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Division of Academic Affairs
Graduate Catalog 2012-13


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College of Human Ecology


Department of Child Development and Family Relations


Sharon Ballard, Interim Chair, 108 Rivers Building

The department offers two MS degrees: child development and family relations and marriage and family therapy; a MAEd degree in birth through kindergarten education (BK) and family and consumer sciences education (FACS); and a PhD in medical family therapy. All teacher education degrees lead to advanced licensure. See College of Education for additional information about licensure and teaching requirements for the MAT. Course work and training prepare students for professional practice, research, and administrative roles in teaching as well as in agencies and organizations that provide services and support to children and families. Applicants must meet the admissions requirements of the Graduate School. Completion of an undergraduate degree in child development, birth through kindergarten, family studies, family and consumer sciences, the behavioral or social sciences or closely related area from an accredited institution is required for admission. Applicants may be required to take additional courses as part of the degree requirements in order to make up deficiencies or meet certification requirements. Research and clinical experiences are available through the departments’ child development laboratory and the family therapy clinic. For more information, visit our webpage at www.ecu.edu/che/cdfr.

MS in Child Development and Family Relations

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The master of science in child development and family relations (CDFR) is designed for students whose career goals are in child and family services. With advanced study in child development and family relations, students are able to fill a variety of professional roles in the administration of programs serving children, families, and older adults; in teaching young children, preadolescents, and young adults; and in specialized clinical roles in child life, early intervention, developmental evaluation, and other mental health and human services programs. Each student’s program of study is tailored to fit his or her needs and interests, and students are encouraged to select an area of specialization that will prepare them for in depth study in a related discipline. Opportunities for national and international internships are available for CDFR students to expand their study and experience. Students may apply for the National Council on Family Relation’s certification in family life education and other certifications.

The MS degree in CDFR requires 36 semester hours. Students may choose one of two options: a thesis option, which includes the building of research skills and the completion of independent research or a research project option, which includes a practicum in the area of the student’s concentration and passing the comprehensive examination. Program requirements include the following:

  1. Core - 15 s.h.
    CDFR 6401, 6402, 6404, 6406, 6420
  2. Specialization - 9 s.h.
    6 s.h. must be CDFR courses
  3. 3. Research - 6 s.h.
    CDFR 7007, 7400
  4. Research project (CDFR 7900) or thesis (CDFR 7000) - 6 s.h.
Students seeking eligibility for child life certification who have not completed an undergraduate internship will need to complete a 6 s.h. child life internship in addition to the required hours for degree completion.

MS in Marriage and Family Therapy

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The marriage and family therapy (MFT) program at East Carolina University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Enrollment in the marriage and family therapy program is limited and admission is competitive. Acceptance into the program is contingent on prior admission to the Graduate School, application to the marriage and family therapy program, a personal interview with the clinical faculty, and a favorable recommendation from the MFT faculty. Decisions regarding acceptance into the program are based on the following criteria: undergraduate and graduate GPA, standardized test scores (MAT or GRE), work or practicum experiences, a statement of professional objectives, and performance during the personal interview. Upon acceptance into the program, students typically begin course work in the fall semester.

A minimum of 51 s.h. is required in the following areas of study:

  1. Theoretical foundations in marriage and family therapy: CDFR 6407, 6408
  2. Clinical practice: CDFR 6300, 6303, 6409, 6410, 6412, 6425
  3. Human development and family studies: CDFR 6401, 6402, 6404 or 6406 (select one)
  4. Professional identity and ethics: CDFR 6411
  5. Research: CDFR 7007, 7400
  6. Additional learning: 6 s.h. of thesis or advisor-approved electives
  7. Supervised clinical practice: CDFR 6415, 6416, 6417
The Department of Child Development and Family Relations administers a marriage and family therapy clinic, which serves as a clinical training and research site for the program.

Additional information about graduate programs and application information can be obtained from the Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Child Development and Family Relations, College of Human Ecology, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858-4353.

Graduate Teaching Degrees

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The department offers the master of arts in education (MAEd) degree, in the areas of birth through kindergarten education and family and consumer sciences education. Both the MAEd in birth through kindergarten and the MAEd in family and consumer sciences are offered online; applicants to either program must hold a North Carolina teaching license.

A master of arts in teaching (MAT) degree in family and consumer sciences education is available through the College of Education. See the College of Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, for degree requirements.

MAEd in Birth Through Kindergarten (BK)

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The MAEd in birth through kindergarten is designed to prepare individuals for leadership roles as master teachers, consultants, program coordinators, supervisors, and staff development trainers in early childhood education. The program is based on the philosophy, rationale, and competencies established for the initial birth through kindergarten (BK) license. Thus, it is open to persons who hold a clear and current license in BK.

Individuals who hold a teaching license in another area and wish to obtain advanced licensure in BK must first complete requirements for the BK add-on license prior to applying for admission to the Graduate School for the MAEd in birth through kindergarten program. Information about add-on licensure can be found on the Office of Alternative Licensure Web site at http://www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/alternative_licensure/AddOnLicensure.cfm.

