Skip to Navigation
Skip to main content
Pacific Oaks College    
  Feb 19, 2018
2017-2018 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

Bachelor of Arts in Human Development

Return to Academic Programs Offered at Pacific Oaks College Return to: Academic Programs Offered at Pacific Oaks College


Pasadena, Online, San Jose and *Offsite locations

*The availability of off-site locations depends on enrollment.

Program Overview

The BA completion in Human Development offers an upper division program focused on youth, adolescents, adults, older adults and their families and the social contexts in which development and growth takes place. Students gain foundational knowledge and appreciation for the varied arcs of development across the continuum from typical to atypical.  Each domain of study is grounded in respect for the socio-political context, time and space in which development occurs.  Students are immersed in a multi-disciplinary curriculum through coursework aimed to develop a holistic lens of empowerment, equity and social justice.   The attainment of applied experience is critical to students who are committed to and engaged in their communities.

Field Experiences at an approved site are part of the BA completion program in Human Development.

Concentrations are additional areas of focus which are designed to immerse students in a more specific area of the developmental process.  Some concentrations are available only in Pasadena.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLO)

Development: Students comprehend and analyze developmental and ecological theories impacting Human Development.

Diversity: Students value diversity, demonstrate commitment to social justice, equity and inclusion. They are able to identify and analyze the dynamics of institutional and individual biases and the use of power.

Communication: Students implement and analyze individual, dyadic and group communications for efficacy, clarity, appropriate audience reception, authenticity, and experience of empowerment for self and others.

Research: Students are able to distinguish between observations and theory in published research.  Students create original research, present their findings, and link their research with existing literature in the field.

Praxis: Students develop a philosophy of learning reflective of developmental theories guided by observation and grounded in a lens of equity and multiculturalism. Students evaluate these actions based on results and their impact on other persons, groups and systems (ethics, values, principles and empowerment).  Students learn to incorporate developmentally and culturally appropriate practice with individuals and systems.  Praxis will involve activities such as practica, fieldwork or student teaching.

Program-Specific Admission Standards

  • Associate’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in Child Development, Early Childhood Education, or a traditional academic (non- vocational) area of study; or
  • Successful completion of 48 units from a regionally accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and meet the following course requirements:
    • Humanities and the Arts(9 units)
    • Science and Math (9 units)
    • Oral and Written Communication (9 units)
      • Minimum of 3 units in English Communications
      • Maximum of 3 units in Early Childhood Education Language Arts
    • Social Science (9 units)
      • Minimum of 3 units in Introductory Psychology
      • Minimum of 3 units in either Introductory Sociology or Cultural Anthropology

Prior coursework will be evaluated as part of the Admissions process.

Program-Specific requirements

Prior to registering for classes each semester (fall, spring, and summer), students should meet with their advisor to identify the appropriate classes to take and to review their progress towards degree completion.

The B.A. in Human Development is a bachelor’s- completion program. In order to complete the degree requirements for the program, a total of 60 units must be completed in addition to the 60 general Education units required for Admission (120 units total for bachelor’s degree).

Fieldwork Requirements

Each concentration has specific fieldwork requirements. Fieldwork is study and learning that consist of practical and applied activities completed outside of the classroom or typical learning environment.  Each student is required to engage in 45 hours of service at an approved fieldwork/internship site during the semester enrolled in the three-unit fieldwork course.

Residence requirement

All units earned in courses offered by Pacific Oaks College are considered PO residence hours, regardless if the courses are taken on-line, on-ground, at instructional sites or at off-site cohort locations. Units earned from institutions other than Pacific Oaks College are considered non-resident units. All students must complete a minimum of 30 residence hours to complete the B.A. in Human Development degree.

Course length

Varies between 8 weeks and 16 weeks with the majority of courses in Pasadena offered in 16-week format and the majority of instructional site courses offered in 8-week format.

