Child and Adolescent Development  {SF State Bulletin 2013 - 2014}

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Child and Adolescent Development

College of Health and Social Sciences

Dean: Don Taylor


Department of Child and Adolescent Development

Phone: 415-405-3564
Fax: 415-405-0401
Web Site:
Chair: Rene F. Dahl


Marian Wright Edelman Institute for the Study of Children, Youth, & Families
HSS 257
Phone: 415-405-3925
Web Site:
Director: Charlotte Ferretti


Metro Academy in CAD
HSS 300
Phone: 415-405-0737
Director: Lygia Stebbing


PATH (Promoting Achievement through Higher Education)
HSS 124
Phone: 415-405-4342
Director: Melinda Day



Professor: Dahl
Assistant Professors: Conley Wright, Park
Lecturers: Agosta, Katz, Monterosso, Schilling



B.A. in Child and Adolescent Development

Concentrations in:



Program Scope

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Child and Adolescent Development (CAD) is for students interested in studying and working with issues about children, adolescents, and their families. The CAD department works closely with the Marian Wright Edelman Institute for the Study of Children, Youth, and Families. The Edelman Institute’s mission is to further educational excellence through its association with the child and adolescent development curriculum; promote collaboration among faculty; create public outreach, social advocacy, and other partnerships between SF State and the community; and to foster research and scholarly work in the area of children, youth, and families.


The CAD department offers two special programs:

  1. Metro Academy (Metro)
    Metro Academy was developed to support the next generation of leaders for early care and education in urban communities. Metro gives freshmen and sophomores whose major is Undeclared with an Interest in CAD, personalized support for college success through in-class academic support and tutoring. At the core of Metro Academy is a learning community made up of two linked courses each semester, pairing a general education course and a Metro Child Development course. After completing the Metro program students are prepared to continue taking courses for completion of their major requirements with the necessarily skills for college success.
  2. Promoting Achievement through Higher Education (PATH)
    PATH is a degree completion program for students in the Early Childhood concentration,. PATH supports practitioners working in the field of early childhood education to obtain a bachelor’s degree. PATH offers Friday evening and Saturday courses, so working professionals can take 3 - 4 courses each semester and graduate in two to two and a half years with a baccalaureate. PATH is the upper division part of Metro Academy.


The Child and Adolescent Development major provides students with a broad range of knowledge about child and adolescent development and how to apply this knowledge to services for children, youth, and families, as well as to research and public policy. Core courses introduce the student to child and adolescent development theories and their applications. Students in the program will choose one of four specialized concentrations: 1) Early Childhood; 2) School Age Child and Family; 3) Youth Work and Out of School Time; and 4) Policy, Advocacy, and Systems. The major is designed to meet the education and career needs of students with a variety of interests. Those who wish to complete a bachelor’s degree as well as a Child Development Permit for work as a licensed child care provider will choose the Early Childhood concentration. Students who wish to teach in elementary schools will choose the School Age Child and Family concentration, which will provide not only subject matter knowledge but a child development foundation. Others who wish to prepare for work in out of school time programs such as after-school programs, probation, recreation, residential treatment facilities for school-age children/youth and their families, or other community-based programs for children and youth will choose specialized study in the Youth Work and Out of School Time concentration. Finally, students preparing to work in research or policy fields related to children, youth, and families will select the Policy, Advocacy, and Systems concentration. All concentrations prepare students for advanced study in disciplines such as law, medicine, psychology, social work, recreation, counseling, or physical therapy.


Career Outlook

The outlook for careers working with children and adolescents and their families is good. Surveys of employers and community agencies which offer positions working with children, adolescents, and families indicate that there is a strong need for professionals in those areas. Graduates who want to work with young children and their families as infant-toddler pre-school teachers or child care providers are in high demand. There are 6,000 children in San Francisco alone on waiting lists for childcare programs. There is a need for well educated, experienced professionals to staff and administer quality child care and education programs, particularly as the existing center-based teaching work force with B.A. degrees or higher starts to retire. There is also a need to expand the ethnic and linguistic diversity of early child care providers. Areas where B.A. degree providers/teachers are particularly needed are in centers serving both infants and preschoolers, working with dual language learners, and working with children with special needs.


Even with state fiscal challenges and changes in requirements for teacher preparation, the increase in school age children in California and the significant numbers of teachers who will retire within the next few years, means there will be a need for qualified, fully prepared professionals to teach kindergarten through 12th grade. Although students who plan to enter a multiple subject teaching credential program can no longer complete a multiple subject matter preparation program in lieu of taking a Commission-approved subject matter examination (currently CSET), this degree strengthens pre-service preparation in subject matter as well as in child and adolescent development. Essentially, students in the School Age Child and Family concentration have the advantage of gaining knowledge about child development and the subject matter which they will teach in elementary school classrooms.


