Academic Programs Catalog

College of Social Science

Interdepartmental Graduate Specializations

Interdepartmental Graduate Specialization in Infancy and Early Childhood

The Interdepartmental Graduate Specialization in Infancy and Early Childhood is available as an elective for students who are enrolled in master’s and doctoral degree programs in the departments of Anthropology,  Audiology and Speech Sciences; Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education; Family and Child Ecology; Food Science and Human Nutrition; Kinesiology; Psychology;  and Sociology, in the Educational Specialist degree program in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education; in the Master of Social Work degree programs in the School of Social Work; in the Master of Science in Nursing degree program in the College of Nursing; and in the graduate–professional degree programs in the College of Human Medicine and the College of Osteopathic Medicine. The College of Social Science administers the specialization in collaboration with the School of Social Work,  the cooperating units, an executive committee, and an advisory committee comprised of faculty members from each participating unit.

The quality of life during the first five years of human development provides the foundation upon which all subsequent development is built. As a result of advances in biomedical technology, social–cultural conditions, and legislation, increasing attention is being directed toward the optimal development of infants and their families.

The specialization is designed to prepare practitioners to meet the challenges of service delivery for very young children and their families and is based on the philosophy that a interdisciplinary educational program is the best educational experience for professionals who will work with infants, very young children, and their families. The specialization is also designed to provide a knowledge base that will facilitate the work of graduates who pursue careers in agencies, institutions, and government organizations that offer services to very young children, as well as those who pursue careers in teaching and research relevant to the needs of infants, very young children, and their families.

The Interdepartmental Graduate Specialization in Infancy and Early Childhood will: 

  1. Provide an opportunity for graduate students to obtain a comprehensive and contemporary academic experience in the field of infancy and early childhood development. 
  2. Help graduate students with an interest in working with very young children to become aware of their professional obligations and responsibilities. 
  3. Develop an intellectual environment that will foster the growth of research and teaching in the area of human infancy and early childhood development, as well as sensitize students to clinical, educational, and social policy issues related to early human development. 
  4. Increase public awareness of the critical importance of the early years of human development.

A student who is enrolled in a master’s, educational specialist, doctoral, or graduate–professional degree program in one of the 12 participating academic units and who wishes to complete the requirements for an Interdepartmental Graduate Specialization in Infancy and Early Childhood should send their application to the director of the specialization. Qualified applicants must have a minimum grade-point average of 3.0. Once accepted into the specialization, students must identify a faculty member from their own discipline who is able to oversee their study in infancy and early childhood development, and to chair their guidance committee. Students are encouraged to actively solicit input from at least one faculty member from a discipline other than their home department, who will serve as a representative on the student’s guidance committee.

Students should work closely with their advisors within their academic units to develop meaningful experiences that are directly related to infancy and early childhood development studies. Credits that are used to meet the requirements for the specialization may also be counted toward the requirements for the student’s degree program at the discretion of the academic unit in which the student is enrolled.

Students who are pursuing the Interdepartmental Graduate Specialization in Infancy and Early Childhood are required to attend monthly seminars with members of the specialization faculty, staff, and other students in the program.

Requirements for the Specialization in Infancy and Early Childhood

Students must complete a minimum of 12 credits for the Graduate Specialization in Infancy and Early Childhood. The student’s program of study must be approved by the student’s guidance committee. The student must:

  1. Master competencies through a variety of experiences including completion of a portfolio that demonstrates mastery of infancy and early childhood foundations. and a final oral or written examination across the following areas: theory, practice, policy, and research.
  2. Complete 12 credits of course work including:
    1. Master’s students. A minimum of 4 credits of the Graduate Specialization in Infancy and Early Childhood seminar. Students should enroll in an 890 Independent Study through their home department. If an 890 course is not available, students may enroll for SW 890 Independent Study.
    2. Doctoral students.  A minimum of 6 credits of the Graduate Specialization in Infancy and Early Childhood seminar. Students should enroll in an 890 Independent Study through their home department. If an 890 course is not available, students may enroll for SW 890 Independent Study.
    3. All students are required to complete an additional 6 to 8 credits of course work from two disciplines outside of their home unit. Students may choose courses from the following:
                     
        Anthropology          
        ANP 423 Psychological Anthropology 3
        ANP 470 Food, Hunger, and Society 3
        Audiology and Speech Sciences  
        ASC 823E Assessment of Child Language Disorders 3
        ASC 823F Language Intervention: Early Stages 3
        ASC 823G Language Intervention: Later Stages 3
        ASC 991 Special Topics in Communication Sciences and Disorders 3
        ASC 992 Seminar in Communication Sciences and Disorders 3
        Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education  
        CEP 801 Psychological Development: Learner Differences  
                  And Commonalities 3
        CEP 903 Cognitive Development Across the Lifespan 3
        CEP 904 Social-Emotional Development across the Lifespan 3
        Family and Child Ecology
       
        FCE 411 Developmental Study of a Child 2
        FCE 811 Child Development: Ecological Perspectives 3
        FCE 814 Parenthood and Parent Education 3
        FCE 821 Early Childhood Education: Curricular Approaches 3
        FCE 822 Assessment of the Young Child 3
        FCE 823 Infant Programs and Practices 3
        FCE 825 Families with Special Needs Children:  
                An Ecological Perspective 3
        FCE 838 Early Literacy Development 3
        FCE 845 Foundations of Family Study 3
        FCE 895 Families in Poverty 3
        FCE 896 Child Development Across Cultures 3
        FCE 898 Play in Human Development 3
        Human Nutrition and Foods
       
        HNF 453 Nutrition and Human Development 3
        HNF 840 Human Nutrition and Chronic Diseases 3
        Kinesiology          
        KIN 860 Growth and Motor Behavior 3
        KIN 890 Independent Study in Kinesiology 3
        KIN 893 Internship in Kinesiology 3
        KIN 894 Field Experience in Kinesiology 3
        KIN 990 Independent Study in Kinesiology 3
        Pediatrics and Human Development  
        PHD 523 Genetics for Medical Practice 1
        Psychology          
        PSY 424 Child and Family Psychopathology 3
        PSY 829 Child and Family Assessment 4
        PSY 950 Advanced Child and Family Interventions 3
        PSY 992 Seminar in Psychology 3
        Sociology          
        SOC 475 Sociology of Health Care Systems 3
        SOC 476 Social Psychology of Health 3
        Social Work          
        SW 811 Social Work Perspectives in Human Development 3
        SW 822A Social Welfare Policy and Services: Children, Youth, and Families 3
        SW 873 Social Work in Educational Settings 3
        SW 874 Assessment and Testing in School Social Work 3
        SW 875 School Social Work Intervention: Children with Special Needs 3
        SW 891 Special Topics in Graduate Social Work 3