Overview of the CAD Major and Mission Statement


The Bachelor of Arts degree in Child and Adolescent Development (CAD) is designed for students interested in studying child and youth development and who wish to apply this knowledge in settings that serve children, youth and their families. The CAD major provides theoretical and practical knowledge about child and youth development from an interdisciplinary and applied perspective. Core courses introduce students to basic and advanced developmental theories and their applications, while the concentrations provide specialized knowledge that builds upon core knowledge and application.

The major is designed to meet the educational and career needs of students with a variety of interests in child and adolescent development. Those who wish to teach preschool or provide other early childhood care and education will select the Early Childhood concentration. This course work qualifies students for a Child Development Permit as a licensed child care provider. Students who wish to teach in elementary schools will choose the School Age concentration, which provides both subject matter knowledge and a strong developmental foundation. Others who wish to work in out of school time programs for school age children and youth, such as after-school programs, probation, recreation, residential treatment facilities, will choose the Youth Work and Out of School Time concentration. Finally, students preparing for careers in policy and advocacy for children, youth, and families, will select the Policy, Advocacy, and Systems concentration.  Please note: The Policy, Advocacy, and Systems concentration is being discontinued and will not be available to students after Fall 2017.


CAD Mission Statement

The Department of Child and Adolescent Development (CAD) prepares students to be competent professionals in their work as advocates for children, youth, and families. Using a social justice lens, CAD values teaching and experiential learning that incorporates diversity of background and experiences, current and relevant research, and high quality instruction.



  • To promote and advocate for social justice and be culturally aware, sensitive, and responsive in the context of CAD
  • To understand the professional roles and responsibilities in the field of CAD in a variety of work settings
  • To apply developmental, learning, and cultural theories used in the context of the field
  • To communicate clearly, respectfully, persuasively, coherently, and powerfully in the context of CAD including but not limited to working with children and youth, families, and colleagues
  • To write clearly, cohesively, and persuasively in the CAD genre in a variety of formats including but not limited to reports, policy analyses, assessments, and proposals 
  • To understand research methods, assessment, evaluation, and data collection, analysis, and reporting; to conduct action research in the context of CAD
  • To locate and utilize a variety of appropriate and relevant resources and technologies in the context of CAD 

​Revised Fall 2016