A survey of local potential employers found that they want staff with a strong foundation of skills and knowledge about child and adolescent development. Employment opportunities are strong for graduates wanting to develop careers working with children, youth, and their families in the areas of infant-toddler/pre-school, K-5 teaching, and social services in public and private institutions. This degree also provides a solid foundation for graduates who wish to pursue post-baccalaureate education toward masters and doctoral degrees.


Bachelor of Arts in Child and Adolescent Development

Application Filing Period. The CAD major is impacted which means there is more demand for the major than capacity to meet that demand. Applications to the major are accepted only for fall admissions and only from upper division students. Applications for admission to the major by new and transfer students are accepted by the Admissions Office during the application filing period, October 1 through November 30 (for admission the following fall). On-campus students who wish to change their major to CAD should submit an application to the CAD department office during the October 1 through November 30 application filing period. The department does not accept late applications, nor are applications accepted for spring semester.


Students should develop their program of study in consultation with a department advisor.


  • Students must earn a grade of C or better for all courses in the major including lower division courses taken at community colleges.
  • Courses in the major must be completed with a letter grade; CR/NC grading is not accepted except for CAD 601 Child and Adolescent Development Internship and CAD 611 Early Childhood Internship.
  • Courses taken in the core may not be counted in a concentration or vice versa.


Child and Adolescent Development major (B.A.) — 40 - 46 units

Core Requirements (Required for all CAD majors) — 18 units


Concentration in Early Childhood

See general information for all Bachelor of Arts in Child and Adolescent Development candidates above.


The concentration in early childhood has been developed for students who wish to work primarily in teaching and child care with young children (infants, toddlers, and preschoolers), and their families, in schools and public or private institutions and agencies that serve this population. The degree fulfills the requirements for the Child Development Permit issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.


Students must complete two courses in SPED; one course at the 300 level and one course at the 600 level.


Note: Any course listed below that a student takes beyond the specified requirements can be counted as an elective toward the 120 units for graduation. These courses will enhance a student’s preparation for work in early care and education.


Core Requirements: (see above) 18 units

Concentration in Early Childhood — 27 units

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated.

Early Childhood Foundation

Child Development in Context – Choose one course from each category below.

Special Needs
Infant/Toddler Development
Supporting Children’s Learning

Curriculum and Methods – Select one of the following.

Observation and Assessment – Select one of the following.

Special Issues – Choose one course from A and one from B.

A. Administration/ Leadership & Working with Families
B. Curriculum Specialties

Culminating Experience – Courses must be taken concurrently.

*Note Elementary Education Policy: 50 hours observation/participation outside the classroom are now required for Elementary Education courses (E ED). If a student takes more than one Elementary Education course per semester, 50 hours are the maximum total required and will count for all Elementary Education courses taken in that specific semester.


Concentration in School Age Child and Family

See general information for all Bachelor of Arts in Child and Adolescent Development majors above.


The School Age Child and Family concentration has been developed for students who wish to work primarily with school age children and their families in settings such as elementary schools, social service agencies, and after school programs. This concentration is recommended as preparation for students who wish to become elementary school teachers, and who, therefore, plan to enroll in a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential Program.


Core Requirements (see above): 18 units

Concentration in School Age Child and Family — 28 - 29 units

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated.

Language/Reading/Communication Development – Choose one.

Literature – Choose one.

Mathematics – Both required.

Science – Choose one.

Physical Education

Social Science – Choose one from either A or B.


Art – Choose one.

Capstone Experience – Must be taken concurrently.


Concentration in Youth Work and Out of School Time

See general information for all Bachelor of Arts in Child and Adolescent Development candidates above.


The youth work and out of school time concentration prepares students to work primarily with school-age children and adolescents with a focus on out of school time programs. Such programs include afterschool programs, juvenile justice, recreation, residential treatment, social services, mental health, and public health.


Core Requirements (see above): 18 units

Concentration in Youth Work and Out of School Time — 26 - 27 units


Concentration in Policy, Advocacy, and Systems

See general information for all Bachelor of Arts in Child and Adolescent Development candidates above.


This policy, advocacy, and systems concentration has been developed for students who wish to pursue a career in public policy, advocacy, and nonprofit administration and/or who wish to pursue a post-baccalaureate degree in which advanced knowledge of theory and research methodology are required.


Core Requirements (see above): 18 units

Concentration in Policy, Advocacy and Systems — 22 – 26 units

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated.

Policy for Children, Youth, and Families – Choose one.

Political and Policy Processes – Choose one.

Systems and Organizations – Choose one.

Program Development, Evaluation, and Administration – Choose one.

Advocacy and Community Organizing – Choose one.

Research and Statistics – Choose one.

Culminating Experience



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