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Featured Summer 2017 Courses in Family Social Science

FSOS 1201 Human Development in Families

Completely online, 4 credits

Instructor: Lindsey Weiler

This course provides a survey of human development in a family context while emphasizing the role of diversity across the lifespan. Using life course, human development, and family 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.


FSOS 3101 Personal and Family Finances

Completely online. Program requirement for FSOS Majors. 3 credits.

Instructor: Cathy Solheim

This course focuses on personal and family finances (as opposed to broader corporate or government finances), and addresses financial pitfalls such as excessive debt and investing scams.

Students interested in gaining practical knowledge of personal finance, financial strategies and tools, economic security, and asset growth, should consider enrolling.


FSOS 3102 Family Systems and Diversity

Completely online. Program requirement for FSOS Majors. 3 credits

Instructor: Zha Blong Xiong

This course will use community-based learning, interaction with community leaders and teachers, interactive discussion, and family theory to examine culture, community, and structural inequality and their impact on families.


FSOS 3426 Alcohol and Drugs: Families and Culture

Completely online, 3 credits

Instructor: Heather Hessel

This course provides an introduction to drug and alcohol use, abuse, and addiction with a focus on families and culture. This course will analyze drug and alcohol use, abuse, and addiction primarily from a systems perspective rather than disease or medical models of addiction.

This course is not designed to teach learners to be therapists but aims to foster critical thinking skills and an understanding of family systems in the context of addiction.


FSOS 4101 Sexuality and Gender in Families and Close Relationships

Completely online, 3 credits

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.


FSOS 5932 Introduction to Parent Education

Completely online, 1 credit

Instructor: Heather Cline

This course is a research-based overview of the history, philosophy, and implementation of parent education programs. It examines the professional role and competencies of the parent educator. A profile of current families and a picture of the diverse parents served by parent education programs are presented. This course is recommended for employment in Early Childhood Family Education programs in Minnesota.


FSOS 5942 Everyday Experiences of Families

Completely online, 2 credits

Instructor: Heather Cline

Students will examine everyday experiences of families and their relevance to parent education and to the professional development of parent educators. Research information and theoretical knowledge are woven together with observation and personal reflection to create a strength-based approach to both families and professional development. This course meets a requirement for the Teachers of Parent and Family Education Minnesota Board of Teaching teacher license.


FSOS 5943 Parent Learning and Development: Implications for Parent Education

Completely online, 2 credits

Instructor: Heather Cline

Students will examine adult, adolescent, and parent learning and development from the perspective of their relevance for parent education. Research information and a variety of theoretical perspectives will be presented and critiqued. Personal professional development will be facilitated through challenging assumptions and examining knowledge and competencies required for parent educators. This course meets a requirement for the Teachers of Parent and Family Education Minnesota Board of Teaching teacher license.


FSOS 4150 Special Topics

All special topics courses are 1 credit

Summer Session

001: Cultural Globalization, Families, and Youth Culture

Instructor: Pooja Brar

Partially online course. This course meets in person:
6/9/17 - 9:00 am to 2:00 pm
6/10/17 - 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Families worldwide are negotiating with opportunities and challenges associated with cultural globalization. Youth are often at the forefront of learning and experiementing with new technology and thus first to be exposed to foreign values, beliefs, and products.

This course will focus on how youth, within the context of their families and socio-cultural environment, are affected by and affecting cultural globalization.

002: Families Communicating in an Online World

Instructor: Heather Hessel

Completely online course.

Family members of all ages have adopted online communication strategies. However, they may also have differing views of the role of technology in their relationships.

This course examines the good and bad of the emergence and use of communication technology in families and explores how that use has changed over time for different generations.

003: Exploring Couple and Family Therapy as a Profession

Instructor: Heather Hessel

Completely online course.

This online course aims to help students understand the practice of couple and family therapy using experiential learning techniques, and emphasizing self-reflection, ethics, licensing and education requirements, and the many contexts in which couple and family therapists work.

004: Mindful Parenting

Instructor: Na Zhang

Partially online course. This course meets in person:
7/21/17 - 9:00 am to 2:00 pm
7/22/17 - 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

In this class, students will explore how scientists view minfdul parenting, and the relationship between mindful parenting and children’s wellbeing.

Students will learn to define mindfulness and to compare and contrast a number of meditation techniques. Students will also learn to critically evaluate the current research in the field and envision the direction of future research and practice.

005: Assisted Reproduction Families: A Feminist Lens

Instructor: Muzi Chen

Partially online class. This course meets in person:
6/23/17 - 9:00 am to 2:00 pm
6/24/17 - 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Families created through Medically Assisted Reproduction (MAR) because of biological or social infertility represent a significant component of contemporary American families.

This course will explore feminist perspectives on parenthood and family within the context of MAR families. It will also critically review the single mother by choice family formed by MAR and donor sperm through a feminist lens.