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Featured Courses in Family Social Science

FSOS 1101 Intimate Relationships

Instructor: Tai Mendenhall

Intimate Relationships focuses on the interpersonal dynamics of couples, and on the dynamics of couples in-context. We explore how intimate relationships evolve and develop, and how they succeed or fail. We talk about a variety of important relationship topics and skills, including early attachment, courtship and dating, cohabitation, marriage, sexual orientation, gender roles and power, communication and conflict resolution, relationship problems (e.g., abuse, infidelity, divorce), and couple enrichment/couples therapy. The science of these foci as studied by sociologists, social psychologists, anthropologists, historians, couple and family therapists, and family social scientists is incorporated throughout.

Credits: 4

FSOS 1201 Human Development in Families: Lifespan

Instructor: Abigail Gewirtz

This course provides a survey of human development in a family context while emphasizing the role of diversity in shaping family environments. Using life course theory and human development theories, the course addresses the interlocking paths of individual and family development, beginning with birth and continuing through the life cycle. It addresses the basic processes involved in physical, cognitive, language, social, and personality development and how they are interrelated. It interweaves the ways in which historical, social, and cultural factors, including ethnicity, gender, class and sexual orientation, influence family context, which in turn, influences individual development. The course is strongly grounded in theory and research, but also explores how theory and research findings are applied to everyday lives. It is designed for undergraduates who seek a broad introduction to human development in family contexts across the entire lifespan. It is especially relevant for students interested in human services career paths.

Credits: 4

FSOS 1301 Cash or Credit: You Need to Know

Instructor: Virginia Zuiker

This course provides students with factual information about basic money management skills. The great thing about this class is that the topics covered in class can be applied to everyday life, even the life that exists outside of college. This is an on-line, interactive learning class.

Credits: 1

FSOS 2101 Preparation for Working With Families

Instructor: William Goodman

The essential components of this course are the reflection and development of learners in helping relationships, critical thinking skills (Bloom Taxonomy) for practicing thinkers, and advancement of written and multi-modal literacy.

Credits: 2

FSOS 2103 Family Policy

Instructor: Beth Magistad

This course will explore the reciprocal linkages between family functioning and public/private policies at the local, state, and federal levels. The course will focus on theoretical frameworks for conceptualizing family policy and roles professionals can play in building and implementing family policy. Students will explore how families contribute to social problems, how families are affected by these problems, and whether families should be involved in policy solutions. Students will assess the consequences policies may have for family well-being with special attention to selected family policy issues. Students are evaluated on their ability to articulate a particular view, identify its theoretical underpinnings, support it with empirical findings, and refute alternative views.

Credits: 3

FSOS 2105 Methods in Family Research

Instructor: Martha Rueter

This course is designed to give you the opportunity to develop the skills you need to be an intelligent consumer of scientifically based information about families. Topics covered include how to access current research on families, the scientific process and components of a well-executed family study, and social, ethical, and contextual factors that make studying families both exciting and challenging.

Credits: 3

FSOS 3101 Personal and Family Finances

Instructor: Virginia Zuiker

This course is an analysis of personal and family financial management principles. Students will learn concepts pertaining to the financial planning of savings, investments, credit, mortgages, taxation, life, disability, health, and property insurance; public, private pensions, and estate planning. This course will address financial pitfalls, economic security, and ways to accumulate wealth.

Credits: 3

FSOS 3102 Family Systems and Diversity

This course examines family systems across the lifespan using a variety of family theories (i.e., the family systems theory, the human ecology theory, the family development theory, etc.). It introduces students to diversity issues related to gender, class, ethnicity/race, sexual orientation, disability, as well as emergent family forms (i.e., cohabitation, divorce, single parenthood, and remarriage) in the context of the latest research.

Credits: 3

FSOS 3104 Global and Diverse Families

Instructor: Catherine Solheim

Global and Diverse Families is a course that focuses on family dynamics of various racial/ethnic populations across the world in the contexts of global economic, political and social processes. The course explores the differences of etic/emic perspectives and insider/outsider methodologies to study global and culturally diverse family systems. Using a human ecological theoretical lens, learners examine and understand the interdependence of family, kin, racial, cultural, class, communal, educational, social, religious, political and economic systems within and across countries. The course also creates learner awareness of "isms" (racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, ageism, heterosexism), privilege, discrimination, obliviousness and ignorance and how these dynamics manifest within and across various cultures and countries.

Credits: 3

FSOS 3429 Counseling Skills Practicum I

Instructor: Cynthia Meyer (section 001), William Goodman (section 002)

Section 001: This course is designed to provide students the listening skills necessary to establish a helping relationship and to promote the personal growth and development of people they will see in their future work. It helps students develop skills that are critical in helping other people, including individuals, couples and families. This course focuses both on self-awareness about one's desire to help others as well as developing basic skills in helping others.

Section 002: This course is designed for undergraduate students who anticipate that they will engage in direct client services in the near future and/or undergraduate students preparing for graduate studies in clinical graduate programs such as couple and family therapy or guidance and counseling. The course will provide undergraduate students with the listening skills necessary to establish a helping relationship while promoting the personal, relational growth, and development of people seeking help.

Credits: 3

FSOS 4101 Sexuality and Gender in Families and Close Relationships

Instructor: Cynthia Meyer

This course provides students an opportunity to learn about current research in the field of sexuality, develop comfort applying this information in professional settings, utilize and develop critical thinking skills to examine evidence and biases in the field of sexual science, and to clarify and confirm sexual values as well as understand the impact these values have on one's personal and professional relationships. A variety of topics will be covered including family communication and sexuality education, body image, gender development and development of gender roles, sexuality research, developing healthy sexuality in children, adolescent sexuality, attraction and intimacy, mate selection and other sexuality related topics of importance to relationships and families.

Credits: 3

FSOS 4106 Family Resource Management

Instructor: Beth Magistad

This course examines families as important economic units in society. The course focuses on how families use resource to achieve valued goals. Management involves facing opportunities and solving the practical problems of every-day life, coordinating the activities of family members, and making and implementing decisions. Some challenges include how to allocate time in ways that will: produce capable people; distribute income to meet the safety and growth needs of family members; consume material resources for health of members and the environment; and use community resources in ways that will assist family members in realizing valued ends, and reaching important goals. Case studies are used to illuminate common issues of family resource management especially for families with limited resources.

Credits: 3

FSOS 4153 Family Financial Counseling

Instructor: Virginia Zuiker

Family financial issues are studied with an emphasis on the role of the financial counselor. This course emphasizes the development of professional skills for assisting individuals and families to cope with financial concerns in their day-to-day lives. This course is designed to increase awareness and knowledge of the characteristics of persons in serious financial difficulties, complexity of factors affecting such situations, desirable relationships between the helper and the helped, and community agencies and organizations with appropriate resources. Students completing this course are eligible to take the Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) exam administered by the Institute for Personal Finance (IPF).

Credits: 3

FSOS 4155 Parent-Child Relationships

Instructor: Beth Magistad

This course will cover history, theories, research, and contemporary practices of parent-child relationships in diverse families across the life span. Students will apply theories studied in class to parent-child observations. The course helps to prepare students for professional work in education, social work, and other human service occupations as well as to examine parenting from a personal perspective.

Credits: 3