Child Development & Family Studies



Welcome to the Child Development and Family Studies Program (CDFS), a program proud to be nationally accredited by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS).

Mission Statement: The Child Development and Family Studies Department is Committed to Developing Families to Sustain communities.

This mission is derived from the Louisiana Board of Regents’ CIP Code 190707, which describes CDFS as a “program that focuses on the development and implementation of public, private, and voluntary support services for individuals, families, and localities and that prepares individuals to function in a variety of occupations promoting family life, and family/community development. [The program] includes instruction in family systems, human development, social services, community social and economic development, social policy, voluntary sector activities, and outreach and community education.” The U.S. Department of Labor foresees an increase in employment opportunities for human service workers.


Bachus, Sherry 
Acting Chair/Director/Associate Professor, Child Development & Family Studies 
LCMC 326 

Bordenave, Diane 
Assessment Coordinator/Associate Professor, Child Development & Family Studies 
LCMC 325A 

Carson, Celina 
Assistant Professor, Child Development & Family Studies 
LCMC 327 


The Child Development and Family Studies Program, CDFS, is one of two departments in the College of Education and Human Development at Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO). The other is the Teacher Education Department housing Early Childhood and Elementary Education degree programs and a Non-Master’s Post-Baccalaureate Certification-Only Program. CDFS is the only program of its kind in this geographic region.

The CDFS Program candidates graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development and Family Studies. As of Spring of 2014, a total of 53 students have graduated from the program since its inception in Fall 2007. Seven have reported completing their Master’s degrees in related fields.


The CDFS program was one of eight new programs that the Louisiana Board of Regents mandated SUNO to develop at a meeting on January 5, 2006. The program was developed in response to a significant need for professionals to serve children and families in the New Orleans metropolitan region recovering from the debilitating destructions of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. At its meeting on January 25, 2007, the Louisiana Board of Regents granted conditional approval for the proposed program in Child Development and Family Studies. The program started its course offerings in Fall 2007, after a Program Director was hired. Because of very satisfactory progress made by the program, the Louisiana Board of Regents, at its meeting on February 24, 2010, upgraded the status of the program from conditionally to fully approved . . . .“As all previously stated stipulations associated with conditional approval have been met . . . and no further progress reports are deemed necessary” (Louisiana Board of Regents Agenda Item VI E for Wednesday, February 24, 2010).

Accreditation: The CDFS Program conducted a successful program review in the Spring of 2010. More recently, the program proudly hosted a Site Visit from Saturday, February 8 to Wednesday, February 12, 2014 and is anticipating a final accreditation decision by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) in Fall 2014.

Beverly Jean Woods, SUNO's 2015 Top Graduate

Scope of Program Offerings and Services: The CDFS program at SUNO was developed and approved to prepare students with entry level professional competence in one of the several human service fields. The CDFS program goals and objectives are aligned with SUNO’s Strategic Plan Goals to: 1) improve opportunities for student access and success, 2) improve operational and academic accountability across all units, and 3) improve the University’s technological and physical plant infrastructure and associated resources. The student learning outcomes are derived from the CIP CODE 190707 description above and are also aligned with the Conceptual Framework of the College of Education and Human Development, “Reflective Practitioners for Global Environments”, which manifests a performance-based paradigm to ensure preparation of family and consumer sciences professionals, who are: 1) instructional leaders; 2) continuous assessors; 3) astute technologists; 4) advocates for diversity and collaboration; and 5) reflective professionals. More importantly, the program’s course objectives reflect compatibility with the AAFCS Body of Knowledge Model and adequately comply with the mission of consumer and family science (CFS) professions, Connecting Professionals, Touching Lives!


The total enrollment at SUNO has grown every year since Hurricane Katrina. Despite projections that the University's enrollment would only reach between 1,200 and 1,500 students in the spring of 2006, more than 2,000 students returned to campus. SUNO's current enrollment is 2,704 students.