Family Studies and Human Development

Edith S. Whitehead Education Building (WEDU)
(435) 879-4247

To find faculty & staff phone numbers and email addresses, please consult the University Directory.

Department Chair
Cari Buckner, Ed.D.

Administrative Assistant for Education
Mary McFadden

Emily Sharp, M.Ed.

Brenda Sabey, Ph.D.

Administrative Specialist
Robyn Whipple

Program Description

The Dixie State University Family Studies and Human Development Department has three separate components: Family Studies and Human Development, Nutrition and Food Science, and Early Childhood Education (ECE). The Family Studies and Human Development area provides a variety of courses that motivate critical thinking and competency in the development of life skills, encourage improvement in the quality of individual and family life, and prepare students for employment in related occupations. Students interested in family studies and human development curriculum are advised to consult with a department faculty member to plan an efficient sequence of courses. Courses are offered in human development, early childhood education, textiles, interior design, family relationships, and stress reduction.

Nutrition and Food Science classes are based on developing wellness through appropriate nutrition, food, and lifestyle choices. After further study, possible professional outcomes include registered dietitian, county extension agent and a variety of health occupation opportunities including consultant in various health institutions and organizations as well as other community, national and international health applications.

Dixie State University offers three degree opportunities in Early Childhood Education:  the Associate of Applied Science in ECE, and the Associate of Science OR Arts in ECE.  Studying Early Childhood Education gives students a strong foundation in child development, family studies, and early childhood education, including practical experience. Students may use the degree for entry level employment as teachers in Head Start Programs or other early childhood settings or may pursue a bachelor’s degree.  The coursework in the AS/AA degree in ECE is designed to correlate with requirements in the Elementary Education Program at DSU, so a graduate of the Education track can complete prerequisite requirements for the Elementary Education program.  Besides the Education track, students can choose a Child Care track.

Course Prefixes

  • FSHD

Career Information

Career Strategies

Early Childhood Education students can enhance learning and career opportunities in the following ways:

  • Nurture both a caring attitude toward children and professional behavior
  • Develop and maintain an appreciation for the wonders of childhood discovery
  • Develop practical experience in the field
  • Engage in service learning, community service, and/or volunteer activities
  • Use electives wisely to enroll in courses that supplement your knowledge and skills
  • Consider continuing your education to obtain bachelor’s or master’s degree

Career Opportunities*

  • Preschool / pre-K teacher
  • Head Start teacher
  • Family advocate
  • Child care service administrator
  • Business owner / entrepreneur
  • Parent educator
  • Social services provider
  • Resource / referral specialist

Job Outlook*

The need for preschool teachers and other early childhood educators is expected to grow 7% between 2014 and 2024, which is consistent with the average for all occupations.

Salary Range*

The median annual wage for preschool teachers was $28,570 in May 2015. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $19,130, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $51,990.


FSHD 1000. Breadmaking. 1 Hour.

Open to all students interested in working with yeast and non-yeast breads. Techniques of basic bread making are taught through practical application. Some lecture, but the primary focus is on actual preparation and evaluation of bread dough products. Successful students should be able to trouble shoot problems and prepare a variety of breads. Course fee required. FA, SP.

FSHD 1001. FYE: Family Studies and Human Development. 1 Hour.

A First Year Experience course designed to help student adapt to college life and become integrated into Dixie State University. Students will refine academic skills, create and foster social networks, learn about university resources, and explore different fields of study, degree options, and career opportunities. Sections offered by academic departments will include information pertinent to that discipline, while open major sections will include information about choosing a major or area of study. Multiple listed with all other sections of First Year Experience (all 1001 courses, ENGR 1000). Students may only take one FYE course for credit. FA.

FSHD 1020. Sci Foundations of Nutrition (LS). 3 Hours.

Fulfills General Education Life Science requirement. Open to all students who have an interest in human nutrition and how it relates to individual dietary requirements. May be of particular interest to students with an emphasis in Health Sciences, Education, or related fields. Various periods during the life cycle-infancy, childhood, adolescence, pregnancy, and the later years--and their specific nutrient needs will be analyzed as well as the basic nutrients and how they are absorbed and used by the body. Other areas of focus will include nutrition for athletes, eating disorders, weight control, and food safety. Includes lecture, multi-media, applied nutrition group activities, guest lecturers, and computer analysis of personal diet. Students will record and analyze their own diet. FA, SP.

FSHD 1030. Lifespan Fitness and Nutrition. 2 Hours.

Open to all students with an interest in learning appropriate fitness and nutrition practices over the lifespan. Of special interest to athletes, and students studying nutrition or physical fitness. Basic nutrition and fitness concepts will be taught. Weight control, nutrition for the athlete, low fat and healthy cooking, and stress management will be emphasized. Includes lecture, Fitness Center activities, group work, dietary analysis, and food labs. Students will develop an individualized fitness and nutrition plan. FA, SP.

