Program in Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies
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California State University Bakersfield
Mission and Objectives Program in Child Development
Program Description

The Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies Program (CAFS) at California State University, Bakersfield offers a major leading to a Bachelor of Arts Degree. The CAFS program provides students with an undergraduate level of knowledge within Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies. This program highlights diverse theories, milestones across developmental domains, family systems, ethics, and developmental research methods.
The CAFS major focuses on the biological, cognitive, psychological, and sociological foundations of child behavior and development. Students will acquire knowledge and gain understanding through exposure to relevant literature, current research topics, selected service, fieldwork, and development of their own research. Students will gain an intensive and global understanding of the developmental needs, behavioral patterns, and problems of children and their families. Through a variety of courses, students obtain knowledge and refine skills in observing, assessing, interpreting, and implementing programs for children and families; working with and supervising child-centered programs; participating in supportive structures for children and adolescents; and understanding families from diverse backgrounds.


Within the CAFS major, there are 3 tracks from which students may choose to complete their requirements for graduation. Each student is strongly encouraged to meet with an advisor to more thoroughly discuss each track. Students majoring in our program must also complete all CAFS coursework with a grade of “C-”or higher. The Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies program has a strong online component. Students will leave this major competent on the computer. Most of our major courses are also taught online at least once every other year. All the CAFS tracks are available for students interested in teaching in the elementary schools.


The first track in the CAFS program is our FAST Track, Future Academic Studies for Teachers, for future elementary school teachers. Students following this track will complete their BA and all of the coursework for the multiple subjects credential in 4 years (rather than the usual 5 years). This track is designed for students who want to be elementary school teachers, are interested in completing our general track, and can maintain a GPA of 2.67 or higher for their first 3 years and a GPA of 3.0 in their final year. Please speak to an advisor in order to follow this track.


The second track in the CAFS program is our general track. The students who choose this track typically want to work with children and families in a variety of ways, including the following: preschool teachers, administrators, social workers, counselors, advocates, readiness coordinators, etc. There is also a growing number of students who want to work as elementary school teachers who are choosing this track. The reason that future elementary school teachers may choose this track is because there is not currently a waiver to enter teaching credential programs. The third CAFS track offers a set of courses specifically designed to assist students in preparing to pass the CSET. However, students do not have to choose that track. Students may choose this general track, study on their own, and take (and pass) the CSET so that they may enter the multiple subjects teaching credential program. Students are strongly advised to meet with an advisor when choosing this track.


The third CAFS track is our Elementary Education teacher preparation track. In the CAFS major the students take a significant amount of coursework preparing them specifically to work with children in developmentally appropriate ways. This degree track has been approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) as a program that prepares students for passage of the subject matter examination that candidates must pass to receive the multiple subjects credential required for multiple subjects instruction in the public schools. This track does change as state requirements are changed; students are strongly encouraged to meet each quarter with their advisor so that they may be notified of modifications to the program.

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