Child Development Option

The child development emphasis is designed to provide you with a strong, broad-based understanding of children and their developmental needs and to prepare you to work with children in a variety of settings. If you want to work in settings such as child welfare, Head Start, domestic violence agencies or serve as a program director for infant and child care centers, the courses offered in this concentration will be beneficial to you.

What is a Child Development Option?

A child development option is designed to provide an in-depth understanding of children and their developmental needs and to prepare students to work with children in a variety of programs.

Where type of careers does the Child Development Option area work?

Graduates find employment in settings related to human development such as not-for-profit agencies, child welfare, Head Start programs, domestic violence, and in early care and education programs as teachers, directors, and specialists. Courses offered in this option area center around development of the child aged birth to eight in the context of the classroom, family, and community.

Professional Development Opportunities

Students have on-going opportunities to advance their professional development in the field of child development  as they interact with faculty members with a wealth of educational backgrounds (e.g., early childhood education, child development, psychology, special education); professional experience (e.g., teacher, director, consultant, researcher); expertise (e.g., children’s social development, diversity /multiculturalism/ social justice, infants’ and toddlers’ relationships); and leadership in the early childhood education arena (e.g., community expert, national director of a community-based literacy program).

Curriculum: Theory and Practice

Courses are organized around issues in the field of child development and early childhood education.  Major focal points emphasize children’s overall development including cognitive, physical, social, and emotional aspects; diversity of children, families, and their social support networks; and early childhood programs including infant/toddler and preschool.  Courses highlight recent trends and evolving research in the early childhood and child development fields.  Courses are enriched with critical/creative/divergent thinking strategies and experiential activities for students to master content, along with lab experiences and community-based service for students to apply their learning as they transition theory into practice.

Specific Missouri State Child Development Option Coursework:

CFD 250: Parenting in Contemporary Society

CFD 255: Principles of Development in Infancy

CFD 260: Supervised Experience in the Child Development Laboratories

CFD 301: Play as Development

CFD 360: Planning and Implementing Curriculum for Child Development Centers

CFD 455: Infants and Toddlers: Development and Program Planning

CFD 560: Family Involvement in Early Childhood Programs