M.A. Child Development Program

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION AND OBJECTIVES

The Master of Arts in Child Development is a 51-unit, evening program designed to provide students with an in-depth background in child growth and development. This program is targeted to students wishing to continue their studies at the graduate level in child and human development, for those currently in careers relating to children and families (e.g., early childhood education, elementary education, special education, or social service professionals), for those wishing to teach early childhood courses at a community college, and for those who plan to pursue doctoral-level studies in related fields such as child/human development, child and family studies, developmental psychology, and clinical/counseling psychology.

The Child Development Program has offered a Masters of Arts degree since 2000. This program provides training in core areas of child development, including development of the whole child from birth through adolescence, family studies, and research design and methodology. This program has a uniquely applied focus and integrates many areas relevant to child development, such as early childhood education, special education, counseling, and social work. Students exiting this program take with them skills that are marketable under current and expected socioeconomic conditions.

PROGRAM RESOURCES

The Child Development Program provides research and professional opportunities with a diverse population. Faculty affiliated with this program are interested in topics ranging from teacher behavior to siblings to academic achievement. In addition, faculty engage in a variety of professional endeavors (such as clinical counseling and school psychology) and have numerous community contacts. Due to collaborations with multiple campus and community organizations, opportunities for internships are plentiful. On campus, we work closely with the Children's Center, which houses children aged 3-5, and the infant-toddler laboratory.

The Department of Psychology, which houses the M.A. in Child Development, is the largest department in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences with over 30 full-time faculty members possessing diverse research interests. Nine of these individuals are core Child Development faculty. The Psychology Department at CSUSB was recently ranked 13th in the nation in terms of research productivity of the faculty in departments with master's-level training programs (1990, Professional Psychology). We are a faculty committed to excellence in teaching, reflected by the fact that five members of our department have received the University's Outstanding Professor Award.

Our department is housed in the Social and Behavioral Sciences building at CSUSB. The building houses an infant/toddler laboratory school, laboratories for research, a child assessment center, and a language development laboratory.

PROGRAM FACULTY

Kelly Campbell, David Chavez, Laura Kamptner, Jacqueline Leventon, Bob Ricco, Jason Reimer, Sharon Ward (program director), Amanda Wilcox, Eugene Wong

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Students will complete classes related to child growth and development covering the age span between infancy and adolescence. In addition, students will complete coursework related to parenting and families, cognitive development, research methodology, and lifespan development. To complete their degree students will take elective courses that meet their personal interests both within the Psychology Department and across the greater campus. Students interested in pursuing a doctoral degree are required to complete courses related to statistics and research methodology.

By the fall of the student's second year, the thesis and/or project should be proposed (unless the student has decided to complete a comprehensive exam upon completion of coursework). All students must conduct an independent literature review under the supervision of a chosen graduate faculty advisor. The topic of the study should relate to child development and the study should focus the student's specialization within a certain domain of development and within a certain age group.

Comprehensive Exam Option

  1. CD 531. Understanding and Guiding Child Behavior (2)
  2. CD 532. Best Practice with Young Children (2)
  3. CD 612. Directed Readings (2-5 units) for a total of (5 units)
  4. CD 614. Theories of Child Development (4)
  5. CD 624. Advanced Developmental Neuroscience (4)
  6. CD 648. Social-Emotional Development (4)
  7. CD 651. Advanced Cognitive Development (4)
  8. CD 659. Early Childhood Assessment (4)
  9. CD 689. Externship in Child Development (2-5) for a total of (5)
  10. CD 690. Families and Parenting (4)
  11. CD 999. Comprehensive Examination: Child Development (0)
  12. PSYC 640. Advanced Methods in Psychological Research (4)
  13. Eight units of 500- or 600-level coursework from CD, HD, PSYC, education, or other relevant field chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor.

Project Option

  1. CD 531. Understanding and Guiding Child Behavior (2)
  2. CD 532. Best Practice with Young Children (2)
  3. CD 611. Advanced Independent Study (2-5) for a total of (5)
  4. CD 614. Theories of Child Development (4)
  5. CD 624. Advanced Developmental Neuroscience (4)
  6. CD 648. Social-Emotional Development (4)
  7. CD 651. Advanced Cognitive Development (4)
  8. CD 659. Early Childhood Assessment (4)
  9. CD 690. Families and Parenting (4)
  10. CD 695. Graduate Project (5)
  11. PSYC 640. Advanced Methods in Psychological Research (4)
  12. Eight units of 500- or 600-level course
  13. work from CD, HD, PSYC, education, or other relevant field chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor.

Thesis Option

  1. CD 531. Understanding and Guiding Child Behavior (2 units)
  2. CD 532. Best Practice with Young Children (2 units)
  3. CD 611. Advanced Independent Study (2-5) for a total of (5)
  4. CD 614. Theories of Child Development (4)
  5. CD 624. Advanced Developmental Neuroscience (4 units)
  6. CD 648. Social-Emotional Development (4)
  7. CD 651. Advanced Cognitive Development (4)
  8. CD 659. Early Childhood Assessment (4 units)
  9. CD 690. Families and Parenting (4)
  10. CD 699. Thesis (5)
  11. PSYC 640. Advanced Methods in Psychological Research (4)
  12. PSYC 641. Analysis of Variance (5)
  13. PSYC 642. Regression/Nonparametric Statistics (4)

WHAT CAN I DO WITH THIS DEGREE?

This degree is not designed to provide students with an elementary education teaching credential or a license to counsel children and families (since these degrees are currently offered elsewhere on campus). The master's program in Child Development does qualify students for a California Child Development Permit at the Program Director level.

Students graduating from this program will also find themselves qualified for a variety of professional opportunities such as:

  1. Community college instructor
  2. Early childhood center director
  3. Program analyst
  4. Grant Writer
  5. Infant-toddler/early childhood specialist
  6. Parent educator
  7. Lobbyist
  8. Museum educator

For more information contact the director of the Child Development program, Dr. Sharon Ward via telephone at (909) 537-7304; via e-mail at sward@csusb.edu or in person in her office (SB-526) by appointment.

To apply to the MA Child Development program, please visit our Graduate Admissions webpage for deadlines and step-by-step instructions.