About the Department


The Department of Child and Adolescent Studies is dedicated to promoting the well-being of children, adolescents, and families through teaching, research, and reflective practice.

Our Mission

  1.  To prepare students with the knowledge and skills necessary to be effective professionals working with diverse populations in school, service, and community settings
  2.  To conduct developmentally informed research with implications for practice
  3.  To make significant contributions to the community through fieldwork and service

Our Goals

  1. Enhance student learning through ongoing program assessment and implementation of program improvement strategies
  2. Promote student success though effective advisement and support
  3. Expand access to our courses and programs to meet student demand and community needs 
  4. Increase student engagement through participation in high impact practices
  5. Support research and scholarly activities that advance our understanding of developmental processes
  6. Enhance our visibility and connectedness to alumni and the community

Program Description

The Bachelor of Science in Child and Adolescent Development (CHAD) is designed to provide students with empirically-derived knowledge about bio-physical, socio-emotional, and cognitive developmental milestones from conception through adolescence; individual and cultural differences; and common variations in development. Students develop critical thinking, writing, and oral presentation skills in preparation to be professionals working with children and families. Our curriculum provides broad undergraduate preparation for students interested in early care and education, elementary education, special education, and a variety of youth-related social service careers, as well as graduate study in disciplines such as child development, counseling, developmental psychology, and social work. 

Student Learning Goals and Outcomes

The following goals and learning outcomes have been established for students pursuing a degree in Child and Adolescent Development:

1.  Comprehension of theories, concepts and research outcomes

  • Describe and/or explain relevant theories, concepts and related research findings
  • Identify and describe normative development and individual and group differences
  • Describe biological, psychological, cultural and environmental influences on development
  • Identify and describe key components of cultural competence

2.  Critical thinking and communication skills

  • Identify, access, analyze and synthesize relevant sources, including research studies
  • Write effectively in APA style, taking purpose and audience into account
  • Make effective oral presentations, taking purpose and audience into account

3.  Professional, ethical and reflective evidence-based practice with diverse populations

  • Apply theories, concepts and research findings to promote child well-being across diverse populations
  • Identify relevant ethical principles and legal issues and the impact of possible actions in real-world situations
  • Describe effective case, administrative, legislative, and media advocacy strategies to promote the well-being of children, adolescents, and families