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What is Health and Human Development?

Diverse fields of study that share one
common goal: enriching the lives of others.

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On-campus Courses with Short-term Travel Experience

The College of Health and Human Development offers an array of courses that give students the opportunity to expand their learning through experiences outside of the classroom. These on-campus courses include a required group travel component or local outreach trip (all in U.S.) with activities and reflection that are integrated into the coursework. Most of these courses include a class fee in addition to tuition. Costs range depending on trip location and duration. Some courses have prerequisites and require instructor permission to register.

“I loved this course. It wasn't like a typical course where you study to pass an exam, you learned hands on, real life material and applied it in outreach community trips.”

—Former KINES 497 Student

General Education Courses

These courses are open to all majors and available in LionPATH. Talk to your academic advisor about how these courses can fit into your academic plan.

Spring icon-olus-circle

Communication Sciences and Disorders

  • CSD 240 – Supporting Community through Performance
    In class students will learn a variety of performance forms, including improvisation, vocal performance, percussion, African dance, and Brazilian Capoeira, and analyze how these performance forms can support valued communication goals. Students will have performances in a variety of sites both at UP campus as well as off-site, to demonstrate what they learned in the class.

Human Development and Family Studies

  • HDFS 108N – Art and Science of Human Flurishing
  • HDFS 249N – Adult Development and Aging
    This course introduces students to basic concepts and theories relevant to healthy aging and development (including changes in physical health, cognition, psychosocial functioning, social roles, and life transitions). Students will become familiar with key developmental trends and challenges that must be addressed to achieve healthy growth and development throughout adulthood and late life. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to recognize healthy aging habits in their everyday lives, as well as critically reflect on previously-held knowledge and assumptions regarding the aging process. Furthermore, students are guided to consider how knowledge of adult development translates to skills individuals can use (professionally and personally) to support healthy aging trajectories for themselves and other adults. To build these applied skills and foster connection of knowledge, all students will receive training and certification in Adult Mental Health First Aid. Through this training, students will learn to identify, understand, and respond to signs of common mental health concerns and substance use challenges in adults - including how to reach out, provide initial support, and help connect them to the appropriate care. 
  • HDFS 239 – Adolescent Development
    In this class, students are introduced to basic concepts and theories relevant to adolescent behavior and development (including cognitive development, social development, and physical development) and guided to become familiar with key developmental trends and challenges that must be addressed to achieve healthy growth and development from the beginning of adolescence (puberty) up to the transition to adulthood. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to recognize adolescent themes/phenomena in their everyday lives as well as critically reflect on previously-held knowledge and assumptions regarding adolescent development. Additionally, students are guided to consider how knowledge of adolescent development translates to skills individuals can use (professionally and personally) to support healthy trajectories for young people. To build these applied skills and foster connection of knowledge, all students will receive training and certification in Youth Mental Health First Aid. Through this training, students will learn to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders in youth - including how to reach out, provide initial support, and help connect them to the appropriate care.
  • HDFS 254N – Reading Our Lives:Understanding Diversity and Human Development

Kinesiology

  • KINES 001 – Introduction to Outdoor Pursuits: Wilderness Adventures
    In class students will learn the art of survival and orienteering. Students will travel to wilderness locations primarily in Rothrock State Forest to use a map and compass to navigate through the woods and use survival skills.
  • KINES 001 – Introduction to Outdoor Pursuits: Hiking
    In class students will learn the art of hiking. Students will travel to wilderness locations to use a map and compass to navigate through the woods and hone hiking skills.
  • KINES 001Z – The Beach: Exploring Literature of the Atlantic Shore
    In class students will learn some outdoor exploration and some paddling skills. Students will travel to the Charleston, South Carolina area to explore the Lowcounty environment.
  • KINES 006 – Cycle Conditioning In class students will examine the principles of conditioning, train on spin bikes and participated in a trail ride. Students will travel to the Lower Trail to participate in a 34-mile trail ride.
  • KINES 29B – Total Golf In class students will learn the etiquette and pace of game play. Students will travel to Myrtle Beach, SC to get a better understanding of the history of the game, USGA rules, physical conditioning, mental strategies and swing development.
  • KINES 81 – Wellness Theory
  • KINES 82 - Action Methods for Stress Management (Yoga and Meditation)
    In class students will learn techniques and management of stress and will practice yoga and medication. Students will travel to Endless Mountains Zendo to experience a day-long medication retreat.
  • KINES 093 – Advanced Ballroom Dance
    In class students will learn skills in ballroom dance and practice for a competition session. Students will travel to various locations in the mid-Atlantic region to compete in a dance completion.

