Youth Development Track

The school age development program prepares you to teach in before- and after-school child care programs.

As a student in this program you will study the following areas:

  • Youth developmental needs
  • Appropriate curriculum for youth ages 6-12
  • Guidance techniques for youth ages 6-12

You will also have the opportunity to develop, implement, and supervise learning experiences, conduct activities, and respond to individual and group needs.

What is the Youth Development track?

The Youth Development track engages students in multiple facets of learning to gain the knowledge and skills needed to emerge as professionals who can enhance the lives of children ages 6-12 years, working in a variety of settings.

Four-Year Plan

This four year degree will set you on course towards your Youth Development degree.


View our transfer plan to help continue your education with Missouri State.

Careers and Outcomes

Child and Family Development students and graduates with an emphasis in Youth Development become involved in diverse areas. The following are some examples:

Community services and programs

Careers included working directly with children, families or community child programs; working as coordinators in homeless shelters for child-family violence centers or residential treatment centers; working as case workers, managers, public relations communicators with organizations such as Big Brother/Big Sisters or Caring Communities.


Advocates are individuals who speak up for the rights of children and families. Career titles include advocate at the Children's Trust Fund, Child Interviewer or Executive Director with the Child Advocacy Center, Family Violence Center or Children's House in Kansas City; Victim Advocate in Prosecutor's Office; and Court Appointed Special Advocate.

Government Agencies

Agencies are involved in child care and education at federal, state and local levels. Such agencies are responsible for administering programs that deal with children's health, the regulation of school age child care facilities, school-based programs, child mental health and protective services. Positions include case workers for Division of Family Services or Juvenile Court, child care licensing in the Department of Health and Senior Services and military child care programs as a family or child care specialist.

Training and education

Careers for training and education for professionals and paraprofessionals include working in programs such as Educare, Project Reach, Workshop on Wheels and Child Care Resource and Referral.

Youth development option professions

Positions working directly with children as teachers or program administrators in school-based programs such as Prime Time, a before- and after-school program. Positions include teachers, assistant teachers, and directors.

Recreation programs

Positions working directly with children to teach and support recreational and outdoors activities or coordinating and planning summer and after school recreational programs for school age children.

What makes Missouri State different than other academic programs?

  • We offer a variety of observation/field experiences with children in a program (ages 6-12 years).
  • We allow a variety of elective course work to make students better candidates for internships and jobs.
  • We have an active student organization - MO State AFC: Advocating for Families and Children.
  • We prepare students not only for a career with youth, with education in related fields working with children and families; child life specialists, center directors, and careers working with families.

Coursework specific to the Youth Development option

  • CFD 250: Parenting in Contemporary Society
  • CFD 257: Middle Childhood Development
  • CFD 260: Supervised Lab Experience
  • CFD 301: Play as Development
  • CFD 360: Planning and Implementing Curriculum
  • CFD 505: Trends and Issues in Youth Development
  • CFD 560: Parent Engagement