Human Development & Family Science (HDFS)

Human Development and Family Science is a professional area of study that focuses on the family as a system of interacting persons. This major prepares students to work in a variety of settings including, but not limited to: childcare, family life education, Human Services Agencies, and therapy.

The underlying assumption of the profession is that the family is the most basic unit in society. The more effective the family unit is in meeting the needs and goals of its members, the more society benefits by receiving contented, well-adapted and productive citizens. The goal of professionals in HDFS is to help families grow and develop in positive ways.

Why Major In Human Development and Family Science?

If you enjoy learning about and working with people, a major in Human Development and Family Science may be for you.

Much of the knowledge you gain during your program of study has a double benefit. In addition to giving you professional preparation for a career, your studies are also directly applicable to improving the quality of your personal life. Students graduate from this program with skills appropriate for employment opportunities that directly serve society. They also gain skills to deal with some of the personal issues that confront all of us in daily living.

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Human Development and Family Science Faculty

Further Information:

Dr. Merranda Marin
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
Box 30003, MSC 3470
Las Cruces, NM 88003-8003

Dr. Marcel Montanez
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
Box 30003, MSC 3470
Las Cruces, NM 88003-8003

Dr. Kourtney Vaillancourt
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
Box 30003, MSC 3470
Las Cruces, NM 88003-8003

Career Opportunities

  • Family Life Education
  • Parent Education
  • Family/Human Service Agencies
  • Government Programs Serving Families
  • Gerontology Programs
  • Child Life Specialist in Hospitals
  • Adolescent Programs
  • Family Support Programs in the Military (Civilian Employee)
  • Career Opportunities in Family Science
    Take a look at the link above on "Career Opportunities in Family Science." It provides an easy-to-follow layout of all the career possibilities in our major, organized into categories.

Opportunities for field experience:

  • NMSU Family Resource Center
  • NMSU Cooperative Extension Service (various counties)
  • Aprendamos Early Intervention
  • City of Las Cruces Juvenile Citation Program
  • La Clinica de Familia
  • Families and Youth, Inc. (FYI)
  • Dona Ana County Detention Center
  • Amistad Family Services
  • Southwest Family Guidance Center
  • Jardin de los Ninos
  • Tresco TOTS
  • La Casa Domestic Violence Services
  • National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (El Paso)
  • Court Ordered Special Advocates (El Paso)
  • Zia Therapy (Alamogordo)
  • Las Cruces High School GRADS program
  • Arrowhead Park Early College High School

What Will I Learn In Human Development and Family Science?

  • Communication Skills
  • Conflict Resolution Skills
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Stages of Family Development
  • Child Guidance Skills
  • Decision Making Processes
  • Family Economic Issues
  • Relationship Development
  • Application of Research and Theories about Family Issues

Professional Development

You can learn more by following these links to the web sites of our professional associations...