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Program of Study
The Human Development Major is an interdisciplinary program that focuses on human growth and development throughout the life-span, and on the familial, social, cultural, and political networks in which individuals develop. Course offerings are drawn primarily from psychology, sociology, biology, and anthropology. The Human Development Major is designed to prepare undergraduates to succeed in increasingly diverse cultural, ethnic, economic, and political environments. Respect for those differences in the context of human services settings is an integral part of our program.
Human Development Mission Statement
The mission of the Human Development Program at California State University San Marcos is to promote a lifespan understanding of human development using multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and multicultural perspectives. Students in the Human Development Program explore the complex interplay of body, mind, culture, and social/environmental factors and its influence on developmental processes, outcomes, and service delivery by surveying the subject matter from the perspectives of psychology, sociology, biology, and anthropology, as well as integrative coursework. Students also acquire this knowledge through applied learning experiences using problem-based learning and field experience methods.
In support of this mission, the Human Development Program engages students in a challenging academic curriculum that combines traditional classroom learning with experiential problem-based and field experience opportunities in human development-related professions in diverse settings. In addition to completing required core coursework, each student completes four courses chosen from one of three options: Counseling Services, Health Services, or a General option. Courses within the first two options have been selected to provide an educational foundation for students wishing to pursue careers in each of these arenas. The General option allows students to create their own specialty area selected from the list of electives or taken with instructor permission. Experiential learning is gained from field experience where students participate in community service learning activities and internship related to their career and intellectual interests in human development. Students also conduct an applied research study on subject matter in human development that is of particular interest to them. These field activities are combined with classroom-based reflection exercises facilitated by Human Development faculty in collaboration with community service providers.
Program Student Learning Outcomes
Students who graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development will be able to:
- Demonstrate understanding of developmental theories and how biological, psychological, familial, social, historical and cultural dynamics influence developmental processes, and use theory as a framework to address real-world problems related to lifespan development in applied settings such as counseling, health care, and education.
- Demonstrate understanding of how social categories such as gender, race, ethnicity, class, age, ability, sexuality, and religion – and the intersections of these identities – relate to diverse experiences across the lifespan.
- Apply skills, knowledge and goal-setting toward employment in health and human services, including documenting field experiences in health and human services settings.
- Demonstrate understanding of research methods that are commonly used in human development scholarship and how to design, conduct and present an original research project.
- Summarize the delivery of social services, including: funding, staffing, assessments, program development, non-clinical interventions, and evaluation.
Special Conditions for the Bachelor of Arts in Human Development
All courses counted toward the major, including Preparation for the Major courses, must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better. A minimum of eighteen (18) units counted toward the human development major must have been completed at Cal State San Marcos.
Students first consult the Human Development Advisor in Student Services in College of Education, Health and Human Services for assistance. After meeting with the Human Development advisor, students may consult with the assigned faculty mentor for additional support.
Students with a bachelor’s degree in Human Development are qualified to work in a variety of settings related to providing services for others. These might include health care, child and adult care centers, community projects providing outreach to youth and adults, sales, human resources, service related to government agencies such as housing, law enforcement, and criminal justice, and assisting with community development, both in the United States and around the world. A bachelor’s degree in Human Development may also prepare students for graduate studies in counseling, marriage and family therapy, social work, teaching, public administration, psychology, sociology, anthropology, human development, public health, business, or law, among others. Students interested in these career paths should consult with advisors and faculty in appropriate areas before planning their programs.
Preparation for the Major (15 Units)
*Also satisfies a total of three (3) units of lower-division General Education requirements (Areas D and D7).
**HD 230 is a traditional approach to research focusing on the various models to collect data. HD 231 is focused on developing interventions and delivery services that result from data gathering.
Major Requirements (46 Units)
Three (3) Units of Management and Administration (3 Units)
Three (3) Units of Theory (3 Units)
Nine (9) Units of Lifespan Studies (9 Units)
Seven (7) Units of Field Studies (7 Units)
Three (3) Units of Capstone (3 Units)
Upper-Division Elective Courses (9 Units)
Select nine (9) units from the following options:
Health Services Option Requirements
This concentration focuses on physiological well-being and illness throughout the human life span.
Twelve (12) Units of Upper-Division Requirements
Minimum Total (120 Units)
Students must take a sufficient number of elective units to bring the total number of units to a minimum of 120
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