Why I Love My Human Development and Family Studies Major

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Cassandra Lawton
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I am majoring in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) at Michigan State University (MSU). This program is amazing because it incorporates many hands-on requirements in the curriculum. In my intro to HDFS class, I was required to do a service learning placement for 40 hours last semester. These service learning placements range from helping food banks, refugees, farmer’s markets, or volunteering at afterschool programs. These placements are nice because they are required, if they weren’t I probably wouldn’t have made volunteering a priority.

My placement was at a low-income housing apartment complex where I worked at the Learning Center. I taught the importance of college to the kids in the apartments and tutored in my spare time. This placement taught me so many things, among those, that I want to help people of all ages.

HDFS curriculum also requires us to take an internship. I am planning to do two internships before graduating. My internship this semester is currently at St. Vincent Catholic Charities adoption home with the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program. In this program, I have my own caseload of kids in residential homes that I get to know and find homes for. My internship has taught me the importance and significance of having a home to come back to, it also taught me about the adoption system processes. I wouldn’t have taken it on if my program didn’t encourage and give me the skills to do it. My second internship will be at the Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic on campus.

Finally, HDFS courses are extremely interesting and help me learn a lot about each course’s material. Each course builds upon the previous course and I feel like I’m getting more concrete foundation with each course I take. I can honestly say I feel “ready for the real world” into my field because of my experiences.

The HDFS major at MSU is an amazing program that allows students to gain real life skills and knowledge that can be used for real careers. Even if someone isn’t going into a human service field people can still use the skills in other professions.

Overall, HDFS is an amazing major because it is versatile in all career paths and allows for hands on work as well as courses that reinforce concepts.


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