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Child and Adolescent Development

Program Description

The Child and Adolescent Development (CHAD) major focuses on the developmental processes that occur from conception through the end of adolescence. Students gain a comprehensive overview of typical and atypical development through exploration of empirically derived milestones across biological, cognitive, and psychosocial developmental domains. Course topics focus on developmental trajectories, theories, developmental research methods, ethics, and contexts of development. Throughout the curriculum, special emphasis is placed on the interaction of the individual and environment in the unfolding of development. Students acquire knowledge through exposure to relevant scientific literature, research projects, observations, and fieldwork. The curriculum provides students with a variety of tools to acquire, communicate, and disseminate information so that they may develop a lifelong pursuit of developmental inquiry. Graduates receive an excellent foundation for subsequent careers working with children and adolescents in various fields including research, education, health care, public policy and advocacy, the law, and counseling. 

The CHAD Program officially launched on January 20, 2015. Our thanks to NCHEA, the CHABSS Dean's Office for their generous support of our launch meeting (see photos), held on January 23, 2015.

Career Opportunities

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.

Announcements and Important Information:

General Information for CHAD students can be found in our Handbook.

Due to COVID-19, CHAD 496 will not have access to the Center for Children and Families (CCF) in Fall 2020. Therefore, the background check and immunization records will not be required for Fall 2020. It is not yet known whether CHAD 496 will have access to the CCF in Spring 2021. If CHAD 496 is allowed access to the CCF in Spring 2021, the deadline for the background check and immunization records will be December 14th, 2020. CHAD students will be updated by the CHAD program about the status of access to the CCF in Spring 2021 as soon as possible.

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. 

When students take CHAD 496 Observation and Assessment Lab, you must note the due date to submit your completed background check, TB, MMR, Tdap and Flu shot. The due date is typically 6 weeks prior to the start of the semester, but the specifc date will be posted on our website. You must submit copies of the required paperwork to the Center for Children and Families (CCF) by that date - no exceptions are made. Students who fail to complete these requirements by the deadline will be disenrolled from the CHAD 496 course that semester.  

Please consult the CHAD majors worksheet for the list of PSYC and CHAD courses you must take to complete the major. 

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A group of teenagers gathered outdoors

Two babies playing together