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HDFS Undergraduate Concentrations
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Internships in the area of Infancy and Preschool involve working directly with or for the benefit of children approximately 6 years of age and younger. Students interested in this area of study will gain knowledge of early childhood development, professional child care, and educational programs for young children as well as skills for working with children who are in the preschool years.  Specifically, students will learn how to understand, guide and teach young children, and they will gain experience to prepare for careers in early childhood settings, such as daycares, preschools, or Head Start classrooms, administration of early childhood programs, daycare licensing, training and consulting. Daycare‐based internships must be in programs that are accredited or in the process of accreditation through NAEYC, NAC, NECPA or similar organizations.

Previous internship sites:

  • Alabama Council on Human Relations, Head Start, Opelika, AL
  • Auburn Early Education Center, Auburn, AL
  • Auburn United Methodist Church, Auburn, AL
  • Auburn University Early Learning Center, Auburn, AL
  • Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, MN
  • Bridges Learning Center, Columbus, GA
  • Child Care Resource Center, Opelika, AL
  • Child Care Resource Network, Albertville, AL
  • Creative Discovery Child Development Center, Auburn, AL
  • Family Child Care Partnership, Dr. Ellen Abell, Auburn University, AL
  • Hardy’s Creative Child Care, Auburn, AL
  • Harris Early Learning Center, Birmingham, AL
  • KinderCare Learning Center, Prattville, AL
  • Lifeline Children’s Services, Birmingham, AL
  • Maxwell Air Force Base Child Development Center, Montgomery, AL
  • Office of School Readiness, Montgomery, AL
  • Partners in Adoption, Alpharetta, GA
  • Smart Start, Alabama Partnership for Children, Montgomery, AL  
  • St. Basil Preschool, Stockton, CA
  • St. Luke’s Early Learning Center, Columbus, GA
  • The Sunshine House, Stockbridge, GA
  • Tuskegee‐Macon County Head Start, Tuskegee, AL
  • Voice for Alabama’s Children, Montgomery, AL

Internships in the area of Child Life involve working directly with or for the benefit of infants, children, and adolescents with medical needs. Students interested in this area of study gain knowledge of child and adolescent development, family relationships, medical play, and the unique challenges faced by hospitalized children and their families. Completion of this concentration meets the minimum course requirements for national certification as a Child Life Specialist through the Child Life Council (CLC).

In order to achieve certification, students will have to complete pre‐internship practicum hours, an approved internship under a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) in a hospital‐setting and successfully pass the Child Life Professional Certification Examination after graduation. Practicum and internship placements are highly competitive and students must take initiative to be successful. More information on the Child Life profession and certification can be found on the Child Life Council’s website at www.childlife.org.

Students who are interested in working with medical fragile or special needs children in non‐hospital settings and who do not want to earn certification as a Child Life Specialist also can complete the Child Life concentration to pursue careers with organizations such as Make‐a‐Wish Foundation, United Cerebral Palsy, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, programs for children with Autism, camps for chronically ill youth and their families, or foundations that support medical care for children.

Previous internship sites:

  • Arnold Palmer’s Children’s Hospital, Orlando, FL
  • Autism Asperger Syndrome Center, Birmingham, AL
  • BASE Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation, Winter Park, FL
  • BRIDGES Foundation, Camp BRIDGES, Birmingham, AL  
  • Camp ASCCA (Alabama Special Camp for Children and Adults), Jackson’s Gap, AL  
  • Children’s Healthcare of Altanta/Egleston and Scottish Rite, Atlanta, GA
  • Children’s Hospital of Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
  • Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, Dallas, TX
  • Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC
  • CURE Childhood Cancer, Atlanta, GA
  • Hunstville Hospital for Women and Children, Huntsville, AL
  • Juvenile Diabetes Resource Foundation, Atlanta, GA
  • Joseph Richey Hospice Center, Baltimore, MD
  • Kids Beating Cancer, Marrow Donations Program, Orlando, FL
  • Magic Moments, Children’s Hospital, Birmingham, AL
  • Make‐A‐Wish Foundation, Birmingham, AL; Marietta, GA   
  • Prescott House Child Advocacy Center, Birmingham, AL
  • United Cerebral Palsy, Mobile, AL
  • Vanderbilt University Hospital, Nashville, TN
  • Yale‐New Haven Children’s Hospital, New Haven, CT

Internships in the area of Middle Childhood and Adolescence involve working directly with or for the benefit of youth ages 7 to 20. Students interested in this area of study will examine the development of youth in a number of different environments, such as the family, school, community, and the larger society. Changes in physical, cognitive, and social development of youth also are studied, along with biological, behavioral and psychological development. Students interested in this concentration prepare for careers in residential treatment programs, teen pregnancy programs, juvenile court, child protective services, church ministry programs, youth camps, cooperative extension/4‐H, or parks and recreation activities. Some students also use their internship experience to prepare for graduate school to earn teacher certification in the education field.

