Child and Adolescent Development

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General Education Courses

Click here for a complete list of curriculum requirements.

Core Courses in the Major

The Integration of Developmental Domains, Theory, and Practice
CHD 305
4 credits

In this course, students will integrate their foundational knowledge of children’s characteristics and needs, from birth through adolescence, with the multiple perspectives and theories on child development and learning. Students will analyze multifaceted perspectives on children and families in order to inform practice.


Transforming Learning Standards into Achievement
CHD 306
4 credits

In this course, students will explore how to meet children’s individual needs that reflect developmental knowledge, essential content knowledge, and local and state educational standards for learning. Students will create appropriate and challenging environments for children’s academic and personal success.


Constructing Reciprocal Relationships with Families and the Community
CHD 307
4 credits

In this course students will examine the importance of involving the family and the community in the child’s development and learning. Students will learn how to support and engage families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships. An emphasis will be placed on embracing and valuing the diverse and complex characteristics of the family and community.


The Art and Science of Assessing Children and Families
CHD 405
4 credits

In this course, students will analyze the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment. Students will learn how to use effective and appropriate assessment tools using a variety of documentation and data collection strategies. Students will implement assessment data to develop appropriate strengths-based goals, curriculum, and teaching strategies for each child. Additionally, students will explore the process of assessing partnerships with families and colleagues to build effective learning environments.


Professional Practices
CHD 406
4 credits

In this course, students will review ethical standards and professional guidelines for working with children and families. Students will learn the value of engaging in informed advocacy, as well as continuous, collaborative learning to inform practice. Students will review how to use technology effectively as a professional resource with children and peers. Students will experience the process of integrating knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives in child development.


Electives in the Major

Principles of Human Behavior
CHD 302
4 credits

This course is designed to introduce the principles of human development. Includes exploration of social/emotional development (brain development, attachment, and social skills) from the time of conception through birth, early and middle childhood, and early and late adolescence, beginning with the metamorphosis of cells at conception and continues through intricate changes related to growth and aging. Students will investigate theories and scientific evidence including laboratory and field studies.


Multicultural Issues in Child Development
CHD 303
4 credits

In this course, students will explore child development from a comparative perspective, considering race, gender, and disabling conditions as dimensions of diversity. Students will examine cross-cultural research and challenge the contemporary theories of child development and the implications for educational theory and practice. Students will examine cultural and family factors that shape and influence the contexts in which children develop. They will also participate in the development of multicultural curriculum activities, materials and environments for children with a special emphasis on applying multicultural education principles to curriculum planning.


The Exceptional Child
CHD 304
4 credits

This course covers an analysis of the wide spectrum of abilities and disabilities of the special needs child, as these needs range from education needs to parent and family needs. The course focuses on understanding the child and will integrate information on the specific needs of the person that include learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, communication disorders, hearing impairment, visual impairment, physical disabilities, and giftedness (often not thought of as a component to the area of special needs).


Development of the Adolescent
CHD 308
4 credits

This course analyzes the biosocial, cognitive, psychosocial, and growth of the self that occurs during the phase of human development that is commonly referred to as adolescence. Students will investigate some definitions of puberty and a historical understanding of adolescence. Students will gain an understanding of the adolescent in their home, school, and social environment. A more comprehensive analysis of adolescent intellectual, brain, physical, and social development will be available that may help us explain the many stereotypes cast onto adolescent life. This course also investigates theories, scientific evidence and personal insight. This course finally challenges misconceptions, misperceptions, misrepresentations, and the misreading of adolescent development, especially those relating to raising and living with adolescents and our relationships with them. In challenging our basic ideas and beliefs, we come to find the fictions inherent in them and more importantly come to a much different understanding of this time of human development.


Cognitive Development of the Child and Adolescent
CHD 407
4 credits

This course is designed to support scientific study of children from conception to adolescence, including intellectual changes and processes that a child experiences and a focus on the development of thought, language, emotions, personality, and social relationships. The principles and theories that underlie child learning are also emphasized.


Administration and Supervision of Child Development Programs
CHD 408
4 credits

This course provides an overview of child development program operations, including legal and professional standards. Students will explore licensing and accreditation standards in relation to an existing child development center. Students will gather information about the management processes of child development programs including the selection and management of staff, planning and supervision of programs. They will also research fiscal and legal structures and community outreach programs.


Directed Teaching: Curriculum Development
CHD 409
4 credits

This course provides an overview of child development education theory, history, philosophy and psychology. Students will study guidance practices that support the development of children including the relationship of developmental theories to guidance practices. Students will examine the principles involved in planning, implementing and evaluating developmentally appropriate curriculum. Students will participate in the development of curriculum based on the needs and interests of children in group care. Curriculum will be emphasized keeping in mind concepts, objectives and instructional techniques for developmentally appropriate experiences for the child. Learning activities for all curriculum areas are included. This course will provide instruction on what the teacher’s role will be in providing an environment that fosters optimal growth and development of the individual child.


Language Development of the Child
CHD 412
4 credits

This course provides an analysis and evaluation of central concepts, theories, current issues, and research evidence in the development of language and cognition in human beings.  The material in this course relies on current and accessible accounts of current views on how thinking and language develop during childhood.  Starting from infancy the course explores key aspects of cognitive language development in childhood and adolescence, evaluating brain architecture and function along with the social and cultural bases of learning.


CHD Independent Studies
CHD 100/200/300/400
1-4 credits

Independent Study.


CHD Independent Studies, Each may be taken up to two times.
CHD 100/200/300/400
1-4 credits

Independent Study.


CHD Special Topics. Each may be taken up to two times.
CHD 190/290/390/490
1-4 credits

Special Topics.


Additional elective learning may be accepted when appropriate to the major. Acceptable elective learning may include: prior and certified learning that meets program criteria for acceptance; general education courses (beyond those required by the program) and courses offered through other majors, following published syllabi; and/or individually designed courses developed by the student in consultation with a faculty advisor and submitted using the learning agreement form. All additional electives must be endorsed by the major chair and the dean and documented in the approved degree plan prior to registration.

Culminating Graduation Requirement

As part of course work in the major, every student will complete a culminating graduation requirement (CGR). The CGR requirement is to be met by satisfactory completion of a student portfolio that contains one designated artifact from each of the five core courses. Each artifact must receive a grade C or better. The portfolio is a collection of student work that demonstrates student achievement and synthesis of the university and major outcomes.