Southeast’s Family Studies program is strongly focused on integrating theory, research, and practice. It encompasses a wide range of family structures, dynamics and functions with an emphasis upon the development of interpersonal skills and professional practice. The Family Studies program prepares students for a variety of positions in social service, government, and education that focus on families or family members at all stages of the life continuum.

Southeast’s Family Studies program operates three state-licensed centers: Hoover Center (senior adults), University School for Young Children, and the Horizon Enrichment Center (developmentally disabled young adults). As a Family Studies student, you will be trained in these centers to work with a wide variety of populations and have the opportunity to work part-time or volunteer in these centers.

You will be offered “real world” experiences in the Family Studies program through placement in agencies and programs serving young children and parents, pregnant teens, senior adults, low-income families and the community.


Southeast’s Family Studies program is an accredited Certified Family Life Educator program. The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) oversees that our program includes coursework which follows the standards and criteria needed for students to become Provisional Certified Family Life Educators. For more information visit the NCFR website.

Major & Minors


Human Environmental Studies with the Family Studies option (B.S.) 50 hours (Minor required)
This option provides you with the skills to work in human services careers, including occupations related to designing and providing individual and family services at local, state and national levels.


Gerontology (18 hours) - This minor will provide you with the study of the aging process and the elderly.

Family Studies (18 hours) - This minor will appeal to students who wish to professionally relate to families such as in the field of education, government, architecture, medicine, nursing, home economics, religion, recreation, social work, law, psychology, counseling, journalism and business.


Students are required to complete an internship for course credit. A faculty coordinator works with the agency and the student to achieve a valuable learning experience.

Family Study students have held internships at agencies and programs serving young children and parents, pregnant teens, senior adults, low-income families and the community, including:

  • Area Agency on Aging
  • Division of Family Services
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Lutheran Child and Family Services
  • APPLE Project
  • Southeast Hospital Hospice
  • Missouri Veterans Home
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Educare Program
  • Head Start and Early Head Start Centers
  • East Missouri Action Agency
  • Community Counseling Center
  • YMCA Camps
  • Girl Scouts
  • University of Missouri Extension
  • Safehouse for Women Domestic Violence Shelter

Career Opportunities

Potential Careers and Job Titles include:

  • Adoption Specialist
  • family Child Care Provider
  • Parent Education/Family Specialist
  • DFS Child Services Worker
  • Early Head Start & Head Start Family Advocate
  • Women's Safe House Director
  • Extension Human Development Specialist
  • Pregnant Parents Program Director
  • Nursing Home Program/Acitivities Director
  • Community Development Specialist
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
  • Consumer Counselor/Educator
  • Community Housing Services Worker
  • Consumer Credit Counselor
  • Division of Youth Specialist
  • Mental Health Life Skills Educator
  • Resource and Referral Specialist
  • Senior Center Administrator
  • Division of Aging Caseworker

Some Employer Examples include:

  • Area Agency on Aging
  • Big Brothers/Sisters Program
  • Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts
  • Councils on Aging
  • Crisis Center
  • Day Care Facility
  • Department of Family Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Health and Senior Services
  • Gerontology Agencies/Firms
  • Headstart
  • Hospices
  • Retirement Homes
  • Community Counseling Center

The family studies program also provides a strong educational foundation for the pursuit of graduate degrees in:

  • Family Studies
  • Gerontology
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Social Work
  • Counseling

For more career opportunities in Family Studies visit the NCFR website.


Scully Building 114
Human Environmental Studies
One University Plaza, MS 5750
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701