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Pacific Oaks College    
2011-2012 PO Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 
  Dec 01, 2023
2011-2012 PO Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

Introduction & General Information

A Message from the College President

Welcome to Pacific Oaks College! You have made an important life-affirming decision to attend Pacific Oaks with its rich history in early childhood education, its focus on the needs of young children and their families, and its commitment to diversity and the principles of social justice. Whether you are interested in teaching young children, counseling families, working with adults and/or earning a degree, there are wonderful opportunities for research, study, and practice here at Pacific Oaks College. We encourage you to access the resources and services available on campus and to fully engage in the teaching and learning processes you are about to enter. 

The faculty, staff, and I extend our warmest welcome as you explore your academic goals in a community dedicated to work in the human services, always guided by our Mission statement.

Cindy Carter,



Greetings from Student Government

The Student Government Association (SGA) welcomes you to Pacific Oaks College! Established by students, the Student Government Association provides an opportunity for students, faculty, staff and administrators to interact with one another in a collaborative, supportive, and socially active manner. Student participation facilitates one’s commitment to the community of Pacific Oaks that extends into the communities we serve. The Student Government Association represents an authentic opportunity for students to put into practice the theories learned in their classes.

All students interested in taking part in SGA - in any manner or level of participation appropriate for the individual - are encouraged to contact the association for additional information. Join us, and let’s work together to contribute to the growth of this wonderful institution.

We can’t wait to meet and learn from all of you!

Nicole Nixon, Student Body President

Editorial Statements

The Student Handbook was prepared by the Center for Student Achievement, Resources and Enrichment (CARE) to help students gain the most out of their experience at Pacific Oaks College. It is intended as a resource guide to college policies, procedures, general information, expectations, and requirements.  Where appropriate, the student may be directed to other documents for further information. Each student is expected to read and understand the information in this handbook.

This handbook does not constitute a contract between the student and the college. Every effort has been made to provide students with complete and accurate information. Pacific Oaks College reserves the right to modify, amend or revoke any rules and regulations and to change programs and requirements without prior notice. All changes will be duly published whether in electronic or other form. Unless otherwise indicated, other documents referenced in the student handbook (including Pacific Oaks policy and emergency manuals) may be located on the Pacific Oaks College website at Please contact the CARE office at (626) 397-1343 for additional locations of the documents.


Catalog Notice

Students adhere to the requirements and programs outlined in the catalog of the academic year in which they’re admitted. Students who interrupt their programs for five or more years will adhere to the catalog of the academic year in which they’re readmitted. The requirements, programs, class offerings, fees, policies, and all other subjects covered in this publication may be changed without notice. Users of this publication should contact Pacific Oaks representatives to learn the current status of matters covered herein. Pacific Oaks assumes no responsibility for any damages which may be claimed to have resulted from such changes.



  • When used in this document Pacific Oaks College and Children School may be referred to as “Pacific Oaks”, “Pacific Oaks College” “PO” or the “Children’s School .”
  • “Student” refers to all individuals taking courses from Pacific Oaks College, on a full time or part-time basis. both fulltime and part-time.
  •  Policies” are defined as Pacific Oaks written regulations found in, but not limited to, the Student Handbook, Academic Catalog, Policy Manuals and Pacific Oak’s official school website.


Mission Statement

Pacific Oaks is an independent institution influenced by its Quaker heritage and dedicated to the principles of social justice, respect for diversity, and the valuing of the uniqueness of each person. Its primary focus is placed upon all needs of young children and their families, and all those who, in a direct or indirect manner, touch their lives each day.

Education at Pacific Oaks includes academic, research, clinical, and community outreach components to develop an understanding of those settings within which a child acts and which, in turn, affect a child’s development. Pacific Oaks promotes educational practices within the institution, profession, and public schools that encourage learners to find their own voice, to take stands in the face of opposition, and to exercise competence in collaboration with others.

The Pacific Oaks mission statement was adopted by the Pacific Oaks Board of Trustees on December 6, 1986 and reaffirmed on February 3, 2001.



The vision of the Pacific Oaks College is to provide quality education to adult learners while maintaining its core values.


Values, Goals, and Objectives

Central to the Quaker tradition and history of Pacific Oaks is the value we place on the individual. This translates into several core values we live by at Pacific Oaks.

 People – We respect and value each individual. We strive to create a work environment that is pleasant, challenging, and promotes excellence in performance. We ask that all members of the Pacific Oaks community be willing to engage actively in thought and discussion as we learn about the nature, dynamics, and impact of bias on the individual.

Diversity – We value and promote the diversity of our work force. In our Quaker tradition, we actively seek out diversity in our students and employees.

Social Justice – We strive to ensure and to teach the principles of equal opportunity and fairness for all and to recognize the ways in which theories, practices, and institutions can be biased and oppressive.

Participatory Decision-making – We work to ensure participation in decision making, where and when appropriate. We value the input from diverse and varying perspectives to ensure we remain true to our mission.


Institutional Core Competencies

The curriculum in Human Development (HD), Marital and Family Therapy (MFT), and the Teacher Education programs is organized around five areas in which students are expected to be competent. The competencies are as follows:

1.      Development: Understanding of developmental theories.

2.      Diversity: Understanding and valuing diversity, including an anti-bias approach.

3.      Communication: Ability to communicate with others in an effective and connective way.

4.      Research: Ability to collect, process, and evaluate data through research.

5.      Praxis: Ability to observe, critically reflect, implement theories, and empower others.

Each of these competencies, except research, has a required core class. These classes introduce active learning, as well as subject areas. Since the core classes also help students define their own areas of interest and learning needs, these classes should be taken early in a student’s program at Pacific Oaks.



