The 2021 fall semester will mark the launch of California State University, San Bernardino’s Department of Child Development, opening up new opportunities for faculty and students.

The Department of Child Development, housed in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (CSBS), was formerly the child development program in the Department of Psychology. Child development becoming its own entity provides the opportunity to create new coursework that supports a state-of-the-art child development degree. The department can focus on unique interests and career goals students have while maximizing course content. The new department will also create increased opportunities to conduct research, develop additional internships and community connections.

Amanda Wilcox-Herzog
Amanda Wilcox-Herzog

“The child development major has been present at CSUSB for many years, first as a degree in human development and now as child development,” said Amanda Wilcox-Herzog, professor in the Department of Psychology and the first department chair for child development. “We have been under the auspices of the psychology department. Although developmental psychology is related to child development, these are different disciplines with their own history, methodologies, and professional considerations.

“It is exciting to offer students the opportunity to study in a department completely focused on this discipline and flesh out further educational and professional opportunities uniquely designed for students pursuing this degree,” Wilcox-Herzog said.

The child development department will house two academic programs with 10 full- and part-time faculty. The two programs consist of the Child Development B.A. program, with its two concentrations: Early Childhood Studies (ECS), and Child and Adolescent Development (CAD), and the M.A. in Child Development Program.

“The child development programs at CSUSB focus both on child and adolescent development and early childhood studies,” Wilcox-Herzog said. “We prepare students to work with individuals across the childhood period in a variety of professional settings. Our faculty are diverse and come from various educational and professional backgrounds that inform their teaching and professional work. In addition, our faculty are involved in many community endeavors that provide educational, volunteer, and professional opportunities for our students.”

Wilcox-Herzog is excited to continue to grow the course offerings, educational opportunities, and visibility in the local community and throughout the state.

“The establishment of the department will provide visibility to the major and enhance the student experience,” Wilcox-Herzog states. “Standing alone will also increase the opportunity for others to see our work and hopefully broaden our participation in relevant endeavors.”

“We are excited to house the new Department of Child Development in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences,” said Rafik Mohamed, dean of CSBS. “With greater than 550 majors, child development is already among the largest and fastest-growing areas of study in the college. The establishment of the new department raises the visibility of our child development programs and allows the department’s faculty to have a more direct impact on local and state policies that shape the social-emotional development of children. The creation of this new department also meaningfully advances our efforts to launch an Early Childhood Development program at CSUSB’s Palm Desert Campus.”

The creation of the independent department will intrigue more students to the university as well as evolve and innovate CSBS to continue to meet the needs of students and the community.

“I am honored to serve as the first chair of the Department of Child Development,” Wilcox-Herzog said. “It is my goal to create a strong, viable department that will continue to serve students and the community long after I retire.”