NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Stephen F. Austin State University and the Tyler Independent School District Head Start program will launch their new partnership with a celebration at 11 a.m. Oct. 10 at the St. Louis Early Childhood Center, located at 2800 Walton Road in Tyler. This celebration is open to the public.

In fall 2017, SFA began offering a completely online Bachelor of Science in human sciences with an emphasis in human development and family studies. This new online program offers students, regardless of their location, an opportunity to study at SFA and earn a four-year degree.

Several of the courses in the human development and family studies program are hands-on and require service-learning experiences, such as volunteering at organizations like Head Start and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. A partnership with Tyler Head Start will help provide Tyler area students a place to complete their service learning and gain valuable experiences.

“We are excited about the partnership,” said Dr. Flora Farago, assistant professor in SFA’s School of Human Sciences. “Head Start programs across the country typically serve low-income, vulnerable children and families. Through these Head Start affiliated service-learning and internship opportunities, SFA students can gain the professional and life skills they will need to serve and succeed in an increasingly globalized world.”

With this bachelor’s degree, students learn to become "caretakers of our society," explained Dr. Rachel Jumper, assistant professor in the School of Human Sciences at SFA. Students learn to understand the growth, change and development of children, adults and the family while integrating a lifespan, multi-contextual and family systems approach.

“Tyler ISD Head Start is excited about the partnership with SFA. In Head Start, we have many opportunities for interns to experience working with the community, families and students,” said Stacy Miles, director of Tyler ISD Head Start. “This experience will prepare students for the work force and discover available job opportunities in the community.”

Upon graduation, students have a variety of career options, including early intervention specialists, lobbyists, directors of child care and senior citizen facilities, Head Start teachers, parent educators and camp directors.

For more information about the program, visit