Pacific Oaks College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 985 Atlantic Avenue, #100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510-748-9001. It has been accredited since 1959. For additional information see


About Pacific Oaks

Pacific Oaks College is a unique educational institution offering upper division and graduate-level college programs in human development, marriage and family therapy, and teaching credentials, with a special emphasis on early childhood education.

Three basic concepts underlie the educational philosophy of Pacific Oaks: that growth is a dynamic and life-long process; that every individual has a fundamental worth; and that each person, no matter how young or old, has a unique identity and human potential which they contribute to the lives of all those with whom they come in contact.

Pacific Oaks was founded as a community education center and nursery school by seven Quaker families in 1945. The School quickly grew under the leadership of Molly Morgenroth and Evangeline Burgess as word spread that there was a place in Pasadena where children were valued as individuals. The teacher education aspect of Pacific Oaks grew out of the need to train teachers for the expanding nursery school.

In 1959, continued expansion led to accredited B.A. and M.A. degree programs in Human Development. It is believed that teachers must know the whole life continuum to understand self and, therefore, students.

The style of learning emphasized at Pacific Oaks is unique. Pacific Oaks students are encouraged to work together and to learn from each other. The faculty work with students to help each individual obtain an education that meets personal needs. At Pacific Oaks, the process of learning is valued as much as what is learned.  Experiential learning, that is, learning by doing, is at the heart of Pacific Oaks’ curriculum. We believe that both theory and practice are learned through action and interaction, and we encourage students to value doing as well as talking, reading and writing. In recognition of our unique teaching/learning pedagogy, Pacific Oaks received a Special Commendation for distinguished Achievement in Undergraduate Education from the American Association of Colleges and Universities.

Pacific Oaks’ anti-bias commitment applies to all areas of discrimination, including those based upon race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, gender, age and physical ability. Respect is an essential element of all relationships, both generally and individually. Respect includes honoring the confidentiality of personal experiences shared by students and faculty members in class discussions.

All members of the Pacific Oaks community are asked to engage actively in thought, discussion, and change as we self-reflect upon the nature, dynamics and impact of bias and oppression and the ways in which theories, practices, and institutions are oppressive. It is important to be willing to risk growing and changing together rather than clinging to old theories and practices simply because they are familiar and comfortable.


Administration, Faculty, and Governing Board Information




Cynthia L. Carter, Ph.D.



Rose Anne Nespica, J.D.

Vice President of Administration


Arte Libunao, M.B.A.

Associate Vice President of Finance


Linda Clowers, Ph.D.

Dean of Academic Affairs


Jane Rosenberg, M.A.

Director, Children’s School


Marisa Reyes, M.A.

Executive Assistant to the President




Laila Aaen

Academic Director, Instructional Sites

Ph.D., The Wright Institute in Berkeley, Psychology.

M.A., University of Wisconsin, Sociology.

B.A., Carthage College, Sociology.


Susan Bernheimer

Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University, Education.

M.A., California State University, Northridge, Educational Psychology/ Early Childhood Education.

B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, Social Anthropology.


ReGena Booze

Ph.D., M.A. Fielding Graduate Institute, Human Development, and Organizational Systems.

M.A., Pacific Oaks College, Human Development.

B.A., California State University, Hayward, Sociology.


Connie Destito

Academic Director, MFT

M.S.W., University of California, Los Angeles, Social Work.

B.A., California State University, Los Angeles, Sociology.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, State of California.


Trevor Dobbs

Ph.D., Newport Psychoanalytic Institute, Tustin, CA.

M.A., Fuller Theological Seminary, Marriage and Family Counseling.

B.A., Pepperdine University.


Cheryl Greer Jarman

M.A., Pacific Oaks College, Human Development.

B.A., Pacific Oaks College, Human Development.

Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, Pacific Oaks College.


Judith Magee

Academic Director, Hybrid Learning

M.A., Pacific Oaks College, Human Development.

B.A., University of California, Davis, Psychology.


Aki Ohseki

Interim Chair, Teacher Education

Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University, Curriculum And Teaching/Early Childhood.

M.A., New York University, Early Childhood/Elementary Education.

B.A., SUNY, Albany, Psychology.


Rebecca Rojas

Ph.D., University of Southern California, Counseling Psychology.

M.A., Pepperdine University, Psychology.

B.A., California State University, Long Beach, Music Therapy.


Joseph T. Sundeen

Chair, Human Development

Pasadena. Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, Anthropology.

M.A., University of California, Los Angeles, Anthropology.

B.A., Columbia University, History.


Olga Winbush

Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, Education.

M.A., Pacific Oaks College, Human Development.

B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, Sociology.


Board of Trustees


Michael Horowitz, Ph.D. (Chair)

Jerry Mandel, Ph.D. (Vice Chair)

Mary Turner Pattiz, Psy.D. (Secretary)

Jeff Keith, M.B.A. (Treasurer)

Olin Barrett, M.B.A

Norris Bernstein

Dean Chung, M.B.A.

Dorothy Farris

Linda Havard, M.B.A.

Allison Shearmur, J.D.

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