HDFS 277 - Professional Skills Development I

  • 1 credit

Professional skills and opportunities relevant to contemporary issues with individuals, families and community.

This course is designed to help students integrate a clearer understanding of Human Development and Family Studies as an academic discipline, relevant to contemporary issues involving individuals, families, and communities in our diverse and changing society, along with their role (or potential role) within HDFS. In doing so, students will have opportunities to examine issues within the field of HDFS and the professional possibilities available to them, especially as these relate to the academic and career planning processes. Some answers will come this semester; others will evolve as students move through the HDFS degree programs as well as engage in upper division experiential courses such as HDFS 350, HDFS 477, HDFS 488, and HDFS 492.

Course Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the career opportunities and professional development requirements of the HDFS field.
  • Indicate a basic understanding of the necessary experience and skills required for careers within the HDFS field.
  • Develop an academic plan designed to each student's degree requirements and establish goals to maximize their undergraduate experience.
  • Describe and exercise HDFS students' responsibilities and rights, including expected professional skills, professional ethics, and conduct.
  • Show insight and skills to discern potential career aspirations and goals.
  • Prepare a résumé and career interest paper, using appropriate writing skills.
  • Practice basic interviewing, informational interviewing, and other oral communication skills for professional use.
  • List and access department and campus resources to maximize the undergraduate experience and better align aspirations, goals, and experiences.

This course can be applied toward:


CO 150 (College Composition) or concurrent registration or HONR 193 (Honors Seminar) or concurrent registration; Human Development and Family Studies or Early Childhood Education majors only.

Important Information

Students must be human development and family studies majors or obtain instructor permission to enroll.

All prerequisites must be completed or consent from the instructor given prior to enrollment.

If you register for this course after the start of the term, please contact the instructor at the time of registration. By contacting the instructor, you ensure that you are added to the CANVAS section as soon as possible and have access to the course and details about the class requirements.

Textbooks and Materials

Textbooks and materials can be purchased at the CSU Bookstore unless otherwise indicated.


  • StrengthsFinder 2.0* (2007)
    Rath, Tom

This book is not required, but is recommended.

*Must purchase a new edition, not used, or a Kindle edition so that students can get the access code to take the StrengthsFinder.


Katie Ditter

(970) 491-3725 | katie.ditter@colostate.edu

Katie Ditter is the Director of Undergraduate Advising in the HDFS Department, and has worked in student affairs for more than 20 years. She teaches both the on-campus and online sections of Professional Skills Development I.

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