HDFS Pre-Professional Opportunities

Welcome HDFS students! Here students can learn more about different opportunities that the HDFS program has to offer in applied experience settings as pre-professionals. These courses are in place to provide students with the opportunity to integrate classroom learning, theory, and course content into experiences outside of the classroom setting and to allow for exploration of a variety of career choices available to them after graduation. Successful students will articulate and demonstrate improvement in professional etiquette, competencies, and relationships as a result of engaging in these courses.

The following pages provide access to more information about how to enroll in each course and the respective requirements. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the information provided, please feel free to contact the HDFS Advising and Internships Office by scheduling an advising appointment.

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HDFS Experiential Learning

  • HDFS 231: Practicum with Children and Families

    Practicum provides students with a supervised professional experience that incorporates academic knowledge and real-life experience in a classroom setting. The course has been designed to give students the opportunity to work in a preschool classroom with children and families. Through the successful completion of practicum hours, students will gain insight into different classroom settings, positive interactions with children, as well as developmentally appropriate practice and collaboration.

    Enrolling in HDFS 231

    Permission will be given for this course during advisement appointments only. Students will work with their advisor to determine the appropriate semester for enrollment.

    Practicum Sites

    The HDFS program has partnered with four placement sites:

    1. Child and Family Research Center (CFRC)
    2. CSA Head Start
    3. Purple Door Preschool
    4. Washoe County School District

    Hours Requirement

    Starting the second week of class, students spend 6 hours per week for a total of 78 over the course of the semester.  This is in addition to reduced class meetings and course assignments.

    Required TB Skin Test

    In accordance with State of Nevada Child Care Licensing regulations, all practicum students must submit a current TB skin test before they can legally work in a classroom.

  • HDFS 390: Youth Mentoring

    Through this service-learning course, students focus on personal growth and engaging with our community through volunteer work. This course uses a theoretical and practical approach to gain knowledge of building, maintaining, and leaving mentor relationships.

    Enrolling in HDFS 390

    No permission is needed to enroll in this class during enrollment periods, however, after open enrollment permission may be required and can be requested by contacting Jenna Dewar.

    Youth Mentorship Site

    Placement site options are chosen by course instructors and are provided to students prior to the start of the semester.  Typically, our partnership is with Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows.  This requires students to be fingerprinted prior to the start of their hours (students are not responsible for fingerprinting fees). 

    Hours Requirement

    Starting the second week of class, students spend 3-4 hours of mentoring outside of class per week for a total of 45 over the course of the semester.  Due to this requirement, course assignments are reduced. Students who continue their mentorship relationship into the Spring semester are eligible to receive 1 credit for every 45 hours of service in the following semester.

  • HDFS 401: Independent Study

    Independent Study experiences are designed with the student in mind - the options are nearly limitless if a pedagogical connection to a student's learning and professional outcomes can be found. 

    Enrolling in HDFS 401

    Permission will be given for this course during advisement appointments  or can be requested by contacting Jenna Dewar. HDFS majors or minors will be allowed to enroll in this course (you may be eligible for a substitution for a required major or minor elective).

    Independent Study Options

    Students who complete an independent study most often are in one of the following three roles:

    • Undergraduate Research Assistant
    • Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (note - students interested in this option, should be able to show academic success indicated by high GPA, strong individual course grades, and an overall understanding of the content)
    • Community-Based Applied Experience (similar to an internship)

    Hours Requirement

    HDFS 401 does not have class meetings, but there are a small number of assignments.  In most experiences (flexibility exists in the research and teaching assistant roles), for each credit hour of HDFS 401 enrollment, 45 field hours are required. For example:

    • 3 credits of HDFS 401 = 135 total required field hours (averaging 9 hours per week)
  • HDFS 470: Preprofessional Internship

    An internship is an educational experience, somewhat like a practicum, only with an advanced set of expectations. The internship is a self-motivated learning experience for graduating seniors in which a student has the opportunity to learn how the site operates, and in turn gains valuable experience that can be included on their resume when searching for a permanent position.

    Enrolling in HDFS 470

    Permission will be given for this course during graduation check appointments with Jenna Dewar only.

    Prerequisites for Enrollment/Site Placement

    1. You must be in the LAST semester of your senior year
    2. You must have completed HDFS 231 with a grade of C- or higher
    3. Each site has a variety of requirements that may include: GPA, fingerprinting, background checks, interviews, and/or volunteer orientations

    Internship Sites

    Though it is preferred that you intern with one of our current placement sites, your internship can be completed with nearly any organization you wish to work with, as long as it relates to one or more of the family life education content areas:

    1. Families and Individuals in Societal Contexts
    2. Internal Dynamics of Families
    3. Human Growth and Development across the Lifespan
    4. Human Sexuality
    5. Interpersonal Relationships
    6. Family Resource Management
    7. Parent Education and Guidance
    8. Family Law and Public Policy
    9. Professional Ethics and Practice
    10. Family Life Education Methodology

    Hours Requirement

    In addition to reduced class meetings and course assignments, for each credit hour of HDFS 470 enrollment, 45 field hours are required. For example:

    • 3 credits of HDFS 470 = 135 total required field hours (averaging 9 hours per week)
    • 4 credits of HDFS 470 = 180 total required field hours (averaging 12 hours per week)