The family studies major was renamed last spring, and was officially cataloged as the child and family services degree this fall.
The marriage and family studies department renamed the program to better represent the spirit of the degree. Because family studies is a multi-disciplinary field, the department believes the name change will now clearly communicate the department’s ethos.
“In many ways, the change in name is more about communicating to prospective students and parents what you can do with the degree after graduation,” said Dr. Jamie Goff, chair of the department of marriage and family studies.
Goff said the new name, child and family services, is commonly used in other family science programs; they discovered this after benchmarking other programs nationwide. Goff also hopes it will help inform students across campus of the nature of the program.
“What we found was that many people said, ‘What is family studies?,'” Goff said. “They didn’t really have any idea what that meant, which is a problem.”
In addition to semantic changes, the program has altered admission requirements. Dr. Kenneth Cukrowski, dean of the college of biblical studies, said Goff spearheaded the changes which added criteria for admission to the program.
“We did add some admissions criteria to the program with regard to GPA requirements,” Goff said.
The new admissions requirements include: at least 45 hours completed with a cumulative GPA of 2.25, completion of FAM 251, 265 and 285 with a grade of C or better, and, to maintain admission status, majors must receive a grade of C or higher in all majors courses and maintain a GPA of 2.25 or higher.
The curriculum, however, was not altered due to the name change. Goff said changes have occurred in the past few years, but curriculum changes were not the result of this year’s name change.
Goff said she hoped the new name would help students discover and identify with the values of the department, and in turn, the major.