The State Board of Higher Education approved a new name for NDSU's child development and family science department at its Sept. 17 meeting. Now called human development and family science, the members of the department feel it more accurately describes what they do.
"We have always had a lifespan focus with CDFS 230, Lifespan Development, being a cornerstone of our course offerings. We have always offered courses in adult development and aging and have been a key player in the Tri-College minor in gerontology," says Jim Deal, professor and head of human development and family science.
The department now has master's and doctoral programs in gerontology and plans to have an undergraduate program for gerontology within the next year.
"With this increased emphasis, the gap between our name and what we do has become even more apparent," Deal says. "Changing the name to reflect this is a more accurate representation of the department, would help in recruiting students, and would help those students who focus on gerontology by making their degree reflect the nature of their studies."