Individuals lacking licensure who hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited institution must meet requirements for licensure-only in BK before applying to the Graduate School for the MAEd in birth through kindergarten program. Information about licensure-only can be found on the Office of Alternative Licensure Web site at www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/alternative_licensure/Index.cfm. After obtaining initial licensure in BK, individuals can apply to the Graduate School for admission to the MAEd in birth through kindergarten program. Upon acceptance into the BK birth through kindergarten program, the student is assigned an advisor.

Prior to enrolling in action research courses (CDFR 6990 and 6991) or thesis (CDFR 7000), MAEd in birth through kindergarten students must have been admitted to candidacy and have completed the following courses with an overall GPA of 3.0: CDFR 6402, 6501, 6503 and FACS 6990.

Admission to candidacy will have been met when the following have been completed:
  1. Obtained NC teaching license in BK
  2. Admitted unconditionally to graduate standing
  3. Accepted into birth through kindergarten program and assigned an adviser
  4. Completed 12 s.h. of graduate credit beyond any entrance deficiencies or conditions
The program requires 39 s.h. consisting of 12 s.h. of core courses, 18 s.h. of professional area courses, and 9 s.h. from a specialty area strand as follows:

  1. Required core courses - 12 s.h.
    Research, Trends, and Issues Competency Area - 3 s.h.
    EDUC 6482 or SCIE 6500
    Diverse Learner Competency Area - 6 s.h.
    EDUC 6001 and SPED 6002
    Effective Communication and Leadership Competency Area - 3 s.h.
    ADED 6550 or ELEM 6550 or LEED 6000
  2. Professional Area: Birth through Kindergarten Education - 18 s.h.
    CDFR 6402, 6501, 6503, 6990, 6991, FACS 6990
    Final product requirement: a research project with an oral presentation (CDFR 6991) or a thesis with an oral thesis defense (CDFR 7000)
  3. Specialty Area (Select one strand) - 9 s.h.
    Assistive technology strand
    SPED 6701, 6702, 6703
    or
    Autism and autism spectrum disorder strand: Choose 9 s.h. from SPED 6800, 6801, 6802, 6803
    or
    Community college instruction strand: ADED 6240, 6450, 6453
    or
    Deaf-blindness strand: SPED 6810, 6811, 6812
    or
    Teaching English as a second language strand: TESL 6100, 6200, 6300
    or
    Individualized strand: three adviser-approved courses

MAEd in Family and Consumer Sciences

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This program is designed for individuals who already hold a North Carolina teaching license. The curriculum is designed to help teachers achieve goals and develop advanced competencies in professional education, family and consumer sciences subject matter, and interpersonal relationships. The desired outcome is to help teachers develop the skills to become leaders in the field of family and consumer sciences. The program requires a minimum of 39 credit hours as specified below.

Required core courses - 12 s.h.
Research, Trends, and Issues Competency Area: EDUC 6482 or SCIE 6500 - 3 s.h.
Diverse Learner Competency Area: EDUC 6001; SPED 6002 - 6 s.h.
Effective Communication and Leadership Competency Area: ADED 6550 or ELEM 6550 or LEED 6000 - 3 s.h.
Family and consumer sciences education - 27 s.h.
CDFR 6990, 6991; FACS 6423, 6424, 6426, 6430, 6990; 6 s.h. major area electives
The final product is an action research project that is planned in CDFR 6990 and implemented in CDFR 6991 with an oral presentation to the graduate committee.

PhD in Medical Family Therapy

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The objective of the PhD program in medical family therapy is to graduate individuals who will collaborate with health care providers and families to resolve biopsychosocial issues inherent with acute and chronic illness. Students must complete a standard curriculum for doctoral programs as stipulated by the Commission for the Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). The 59 s.h. program includes: research (14 s.h.), theory (12 s.h.), clinical practice (3 s.h.), clinical supervision (3 s.h.), cognates and electives (12 s.h.), dissertation (6 s.h.), and internship (9 s.h.). Full-time students are expected to complete the program in a minimum of three years. Students completing the program will be expected to fulfill educational and clinical requirements for marriage and family therapy licensure.

Admission
Applicants must have a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy or a related discipline. Applicants from a related field should have completed a course of studies that demonstrates competencies in basic marriage and family therapy studies and clinical experience. Additional requirements for admission include: acceptable performance on the GRE and a cumulative GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale in graduate work; a sample of scholarly writing which may be a thesis, a published or unpublished reprint, a research paper; a statement of purpose that summarizes the reasons for pursuing doctoral study in medical family therapy; a personal interview with the program faculty; and other requirements included in the Graduate School’s application packet.

Transfer Credit
A maximum of 9 s.h. of course work taken beyond the master’s degree may be applied toward the doctoral degree at the discretion of the medical family therapy faculty, the department chair, and the dean of the Graduate School.

Doctoral Candidacy Requirements
Admission to candidacy for the PhD requires students to pass a preliminary examination testing basic knowledge in medical family therapy. Subsequent to passing the preliminary examination, students will be permitted to complete a dissertation and a nine-month internship.