BA in Child Development Leadership

Student; On Campus
Learn more
Jen Pento '09

Download a summary of Child Development Leadership (BA)


Go Help Children Grow

Southern New Hampshire University's child development program prepares students for a variety of careers working with children and for graduate study. By engaging students in the field from the very beginning, students are able to not only refine their skills in the field, but students are able to build their network and begin seeing their career develop right in front of them.

The leadership concentration prepares students to run their own early childhood businesses or become licensed directors for existing programs. Rounding out the degree with classes in business and leadership provide the knowledge and experience necessary for students to successfully enter the business world while always keeping children in mind.

In focusing on the Psychology concentration, students come to a better understanding of the “why.” Why do children do the things they do? What makes them each different? How does the child’s mind grow? Students come to a greater understanding of not only the growth but the differences between children as they continually develop.

Graduates of the family studies concentration are prepared to enter the diverse field of family services as child and family caseworkers or work in the area of child and family intervention. Classes grounded in knowledge of the justice system provide a real-world view of just what is important in the world of family services and the challenges and opportunities associated with it.

A major in child development provides students with in-depth knowledge of the dynamic transformations children experience and is excellent preparation for graduate study. Students not only refine their skills, but graduates of our program develop a passion for working with students and helping them become the best that they can be.

Required Core Courses

General Education Program

Child Development Major Courses

DEV-104: Child Development I
This course focuses on human growth from conception to age 3. Theories pertinent to individual stages are provided and the sociological, cultural and psychological aspects of child growth and development are included. It includes methods of observation, planning for and teaching infants and toddlers, both typical and atypical and from diverse backgrounds.
DEV-106: Child Development II
This course surveys and focuses on child growth and development from age birth through the life cycle. Theories pertinent to individual stages are provided and the sociological, cultural and psychological aspects of human growth and development are included. An overview of all developmental stages will be covered.
DEV-249: Field Experience: Child Care Setting Young Children
This course is an opportunity for child development majors to actively participate in the various aspects of child care programming, including teaching and intervention. The course includes on-site experiences and seminars.
DEV-259: Field Experience: Agency Setting Young Children
This course is an opportunity for child development majors to actively participate in a human-service organization that serves young children and families. The course includes on-site experiences and seminars.
DEV-260: Family and Culture
This course considers how family and culture influence child development including family structures, sibling relationships, parenting behaviors, children's special needs, family violence, diversity in educational settings and the relations between family and community. Students explore their own and other's cultural influences through the lens of diverse cultural perspectives. The challenges faced by children and families from a variety of cultures and socio-economic backgrounds including communication, interaction, education, and societal norms will be examined from the role of the practitioner. Research informs student projects in which a particular aspect of culture is studied in depth. Ten hours of field experience is included.
DEV-302: Historical and Current Perspectives in Development
The student is exposed to historical, sociological and philosophical foundations of child development programs. Students develop their personal philosophies of education, study topical issues and problems in the field and are encouraged to form independent opinions. Students examine various models of programs in use today, including models of special-needs education.
DEV-303: Administration of Child Development Programs
This course provides students with basic skills in supervising and administering child development programs. Basic competencies of administrators are reviewed, such as law, leadership skills, child care licensing, personnel, budgeting, and corporate structures. Students are also introduced to governmental and non-governmental structures, public funding, and grant writing. This course may require off-campus field experiences.
DEV-320: Precursors of Academic Skills
This course focuses on the development of pre-academic skills in young children. Students explore how to apply developmental theory to foster cognitive, social, emotional, and language development in young children. The relationship between the development of pre-academic skills and emerging literacy will be emphasized. Promotion of emerging literacy skills through the identification of high quality children's literature is covered.
DEV-340: Meaning and Development of Play
Students explore theories of play during early childhood. The role of play in promoting healthy development, learning and literacy are covered. The distinction between developmentally appropriate play and play which does not promote development is made. Play as form of early intervention to assist children experiencing developmental challenges is covered in detail.
DEV-424: Assessment, Observation & Intervention
Students are introduced to qualitative and quantitative forms of developmental assessment used with children during the first eight years of life. The Denver-II, The OUNCE, Bailey, Brigance, HOME, HELP, Peabody, Transdisciplinary Play Based Assessment as well as other commonly used assessments within early childhood and public school settings are reviewed. Assessment will be discussed in relationship to development outcomes, interpretation and planning for intervention and curriculum. (Legal Issues, Diversity)
DEV-499: Internship
The Internship is a culmination of a student's field experiences. It consists of a minimum of 75 clock-hours in the field and is accompanied by seminar meetings to provide opportunities for the analysis, evaluation and discussion of field experience.

Required Courses

EDU-245: Literature for Children and Young Adolescents
This course offers an interpretive and critical study of literature that is appropriate for children from preschool through the eighth grade. The course will focus on the various literary genres, elements of fiction, authors and illustrators.
PSY-108: Introduction to Psychology
This course provides students an introduction to the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Students prepare for more advanced concepts in upper-level Psychology courses by learning the basics of how to evaluate research and exploring various areas of specialization within the discipline. Offered every semester.
PSY-321: Issues in Childhood Development
This course focuses on psychological development from infancy through late childhood. Research and theoretical perspectives will be used to help students understand contemporary issues central to childhood development, including: biological, cognitive, and social-emotional characteristics of development and the interplay between them. A highlight of this course is that we will apply developmental psychology to current issues. Please note that this class replaces PSY-311.
PSY-108 and PSY-211
SPED-210: Early Childhood Issues/Disabilities
This course will explore types of disabilities, developmental delays and exceptionalities, as well as the effects of disabling conditions on cognitive, physical, language, social and emotional development and functioning of children birth to grade 3. Additional topics include the identification and evaluation of children with exceptional learning needs, as well as instructional methodology and strategies for selecting and modifying materials and equipment to provide differentiated instruction that addresses and accommodates individual strengths and challenges. Legal requirements and responsibilities for providing education to students with special needs will be addressed. Students will become familiar with the purposes and procedures for developing and implementing Individual Education Plans (IEPs), 504s, and Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs).

