School of Health and Human Sciences

HDFS Majors Choose From One of Three Concentrations

1- Early Care and Education

Prepares students for careers in early childhood settings and agencies serving young children and their families including private kindergartens, hospitals, and parent-child centers.

2- Early Childhood Development and Education

Prepares students for licensure by the state of North Carolina to teach birth through kindergarten-aged children in public school settings.

3- Child, Youth, & Family Development

Prepares students for careers in family, governmental, and community service agencies that serve children, adolescents, adults, the elderly, and their families.

Career Opportunities for HDFS Concentrations

Early Care and Education

  • Director, Coordinator, Teacher in Preschool, Child Care, School-Age Child Care
  • Head Start
  • Elementary School Aide
  • Child Abuse Prevention
  • Hospital Child Care
  • Preschool Care for Developmentally Disabled Children
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Specialized Educational Programs
  • Developmental Consultant
  • Early Intervention
  • Smart Start & The N.C. Partnership for Children
  • Childlinks
    • Provides resources and trainings for parents and providers (teachers, etc.)
      • Training Coordinator
      • Resource Center Specialist
      • Parent Referral Counselor
  • Family and Community Resource
    • Outreach Coordinator
  • Parent-to-Parent
    • Provides emotional support and resources for families who have a child with a disability, chronic illness, or premature birth and for families who have experienced the death of a child.
      • Parent Coordinator
  • Parents as Teachers
    • This program provides access to proven child development research and tips for enhancing a child’s intellectual growth, language development, motor skills and social development.
      • Parent Educator
  • QUEST (Quality, Education, Support & Training)
    • Services are free and include assistance with star ratings, environmental ratings, resources, trainings, and referrals.
      • Quality Enhancement Specialist

Early Childhood Development and Education

  • Pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten Teacher in Public Schools
  • Plus any of the careers listed under the Early Care and Education concentration

Child, Youth, & Family Development

  • Family Services
  • Child/Family Crisis Intervention Centers (e.g., Child Abuse, Substance Abuse, Juvenile Corrections)
  • Youth and Family Services
  • Child Advocacy Organizations (e.g., Action for Children N.C., N.C. Justice and Community Development Center, Easter Seals UCP NC, Autism Society of NC)
  • Community Service Agencies (e.g., YWCA, YMCA, Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Clubs, United Way, Volunteer Action Centers, Family Support Network, Planned Parenthood)
  • Communities and Schools
  • Guardian ad Litem – A person appointed by the court to represent the child in court and to make recommendations to the court regarding the best interests of the child (some states may refer to as Attorney Ad Litem or Law Guardian)
  • Residential Treatment Facilities for Children
  • Recreation Centers (e.g., Fitness programs for children, Educational programs for parents/adolescents/children)
  • Dept of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (e.g., Court Counselor, Direct Juvenile Care Staff, Tutoring, Recreation Specialist)
  • Early Intervention
  • Foster Care Programs
  • Drug & Alcohol Prevention Programs
  • Teen Pregnancy Services
  • Family Service Agencies (e.g., Family Life Council, Women’s Shelters), Health-Related Agencies (e.g., Hospitals, Pregnancy Care Centers)
  • Activity Coordinator or Program Director in Retirement Facilities
  • Residential Care for Elderly (Activity/Social Planner/Director, Exercise Planner)
  • Extended Care Centers, Adult Day Care
  • Senior Citizen Groups
  • Family Services
  • Council On Aging
  • State Agencies (e.g. Division of Aging)
  • Family Resorts
  • Family Liason in Hospital
  • Intervention Centers (Crisis Intervention Center, Real Crisis Center, Crisis Hotlines)
  • Family Resource Services (Employee Assistance, Consumer Protection, Financial Counseling and Planning, Food Assistance programs)
  • Military Family Support Services
  • Immigration & Migrant Family Services
  • Cooperative Extension
    • Training adult and youth volunteers to become community leaders, providing educational programs to stimulate community economic development, working in partnership with other agencies to help citizens prepare for and recover from disasters — and more.
    • Provide families with research-based answers to their day-to-day challenges such as managing a family budget, improving eating habits, or dealing with the special concerns related to early childhood, parenting, or aging.
    • 4-H

Other HDFS Careers You Can Pursue

Students graduating with HDFS degrees in this concentration often seek graduate training in HDFS, Psychology, Counseling, or Social Work or pursue certification as Family Life Educators.

Don’t forget the large number of career opportunities available through:

Government Agencies

  • The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) touches the lives of virtually every North Carolinian from birth to old age–prenatal programs, child development programs, and rest home regulations, are all part of DHHS charge.
  • Divisions of DHHS:
    • Aging and Adult Services
    • Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services
    • Disability Determination Services
    • Services for the Blind
    • Deaf & Hard of Hearing
    • Public Health
    • Child Developmental Services Agency
    • Mental Health Developmental Centers & Schools for Children
    • Child Development
      • School-Age Specialist
      • Behavior Specialist
      • Infant/Toddler Specialist

Health Related Agencies

  • Public Health Department
    • WIC
    • Breastfeeding classes
    • Childbirth
    • Nutrition
    • Other Educational Classes

Non-Profit Organizations

  • Adoption Services
  • Educational Organizations
  • Faith Based Organizations (Ministry, Family Life Education, Parenting Education, Youth Programs)
  • United Way Organization

Universities or Research Centers

  • Research Technician/Assistant