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Child Development

Who Majors in Child Development?

Students who major in Child Development want to work directly with children and families or they want to work indirectly for children in administrative, advocacy, or researcher roles. All majors acquire a comprehensive understanding of how children grow and develop from conception through adolescence. Our six emphases include: foundations of child development, child assessment and study, programs for children and families, professional qualities, critical thinking skills, and developmental context. Students know from the beginning what learning areas will be addressed and what skills they can expect to have upon graduation.

What is Unique About the CD Program?

• Interdisciplinary course work ranging from the fine arts to the natural and physical sciences

• Integration of supervised field experiences and internships with academic work.

• Opportunities to apply principles and best practices in one of the first nationally accredited Child Development Laboratories.

What Can I Do with a Child Development Degree?

Emphasis is placed on thinking, writing, computer literacy, and speaking skills, allowing majors to find jobs in many different areas.

CD graduates meet California State requirements for the Child Development Site Supervisor Permit, which allows the holder to direct an early childhood education center. Our students have careers as counselors, social workers, family resource and referral specialists, elementary school teachers, parent educators, family service coordinators, early education and intervention specialists, and social service professionals. Advanced study may be needed for some career options.

What About a Child Development Minor?

The minor complements course work in many majors such as liberal studies, psychology, social work, recreation, health and community services, human resource management, foreign languages and others.

What If I Am Interested in being an Elementary School Teacher?

There are two ways to obtain a multiple subjects teaching credential (i.e., elementary school). First, students who major in CD must pass the Multiple Subjects Assessment for Teachers (MSAT) and the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) before applying to the Professional Preparation Teacher Education Program. Or, they may double major in Liberal Studies and CD. This allows students to waive the MSAT. Our four-year plan allows students to complete the two majors in four years.

Do You Have an Honors Program?

Yes, and your work will be acknowledged at graduation and on your transcripts as graduating “With Honors”.

Do you have internships?

Yes. We have three levels of sponsored internship experiences totaling over 200 hours. The first level is observing and working with children at a “beginner” level in a local child development agency. The second level is student teaching in the Child Development Laboratory. The final level is as a member of a professional team in one of over 40 social service agencies with whom we have arrangements. Students receive academic credit for internships. Students may explore different types of internships or custom-design their own program based on career goals.

Faculty and Facilities

CD faculty are recognized as superior instructors. Student evaluations of CD faculty are consistently above University norms. All CD faculty work with students on their academic programs, independent study, internships, and research projects. Our faculty have a wide variety of research interests, serve on community agency advisory and governance boards, present research at state, national and international conferences, and serve as trainers and consultants for regional, state, and federal agencies.

The program operates an on-campus Child Development Laboratory, a nationally accredited facility, which provides a part-day enrichment program for three- and four-
year old children. In addition, the program supports an on-campus infant/toddler room in the A.S. Children’s Center. Both facilties provide opportunities for observation, on-floor teaching experience, and research.

University Awards

In 2002, the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) presented the High Quality of Learning Environment Award to the Child Development program.