Family & Consumer Sciences Department
The Child Development degree prepares you for a variety of careers that target the health and development of children birth through early childhood. It focuses on developmentally appropriate practices for children in a variety of settings that align with the standards from national accreditation associations in child development. The comprehensive nature of this degree prepares the graduate for a variety of jobs that are in demand nationwide. For detailed degree information, see the Harding University Catalog.
This degree plan offers a strong background in child development and family systems. The course content for this program aims to promote effective coping through play, preparation, education, and self-expression activities appropriate for children. Many of the courses include applications not only for clinical hospital settings, but for other facets of the field such as court and foster care systems, trauma teams, bereavement support services, and others. This degree plan also involves an intense study of family-centered care in a variety of settings. A practicum experience where students choose a healthcare program for which to gain first hand exposure to the field is required. For detailed degree information, see the Harding University Catalog.
Nutrition and Dietetics
The demand for dietitians is increasing rapidly in response to the expanding needs of health care facilities, corporate wellness programs, influence of the media, and environmental concerns. Involved in clinical practice, research, management of food service systems, food processing, communications, sales and teaching, today's dietitian may work in a variety of organizations from business and industry to state and federal research laboratories. For detailed degree information, see the Harding University Catalog. Information regarding program expenses, admission to the University, academic calendar, and graduation/program completion requirements are also available in the catalog, as well as in the DPND Handbook (below).
Harding's Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics (DPND) is the first step to becoming a Registered Dietitian. Upon graduation, the student will receive verification that they have completed the foundation knowledge and skills required by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
In order to become a Registered Dietitian, the student will take the next step in the process. This step involves completion of an ACEND accredited supervised practice program in order to be eligible to take the national Registration Examination for Dietitians. Individuals may then apply for state licensure (process varies by state).
The Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics at Harding University is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 North Riverside, Chicago, IL 60606, 312/899-5400.
Mission of the DPND
The mission of the Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics at Harding University is to provide an academically challenging program, consistent with Christian ideals, as the students’ first step toward becoming Registered Dietitians. This program prepares graduates for success in supervised practice, advanced study, and careers in nutrition and dietetics.
Goals of the DPND
The Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics will produce graduates that:
- Have the foundation knowledge for entry into ACEND (Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics) accredited post-baccalaureate supervised practice programs.
- Possess the foundation skills for entry into ACEND (Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics) accredited post-baccalaureate supervised practice programs.
- Have a solid foundation for advanced studies.
- Find employment.
Objectives of the DPND
Measures of program success, as determined by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, and by the faculty of the Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics are as follows:
80% of enrolled students will complete program requirements within 150% of the time planned for completion during the degree audit, which is completed at 45-60 earned hours. (Time planned for completion is two years; 150% of that time would be three years.)
Performance of Graduates
80% of those applying to supervised practice programs the academic year they complete the program will be accepted.
85% of graduates who seek admission to graduate schools will be accepted unconditionally.
70% of graduates who seek employment in nutrition and dietetics will be placed within 3 months following graduation.
Over a 5-year period, 80% of graduates taking the Registration Examination will pass within one year of their first attempt.
Other Measures include:
70% of graduates responding to the alumni survey will “strongly agree” or “agree” that they were well prepared for supervised practice with no student indicating “strongly disagree.”
70% of Dietetic Internship (DI) directors responding to the DI director survey will rate the graduates as “Very prepared” or “Adequately prepared” for supervised practice on all criteria.
70% of Dietetic Internship (DI) directors responding to the DI director survey will answer yes to this question: “As a result of this individual’s performance, would you accept another intern from the Harding University DPND?”
70% of graduates with the nutrition and dietetics degree responding to the alumni survey will “strongly agree” or “agree” that they were well prepared for advanced studies with no student indicating “strongly disagree.”
80% of graduates responding to the alumni survey will “strongly agree” or “agree” that they were well prepared for entry level positions with no graduate indicating “strongly disagree.”
80% of employers/supervisors responding to employer survey will rate the graduates as “Very prepared” or “Adequately prepared” for the entry-level employment.
Program outcomes data are available on request.
Family and Consumer Sciences
The Family and Consumer Sciences Degree prepares professionals for generalist careers in a diversity of settings. Graduates are well trained in the holistic approach to empowering individuals, families and communities in the context of the basic human needs of food, clothing, shelter and relationships. Included in the degree are courses in all subject matter specialties: food and nutrition, child development and family services, apparel and textiles, housing and interiors, consumer education and resource management. Electives in the degree allow the student to readily choose a supporting minor or greater depth in one or more areas of family and consumer sciences. The FCS Degree prepares students to provide informed leadership for the world around them to make a difference in the quality of life for all. Students who have a desire to pursue a non-traditional career will find this degree versatile and conducive to charting their own unique professional path. For detailed degree requirements see the Harding University Catalog.
Family and Consumer Sciences Education
In addition to ongoing teacher shortages in certain geographical areas, career opportunities in business, industry and the public sector exist for the graduate with an education degree in family and consumer sciences. For detailed degree information, see the Harding University Catalog.
Family Life Education
Family life education focuses on healthy family functioning within a family systems perspective and provides a primarily preventive approach. The skills and knowledge needed for healthy functioning are widely known: strong communication skills, knowledge of typical human development, good decision-making skills, positive self-esteem, and healthy interpersonal relationships. The goal of family life education is to teach and foster this knowledge and these skills to enable individuals and families to function optimally. Family life education professionals consider societal issues including economics, education, work-family issues, parenting, sexuality, gender and more within the context of the family. They believe that societal problems such as substance abuse, domestic violence, unemployment, debt, and child abuse can be more effectively addressed from a perspective that considers the individual and family as part of larger systems. Knowledge about healthy family functioning can be applied to prevent or minimize many of these problems. Family life education provides this information through an educational approach, often in a classroom-type setting or through educational materials. (NCFR, 2010)
Harding's program is an Approved Program by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). Graduates of our program can thus have an abbreviated application process and a reduced fee to become a provisional certified family life educator.