Child & Family Services Specialization | C&I | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Child & Family Services Specialization

Undergraduate Early Childhood majors choose between two specializations: Preschool/Primary and Child and Family Services.

Students in both programs take courses in:

  • Child Development
  • Family Studies
  • Early Childhood Curriculum
  • Early Childhood Instructional Methods


The Child and Family Services program is designed for students who prefer to work with children in non-public school settings, such as Head Start or child care, or with children and families through an agency setting. In selecting courses, students can follow any of five suggested career tracks:

  1. Childcare program director
  2. Child development specialist/early intervention
  3. Family literacy
  4. Family educator
  5. Social service agency

This program is flexible, with many choices of electives. Students have practicum experiences with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers through the Southern Region Early Childhood Program. They also do a semester-long internship in an agency or early childhood setting as a capstone experience.


The University Core Curriculum, required of all students pursuing a bachelor’s degree at SIU, will provide you with a sound background of knowledge as you progress in the realm of higher education. The University Core Curriculum shapes the structure of general education at SIU. The Core Curriculum consists of 41 credit hours of coursework distributed across three general areas:

  • 15 credit hours of Foundation Skills in English Compo­sition, Foundations of Inquiry, Speech Communication, and Mathematics designed to strengthen students' writing, oral, and mathematical skills.  
  • 23 credit hours of Disciplinary Studies in Fine Arts, Human Health, Humanities, Science, and Social Science designed to introduce students to the universe of human knowledge.
  • 3 credit hours of Integrative Studies designed to increase students' respect for and appreciation of human diversity.

 To learn more about University Core Curriculum requirements, click here.


In addition to the University Core Curriculum requirements, some majors may require students to take additional required coursework. Students specializing in Child & Family Services will need to complete:

  • an additional 6 credit hours of coursework in the Health and Special Education areas
  • 26 credit hours of elective coursework. Coursework will be selected by the student and their academic advisor. At least 9-credit hours must be selected from the following recommended list: CI 245, 317, 327, 337, 390H, 390Q, 403, 404, 413, 419, 498H, 498Q. See the SIU Undergraduate Catalog for course descriptions. 

Child & Family Services Specialization Requirements

Students will need to complete a total of 120 semester hours in order to complete the program. Student are required to complete:

  • 41 credit hours of UCC coursework
  • 6 credit hours of additional requirements in the Health and Special Education areas and,
  • 26 credit hours of elective coursework
  • 47 credit hours of major requirement coursework (see below)

VIEW CURRICULUM GUIDE (PDF) | Child and Family Services


  • A Minimum "C" grade is required for all major and Education courses
  • Consult your academic advisor for registration details
Course ID Credit
Course Title
CI 227 3 Intimate Relationships & Family
CI 317 3 Guiding Play as a Learning Medium
CI 318A 3 Instructional Methods for the Preschool Child
CI 318B 1 Practicum in Instructional Methods for the Preschool Child
CI 327 3 Family Studies
CI 337 3 Assessment of Child Development
CI 395 3 Field Observation
CI 405A 2 Infant and Toddler Development
CI 405B 1 Practicum in Methodologies for Group Care of Infants and Toddlers
CI 417 3 Administration of Early Childhood and Family Programs
CI 419 3 Child, Family and Community Involvement
CI 495 6 Internship in Early Childhood
EDUC 314 3 Early Child Development I
HED 351 3 Health Education in Early Childhood
PSYC 331 3 Abnormal Psychology
SPED 300 3 Introduction to Special Education