FSHD 1100. Basic Food Prep Techniques. 3 Hours.

Open to all students with an interest in food preparation techniques and healthful nutrition practices for the lifespan, and recommended for students with an emphasis in Foods, Nutrition, or Family Consumer Science. Covers the principles and practices of food preparation, healthful food choices, consumer and health information and the management of meals, food, time, and economic resources. Includes preparation of food, lectures, group projects, and field trips. Successful completers should be able to use and apply a variety of food preparation and meal management techniques and nutrition concepts. Combined lecture / lab. Course fee required. FA, SP.

FSHD 1150. Marriage Preparation and Enhancement. 3 Hours.

For students wishing to personally prepare for or enhance their marriage. Marital philosophies, theories and research will be studied with an applied focus. Course covers communication and conflict resolution skills, character development, and attitudes of successful marriages. Through engagement in practical personal development, students will also be introduced to career options in marital counseling and education. SP.

FSHD 1220. Culinary Arts. 3 Hours.

This course is for students interested in learning fundamentals in the culinary arts. Intermediate skills will be taught as well as learning the production of international foods. This class is a combination of lecture, demonstration and preparing foods. FA, SP.

FSHD 1240. Fashion Sewing. 3 Hours.

For students interested in learning to use the sewing machine, serger, pressing tools, and other equipment, as well as skills and knowledge for cutting, sewing, and working with fabrics. Techniques of pattern selection, minor fitting and design, adjustments, and fabric identification and selection will be presented. Combined lecture / lab. Course fee required. FA.

FSHD 1370. Intro to Interior Design. 3 Hours.

For all students who have an interest in well-planned, aesthetic interior human environments that contribute to positive human behavior, well-being, and aesthetic satisfaction. Includes a survey of basic design principles and elements as they apply to planning, designing and furnishing human environments. Color principles and selection skills for window treatments, wall and floor coverings, furniture and accessories will be taught by lecture, by guest professionals, and through student completion of design projects. FA, SP.

FSHD 1500. Human Development Lifespan (SS, GC). 3 Hours.

Fulfills General Education Social and Behavioral Sciences requirement and is a Global & Cultural Perspectives (GLOCUP) course. Of particular interest to those interested in education and health. Utilizes theory and current practices in child development as they apply to the effects of culture and the bio-social, cognitive, and psychosocial development through the lifespan. Diversity as well as global issues affecting human populations is integrated into each section of the course. Lecture-based course with a strong laboratory involvement in the Dixie State University Preschool. Includes observations and active learning approaches in class. Dual listed with PSY 1100 (students may only take one course for credit). FA, SP.

FSHD 2020. Nutrition and Food Science. 3 Hours.

For students interested in nutrition or health sciences. Includes the application of nutrition principles to the human life cycle, nutrient function, needs sources and alterations during pregnancy, lactation, growth development, maturation and aging. Different types of nutritional assessment are taught using lecture, labs, activities, guest lecturers and student projects. Offered based on sufficient student need. Prerequisite: FSHD 1020.

FSHD 2120. Infant and Child Nutrition. 3 Hours.

For students interested in nutrition. Includes strategies for meeting the nutrient needs of infants, toddlers, preschool, and school-age children. Covers menu planning for children in day care and preschool settings and methods for teaching nutrition to children. Uses guest speakers, student presentations, lecture, observations, and group work. Prerequisite: FSHD 1020. SP.

FSHD 2180. Partnering With Parents. 3 Hours.

Required of students pursuing the associate's degree in Early Childhood Education, but valuable to all educators. Prepares educators to competently structure the vital collaboration between educational agencies and the home by highlighting the fact that school and the home are intertwined in the support of healthy childhood development. Focuses on the development of attitudes, knowledge and skills that educators bring to strengthen school and home relationships. Prerequisites: FSHD 1500 (can be concurrently enrolled); or FSHD 2500 (can be concurrently enrolled); or PSY 1100 (can be concurrently enrolled); AND FSHD 2610 (can be concurrently enrolled). SP.

FSHD 2240R. Intermediate and Advanced Fashion Sewing. 3 Hours.

A self-directed class for students who want to develop intermediate and/or advanced sewing skills. Provides students with instruction and hands-on learning experiences in developing advanced techniques in sewing as they design and produce wearables, create home decorations, and work with man-made and natural fibers. Students will use a variety of applications and concepts to create their own designs. Combined lecture/lab class. Prerequisite: FSHD 1240 and Instructor permission. SP.

FSHD 2400. Family Relationships (SS, GC). 3 Hours.

