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.


CAD Mission Statement

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

To this end, students are prepared to:

  • Apply theory and knowledge in varied contexts
  • Understand the issues underlying equity and social justice and respect their complex impact on the lives of children, youth, and families in our society
  • Use guiding theoretical frameworks to understand children, youth and families