As young people navigate through childhood and adolescence and into adulthood, they develop physically, intellectually, psychologically, emotionally, and socially. Personal and social assets can build resilience and competencies to prevent problems and promote positive youth development. Understanding the supports, opportunities, programs, and services available for youth, and how youth engage them, is crucial for effectively working with youth. Achieving favorable outcomes in youths’ attitudes, skills, knowledge, and behaviors is the goal of many youth-serving professionals.
The youth development major is anchored in the College’s unique Humanics philosophy, which focuses on developing the whole student in spirit, mind, and body for leadership in service to others. Students majoring in youth development follow an interdisciplinary program that prepares them to serve youth in a variety of community and institutional settings. The curriculum represents six primary academic areas:
- Youth Development
- Health Studies
Coursework provides students with an understanding of issues related to youth development. They are able to apply the knowledge and skills they learn outside of the classroom through service-learning and internship opportunities.
Graduates in Youth Development can anticipate career opportunities with a variety of agencies, including the YMCA, the YWCA, the 4-H, the Boys and Girls Club, recreation programs, schools, community centers, camps, social service agencies, and the juvenile justice system.
Five-Year Dual Degree Program
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) /Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)
Qualified students at Springfield College who are majoring in Youth Development may be eligible for the five-year combined B.S./M.S.W. dual degree program. Students, in consultation with their undergraduate advisor, will structure their coursework early in their undergraduate career so that a required 17 semester hours of social work foundation coursework may be taken in the student’s fourth year.
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Many students majoring in youth development select one of following academic minors:
- YMCA professional studies minor
- Non-profit management
- Athletic coaching
- Environmental studies
- Social justice
- Art therapy
Five-Year Dual Degree Program:Bachelors in Youth Development and Masters in Social Work
Students may qualify for an accelerated five-year program at Springfield College that combines an undergraduate degree in Youth Development with a Master of Social Work degree.
Click here to learn how.