Child Development


The concentration in Child Development offers the academic background and field experience necessary to understand and work with children and their families. The curriculum is designed to prepare individuals for Child Development-related careers in a variety of employment settings. This concentration does not meet requirements for teacher certification. A specific background check is required prior to registering for any course that involves working with children.

Program Goals

The overarching goal of the Child Development concentration is to prepare students for careers working with children and families.

Our goals:

  • Help students acquire knowledge of human growth and development, as well as the biological and environmental forces that influence development.
  • Expose students to the latest child development research, as well as present and past theories of development.
  • Help students understand that development is a process embedded within ecological contexts.
  • Promote student understanding of the family as a system that interacts with, influences, and is influenced by other systems.
  • Provide students with the research skills necessary to observe and evaluate children.
  • Help students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to facilitate the healthy development of children.
  • Provide students with knowledge of curriculum development based on developmentally appropriate practices and individual developmental needs.
  • Provide students with knowledge of effective guidance to develop positive behaviors in children and teachers.
  • Help students develop the ability to work with diverse children and families in a complex society.
  • Help students develop effective oral and written communication skills.

Application Procedure

Individuals interested in the child development concentration are encouraged to apply for admission to the university. *
     1. Contact an advisor from the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences for a program overview and to plan an individual program and schedule.
     2. Successfully complete the required background check according to the departmental policy. (View Instructions.)
     3. Transfer students should contact the University Registrar's Office at 256-782-5400.

*The following terms refer to assessment of select criteria for upper division coursework as defined in the JSU catalog: admission, admitted, and application.

Minor in Child Development

A minor in Child Development may be obtained by completing a minimum of 18 hours including:  FCS 352, 353, 355, 450, 452, 454, and 463. The minor in Child Development provides students majoring in other fields with the opportunity to develop an understanding of the nature of child development. 

Child Development Minor for FCS Major

FCS 450 – 3 hours (prerequisite to the following courses)

FCS 454 – 3 hours

FCS 456 – 3hours

FCS 457 – 3 hours

FCS 460  - 6 hours (must be the last course taken in the minor)

Total – 18 hours

All of the courses require field hours in an approved Child Development Center.

Potential Careers and Places of Employment

  • Public or Private Child Care Facility Director
  • Teacher -- Public or Private Child Care Facility
  • Teacher Assistant -- Public Kindergarten
  • Early Intervention Programs
  • Public Social Service Agencies Serving Families and Children (e.g. DHR)
  • Non-Profit Community /Social Service Agencies Serving Youth, Families and Children
  • Parent educator
  • Family Service Coordinator
  • Family Resource and Referral Specialist
  • Recreational Programs
  • Child and Family Advocacy
  • Director of Children's Programs in Museums, Zoos, Libraries, etc
  • Public Health
  • Community Centers
  • Cooperative Extension Service
  • Child Protective Services
  • Adoption Agency
  • Mental Health Agencies
  • Child Life
  • After-school Program Director
  • Great foundation for graduate studies

Program Checksheet