Recreation, Park, and Tourism

  • RPTM 1Z – Exploring the Literature of America’s Wilderness

    In class students will learn about the history, management, and current issues of Wilderness areas in the United States, as well as the types of recreation that can be carried out in these spaces. Students will learn and apply trip planning and risk management as they travel to the Dolly Sods of West Virginia to practice wilderness travel through backpacking and see how a Wilderness management is carried out across a landscape.

Fall icon-olus-circle

Human Development and Family Studies

  • HDFS 108N – Art and Science of Human Flurishing
  • HDFS 239 – Adolescent Development   In this class, students are introduced to basic concepts and theories relevant to adolescent behavior and development (including cognitive development, social development, and physical development) and guided to become familiar with key developmental trends and challenges that must be addressed to achieve healthy growth and development from the beginning of adolescence (puberty) up to the transition to adulthood. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to recognize adolescent themes/phenomena in their everyday lives as well as critically reflect on previously-held knowledge and assumptions regarding adolescent development. Additionally, students are guided to consider how knowledge of adolescent development translates to skills individuals can use (professionally and personally) to support healthy trajectories for young people. To build these applied skills and foster connection of knowledge, all students will receive training and certification in Youth Mental Health First Aid. Through this training, students will learn to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders in youth - including how to reach out, provide initial support, and help connect them to the appropriate care
  • HDFS 249N – Adult Development and Aging
    This course introduces students to basic concepts and theories relevant to healthy aging and development (including changes in physical health, cognition, psychosocial functioning, social roles, and life transitions). Students will become familiar with key developmental trends and challenges that must be addressed to achieve healthy growth and development throughout adulthood and late life. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to recognize healthy aging habits in their everyday lives, as well as critically reflect on previously-held knowledge and assumptions regarding the aging process. Furthermore, students are guided to consider how knowledge of adult development translates to skills individuals can use (professionally and personally) to support healthy aging trajectories for themselves and other adults. To build these applied skills and foster connection of knowledge, all students will receive training and certification in Adult Mental Health First Aid. Through this training, students will learn to identify, understand, and respond to signs of common mental health concerns and substance use challenges in adults - including how to reach out, provide initial support, and help connect them to the appropriate care.
  • HDFS 254N – Reading Our Lives:Understanding Diversity and Human Development

Kinesiology

  • KINES 001 – Introduction to Outdoor Pursuits: Wilderness Adventures
    In class students will learn the art of survival and orienteering. Students will travel to wilderness locations primarily in Rothrock State Forest to use a map and compass to navigate through the woods and use survival skills.
  • KINES 001 – Introduction to Outdoor Pursuits: Hiking
    In class students will learn the art of hiking. Students will travel to wilderness locations to use a map and compass to navigate through the woods and hone hiking skills.
  • KINES 001Z – Exploring Cape Cod: It's Nature and Culture
    In class students will learn some outdoor exploration. Students will travel to the Cape Cod area to live, work, and study for a week at the Massachusetts Audubon's Wellfleet Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • KINES 006 – Cycle Conditioning In class students will examine the principles of conditioning, train on spin bikes and participated in a trail ride. Students will travel to the Lower Trail to participate in a 34-mile trail ride.
  • KINES 29B – Total Golf In class students will learn the etiquette and pace of game play. Students will travel to local golf courses to get a better understanding of the history of the game, USGA rules, physical conditioning, mental strategies and swing development.
  • KINES 81 – Wellness Theory
  • KINES 82 – Action Methods for Stress Management (Yoga and Meditation)
    In class students will learn techniques and management of stress and will practice yoga and medication. Students will travel to Endless Mountains Zendo to experience a day-long medication retreat.
  • KINES 093 – Principles of Fly Tying and Fishing for Trout
    In this class student will learn advanced skills in fly tying and fishing. Students will travel to a prized tailwater fishing location to practice skills.
  • KINES 093 – Advanced Ballroom Dance
  • In class students will learn skills in ballroom dance and practice for a competition session. Students will travel to various locations in the mid-Atlantic region to compete in a dance completion.
  • KINES 303 – Emergency Care - First Aid/Safety/AED

Recreation, Park, and Tourism

  • RPTM 1Z – Exploring the Chesapeake Bay
    In class students will learn to enhance their appreciation of the natural world and understanding of how nature, culture, and recreation are intertwined. For us the canoe is a research tool, and our paddling skills will enable us to unlock the lessons of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary, the Susquehanna River. Students will develop the skills necessary to prepare for and participate in canoeing trips, as well as learn about the hazards and general background associated with paddling. Students will travel to the Chestertown area of Maryland and different sites along the Susquehanna to become acquainted with the natural and cultural history of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed.