Organizational Leadership Concentration

Students select one area of concentration that is related to their career goals.

OL-125: Human Relations in Administration
The human relations skills that managers need to develop interaction skills that contribute directly to effective human resource management and the development of higher productivity are studied. Skill areas include leadership, motivation, communications, group dynamics, organizational development, management by objectives, and stress and time management. Students learn techniques for becoming more effective managers, subordinates, peers and persons. Students are introduced to the international aspects of human relations.
OL-211: Human Resource Management
This course examines the fundamentals of policies and administration. Major tasks of procedures and developing, maintaining and utilizing an effective team are studied. Students are introduced to international human resource management. Offered every semester.
OL-215: Principles of Management
This course is designed to examine the fundamentals and principles of management in order to develop an understanding of management in any formal organization. Special attention is paid to planning and decision-making. International management is also covered. Offered every semester. Writing Intensive Course.
ENG-10,ENG-120 ENG-121H or ENG-200 ADB-125 or OL-125 or TCI-250
OL-320: Entrepreneurship
This course focuses on the factors that contribute to the personal success of entrepreneurs and affect successful entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is also studied. Case studies, contemporary readings and simulations are used. International considerations are included. Offered every year.
OL-342: Organizational Behavior
This course focuses on the primary factors that influence behavior in organizations. Emphasis is placed on leadership, group dynamics, inter- group dynamics, organizational structure and design, change, culture, power and politics, environment and technology and organizational behavior in an international context. Offered every year. Writing and team intensive course. Junior standing or permission of instructor.
ADB-125 or OL-125 Junior prereg status

Psychology Concentration

PSY-211: Lifespan Development
The purpose of this course is to engage students in meaningful exploration of theories, basic concepts, and research methodologies in psychological development. Students will gain an understanding of patterns of human development from conception through death, including the biological, cognitive, and social-emotional development and the interplay between these areas. This course will also explore the roles of environmental and genetic factors, culture and history, continuity and change in development. Offered every semester.
PSY-108 or PSY-108H
PSY-215: Abnormal Psychology
This course offers students an opportunity to better understand human behavior. It also studies the similarities and differences between normal and abnormal reactions to environmental stimuli. Offered every year.
PSY-108 or PSY-108H
PSY-230: Psychology of Individual Differences and Special Needs
This course provides knowledge and understanding of exceptional children and adolescents. The approach is theoretical and practical. Offered as needed.
PSY-108 or PSY-108H
PSY-314: Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence
This course focuses specifically on an introduction to the classification of disorders of childhood and adolescence and the treatment approaches that currently are available. Knowledge students obtain in PSY 215 is essential for understanding the etiology and manifestation of these disorders, as well as the impact on the individual, family and society. Current field research and case studies will be used. Offered as needed.
PSY-108 or PSY-108H and PSY-211
PSY-319: Social Development: Child and Adolescent
The purpose of this course is to expose students to theory and research concerning infants', children's, and adolescents' social and personality development. This course will focus on how individuals become members of their social world, including how we conceptualize the social world, interact with parents and caretakers, develop social relationships with peers, and interpret, analyze, and respond to cultural messages and ideologies. We will discuss these issues through analysis of the theoretical and research literature.

Sociology / Criminal Justice Concentration

JUS-325: Law, Justice and Family
A full-fledged review of the justice system's response to the establishment and maintenance of family in the American culture. How the family is defined, its heritage of rights and protections and the differentiated roles of parent and child are central considerations. Further review includes a look at family dissolution, divorce, custody and support disputes and the ongoing problems of visitation. The emerging problems of spousal and child abuse will be keenly analyzed and how the legal systems provide protection from these abuses will be closely scrutinized.
JUS-331: Juvenile Justice System
This course covers the juvenile justice system, with special emphasis on the way it procedurally differs from adult offender adjudication. The parts of the juvenile justice system, hearings, due process standards and constitutional mandates are fully reviewed. Status offenders and other youth classifications are considered, together with a historical summary of juvenile court philosophy. New trends in the procedural disposition of juveniles especially transfer to adult jurisdiction, types of punishment, suitability of the death penalty are discussed.
SOC-112: Introduction to Sociology
Is one's identity individually or socially constructed? Are all stereotypes invalid or can there be value in generalizations? Is globalization widening the gaps or homogenizing the world? In this course, students will grapple with these essential questions in examining the world through the lens of a sociologist. Sociology offers an empirically-based methodology for critically evaluating society-from issues of individual agency to the roots of global institutions. Culture, norm stratification, systems, structure, social institutions, social change, the organization of social behavior and its relationship to society and social conditions are emphasized. Students will challenge their own preconceived notions and evaluate these constructs in terms of their relevancy to contemporary issues and problems.
SOC-203: Wealth and Poverty
This course asks why wealth and poverty continue to exist side by side throughout the world. Students explore how standards of living differ both within and between industrialized countries and the Third World, and seek the causes of these differences in the story of economic development as it has unfolded over the past 500 years. Global marker.
SOC-317: Sociology of the Family
This course is a sociological examination of the family institution in America and other societies. Traditional and nontraditional family patterns are studied to provide students with a structure for understanding sex, marriage, family and kinship systems. Offered every other year.

University Accreditation

SNHU is a fully accredited university. Access our list of accreditations. More...

Contact Us

Office Hours
Monday - Friday: 8 am to 4:30 pm

Phone: 603.645.9611
Fax: 603.645.9693