About Us

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Child & 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 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 other agencies will select the Early Care & Education concentration. The course work in this degree fulfills requirements for the Child Development Permit issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.The Department of Child & Adolescent Development at San Francisco State University is an approved participating institution of higher education that prepares the early childhood workforce in the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) Early Childhood Education (ECE) Pilot. Students who wish to teach in elementary schools or work with school-aged children will choose the Elementary Education Teaching Pre-Credential 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 and residential treatment facilities will choose the Community, Health, & Social Services concentration.

Mission Statement

The Department of Child & 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 that end, CAD’s Program Learning Objectives are:

  • 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