Located within one of the nation’s largest single-campus universities and one of the most diverse regions in the nation, the Department of Child and Adolescent Development provides rich opportunities for students to combine academic pursuits with hands-on experience. As you explore our academic programs, you will find ample evidence of our commitment to the educational and professional goals of students, and our extensive and meaningful connections to the community.
Our program prides itself on its commitment to developing effective leaders, professionals and scholars committed to solving complex social problems. A major focal point of our program includes training students to be reflective practitioners and to use the scientific method, including evidence-based knowledge, in making personal and professional decisions related to the education, healthy development and well-being of humans. We provide a strong academic foundation for the next generation of clinicians, teachers, policymakers and researchers dedicated to serving the infants, children, teenagers and young adults in a global society.
Whether one’s interests lie in the developmental period of infancy, early adulthood or somewhere in between, the academic programs we offer allow students to gain high level academic and professional skills while receiving a high level of attention from faculty who are dedicated and committed to the long-term success of their students.
The Department of Child and Adolescent Development is committed to students achieving their personal and professional goals and graduating in a timely manner. Electronic versions of forms, worksheets and advisement materials can be found on the department’s website. Students are strongly encouraged to use the department’s advising resources, such as My Academic Planner, to plan coursework for the major. The department encourages students to meet with faculty members outside of class (i.e., during posted office hours and by appointment) to discuss their academic progress and post-graduation career plans. Three courses in the department (i.e., CADV 250, 495A and 495B) provide students semester-long opportunities to develop personalized post-graduation pathways.
Students can complete the Option in Applied Developmental Science which prepares students in theories, research, concepts and applications of child and adolescent spanning conception through early adulthood. The Option in Applied Developmental Science is a springboard into a wide variety of careers and professional pathways.
The department also offers the Option in Early Childhood Development which provides focused opportunities for students to develop depth of study in theories and concepts in the developmental periods of prenatal, infancy, and early childhood. This option is popular among students transferring from a California community college as it provides continued educational opportunities culminating in a bachelor’s degree focused on early childhood development and early childhood education.
Students are encouraged to use the list of degree requirements in this Catalog in planning and selecting coursework for the degree. One advantage of the interdisciplinary nature of the major is that students often have multiple options for courses that meet the same degree requirement. To select the best course, students should carefully read the Catalog descriptions of each available option to ensure the best match between their interests and the coursework description.
Advisement workshops, open to current and prospective students, are offered on a regular basis. One-on-one advising appointments are available for current and prospective students. To make an appointment, visit the department’s GenBook appointment scheduling website.
The major will be of interest to a wide range of students, including those who are interested in direct-service careers with children and families (e.g., preschool/early childhood education, counseling, school psychology, occupational therapy, clinical social work, nursing, child life, early intervention, behavior therapist, family law, etc.), as well as indirect-service professions (e.g., educational researchers, college professors, policy analysts, lobbyists, consultants, school administrators, politicians).
Given the broad interdisciplinary focus of coursework leading to the degree, students can tailor their coursework to prepare for a host of professional programs.
Most professional careers in the field of child and adolescent development require advanced degrees and/or credentials and/or licenses as well as relevant work experience. After completing the Bachelor of Arts degree, many students are well-situated to pursue advanced degrees and credentials leading to careers, including but not limited to early childhood education teachers, elementary and secondary school teachers, special education teachers, school counselors, school psychologists, school administrators, school board members, educational researchers, child and family attorneys, child psychologists and therapists, licensed clinical social workers, pediatricians and obstetricians, registered nurses, child life specialists, genetic counselors, occupational therapists, college/university professors, career counselors, community/youth agency administrators, educational consultants, policy and legislative analysts, and politicians.
The purpose of the department Honors Program is to recognize and support the development of exceptional Child and Adolescent Development undergraduate students. The department Honors Program allows students the opportunity to engage in advanced level coursework to better prepare for graduate coursework and/or careers in the field of Child and Adolescent Development. Interested students should consult with the Honors Program Director and complete an application available at the department office before the stated deadline (typically in November). Admission to the department Honors Program is granted by approval of the department Honors Committee.
Clubs and Societies
The Child and Adolescent Development Association (CADA) is a student organization affiliated with the Department of Child and Adolescent Development. CADA strives to enrich the lives of its members by providing career, academic and professional development activities. The association also provides opportunities for students to develop social and professional networks within the field of child and adolescent development, education and child psychology. All students on campus regardless of major are welcome to join. For more information, visit the Child and Adolescent Development Association website or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Relevant Professional and Scholarly Organizations
Students are encouraged to explore regional, national and international organizations in and related to the field of child and adolescent development. Many professional and scholarly organizations allow undergraduate students to join as student members. Becoming a member of a professional organization can increase networks necessary for future employment and future graduate schooling. In addition many organizations provide specialized training opportunities and/or scholarships for undergraduate students. Department faculty members are actively involved in many of the following professional organizations, including but not limited to the Society for Research in Child Development, the Society for Research on Adolescence, the American Educational Research Association, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the National Council on Family Relations, the American Psychological Association, the Western Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science.
Students may choose to complete a year-long academic internship at an approved local community agency contracted with the department. The community agencies represent a broad spectrum of settings and career opportunities in the field of child and adolescent development. Students who choose to complete the internship must successfully complete two courses taken over two consecutive semesters. The assignments and activities in internship courses support students’ experiential learning through self-reflection and the application of developmental theories and concepts. In these courses, students earn a grade of Credit/No Credit.
In addition to the on-campus seminars and online learning activities, students complete approximately 180 hours of service over two semesters in a community-based setting serving children and adolescents (approximately 6-7 hours per week). The department holds an information session for prospective applicants and the Internship and Career Fair each Spring semester which provides students opportunities to learn more about the Department-Sponsored Internship program. Additional information can be found on the Department-Sponsored Internship Program webpage and by contacting the internship director.
Chair: W. David Wakefield
Sequoia Hall (SQ) 285
Internship Program Director: April Z. Taylor
Sequoia Hall (SQ) 289-G
Honors Program Director: Nancy Miodrag
Sequoia Hall (SQ) 289-D
Jumpstart Program Director: Emily E. Russell
Project Manager: Danielle Watson
Sequoia Hall (SQ) 280-A