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School of Education graduates first students from new major

Twenty-eight complete Human Development and Family Studies program

The School of Education held its 2018 graduation ceremony on Saturday, celebrating 167 graduates, including 28 in the first cohort to complete the Human Development and Family Studies major.

The graduation ceremony, held in the Dean E. Smith Center, featured an address by Justice Willis Whichard, the only person in North Carolina history to serve in both houses of the legislature and on the state Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court.

The ceremony was a milestone for the School of Education’s new Human Development and Family Studies program, launched two years ago.

“We are even more excited to see our first HDFS graduates launch into their new endeavors,” said Dean Fouad Abd-El-Khalick. “We have HDFS students today who are going on into further professional study – into fields such as occupational therapy, speech language pathology, nursing, and education. Others already have been hired for jobs, including at nonprofits, with one of our students going as far away as India.”

The HDFS program has proved popular with Carolina students. Enrollment for the fall is already at 175 students.

In the HDFS program, students spend the final semester of their senior year in an internship, exploring an area of that they are passionate about, contributing skills they’ve honed through the major as well as developing new ones. Students also complete a research project within their internship.

Several HDFS students have been offered jobs with the agencies where they interned this semester. Many others have been accepted into graduate school for education, occupational therapy, and speech language pathology, she said.

Abd-El-Khalick said he knew that all of the School’s graduates would work hard in their careers to expand educational opportunity for others.

“Above all, I know that you will advocate for the less privileged and less fortunate, and that you will be steadfast in your belief and efforts to serve and empower all,” he said.