The Child Development option prepares students to work with young children (ages birth to eight) and their families. Many of our graduates work as teachers or administrators in early care and education programs, such as a child care center, Head Start or a family child care home. Others work as home visitors or developmental therapists or coaches for quality improvement programs. Each is qualified to work in more generalized positions in this rapidly expanding field.

For further information on careers in Child Development, please see Careers in Early Childhood.

Students gain many experiential learning opportunities at the Ball State Child Study Center, a nationally accredited infant/toddler and preschool facility located on campus, supervised by faculty in the Child Development program. In addition to in-depth course work, each student has the opportunity take part in both a practicum experience and an internship, cementing his or her knowledge and skills in working with young children.

Program objectives are to:

  • Understand the major theories in Child Development and appropriately apply to practice
  • Understand and critically evaluate the research process and key content knowledge in Child Development and translate research findings and content knowledge into practice
  • Understand and demonstrate professional and ethical behavior
  • Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills for Child Development, including the use of technology when appropriate
  • Understand the influence of the broader social, cultural, and historical context on children, families, and relationships and apply to practice
  • Successfully complete coursework aligned with the 6 core NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation:
    • Promoting child development and learning
    • Building family and community relationships
    • Observing, documenting, and assessing to support young children and families
    • Using developmentally effective approaches to connect with children and families
    • Using content knowledge to build meaningful curriculum
    • Becoming a professional