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Technical Standards

The Department of Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) prepares students for professional service to individuals and families. The Technical Standards presented here are prerequisites for admission and graduation from the Department of Human Development and Family Science, College of Education and Human Development of the University of Missouri. The courses required in each emphasis area (Child Life, Early Childhood in a Mobile Society online program, and Family and Lifespan Development) help students develop essential skills for professional work with families and children.

A HDFS graduate must have the knowledge and skills to interact successfully with individuals and families in a variety of work settings. HDFS acknowledges Section 504 of the 1973 Vocational Rehabilitation Act and PL 101-336, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) but we have determined that HDFS graduates must have certain minimum technical standards. Any candidate for the Bachelor of Science degree in HDFS must have aptitude, abilities, and skills in the areas of observation, communication, motor function, judgment , behavioral and social attributes, conceptualization, and problem solving.

The student may use technological compensation for some handicaps in the aforementioned listed skill areas, but should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner. The use of a third party to assist the student in accomplishing curricular requirements in the listed skill areas is unacceptable. Such would mean that the student’s judgment is inter ceded by someone else’s power of selection and observation. The following outlines the aptitude, abilities, and skills needed by the HDFS student in specific areas:

The student must be able to observe and record the physical actions of children in naturalistic settings. Observation includes the ability to assess the developmental needs and progress of children birth to age 10. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and other sensory modalities.
The student must be able to assimilate information from written sources on the major family and human development theories. The student must demonstrate effective communication in oral presentations, written assignments, small group settings, and through electronic means (i.e., e-mail and the World Wide Web). The student must be able to perceive nonverbal communication. The student must be able to exhibit behaviors (actions and language) that would serve as a model for children, peers, colleagues, and parents.
The student must demonstrate judgment in the classroom and/or clinical setting and show the ability to make mature, sensitive, and effective decisions pertaining to (1) professionalism, (2) relationships with families, children, clients, and colleagues, and (3) the effectiveness of intervention or theoretical strategies. The student must demonstrate an understanding of the rationale and justification for her/his performance.
The student must have gross motor, fine motor, and equilibrium functions reasonably required to carry out childcare needs, assessments, and/or therapeutic intervention. Quick reactions are necessary not only for safety but for the individual to respond to the needs of children aged birth to 10 years (e.g., lifting for and executing diaper changing, assisting in and changing clothing, physically moving children during emergency situations).
The student must possess the social and emotional health required to (1) appreciate and respect cultural, ethnic, and functional differences among families and individuals; (2) exercise good judgment; and (3) develop effective, mature, and sensitive relationships with children, families, patients, and/or colleagues. Integrity, punctuality, time-on task, and interpersonal communication skills are all personal qualities that are assessed during the student’s education program.