisites: FMST 101 or FMST 102, PSYC 101, and SOCI 101.

FMST 397 INTERNSHIP IN FAMILY AND HUMAN SERVICES (3)

(120 field hours) Supervised experience in family studies. May not be repeated for additional credit. Prerequisites: Consent of department chair and “C” or higher in FMST 297, FMST 387, and 15 additional units of FMST course work.

FMST 415 SERVICES TO CHILDREN AND YOUTH (3)

Overview of supports and services necessary to foster healthy development in children, youth, and families. Focuses on the role of family and community influences in socializing children. Prerequisites: FMST 201, FMST 301, FMST 302, FMST 303, FMST 305, and ECED 201.

FMST 430 CASE MANAGEMENT FOR FAMILY AND HUMAN SERVICES (3)

Introduction to fundamental aspects of case management including roles, processes, responsibilities, and employment challenges of professional case managers working with individuals and families throughout the life cycle in a variety of settings. Prerequisites: PSYC 203, FMST 301, FMST 303.

FMST 485 RESEARCH METHODS IN FAMILY STUDIES (3)

Analyzing and writing about research in family studies. Requires grade of C or better to fulfill Core or GenEd requirement. Prerequisites: FMST 101 or FMST 102, FMST 302, ENGL102 or ENGL 190 and (FMST 285 or PSYC 212 or PSYC 213 or MATH 231 or MATH 237 or ECON 205). Core: Advanced Writing Seminar or GenEd I.D.

FMST 490 FAMILY AND HUMAN SERVICE CAPSTONE: METHODS IN FAMILY LIFE EDUCATION (4)

Professional integration of theory and practice related to service learning, human service work, family studies, and family life education. Students must be in final semester of academic program. Prerequisite: FMST 485.

FMST 491 INDEPENDENT STUDY IN FAMILY STUDIES (1-6)

Students explore an in-depth topic specific to the area of concentration under the direction of graduate program faculty member. Course may be repeated for 6 units. Prerequisite: Approval of department chair.

FMST 495 ADVANCED RESEARCH METHODS IN FAMILY SCIENCE (3)

Capstone course. Apply and analyze research as it relates to the family and expand on previous research courses. Emphasis on development of a comprehensive research proposal and final conference style presentation. Prerequisite: FMST 485 with a grade of C or better.

FMST 497 ADVANCED INTERNSHIP IN FAMILY STUDIES AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (4)

[240 field hours]. Advanced human service internship experience. Course is Web-enhanced. Prerequisites: 21 units in Family Studies as well as completion of FMST 297, FMST 397 and/or consent of department chair.

Faculty

Professor: Karen Eskow (Chairperson)

Associate Professors: Hana Bor, Diane Hall, Lisa Martinelli Beasley, Linda Oravecz, Maureen Todd

Assistant Professors: Catherine Breneman, Karen Doneker Mancini, Amanda Ginter, Sharon Jones-Eversley, Bethany Willis Hepp

Lecturers: Courtney Martin, Cynthia Vejar

Clinical Associate Professor: Darnell Morris-Compton

Clinical Assistant Professor: Ebony Okafor