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Frequently Asked Questions


How can I prepare for the CHAD Major before I transfer to CSUSM?

You should take the following lower division classes to prepare for the CHAD major:

  • Psyc 100 (Introduction to Psychology),
  • Psyc 210 (Child Growth and Development),
  • Psyc 215 (Child, Family, and Community),
  • Psyc 220 (Introduction to Statistics in Psychology), and
  • Psyc 230* (Research Methods in Psychology). *The Research Methods course required for this major must include a laboratory component; please consult and/or a CHAD faculty member to determine whether your course meets the requirements.
  • Consult with and/or a PSYC/CHAD faculty member to further discuss these prerequisites.

Which versions of child and adolescent core courses should I take?

  • CHAD majors who declared the major in spring 2015 (when it opened) AND took PSYC 330 or PSYC 348 in spring 2015 or summer 2015 WILL be allowed to use PSYC 330 and PSYC 348 for the major and as prereqs for the labs because we didn’t offer 331/349 during this time.
  • CHAD majors who declared the major in spring 2015 AND DID NOT take PSYC 330 or PSYC 348 in spring 2015 or summer 2015 MUST take PSYC 331 and PSYC 349 for their core courses and for prerequisites for the labs starting in fall 2015.
  • New students (incoming freshmen and transfer students) who declare as CHAD majors starting in fall 2015 must take PSYC 331 and PSYC 349 for the CHAD core and as prerequisites for the labs. 

What do I need to do to complete the background check and immunizations requirement for CHAD? When do I need to do it?

CHAD 496 Observation and Assessment Lab is a required course that is offered on campus at the Center for Children and Families (CCF).  Students must meet the requirements as established by the CCF in order to enroll for CHAD 450 Practicum in Early Child Education and CHAD 496 Observation and Assessment Lab. 

Students who fail to meet the following requirements will not be allowed to take the required course and therefore, not be allowed to complete the CHAD major:

  • Background check (requires a social security number) – Students must obtain a clear background check or an exemption approval (which may take up to 6 months)
  • Tuberculosis screening – students must provide proof to the CCF that they do not have active TB

Background Checks and TB screening must be complete no earlier than one year and no later than 6 weeks prior to the semester in which the student takes CHAD 450 and CHAD 496.

  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) and Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis/whooping cough (Tdap) vaccines – students must demonstrate proof of full immunization (i.e., they must submit immunization record directly to the CCF; no later than 6 weeks prior to the semester in which the student takes CHAD 450 and CHAD 496.
  • Flu vaccination - All center/site students enrolled in CHAD 496 need to have immunization documentation in their files indicating they have received a current flu vaccination or a signed declination of the flu vaccine form. For students who do not decline the flu vaccine, flu vaccines must be obtained between August 1 and December 1 each year.  Students taking CHAD 450 and/or CHAD 496 in the Fall should have the current flu vaccine; students taking CHAD 450 and/or CHAD 496 in the Spring should have had the flu vaccine the previous Fall.  Regardless of the semester, if the student has not had the flu vaccine, they will need to complete the vaccine declination form.

Other courses in which CHAD majors work in the field with minors (e.g., internship) may have additional/different requirements. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that he/she has met all screening requirements for these courses. 

Students who know they cannot pass or receive exemption approval for the background check should consult with the CHAD Program Director Dr. Kim Pulvers at to discuss the options for another major. All CHAD majors MUST acknowledge the background check and other requirements for the major online on my.csusm. Students who do not click that they accept will still be held responsible for the requirements. 

I have been background checked through Livescan before. How long is it good for?

It is good as long as you are associated with a specific facility (e.g., an employee or a volunteer at a childcare center).  Once you stop working at that facility and are no longer associated with that facility, your fingerprints will become inactive after a year and you will have to have your fingerprints checked again.

I have worked at a preschool or daycare and have completed a Livescan within the past year. Can I transfer my Livescan results from one child care center to another?

Yes! If you have already associated your fingerprints to a licensed child care center, the CCF can transfer your fingerprints to the CCF’s program, or have them associated concurrently. Students should complete the transfer by  the deadline for submitting all background paperwork. Students will need to bring the following documents/information to the CCF Administrator if they want to transfer their Livescan results from one center to another:  

  1. Clearance Transfer document to transfer clearance from one facility to another. Complete the top two sections; the CCF will complete the bottom section ("To the Following Facility").
  2. Criminal Record Statement that indicates that the student has not been arrested since the livescan was completed or if the study has been arrested, provide information about the offense.
  3. Copy of drivers' license/ID AND ACTUAL DRIVER’S LICENSE/ID
  4. License number (if available) 

I have a Child Care Permit. Do I need to go through the background check through Livescan?

Yes, you will need to go through the Livescan process again. The CCF permit process involves a separate fingerprint process than the Child Care Permit. As a licensed facility, the CCF’s fingerprints are processed through the Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing.  In contrast, Child Care Permits are processed by the California Department of Education, so they are not the same. You will have to submit your fingerprints to Livescan for a backround check.

