The MA in the Department of Child Development is designed for students who wish to pursue advanced study in the field for the following professional and/or academic purposes:
- To obtain a graduate-level degree in Child Development
- To prepare for community college teaching
- To prepare for further study leading to a doctorate in Child & Adolescent Development
- To acquire academic background in the field for application in occupational settings that deal with issues involving children and/or youth and their families
The degree is particularly appropriate for individuals who already possess entry-level credentials or licensing and who wish to develop greater expertise and deeper knowledge about children and youth in order to advance in their careers or to prepare for new occupational options. This includes individuals such as professionals in human services agencies, Head Start and day care administrators, parent educators, child/youth advocates in social and legal arenas, child and family counselors, teachers in elementary, middle, and secondary schools, pediatric nurses, and professionals in public health and health care agencies.
Students who complete an MA degree should:
- Demonstrate basic knowledge of child and adolescent development in four major domains (cognitive, emotional, social, and physical) and understand the interrelationships among these domains;
- Understand the role of context in the growth and development of children and adolescents and their socialization by family, community, society, and culture;
- Apply research, theory, and problem-solving skills to questions about social policy, education, intervention, and practical situations pertaining to children and adolescents;
- Examine and evaluate information about children and adolescents from a variety of sources;
- Demonstrate inquisitiveness about the development of children and adolescents by articulating reasoned questions and methods for seeking answers to those questions;
- Demonstrate communication and interpersonal skills for facilitating the development of children and adolescents and meeting the challenges of working with other professionals; and
- Understand ethical and advocacy responsibilities in working with and on behalf of children and adolescents.