Courses for specific majors

These courses are available in LionPATH. Talk to your academic advisor about how these courses can fit into your academic plan.

Course List icon-olus-circle

Health Policy and Administration

Fall

  • HPA 301W – Health Services Policy Issues

Spring

  • HPA 301W – Health Services Policy Issues
  • HPA 497 – Nursing Home Administrators Training
    In class students completing the course meet a key requirement of the PA Nursing Home Administrator licensing exam application requirements. Students will have an experiential day at a multi-level care facility where they will be immersed in the day-to-day operations.

Human Development and Family Studies

  • HDFS 330 – Experience with Children, Youth, Families
    Students will learn about observing and working with young children through placement in child care settings and two offsite trips. The first trip to Harrisburg, PA will put students in contact with policy experts and state government officials at the Office for Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL). A second trip to Pittsburgh, PA will allow students to tour a faith-based child care center, visit the Fred Rogers Center and learn about the educational mission of the Pittsburgh Children's Museum.

Hospitality Management

Fall

  • HM 306 – Hospitality in Senior Living
    This course introduces students to Life Plan Communities (LPCs)/Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC’s) and senior living facilities, and to the opportunities and challenges involved in managing them. The course is taught from a hospitality perspective, and focuses on how the application of hospitality management can bring multiple advantages for senior communities and residents. The multidisciplinary content is presented by Hospitality Management faculty and supplemented by senior living professionals currently working in the field, residents of CCRCs, and HHD faculty with expertise in designing and delivering services for seniors: healthy living and successful aging, active recreation, nutrition and foodservice, and hospitality management.
  • HM 380 – Hotel Management
    Students will explore the typical ownership and management structures of various types of hotels. The role of the owner is discussed to enable students to understand how ownership entities effect their role as a hotel manager. Students will learn about the responsibilities of the hotel manager starting with the organizational structure of various types of hotels. Management discussions include the role of the hotel manager in operating a hotel and the key performance metrics associated with operating a hotel. Students will learn how each of the operating departments of a typical hotel work and how the departments interrelate and work with one another to deliver exceptional guest service. Discussions of the major operating departments in a hotel include front office, housekeeping and laundry, engineering, sales and marketing, food and beverage and safety and security. Students will be provided tours of the primary operating departments at a full-service hotel or resort to experience and observe operations.

Spring

  • HM 380 – Hotel Management
    Students will explore the typical ownership and management structures of various types of hotels. The role of the owner is discussed to enable students to understand how ownership entities effect their role as a hotel manager. Students will learn about the responsibilities of the hotel manager starting with the organizational structure of various types of hotels. Management discussions include the role of the hotel manager in operating a hotel and the key performance metrics associated with operating a hotel. Students will learn how each of the operating departments of a typical hotel work and how the departments interrelate and work with one another to deliver exceptional guest service. Discussions of the major operating departments in a hotel include front office, housekeeping and laundry, engineering, sales and marketing, food and beverage and safety and security. Students will be provided tours of the primary operating departments at a full-service hotel or resort to experience and observe operations.

Kinesiology

Spring

  • KINES 295C – Professional Development
    In this class student will learn and practice skills in professional development. Students will travel to the American College of Sports Medicine Health and Fitness Summit in Chicago, IL to participate in an international conference and practice networking skills.
  • KINES 481W – Exercise for Older Adults
    In this class student will study age-associated physical changes and the effects of exercise on the aging process. Students will travel to local retirement communities to interact with geriatric populations.
  • KINES 495E – Fitness Professional Development
    In this class students will learn and practice skills in pre-certification preparation. Students will participate in practical experiences on campus and via travel to the greater Philadelphia area.

Nutritional Sciences

Fall

  • NUTR 361 – Community and Public Health Nutrition
    Students will have the opportunity to participate in a community project such as a health fair for elementary school students in the State College Area School District or the YMCA "backpack" program to provide weekend food assistance to low-income families in Phillipsburg.
  • NUTR 497 – Special Topic: Professional Development in Nutrition

Spring

  • NUTR 361 – Community and Public Health Nutrition
    Students will have the opportunity to participate in a community project such as a health fair for elementary school students in the State College Area School District or the YMCA "backpack" program to provide weekend food assistance to low-income families in Phillipsburg.

