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.
The Program is unique because there are:
- Interdisciplinary course work ranging from the fine arts to the natural and physical sciences,
- Integration of supervised field experiences and internships with academic work, and
- Opportunities to apply principles and best practices in on-campus childcare facilities.
There are 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 supervised student teaching. 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.
Emphasis is placed on thinking, writing, computer literacy, and speaking skills, allowing majors to find jobs in many different areas.
Child Development graduates meet California State requirements for the Child Development Site Supervisor Permit, which allows the holder to direct an early childhood education center. Career opportunities include counseling, social work, family resource and referral specialization, elementary school teaching, parent education, family service coordination, early education and intervention specialization, and professional social service. Advanced study may be needed for some career options.
Child Development Majors and Elementary School Teaching
In order to obtain a multiple subjects teaching credential (i.e., elementary school), students must pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) and the California Subject Exam for Teachers (CSET) before applying to the Professional Preparation Teacher Education Program. A double major in child development and liberal studies prepares students for both competency exams and can be completed in four years.
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. 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 supports an on-campus child development laboratory in collaboration with the A.S. Children’s Center, which has programs for infants through preschoolers. The facilties are nationally accredited and provide opportunities for observation, on-floor teaching experience, and research.
The 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.