Exclusively 8 weeks

Please note: Students register by semester for all courses/ sessions in that semester. (i.e.: Students registering for the first Fall session must also register for the second Fall session during the Fall registration period.)

Course Scheduling

Classes generally meet in one of two schedule patterns:


Evenings: Monday through Thursday with classes beginning at 4:00 or 7:00 p.m.

Weekends: All day classes Saturday and Sunday three weekends of the term, generally once per month; ideal for long distance commuters. Please note, students in this modality are required to engage in on‐line activities as outlined by the course syllabus during weeks they do not meet in person.

Online - Asynchronous

The Master of Arts can be taken in a fully online format. Online courses are delivered in 8 week sessions. There are two sessions in each 16-week semester.

Hybrid Option

Students choose from among all available schedules (on-Ground and online)

Graduation Requirements

To be eligible to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development degree, a student must successfully complete the following:

  • The approved program consisting of at least 30 credits completed in residency at Pacific Oaks; and
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 in all coursework attempted at the College.

Students are required to submit the Petition for Degree Completion and fee to the Registrar’s Office the semester before they anticipate completing their degree requirements. Students must submit the application, settle all outstanding fees with the Student Finance Office, satisfy any deficiencies, and be in good standing in their program for the bachelor’s degree to be awarded.

Number of Admit Terms per Year

Ground: 3

  • Fall
  • Spring
  • Summer

Online: 6

  • Fall Sessions I & II
  • Spring Sessions I & II
  • Summer Sessions I & II

Application Requirements:

  • Completed Application for Admission
  • Application Fee
  • Resume
  • Personal Statement
  • Official Transcripts from All Institutions Attended

Program Requirements

Total credits: 30 credits
Core courses: 18 credits
Elective/Concentration courses: 12 credits

Core Curriculum

Areas of Concentration

The B.A. in Human Development program offers various concentrations. Limited concentrations are available at the offsite, cohorts, and online. All concentrations are offered in Pasadena.

Early Childhood Education and Development

Working with Adults

Active Learning Across the Lifespan

Social Change

Each concentration has its own Specific requirements which are outlined below.

Early Childhood Education and Development Concentration

This concentration is designed for those who wish to increase their understanding of young children and enhance their skills in working with this age group. Courses focus on the Mastery/utilization of child- centered curricula, working with diversity in early childhood classrooms, and understanding the importance of social and cultural context to a child’s development. The program is tailored towards candidates who have taken foundational coursework in Early Childhood Education or a related field or have prior experience working with children.

Working with Adults Concentration

This concentration is designed for those who wish to increase their understanding of adults across the lifespan and enhance their skills in working with this group. Courses focus on the Mastery/utilization of adult- centered curricula, working with diversity in varied adult environments, and understanding the importance of social and cultural context to an adults’ existential experience across the lifespan.


Complete ALL core courses and nine (9) units from the following ELECTIVES in addition to three (3) units from any other concentration:

Active Learning Across the Lifespan Concentration

This concentration is designed for those who wish to gain a holistic perspective of human development and identify those factors that influence learning across the lifespan. Coursework focuses on different phases of the lifespan, from birth to the later years, and also addresses issues spanning across multiple life stages. This concentration is designed for students who wish to work in integrated, cross-generational settings, including family and community advocacy, as well as those who would like to work with children, adolescents, adults or the elderly.

Social Change Concentration

This concentration is for individuals who wish to acquire the skills to create large scale social change. The belief explored in this course of study is that one’s own personal growth and the act of evoking positive social change are interconnected processes and particularly so during times of national or global stress. Students in this concentration will learn how to collaboratively design and implement change in an organization, school or community and in society at large by making processes more participatory.
Story-telling, dreaming, the arts, grant- writing, action research, the use of budgets and timelines, and autonomous community building are among the methods and mediums employed.

Return to Academic Programs Offered at Pacific Oaks College Return to: Academic Programs Offered at Pacific Oaks College