Recreation, Park, and Tourism

Fall

  • RPTM 198 – Player Development/Tournament Golf
    In class students hone their golf skills under the guidance of PGA Golf Professionals. Students travel to local golf courses to practice their skills. Limited to Professional Golf Management option students only.
  • RPTM 356 – Programming in Recreation Services
  • RPTM 435 – Recreation Park Planning and Management
    In class, students will learn about design and management of recreation and park facilities. Students will travel to a variety of facilities including parks, sport facilities, and recreation areas in Centre County and the surrounding areas. Students will get the opportunity to explore the vital role of managing facilities from first-hand knowledge of industry leaders and professionals. This class will provide students with a behind the scenes look at the operations it takes to pull off major events, keep recreational facilities operational, and drive the guest experience.
  • RPTM 475 – Advanced Arena Management
    Advanced Arena Management builds upon the fundamentals taught in Intro to Arena Management by providing a more holistic education of the live entertainment industry while discussing current events, industry trends and real-life examples. The course is designed to develop advanced skills and understanding on topics including operations, budgeting, booking, marketing and event planning. Each class starts with insight from, and the ability to interact with, professionals already in the industry (professional sports, arenas, stadiums, etc.). It also provides two opportunities to travel off-site and visit several live entertainment venues where you will tour the facility and have the ability to interact and network with their staff. The class is designed to prepare you for an exciting career in facility and sport management.
  • RPTM 497 – Study Away Pittsburgh Practicum
    A residential program that provides students with an immersive urban experience while taking classes in person and online.
  • RPTM 490 – Advanced Arena Management
  • RPTM 497 – Outreach Recreation Consortium

Spring

  • RPTM 197 – Biomechanics of Golf
    A hybrid course with in person and online intensive, hands-on experiences where students utilize 3D Motion Captures Swing Analysis software to analyze golf swings. Students will travel to the Philadelphia area to meet with professionals who apply concepts covered in the course.
  • RPTM 198 – Player Development/Tournament Golf
    In class students hone their golf skills under the guidance of PGA Golf Professionals. Students travel to local golf courses to practice their skills. Limited to Professional Golf Management option students only.
  • RPTM 497 – Golf Operations
    In class students learn best practices for operating a golf course. Students will travel to Bandon Dunes, Oregon over Spring Break to put into practice what they have learned in the class.
  • RPTM 497 – Resort Recreation Practicum
  • RPTM 498 – Developing Golf Industry Leaders
    This course prepares Professional Golf Management students to take full advantage of an experiential education trip to the golf industry’s premier trade show, the PGA Merchandise Show. During the time students are attending the PGA Show, they are immersed in all areas of the golf industry. This includes attendance at world-class seminars taught by top PGA Professionals, hands-on training with the latest equipment, and in person meetings with industry professionals.

Here's what our students say

“It's probably the one course I have had in all of my college career where I saw the most use of it long-term and after graduation.”

—Former RPTM 465 Student

“This class was awesome. The in-class presentations were thorough and easily digestible and the site visits really helped connect what we were learning with real world examples and applications of material.”

—Former RPTM 435 Student

“The experience that we had and both the hands-on and classroom knowledge we acquired before and during the trip were incredible learning opportunities.”

—Former RPTM 102A Student

“This course changed my perspective on life. I learned how to challenge myself and the importance of pursuing adventure throughout the rest of my life.”

—Former KINES 1 Student

“I really liked the hands-on nature of the course, as well as the opportunity to learn a new skill in a supportive environment.”

—Former RPTM 1 Student

“The trips were a great learning and networking opportunity for us. I really liked the real-life scenarios that were added on with the power points. It helped me relate the two and remember past just the exam.”

—Former RPTM 497 Student

“The immersion part of it. I felt like I really got to experience first hand what it was like to be part of the Marriott staff. Even though we were just guests, it was still really awesome to get one on one time with the staff. I learned so much from getting to know them, and it really made me think that I might want to make this a career someday.”

—Former RPTM 497 Student

“The class as a whole is a learning experience from the research, professionalism and communication, on-site experience and on-site work, working in groups, presentation skills, revision and creativity. This course offers a very important opportunity to get off campus and get into the field to help a company out and create amazing connections, professionally and personally, due to the course structure. Amazing course and continuation and expansion to more courses like this would be highly valuable.”

—Former RPTM 497 Student

“A tactile experience unlike anything else I have ever experienced in a "classroom." I learned, often without realizing it, about the low country through integrative readings and prose that depicted the place we actually got to visit. Meeting various tour guides and hearing stories from people, while in their own home, was incredible.”

—Former KINES 1 Student

Additional Information

For more information, contact Lisa Clapper at lrc139@psu.edu.