Master's Degree

Core Courses

Crises Across the Lifespan

This course provides students with resources related to managing stress and coping with crises across the lifespan to use in their own lives and the lives of families they serve. Students learn about the biopsychosocial nature of stress; methods of coping with stress, anxiety, and conflict; and models of effective family functioning in the presence of stress and crises.

Family Dynamics

Students examine theories of family function and dysfunction, techniques of assessment, and models of family intervention.

Family Resource Management

This course offers a survey of current personal finance and family resource management literature to provide an overview of current consumer finance research from multiple perspectives.

Foundations and Principles of Family and Community Services

This course is an introduction to the field of family studies and related professions that involve working with families and communities.

Interpersonal Relationships

This course is an in-depth examination of interpersonal relationships. It includes theoretical perspectives, research methods, relationship forms, relationship processes, and how context affects relationships.

Lifespan Development

Students learn about human development, including cognitive, social-emotional, motor, language, and moral domains from both lifespan and bio-ecological perspectives. The course focuses on major theories of development and current research on micro-macro relationship.

Parenting Education

Students examine theories, models, methods, research, and skills related to parenting and parent education.

Program Administration and Management

This course introduces students to the development, administration, and management of youth, family, and community service organizations. It includes special focus on the roles and responsibilities of administrators and managers.

Program Design, Evaluation and Implementation

This course is an overview of the program development process and outcome evaluation of community, children, and family programs. Students develop knowledge through participating in a community-based project involving the practical application of program design and evaluation methods.

Resilience in Families

In this course, students explore the evolution of a resilience approach to the study of families and human development across the life cycle.

Elective Courses

Nongovernmental Organizations and Families: A Global Perspective

This course centers on roles of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the U.S. and globally. The course reviews mission, scope of work, and activities of NGOs as they pertain to poverty alleviation, health promotion, community development, violence reduction, and disaster relief in different geographic and cultural settings. The course includes how NGO interventions and activities affect families, and how this varies across NGOs by sector and type (for example, human rights and political NGOs, community-based organizations, and faith-based NGOs). Students considering professional careers with NGOs will benefit from the theoretical foundations of the course as well as the practical application of concepts. This course examines the following questions, among others: What are the strengths and limitations of NGOs in local and global settings? What are the negative and positive effects of aid distribution during violent conflict? To what extent are NGOs? practices reflective of the needs and desires of the families and communities served? What is the voice and role of community members in NGO activities?

Families in Poverty

This course focuses on causes and impact of poverty, the relationship and interrelationship of poverty to individual and family functioning, and programs, actions and proposed actions to break the poverty cycle.

Working with Military Families

This course provides students with initial information necessary to prepare a service-provider for work with military families. Course participants are introduced to the culture, context, and complexities of the contemporary military family. This course equips learners to work in capacities which support military families through times of challenge, helping them foster resilience as they cope with military life.

Practicum/Independent Study

Independent Study

Program Summary
Cost per credit hour:

Summer 2017: $545
2017-2018: $565

36 Hours

University Contact
These campus coordinators can help you navigate Great Plains IDEA. Click on the university name to learn more about how Great Plains IDEA works at that campus. Rachel Ohmes
Meagan Mitin
Susan Malec
Theresa Ireland
University of Missouri
Nita Smarr
Lisa King
University Members
Members of the Great Plains IDEA are universities accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Member universities recruit, admit and graduate students, teach in an academic program and contribute to the leadership and maintenance of the alliance. Membership in the alliance is a selective process that engages institutional leadership at all levels.

– – April-Dawn Knudsen, North Dakota State University