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Home arrow Education arrow Field-Based Learning in Family Life Education: Facilitating High-Impact Experiences in Undergraduate Family Science Programs


The Professional Sequence and High-Impact Teaching: Skills, Methods, and Internships

Edgar C.J. Long and Deborah C. Bailey


All students majoring in Family Studies at Central Michigan University are required to take a three-course sequence designed to teach fundamental skills for family life educators and gain practice using these skills during an internship in a human service agency. The professional course sequence is HDF 219 Field Work, HDF 319 Skills and Methods in Human Development and Family Studies, and HDF 419 Human Development and Family Studies Internship. The Field Work course introduces students to the professional practices most commonly associated with Family Studies majors. A detailed discussion of the course is provided in Chap. 3 so it will not be discussed here. It should be noted that the importance of student engagement for connecting theory to practice is the guiding philosophy for the three-course sequence as Family Studies students often struggle with understanding how the courses they so enjoy will lead them to a paying job (Bailey, 2010). The three-course professional sequence came out of a faculty commitment to preparing students to become professionals who would be ready to leave the classroom and find jobs upon graduation.

E.C.J. Long (*) • D.C. Bailey

Human Development and Family Studies, Central Michigan University, Mt Pleasant, MI, USA

© The Author(s) 2017

T. Newman, A. Schmitt (eds.), Field-Based Learning in Family Life Education, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-39874-7_4

The first part of this chapter will share how the Skills and Methods course focuses on skill development. The final part of the chapter will describe the three-course sequence culminating in the Internship course. This chapter will explain the relationship between high-impact practices with the development of professional skills. Specifically it will address high-impact practices including, spending considerable amounts of time on meaningful tasks, faculty and student peers interacting about substantive matters, students experiencing diversity through contact with people who are different than themselves, students receiving frequent performance feedback, activities that have applications to different settings on/ off campus, and authentic connections with peers, faculty, community, and/or the university.

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