College of Education

Human Development and Family Science Department


The Human Development and Family Science Capstone revolves around a research project. Students conduct a close study of a particular area, e.g., juveniles and violence, parenting practices in bilingual families, or needs of non-English proficient elderly. Students conduct a literature review, analyze a particular aspect of the field, and evaluate how particular theories and practices are conducted. 

Example HDFS student Capstone projects:

Building Anger Management Skills in Preschoolers

Many young kids have not yet developed social-emotional skills, which prevents them from controlling their feelings and emotions. When children do not learn to regulate their emotions, anger, frustration, and aggression issues are more likely to arise. However, when they do develop these skills, children can build self-awareness and confidence, increase empathy for others, and build positive relationships. Therefore, to support young children in developing self-regulation skills and dealing with feelings, I created a three-day lesson for teaching anger management skills to preschool children at Migrant Seasonal Head Start in Gonzales, California.

Enhancing Second Grade Students’ Social-Emotional Development

Many elementary students have not yet learned sufficient social-emotional learning skills when interacting with other children at school. In order to engage in acts of kindness and inclusion, children must develop social-emotional learning skills. When children do not have these skills, they may have disciplinary problems, difficulty creating trusting relationships, and understanding their own actions. On the other hand, children who develop these skills are more confident, may have higher academic achievement, and are more socially competent. To address the lack of social-emotional learning skills, I created a two-day lesson for second graders at Freedom Elementary School in Watsonville, California. 

Increasing Children’s Awareness of Art With a Message 

Many young children do not receive sufficient art education, especially around art with a message. Children who do not learn art, specifically art with a message, lack opportunities to express creativity, fail to learn the deeper meaning of works of art and are deprived of seeing art as a powerful influence on culture. Children taught about art and art with a message can learn to express their emotions and advocate for the environment through art. To address the lack of art education, I created a one-day workshop for elementary-school-aged children at Palenke Arts in Seaside, California.

Increasing High School Students’ Awareness of the Risks of Gang Violence 

Many high school students may not be aware of the impact of gangs and gang violence. When high school students are unaware of gangs, without knowing and understanding the consequences, students can be introduced to a negative and unsuccessful lifestyle that gangs hold. When high school students learn about gang awareness, they may be able to cope with others’ gang involvement, how to be aware and resist the pressure of gangs, and may move them towards higher life aspirations away from gang affiliation. To address the lack of awareness towards gang violence, I have created a two-session curriculum about gang violence for freshmen in a seminar course that helps incoming students transition into the high school atmosphere, at Alisal High School in Salinas, California. 

Increasing Awareness on Different Types of Cyberbullying for Early Adolescents

Young adolescents are at a stage where they have access to electronic devices and various forms of online communication. Many young adolescents may not be aware that there are various types of cyberbullying and not one general type. Young adolescents who are victims of cyberbullying may experience anxiety, depression, social phobia and can lead to extreme outcomes such as suicide. To increase awareness of cyberbullying, I have created a one day presentation for 6th and 7th grade students at Ocala STEAM Academy in San Jose, California. 

Increasing Coping Skills to Reduce First-Generation College Students’ Stressors 

First-generation, college students may face challenges balancing family and social life. They may experience pressure from their family to do well in their studies. Thus, many students' mental health may be impacted by the multiple pressures, experiencing stress-depression, having the desire to drop-out, and may experience burn out. When college students learn ways to manage multiple stressors, it will help improve their mental health which allows for them to focus on their studies. In order to increase their coping skills, I have created a workshop to help first-generation students in the CAMP at California State University, Monterey Bay.  

Increasing Nutrition Education For Collegiate Athletes 

When collegiate athletes do not have nutritional education, they do not properly fuel their body for peak performance on the field and in the classroom. This can lead to disordered eating habits, muscle injuries, and mental health issues. When student-athletes have nutritional intervention and education, they can properly fuel their bodies resulting in faster muscle recovery, higher energy levels, as well as higher GPAs. Therefore, I have created a two-hour workshop on nutrition for the members of the CSUMB women’s soccer team. 

Informing Low-Income Parents about Financial Aid

Many parents of low-income families have little or no access to information about how to pay for college for their children. When parents are unaware of how to pay for college, their children may be less encouraged to attend college and may see college as an unnecessary luxury. Informed parents may provide better support for getting monetary aid and, in turn, encourage them to attend college. To address the lack of access to financial resource information, I have created a one-day workshop for low-income parents and adults of the San Andreas housing community in Watsonville, California.