The Department of Child and Adolescent Development is dedicated to promoting and advocating for the well-being of children, adolescents and families through the pursuits of teaching, research, service, reflective practice and community engagement.
Our mission is threefold: (a) to prepare undergraduate students with the knowledge and skills necessary to be highly effective professionals working with diverse populations in school, service and community settings; (b) to conduct sound developmentally informed research with implications for improving the lives of children and families; and (c) to make significant contributions to the San Fernando Valley and greater Los Angeles community through fieldwork, service, research and community engagement.
About the Department
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, which culminates with earning the Bachelor of Arts in Child and Adolescent Development degree.
The program prides itself on its commitment to developing effective leaders, professionals and scholars committed to solving complex social problems—particularly those impacting youth and families. A major focal point of the 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 throughout their lifespan. The program provides a strong academic foundation for the next generation of clinicians, teachers, policymakers and researchers dedicated to serving 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 offered allow students to gain academic and professional skills, while receiving a high level of attention from dedicated faculty who are committed to the long-term success of their students.
When declaring the major, students choose a “degree option” based on their career, professional and personal interests.
The option in Applied Developmental Science provides students a strong foundation across theories, research, concepts and applications of child and adolescent development, spanning conception through early adulthood. This option is versatile given the breadth of study that students are exposed to and its relevance to a wide range of occupations and professions. Students who complete this option are well-positioned and prepared to enter graduate degree programs that lead to direct-service careers as clinicians, researchers and teachers who serve populations across all ages.
The option in Early Childhood Development provides focused opportunities for students to develop depth of study in the developmental periods of prenatal, infancy and early childhood. This option is popular among students who transfer from a California community college as it provides continued educational opportunities in early childhood education and fulfills many of the course requirements for the State of California Child Development Permit—the recognized credential for early childhood educators and professionals.
Students majoring in a different field who are interested in an introductory academic foundation in the study of child and adolescent development can choose to pursue the Minor in Child and Adolescent Development. The minor requires 18 semester units of coursework that complements a variety of majors on campus. Some students choose the minor simply to be more informed and knowledgeable as current or future parents, aunts or uncles. The Minor in Child and Adolescent Development is not open to students in the CADV major.
The Department of Child and Adolescent Development is committed to students achieving their personal and professional goals and graduating in a timely manner. Students are strongly encouraged to use the department’s advising resources, such as the Degree Progress Report/Planner to plan coursework for the major.
Students seeking additional assistance or guidance can visit with an advisor during the department’s walk-in advising hours or by arranging a one-on-one appointment with a department advisor. Appointments can be booked via the department’s online appointment scheduling system.
The department encourages students to meet with faculty outside of class (i.e., during posted office hours and by appointment) to discuss their academic progress and postgraduation career plans. Six courses in the department (i.e., CADV 250, CADV 394, CADV 470, CADV 494, CADV 495A and CADV 495B) provide students with intensive semester-long opportunities to develop personalized plans for actualizing a career and/or graduate-level degrees in child and adolescent development and related fields.
Students in the major are encouraged to participate in the CSU International Programs (i.e., study abroad), the National Student Exchange program and the CSUN in DC Internship program. Nearly every unit of academic coursework that students complete in these programs is counted toward the child and adolescent development degree requirements.
The Bachelor of Arts in Child and Adolescent Development degree will be of interest to those who are considering direct-service careers with children and families (e.g., preschool/early childhood education, K-12 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, nonprofit program directors, politicians).
Given the broad interdisciplinary focus of coursework leading to the degree, students can tailor their educational experiences to prepare for a host of professional programs and career pathways. Students are encouraged to use their elective coursework to include classes that are related or required to achieve their ultimate career goals.
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 enter advanced degree and credential programs leading to careers including, but not limited to, early childhood education teachers/directors, 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.
Students interested in exploring career options and opportunities are encouraged to visit the Career Center and complete elective coursework that focuses on career/professional development (i.e., CADV 250, CADV 394, CADV 494, CADV 495A, CADV 495B).
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 or assistant director and complete an application. Admission to the department’s Honors Program is granted by approval of the department’s Honors Program Selection Committee.
Clubs and Societies
Peer Academic Leaders (PALs)
The Peer Academic Leaders Program (PALs) is a department-sponsored peer-mentoring and peer-advising program open to students in good academic standing, who are interested in assisting current and prospective students on successfully navigating the university degree requirements and on planning for life after graduation. PALs serve as student ambassadors of the department at on- and off-campus events. Students have rich opportunities to develop mentoring and leadership skills through this department-service activity. For more information on becoming a Peer Academic Leader, visit the department office or contact the PAL faculty advisor.
Child and Adolescent Development Association (CADA)
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 an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Department-Sponsored Academic Internship
Program Director: April Z. Taylor
Sequoia Hall (SQ) 287-D
Assistant Director: Rika Meyer
Sequoia Hall (SQ) 280-D
Students may choose to complete a year-long academic internship at an approved local community agency contracted with the department or on campus under the supervision of a department faculty member. The agencies in the community represent a broad spectrum of settings and career opportunities in the field of child and adolescent development. Participating in the internship program requires that students submit an internship match request. Students are then selected on a competitive basis for a limited number of intern slots at each site. Students must successfully complete the required internship hours in addition to the academic internship courses (i.e., CADV 394 and CADV 494). The assignments and activities in internship coursework support students’ experiential learning through self-reflection and the application of developmental theories and concepts in the community. 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 (generally 6-7 hours per week during the academic year). The department sponsors the CADV Career and Internship 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 program director or assistant director.
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 create valuable networks necessary for future employment and future graduate schooling. Also, 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:
- American Educational Research Association
- American Psychological Association
- Association for Psychological Science
- National Association for the Education of Young Children
- National Council on Family Relations
- Society for Research in Child Development
- Society for Research on Adolescence
- Western Psychological Association
Department of Child and Adolescent Development
Chair: W. David Wakefield
Associate Chair: April Z. Taylor
Sequoia Hall (SQ) 285
Undergraduate Advisement Center
Sequoia Hall (SQ) 293
Department Internship Program
Director: April Z. Taylor
Sequoia Hall (SQ) 287-D
Assistant Director: Rika Meyer
Sequoia Hall (SQ) 280-D
Department Honors Program
Director: Nancy Miodrag
Sequoia Hall (SQ) 289-B
Assistant Director: Tissyana Camacho
Sequoia Hall (SQ) 280-F
Director/PI: Emily E. Russell
Project Manager: Osvaldo Cabadas
Sequoia Hall (SQ) 280-E