Previous internship sites:

  • Alabama Public Television, Education Department, Birmingham, AL
  • Auburn United Methodist Church, Auburn, AL  
  • Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs of Greater Lee County
  • Camp Smile‐A‐Mile, Birmingham, AL  
  • Camp WinShape, Mt. Berry, GA
  • City of Auburn Parks and Recreation Department, Auburn, AL
  • Department of Juvenile Justice, Cumming, GA
  • Dallas County Department of Human Resources, Selma, AL
  • East Alabama Family Options, Auburn, AL
  • East Alabama Mental Health, Family and Children’s Services, Opelika, AL
  • Grace Campus Ministries, Auburn, AL  
  • Hawk‐Houston Boys & Girls Club, Dothan, AL
  • IMPACT Family Counseling, Birmingham, AL  
  • Lifeline Children’s Services, Birmingham, AL
  • Metro Baptist Church Ministries, New York, NY
  • Montgomery Area Nontraditional Equestrians (MANE), Montgomery, AL
  • National Council on Substance Abuse, Montgomery, AL  
  • Opelika High School Guidance Office, Opelika, AL
  • Resort Intern Connections, Hilton Head Island, SC
  • Raindancer Youth Services, Clovis, New Mexico
  • Safe Harbor, Auburn University, AL
  • Storybook Farms, Opelika, AL
  • The Big House Foundation, Opelika, AL
  • Women’s Hope Medical Clinic, Auburn, AL  
  • Ogletree Elementary School, Auburn, AL

Internships in the area of Adult Programs involve working directly with or for the benefit of the adult population ages 21 and older. Students will learn about changes in development that occur throughout adulthood and how issues related to gender and culture can influence people and their relationships. Students also will be able to gain basic skills in program development. Areas of interest may include parenting, career development, work and family, mental health services, business, or senior programs. The internship experience can help prepare students for a broad range of careers in areas such as adult social services, crisis counseling centers, battered women’s shelters, job corps, human resource management, fundraising, substance abuse rehabilitation services and retirement activities.

Previous internship sites:

  • American Express Financial Advisors, Opelika, AL
  • Auburn University Elderhostel, Auburn, AL
  • Auburn University Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Auburn University, AL
  • Balach & Bingham, LLP, Birmingham, AL
  • Bradford Health Services, Opelika, AL; Montgomery, AL; Madison, AL
  • Catholic Charities, Pensacola, FL
  • Community Credit Counseling Services, Opelika, AL
  • Eastview Retirement Community, Montgomery, AL
  • Elder Garden Adult Day Center, Birmingham, AL
  • Employment Security Office, Opelika, AL
  • Hilton Garden Inn, Auburn, AL
  • Junior League, Birmingham, AL
  • Lee County Habitat for Humanity, Opelika, AL
  • Northside Hospital Recovery Center, Atlanta, GA
  • Office of the Governor, State of Alabama, Montgomery, AL  
  • Regions Mortgage, Canton, GA
  • St. Joseph Mercy Foundation, Atlanta GA
  • St. Louis Dream Center, Women of Hope, St. Louis, MO
  • Tennessee Pharmacists’ Association, Nashville, TN
  • The Autauga Family Support Center, Prattville, AL
  • The Park at Riverchase Assisted Living, Hoover, AL
  • The Women’s Resource Center, Montgomery, AL
  • Turning Point, Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Prevention, Tuscaloosa, AL
  • U.S. House of Representatives, Bud Cramer, Huntsville, AL
  • Wiregrass Rehabilitation Center, Dothan, AL
  • Women’s Public Policy Internship Program, Washington, DC

Internships in the area of Family Life Education typically involve applying research‐based knowledge to create and implement community‐based programs that enhance the well‐being of individuals and families. Family life education focuses on healthy family functioning within a family systems perspective and provides a primarily preventive approach. Students will learn about human growth and development across the lifespan, interpersonal relationships and the internal dynamics of families, family resource management, public policy, and program development and evaluation. Students can gain experience and prepare for careers in a variety of settings such as Cooperative Extension, community mental health programs, advocacy organizations and political action groups.

Completion of this concentration meets the course requirements for obtaining provisional certification as a Family Life Educator (FLE) through the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). More information on family life education and the certification process can be found at https://www.ncfr.org/cfle-certification.

Previous internship sites:

  • Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative, Dr. Adler‐Bader, Auburn University, AL
  •    Alabama Cooperative Extension Services 4‐H, Auburn University, AL
  • Alabama Public Television Education Department, Birmingham, AL
  • American Red Cross of Lee County, Opelika, AL
  • Alabama’s Women’s Initiative, Birmingham, AL
  • Blue Star Families, Falls Church, VA
  • Callaway Gardens Education Department, Pine Mountain, GA
  • Circle of Care for Families, Valley, AL
  • Cooperative Extension of Tuscaloosa County, Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Family Child Care Partnership, Dr. Ellen Abell, Auburn University, AL
  • Healthy Couples/Children Targeting Youth Project, Dr. Kerpelman, Auburn University, AL
  • Hope Place Family Resource Center, Brewton, AL  
  • Mary G. Harding Center for Cultural Arts, Gadsen, AL
  • National Children’s Advocacy Center, Huntsville, AL
  • Office of Religious Education, Catholic Diocese Mobile, AL
  • Office of School Readiness, Montgomery, AL
  • Sesame Street, New York, NY
  • Sleep Health and Development, Dr. Mona El‐Sheikh, Auburn University, AL
  • The Exchange Club, Nashville, TN
  • Walker County Cooperative Extension, Jasper, AL
  • Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN), Washington, DC
  • Voices for Alabama Children, Montgomery, AL
  • Yes! Atlanta, Atlanta, GA