May 28, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Child Development and Family Science Major BS, Child Life Specialization


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The child life specialization applies child development theory to the practice of helping children and families through traumatic events, specifically related to medical intervention and hospitalization. The curriculum meets the recommendations of the Association of Child Life Professionals and includes several courses taught by Certified Child Life Specialists. Graduates are well prepared for career opportunities that involve work with children, or to pursue a child life internship and/or child life graduate study required to become a certified child life specialist.

Admission Requirements
Students wishing to declare a major in child development and family science with a specialization in child life must be incoming first-year or transfer student or have a cumulative CWU GPA of 3.0. Students who meet the gpa requirement will be admitted upon recommendation of the child development and family science program coordinator.

Graduation Requirements
Child development and family science majors with a child life specialization must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher to remain in the major and must earn a C or higher in all courses used to satisfy the child development and family science major.

Child Development and Family Science Core


The bachelor of science child development and family science major is an interdisciplinary study of interpersonal and family relationships and their impact on child development. The child development and family science major provides students an engaging, applied, and transformative learning experience, preparing them for professions helping children and families in community, government, and medical fields. Students apply their classroom learning through hands-on experiences in the community, and gain new knowledge by participating in closely mentored research projects. As a result, students learn highly marketable skills to be competitive and successful in their chosen fields, and through strong professional preparation, can transform their passions for working with people into a career. 

Child development and family science majors choose to specialize in child development, child life, or family science. Students in all specializations must complete a practicum experience that includes 360 total hours (12 academic credits) of field related service within the community. Students are encouraged to apply for the major early in their academic careers to allow for proper planning and placement in the child development and family science practicum.

Program Learner Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate strong critical thinking skills for the purpose of consuming research in child development and family science.
  • Demonstrate excellent relationship and interpersonal skills and effectively collaborate in work with peers and faculty.
  • Demonstrate strong written communication skills for the purpose of synthesizing research-based information specific to child development and family science.
  • Articulate concepts in child development and family science using effective oral communication and presentation skills.
  • Demonstrate insight into their own biases and privilege and will demonstrate respect for diverse ways of being and thinking.
  • Apply knowledge of the scientific process to critique existing research and conduct research projects in child development and family science.
  • Summarize family systems and developmental theories and apply theories in practice with children and families.

Child Life Specialization


Total Specialization Credits: 46


Total Credits: 94


College and Department Information


Child Development and Family Science Program  
College of Education and Professional Studies  

Online Availability
The program does not have a designated online only option.

Program Codes
Major plan codes: CDFS, CDFSP
Specialization plan code: CHILIF, CHILIFP

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