Bachelor’s in Child Development Program Guide

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Published on June 14, 2021

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According to the Children's Reading Foundation, one-fifth of children beginning kindergarten demonstrate skills at least two years behind their expected levels of proficiency. The foundation states that fewer than 12% of children who enter kindergarten with this disadvantage attend college in the future.

Meeting childrens' developmental needs can have long-lasting social and educational implications. Professionals with a bachelor's degree in child development can work in a variety of settings supervising the education and well-being of children and adolescents. These degree-holders can work in schools, childcare facilities, government agencies, and nonprofit settings.

A bachelor's degree in child development equips graduates with a practical academic background in child psychology, education, and policy.Students pursuing this degree can pursue academic concentrations, supplementary credentials, and graduate degrees that correspond with their intended career paths.

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Should I Get a Bachelor's in Child Development?

Professionals with a degree in child development can enter a variety of in-demand careers. Between 2019 and 2029, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 13% job growth for social workers. During the same period, the BLS projects 4% job growth for kindergarten and elementary school teachers, a rate that matches the national average.

Elementary school teachers and special education teachers often need state-issued licenses and student teaching experience to work in public schools.

A bachelor's degree in child development usually takes full-time students four years to complete. However, program length can vary considerably. Part-time students often take longer to graduate. Some programs offer accelerated study.

Students who want to pursue a specialized field might need additional certifications or licenses. Elementary school teachers and special education teachers often need state-issued licenses and student teaching experience to work in public schools. Social workers typically need amaster's in social work for specialized clinical positions.

What Will I Learn in a Child Development Bachelor's Program?

In this interdisciplinary field, courses typically cover the medical, educational, emotional, environmental, and social factors that contribute to childrens' development. Learners explore the various stages and milestones that mark childrens' growth and how systemic or environmental contexts shape developmental processes. Many students pursue a concentration that corresponds with their desired career.

Students may take courses, such as language development in young children, which explores the process of language acquisition and best practices for teaching written and verbal communication. Learners might also take courses that introduce them to the inner workings of nonprofit and government agencies and how they affect children.

Concentrations

Early Childhood Education

This concentration explores the educational needs of preschool and early elementary school-aged children. Courses examine how learning environments can most effectively nurture the emotional, social, and cognitive development of young children. Learners may also take courses in early literacy and mathematical reasoning.

Counseling and Family Services

Students interested in social work and mental healthcare may be interested in this concentration. Learners explore how exposure to drugs, alcohol, and trauma shapes human development.

Juvenile Delinquency

This concentration blends adolescent development and criminal justice. Students learn how systemic infrastructures impact development and how criminal justice infrastructures impact children and families.

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Bachelor's in Special Education Program Guide Bachelor's in Child and Adolescent Psychology Program Guide Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education Program Guide

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Child Development?

Graduates with a bachelor's degree in child development can pursue several rewarding careers in education and childcare. Many graduates work as preschool teachers, who prepare young children for elementary education and introduce them to shapes, colors, letters, and numbers.

Some graduates work as kindergarten or elementary school teachers, focusing on early literacy, math, and social skills. Other degree-holders pursue careers as special education teachers, who meet the needs of students with various developmental challenges.

Other graduates advocate for children as social workers. These professionals work with various groups and communities to improve policies, infrastructures, and conditions.

Popular Career Paths

Preschool or Childcare Center Director Special Education Teacher Kindergarten or Elementary School Teacher Social Worker

Popular Continuing Education Paths

Master's in Child Development Master's in Elementary Education Master's in Special Education Master's in Social Work

How Much Money Can I Make With a Bachelor's in Child Development?

Although salary potential depends on position, seniority, location, and employer, there are several lucrative positions available to professionals with a bachelor's degree in child development.

According to the BLS, preschool or childcare center directorsearn a median annual salary of $49,160, while kindergarten and elementary school teachers make a median annual salary of $60,660, and special education teachersearn $61,420 per year. Social workers bring in $51,760 annually.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Child Development Programs

What is child development?

Child development is the study of cognitive, physical, social, and emotional growth from prenatal development to adolescence. This discipline also explores how environmental and systemic factors can shape or hinder these developmental processes.

Is a bachelor's in child development worth it?

A bachelor's degree in child development demonstrates comprehensive understanding of children's emotional and educational needs. Students who aspire to work with children in an educational, therapeutic, or human-services capacity often find that this degree meets requirements for entry-level employment.

How much does it cost to get a bachelor's in child development?

During the 2017-2018 school year, the average tuition at a four-year public college was $20,050. Private colleges tend to be more expensive, and learners enrolled at these institutions paid an average tuition of $43,140. Students earning an online bachelor's degree in child development may pay on a per-credit basis.

Fortunately, many colleges offer need-based and merit-based financial aid, scholarships, and grants to help make tuition more affordable.

How long does it take to get a bachelor's in child development?

Full-time students can typically earn a bachelor's degree in child development in four years. However, many working students prefer the flexibility of part-time and self-paced programs, which usually extend program length.

Is child development a good career?

Graduates with a bachelor's degree in child development can serve their communities through rewarding careers in diverse settings and industries. Individuals who are passionate about working with children and families can find meaningful roles educating and advocating for children of various ages, backgrounds, and abilities.

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