This is an archive of the 2015-2016 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

This is an archive of the 2015-2016 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit


Program: B.A., Child and Adolescent Development

Early Childhood Development


The Department of Child and Adolescent Development offers an interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary undergraduate degree program focusing on the study of human development from conception through emerging adulthood. The degree program leads to a Bachelor of Arts in Child and Adolescent Development. Students elect to complete the Option in Applied Developmental Science or the Option in Early Childhood Development.

The Option in Applied Developmental Science emphasizes the analysis and synthesis of classic and contemporary research in the interest of promoting positive developmental outcomes spanning conception through early adulthood. Students in this option explore theories, concepts and phenomena relevant to the development of individuals and social systems, including the wide range of familial, biological, societal, cultural, physical, ecological, political and historical settings of human development. Students who elect to complete the Option in Early Childhood Development develop a strong foundation of content knowledge and practical skills applicable to working with and the scientific study of young children (i.e., conception through age 7). Students in this option have the opportunity to complete all of the requirements for the Child Development Permit (credential required for preschool teachers, administrators and childcare professionals) during the degree program. Many students in this option may choose to add the Minor in Child-Care Administration (see Department of Family and Consumer Sciences) without delaying completion of the degree. Note that 9 units in the Early Childhood Development Option meet requirements for the Minor in Child-Care Administration.

Both options in the degree program emphasize the use of research- and evidence-based knowledge to empower students to become critical consumers of theoretical perspectives and information relating to the physical, social and cognitive development of children and adolescents. This foundation allows students to develop content knowledge and skills essential to participating in informed public dialogue, social policy and interventions/best practices facilitating positive development. Students learn ways to use basic and applied research to explore educational and mental health issues, including cultural processes, atypical developmental trajectories, resiliency, developmental transitions, motivation, physical and psychological well-being and major developmental milestones. The department is committed to an ecological model that examines developmental changes and processes across multiple contexts in order to identify human universals as well as context-specific differences in human development. The domains of cognitive and social development receive particular emphasis throughout the degree program. The program also emphasizes practical applications of theoretical and research-based knowledge gained in the classroom. Students are provided the opportunity to complete a department-sponsored year-long internship with selected community organizations and schools throughout the San Fernando Valley and greater Los Angeles area.

Students in the major complete coursework from multiple academic departments across the Cal State Northridge campus that center around (a) general foundations of the field of human development, (b) in-depth exploration of social and cognitive development, (c) ways in which practitioners and scholars conduct and use research, (d) best-practices for practitioners, (e) exploration of cultural and linguistic influences throughout development, (f) identifying academic and professional pathways to pursue upon completion of the B.A. degree and (g) developing breadth and/or depth of study through a robust menu of elective coursework.

Coursework in the major prepares students to be competitive applicants for post-baccalaureate graduate programs in child and adolescent development, educational psychology, developmental psychology, school psychology, early childhood education, special education, educational leadership, marriage and family therapy, counseling, clinical social work, clinical psychology and teaching credential programs. Students earning the Bachelor of Arts degree in Child and Adolescent Development are also prepared to enter the workforce in entry-level positions in a host of job settings serving children, youth and families. Given the broad interdisciplinary focus of coursework leading to degree, students can tailor their courses used for the degree to prepare for a host of professional programs, such as counseling, teacher education, social work, law school, medical school, nursing, child life and occupational therapy.

Pursuing a Multiple Subject Preliminary Teaching Credential

Child and Adolescent Development majors interested in pursuing a Multiple Subject Teaching (MST) Credential at Cal State Northridge may begin completing selected requirements before earning the B.A. degree, which may ultimately decrease time to complete the credential. Students interested in beginning coursework toward the MST Credential:

For more information on earning the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential visit the Elementary Education section of this Catalog and contact the CSUN Credential Office for advisement. The Credential Program advisors and staff can be reached at (818) 677-2586.

