By Mario Hernandez
The Department of Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies has several changes in store. Formerly under the Department of Teacher Education , the program has grown so rapidly that it had to become a separate department. Dr. Elaine Correa is the Chair of CAFS. The department has 3 other full time faculty members, Associate Professor Dr. Christie Howell, Assistant Professor Dr. April LaGue, and Lecturer Ms. Amanda Tumblin.
Correa said the decision to become a separate department from the education department was directly due to the rapid growth of the program.
“We have close to 300 majors and we are growing rapidly, both on the main campus as well as at Antelope Valley,” said Correa.
Although the program has become its own department it will still work with the Department of Teacher Education.
“With the increase in our student enrollments, the School of Social Sciences Dean, Academic Senate, and President all agreed that to better serve students, CAFS should be a separate Department,” said Correa.
“We continue to develop programs, such as our new Integrated CAFS and Special Education Preparation Program which enables students to accelerate and complete a degree with a Preliminary Special Education Preparation in 4 years,” said Correa. “While CAFS remains a distinctive area of study, it is a critical area of learning for anyone interested in working with children and families.”
Special education is a major that is expanding rapidly and is in great demand, due to the lack of special needs instructors in Bakersfield.
Nubia Hernandez, a biology major and senior at CSUB was unaware that the CAFS program had become a department and of their easy process to become a special needs instructor.
“I will be moving forward to a graduate program, but for those who wish to become instructors it’s comforting to see how the CAFS programs has a process of such easy access towards an area where there is a need for special need instructors,” said Hernandez.
The department’s growth is expanding far beyond its student enrollment, and new changes are coming as well.
“Absolutely, the department is expanding with the expectation of new teaching faculty to be hired for the next academic term (Fall 2018), and as we continue to grow, we anticipate more faculty will be hired,” said Correa.
The department is located at the back of the School of Social Sciences and Education Building.