Kathleen S. Ralph
Anne Sebanc, Co-Chair
Shannon M. Stanton, Co-Chair
Lauren H. Swanson
Judith T. Wagner
The Department offers studies in two distinct fields: education and child development. Education programs lead toward teaching credentials. (California law does not permit students to major in education.) An undergraduate minor in elementary education and a program leading to a Master’s Degree are also offered in education. Child Development offers an undergraduate major and minor, leading toward a variety of careers in working with children.
Teacher education programs at Whittier College are grounded in a set of guiding principles. Among others, these include commitments to: (1) developing a social constructivist approach toward learning and teaching; (2) valuing diversity and supporting all students’ learning; (3) establishing a just, inclusive learning community in and beyond the classroom; (4) nurturing both collaborative and independent inquiry and learning; and (5) growing professionally by continually reflecting on one’s practice and pursuing other opportunities for learning.
Whittier College is fully accredited by the California Board of Education and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to offer programs leading toward the Multiple Subject (elementary) Teaching Credential, the Single Subject (secondary) Teaching Credential, and the Education Specialist: Mild/Moderate and Autism Authorization (special education) Teaching Credential.
The Multiple Subject, Single Subject, and Education Specialist teacher education programs enable students to make substantial progress toward their teaching credentials as undergraduates, taking prerequisites during the freshman and sophomore years and required teacher preparation courses during their junior and senior years. Students can then complete their remaining credential requirements as graduate students.
Because California law does not permit majoring in education, credential candidates must also complete departmental or interdisciplinary majors as described in this catalog. Examples of the appropriate majors for Multiple Subject (elementary) or Education Specialist (serving elementary students) credential candidates are: biology, child development, English, history, mathematics, and psychology.
Students should be aware that advancement to Credential Candidate Status and student teaching require a 2.8 minimum GPA in the last 60 graded units of course work, as well as a 3.0 minimum GPA, with no grade less than B-, in the professional-preparation courses listed as requirements.
The information and requirements listed above are not exhaustive. Additional, important information on all education programs and certification requirements is available in the Department of Education and Child Development. Essential information on admission to and advancement in teaching-credential programs is also available there. Undergraduate students should obtain this information - and begin meeting with an education advisor - as soon as they become interested in elementary, secondary, or special education teaching. Early advisement is critical to successfully planning a teacher education program.
Post-baccalaureate (graduate) students who meet all prerequisite and entrance requirements can complete all credential and Master’s program requirements through evening and summer courses. Procedures and requirements for post-baccalaureate students differ from those for undergraduates. These procedures and requirements are described in separate documents available from the Whittier College Education Department. Post-baccalaureate students should obtain program information and advisement from the Department as early as possible for admission to summer, fall, or spring cohorts.
For both undergraduate and graduate students, a grade of B-or above is required in each teacher preparation course in order to enroll in the next course(s) in the teacher-preparation program sequence. When a grade below B- is earned in a course, a student must do the following before enrolling in any other teacher preparation course:
- Petition the department for permission to retake the course in which a grade below B- was earned, and if permission is granted
- Retake the course and earn a grade of B- or above.
Petitions take the form of a letter to the Department Chair. The petition may also request permission to proceed with the teacher preparation course sequence before retaking a required course. Such requests are granted only in exceptional cases. More information on petition letters and the petition process is available in the Department of Education and Child Development.
Child Development offers an undergraduate major, minor, and coursework for a Child Development Permit. The mission of the Child Development major is to develop a deep understanding of child behavior and growth through the study of developmental psychology. We prepare students for graduate-level academic work, child advocacy, and/or entry-level careers serving children and families in a variety of fields. Our graduates become teachers, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, clinical psychologists, social workers, childcare providers, or enter other careers working with children. Many remain at Whittier for our graduate credential and Master of Arts in Education programs.
We offer a variety of classes on child development by specific age ranges (infancy through early childhood, middle childhood), as well as on specific topics (language development and developmental psychopathology). Most classes are designed to connect research and theory on child growth and development to their practical applications. We also offer classes that qualify students for the Child Development Permit, which can be used to work in childcare centers and after school programs throughout the State of California. Some CHDV courses also count toward a minor in education and an Elementary Teaching Credential.
Child Development majors engage in valuable experiences outside of class, providing further opportunities to integrate into campus and community life and to build their resumes for graduate school and future careers. Undergraduates help faculty with research projects studying child behavior. They work at The Broadoaks Children’s School, our laboratory school on campus, helping teach children from 2.5 years old through middle school. They mentor preschoolers in local preschool programs that serve underprivileged children through Jumpstart, an Americorps program. They become members of OMEP and advocate for children’s rights locally and internationally. In all of these activities, students work alongside faculty members and members of the Whittier community while gaining valuable academic and work experiences.