Obtaining a Child Development Permit

The Child Development Permit is a state of California authorized credential, which verifies completion of the requirements established by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) for assisting, teaching or supervising a child development program (e.g., pre-kindergarten/early childhood education programs) in the state of California. Students who complete the Option in Early Childhood Development and Minor in Child-Care Administration will have satisfied coursework and practicum/fieldwork requirements for the Permit. Most undergraduate students pursuing careers in Early Childhood Education are eligible for financial support (grants and stipends) through the Child Development Training Consortium.

Program Requirements

1. Lower Division Required Courses (16 units)

Introduction to the Field

Complete all of the following:

CADV 150 Foundations of Child and Adolescent Development (3)
FCS 234 The Child in the Family and Community (3)
HSCI 131 Health and Society (3)
MATH 140 Introduction to Statistics (4)
PSY 150 Introduction to Psychology (3)

2. Upper Division Requirements (41 units)

a. Domains of Development (6 units)

Complete all of the following:

CADV 350 Applied Cognitive Development (3)
CADV 352 Applied Social Development (3)

b. Modes of Inquiry (8 units)

CADV 380/L Methods of Child and Adolescent Study and Lab I (3/1)

Choose one of the following:

CADV 381/L Child and Adolescent Study and Lab II (3/1)
FCS 431/L Child and Family Assessment and Lab (3/1)

c. Cultural/Linguistic Contexts of Development (3 units)

CADV 460 Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Culture in Development (3)

d. Early Childhood Education Pedagogy and Curriculum (6 units)

Choose two of the following:

ART 383/L Art in Early Childhood and Lab (2/1)
CADV/RTM 406/L Enhancing Childhood Creativity and Lab (2/1)
EPC 430 Development and Learning in Early Childhood Education (3)
MUS 362/L Music for Early Childhood and Lab (2/1)

e. Professional Development and Practitioner-Based Skills Sets (18 units)

Complete the following:

CADV 470 Advanced Concepts and Theories in Child and Adolescent Development (3)

Complete any five of the following:

3. General Education (48 units)

Undergraduate students must complete 48 units of General Education as described in this Catalog.
Several major courses also meet GE requirements. MATH 140 is a Basic Skills course. PSY 150 is a social science General Education course.  ANTH 308ANTH 310FCS 340 and RTM 352 meet Upper Division General Education requirements.

Units in the Major: 57

Total Units Required for the B.A. Degree: 120


Chair: W. David Wakefield
Sequoia Hall (SQ) 285
(818) 677-3385 

Advisement Services Director: April Z. Taylor
Sequoia Hall (SQ) 285
(818) 677-7211

Internship Program Director: April Z. Taylor
Sequoia Hall (SQ) 289-G
(818) 677-7211

Honors Program Director: Nancy Miodrag
Sequoia Hall (SQ) 289-D
(818) 677-4349

Jumpstart Program Director: Emily E. Russell
Project Manager: Danielle Watson
Sequoia Hall (SQ) 280-A
(818) 677-7727

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Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the theories, concepts, developmental processes and empirical approaches in the scientific study of child and adolescent development from diverse perspectives across the domains of physical, cognitive and social development.
  2. Apply and integrate theoretical, research-based and evidence-based knowledge.
  3. Analyze and synthesize theories, constructs and processes of child and adolescent development through university-level academic writing and oral presentations.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of evidence-based strategies of culturally competent practice/pedagogy relevant in a culturally pluralistic and linguistically diverse society.
  5. Demonstrate information literacy/competence through effectively utilizing media sources and complying with the ethics of manipulating and presenting information.
  6. Describe, critique and practice various empirical methodologies used to study child and adolescent development, including design, data analysis and interpretation.
  7. Develop and describe an individualized post-baccalaureate plan to pursue a professional career, including related issues, such as identifying short- and long-term goals, developing professional networks, engaging in career exploration/planning, identifying prospective advanced degree/training programs and overall long-term success as a professional.