As a CHAD major can I use Psychology classes to fulfill my Upper Division General Education (UDGE) requirements?

No, because CHAD is a sub-discipline of Psychology and the major is offered by the Psychology Department. Upper Division General Education requirements must be met with courses offered outside the Psychology Department.

How many upper-division units are needed to graduate?

CHAD students are required 33 units of upper-division major courses and 9 units of upper-division general education courses (BB, CC and DD – cannot be fulfilled with CHAD or PSYC courses). Overall, students need 120 units to graduate. At times, students will need to take general electives to meet this unit requirement to graduate.

What courses will be offered for CHAD majors?

The CHAD program offers a schedule of classes sufficient to enable native students (i.e., those who enroll at CSUSM as freshmen) to complete the major in four years* and transfer students who come in having met the lower division prerequisites in a two-year period of time. Class schedules are developed on a semester-by-semester basis and not all courses are offered each semester.  Please note that it is not currently possible to satisfy all requirements for the major if you can only attend classes at night or online.

*Native students who come to CSUSM in need of remediation may take longer than 4 years to complete the degree.

Can I take upper division courses at other universities?

A minimum of eighteen (18) units counted toward the CHAD major must be completed at CSUSM. Students may seek permission from their department faculty advisor to take courses at another accredited university. Students must take a copy of the catalog description of the course they would like to take to their faculty advisor.  The advisor will decide if the course is an appropriate substitute.

The 9 units of UDGE (BB, CC, DD) must be completed at the university from which the degree is awarded; therefore, students must take their UDGE courses at CSUSM.

What career paths can I pursue with a CHAD degree?

The Child and Adolescent Development major provides an excellent preparation for careers in developmentally related public organizations, teaching institutions, service agencies, and mental and physical health facilities.  Our undergraduate program provides appropriate background for graduate training in developmental psychology, including experimental, applied, and clinical programs.  Coursework in CHAD is also relevant to graduate training in counseling, teaching, medicine, law, child advocacy, and public policy relating to children and adolescents.

At CSUSM you can meet with specialized faculty advisors that can guide you through the right path and help you pursue your career goals. We also recommend students meet with a Career Advisor to discuss employment opportunities, career options, resume writing, personal statements, etc.

See the following posts for more information about potential careers:

Can I use my CHAD degree to pursue a career in teaching?

Yes.  Students who wish to get a teaching credential may major in any discipline as an undergraduate.  Different credentials have different requirements.  Please consult with advisors in the School of Education for more information. Students who wish to teach Transitional Kindergarten (TK) may qualify for the stipend incentive program.

Can I get my Early Childhood Education Certificate (ECE) at CSUSM?

Although our preparation course for the major (lower division) satisfies some requirements of ECE certificates, CSUSM does not offer all of the courses required of these certificates. Community Colleges (e.g., Palomar and Mira Costa) offer the courses required for the certificates.  Students should contact the local community colleges for more information.

The exception is a Child Development Assistant Permit, which needs only 6 units of ECE courses—this requirement would be satisfied with PSYC 210 and PSYC 215 (two of the required lowerdivision courses).  Students who wish to obtain this permist should contact the State Commission on Teaching Credentialing.

Can I double major in CHAD and PSYC?

Multiple Majors: “It is possible for a student to complete more than one major within one degree (for example, a B.A.). Each major after the first major must consist of at least 24 semester units that are not counted toward any other major’s requirements. To be recognized as graduating with multiple majors, a student must declare the additional major(s) with the appropriate discipline or program no later than the beginning of the student’s final year of study. The completion of additional majors within one degree will be noted at the time of graduation by appropriate entries on the student’s transcript and on the diploma. Majors appear on the diploma in the order in which the student has designated them to be the first major, second major, etc.

It is also possible for a student to complete a major (or majors) in one degree concurrently with additional majors from a different degree (for example, a major in a B.S. concurrently with another major from a B.A.). Each major after the first major must consist of at least 24 semester units that are not counted toward any other major’s require ments. By declaring which major is the first major, second major, etc., the student also declares the order in which the degrees, and the majors leading to these degrees, appear on the diploma and transcript. Students must make this declaration no later than the beginning of the student’s final year of study.” (CSUSM Catalog, 2016-2018).

Where can I get Advising for the CHAD major?

Once you declare CHAD as your major, you should meet with a faculty member for advising on major requirements and career and graduate school options.  Any full-time faculty member can advise you on questions pertaining to the CHAD major requirements; consult with a Developmental faculty member for questions about careers and graduate study.

The faculty member below can evaluate courses you have taken at other institutions to determine if they can be transferred to the Psychology major at CSUSM and can answer advising questions. Please email the relevant information.

Students in a classroom with one raising her hand