Fulfills General Education Social & Behavioral Sciences requirement and is an approved Global & Cultural Perspectives course. Introductory course on the study of family systems, sociology of the family, and interaction patterns within families. It includes an analysis on research methods of studying the family, conceptual theories for understanding family dynamics, and family systems theory. Other topics covered will be resource management within the family, parent-child relationships, marriage relationships, patterns of problem solving within families, and the study of family change and transition. Family Relationships is a course that prioritizes mindfulness regarding demographic diversity. Every study unit examines current and past research regarding race, ethnic origins, gender, age, religious affiliation, geographic influences, and socioeconomic status, among other demographics. The emphasis in the course is always in applying critical thinking skills to create deeper understanding of beliefs and practices in a multicultural society. FA, SP.

FSHD 2410. Self-Protection. 3 Hours.

Open to all students interested in learning how to live with more safety in this society. Provides students with knowledge and skills that can: strengthen cognitive awareness, increase knowledge of bystander activation, increase physical self-defense skills, develop resistance strategies, increase understanding of the effects of drugs and alcohol on sexual assault, and enhance self-confidence. It is an in-depth study of gender dynamics and cultural norms that make sexual assault and domestic violence a national as well as transnational problem. The course examines historical attitudes and current events to encourage activism towards social and cultural change to a safer world. Lab included in course. Course fee required.

FSHD 2500. Child Devel - Birth to Eight. 3 Hours.

Designed for early childhood educators, but open to all students. Focuses on the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development of young children through infancy, toddlerhood, and early childhood, using a combination of lecture, interactive learning processes, and lab experiences to promote student mastery of normal developmental processes through the first eight years of life. FA, SP.

FSHD 2600. Intro to Early Childhood Educ. 2 Hours.

An introductory course designed for preschool educators, but open to all students. Includes historical background, professional issues, theories, and an overview to developmentally appropriate educational practices. FA.

FSHD 2610. Child Guidance Based on Developmental Theory. 3 Hours.

Required of students pursuing the associate's degree in Early Childhood Education, but valuable to parents, prospective parents, and educators. Applies the principles of child guidance and discipline from currently accepted theories by using the DSU Preschool to complete assignments. Students will be required to complete hours in the DSU Preschool. Prerequisites: FSHD 1500 (can be concurrently enrolled); or FSHD 2500 (can be concurrently enrolled); or PSY 1100 (can be concurrently enrolled). SP.

FSHD 2620. Designing Integrated Curriculum with Play. 3 Hours.

Required of students pursuing the associate's degree in Early Childhood Education, but valuable to parents, prospective parents, and educators. Explores the value of developmentally appropriate play for young children and how to provide a rich curricular environment for early childhood settings, including planning, preparation, and implementation of activities for early childhood education. Prerequisites: FSHD 1500 (can be concurrently enrolled); or FSHD 2500 (can be concurrently enrolled); or PSY 1100 (can be concurrently enrolled). FA.

FSHD 2630. Literacy and Literature for Early Childhood. 3 Hours.

For Early Childhood Education associate degree students. This course introduces practical aspects of fostering literacy development in young children. It focuses on emerging and early literacy in the home, early care, and in educational settings with an emphasis on ages three through six. Studies strategies for holistic integration of the various literacy processes. Addresses the role of children's literature, the relationship between early language development and literacy opportunities and methods for developing language and positive attitudes toward books. This course has an embedded lab experience in the preschool where students will apply concepts they have learned in class. SP.

FSHD 2880. Practicum Early Childhood Educ. 3 Hours.

Required of students pursuing the associate's degree in Early Childhood Education. Designed to provide on-the-job learning opportunities for prospective teachers of young children, including teaching opportunities in the early childhood setting under the supervision of the program director and/or classroom teacher. Students meet weekly with an FCS faculty member in a seminar to establish semester learning objectives for the student and the site placement, including each of the following areas: curriculum development, classroom management, lesson preparation and delivery, working with parents of young children, and supervising workers in an early childhood educational setting. Prerequisites: FSHD 2600, AND FSHD 2610, AND FSHD 2620; AND FSHD 1500 or FSHD 2500 or PSY 1100; AND instructor permission. FA, SP.

FSHD 2990. Seminars in Family Studies and Human Development. 0.5-3 Hours.

For students wishing instruction that is not available through other regularly scheduled courses in this discipline. Occasionally, either students request some type of non-traditional instruction, or an unanticipated opportunity for instruction presents itself. This seminar course provides a variable credit context for these purposes. As requirements, this seminar course must first be pre-approved by the department chair; second, it must provide at least nine contact hours of lab or lecture for each credit offered; and third, it must include some academic project or paper (i.e., credit is not given for attendance alone). This course may include standard lectures, travel and field trips, guest speakers, laboratory exercises, or other nontraditional instruction methods. Note that this course in an elective and does not fulfill general education or program requirements. Fees may be required for some seminar courses and instructor permission will be optional at the request of the instructor.


Department Chair

Cari Buckner, Ed.D.

Associate Professors

Cari Buckner, Ed.D.

Jason Wilde, Ph.D.


David Jones, M.A., MFHD

Teresa Provost (Preschool)

Linda M. Wright, M.Ed.


Emily Sharp, M.Ed.