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Child Development & Family Relationships, B.A.

The Child Development & Family Relationships major prepares students to support the development and wellbeing of children and their families. Taking inclusive, multigenerational, relational, and lifespan approaches, students incorporate multilogical thinking and trauma informed care/practices in their work. Students embrace the importance of contexts and culture in development, learning, and relationships. Through practicums, service learning, policy analysis, and internships, students apply the course content in the field. Additionally, students work with their academic advisors to create individualized programs that support their interests and professional development and provide a strong foundation for continued education.

Why this Program

Our faculty stay abreast of the most recent research related to the field of Child Development. Research projects, which involve students, are conducted by individual faculty members, as well as by the department as a whole.

Child Development majors work side by side with faculty, as peer mentors and Assistant Head Teachers at the Child Development Lab, by providing feedback and supporting students in specific classes. Students have opportunities to work in the community, gaining valuable professional experience that integrates theory into practice.

This major provides a pathway to teaching and provides at least 24 units of Child Development to meet the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) subject matter requirements for the PK-3 Early Child Education Specialist Instruction Credential.

Child holding up her hands with blue paint on them sitting next to a teacher and another child


Students further select from the three options: 1) Early Childhood Education, 2) Elementary Education, or 3) Special Education/Early Intervention). Graduates apply for a 5th year credential in Elementary Education or Special Education to be able to work in public schools. There are specific electives that are used for each teaching concentration.

Teaching Requirements

Suitable for students who want to go to the field of School Psychology, Counseling, Recreation, Language Studies, Program Administration, Social Work, American Indian Education, Technology, or Diversity. Students plan their coursework and experiences in consultation with their academic advisor. 

Child & Family Services Requirements

Suitable for students with many transfer units, interested in other minors (e.g., Dance, Art, History, Math) OR specialized fields of study post-graduation (for example, Speech & Language Pathology; American Indian Education; Child Life Specialist; Pediatric Nursing). Students plan their coursework and experiences in consultation with their academic advisor. 

Specialized Studies Requirements

Did you know?

  • Our faculty partner with local tribes and organizations to provide professional development, consultation, and early college learning experiences.
  • The Child Development Lab founded in 1968 by Dr. Emilia Tschanz, will be relocated to a newly remodeled Trinity Annex in Fall 2023, serving multiple generations of families.
  • Several of our students are athletes, parents, and volunteers/leaders in the Youth Educational Services program. Many of our alumni work as professionals in the community and provide mentorship and networking to current students through experiential learning or visiting our professional development class.
Teacher and student in class


The Child Development and Family Relationships program offers versatility in post graduation careers, such as

  • Teaching in public or private schools or for profit programs
  • Public policy analysis, research, and advocacy for children and families
  • Families and children or intervention services (Parent/Family Life Education, Early Head Start, Family Resource Specialist, Family Preservation, Juvenile Justice, etc.)
  • Community mental health, DHHS, ACES and Resilience careers, community development
  • Recreation leadership (e.g., Parks and Recs., summer camps, etc.)
  • Case manager, paraprofessional in education, home visitor, Infant Early Childhood Mental Health practitioner, after school program coordinator
student on her knees read to a child

Ready to find what
your future holds?