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Pacific Oaks College    
2018-2019 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum 
  May 25, 2020
2018-2019 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum [Archived Catalog]

Bachelor of Arts in Human Development

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Pasadena, Online, San Jose and *Off-campus locations

*The availability of Off-campus 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

Admission to the B.A. program is open to any person who meets entrance requirements as outlined below. Applicants will be judged on their overall ability to successfully complete an undergraduate degree program. Generally, a high school cumulative GPA of a 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale is required for admission. However, applicants with a cumulative high school GPA below 2.0 will be considered for admission with the submission of additional required documents (see below). Applicants with college level studies will be expected to demonstrate an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. It is required that transcripts are submitted from all undergraduate schools where credit was received to support the application and request for transfer credit. (See Undergraduate Transfer Credit Policy).  

Factors and materials to be considered for admission will include:  

  • Completed application and $55 application fee  
  • Applicants must provide proof of the qualifying conferral of high school graduation (or the equivalent) or proof of successful completion of a minimum of 24 semester units at a regionally accredited post-secondary institution. Proof of qualifying academic history must be provided in one of the following ways:  
    • Official high school transcript recognized by the U.S. Department of Education showing an earned high school diploma, 2.0 GPA or higher, and date of graduation. A copy of a high school diploma, if transcripts are not immediately available, can be submitted with a contingency that original transcripts will be on file prior to day 5 of the term/semester of entry. Financial aid will not be disbursed until the compliant documentation is received.  
    • Official college transcript with 24 credits of transferable units with a grade of C or better.
    • Official Associate degree transcript from a regionally-accredited institution showing degree earned and date conferred  
    • Official college transcript from a regionally-accredited institution that contains the high school name and date of graduation  
    • Official NACES, ACREVS or AICE evaluation of an international diploma that contains the high school name and date of graduation  
    • High school equivalency completed through home schooling as defined by state law  
    • Official General Educational Development (GED) document. A copy of the student’s GED Certificate, or unofficial GED score issued by the state, can be submitted with a contingency that the Official GED document will be on file prior to day 5 of the term/semester of entry. Financial aid will not be disbursed until the compliant documentation is received.  
    • Official Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) document  
    • Official High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) document  
    • Official documentation showing a passing score on a state-authorized exam that the state recognizes as equivalent to high school graduation  
  • Applicants must submit a resume showing three or more years of significant professional or life experience or an official transcript confirming 24 transferrable units from a regionally accredited university.
  • Personal statement

Applicants with a cumulative high-school or undergraduate GPA below 2.0, applicants without three years of significant professional or life experience, or with less than 24 transferrable college units are required to submit additional documentation:  

  • One letter of support from someone (a non-relative) familiar with your ability to be successful in this program
  • An additional essay three pages, double spaced typed (approximately 500-750 words). In your essay, please answer the following question:  
    • What life and professional experience do you possess that would enable you to be successful in the Pacific Oaks classroom focused on application of experience to course content? 
    • Why it is important to you to study this discipline at a school that emphasizes social justice, cultural humility and respect for every individual (refer to the Mission and Vision statement of Pacific Oaks College)?
  • Interview with a member of the Admissions Committee
  • Demonstrated commitment to the mission and values of Pacific Oaks College

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

Program-Specific requirements

General Education - School of Human Development 

The General Education (GE) requirements for the for School of Human Development include the 40 units listed in the chart below.  The remaining 80 units will include General Electives (approximately 50 units) and program/major (30 units).


40 credits required from the courses below. General Education courses can be applied to only one category. 

Pacific Oaks Culture and Pedagogy - 3 credits required 

English Communication - 9 credits required, at least one course in English Composition and one course in oral communication 

Mathematical Concepts and Quantitative Reasoning - 3 credits required 

Arts and Humanities - 9 credits required with at least one course from the arts and one course from humanities 

Social and Behavioral Sciences - 9 credits required, three courses from at least two disciplines 

Physical and Biological Sciences -  7 credits required, One physical science course and one biological science or life science course, at least one of which includes a lab 

Total Required GE Credits: 40 


The BA HD program is a 120-127 credit undergraduate program, comprised of 37 credits in General Education, 30-58 credits in Human Development (including Concentrations), and 53 credits of general electives.  This is a year-round program, including enrollment in summer.  On-ground attendance includes fall and spring 16-week semesters and a 12-week summer semester.  Online attendance includes two 8-week terms in fall and spring, and two 6-week terms in summer. 

A full-time student entering with 0 credits and successfully completing 12 credits per semester would have a time to completion of ten semesters, which is equivalent to 3 1/3 years, or 40 months. 

BA in Human Development Credit Requirements

40 General Education Credits

50 General Elective Credits

18 Upper Division Human Development Program Credits

  • Plus 12 Concentration Units OR
  • Plus 37 units for Elementary Education Credential Concentration

120-127 Credits Total


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-campus 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
  • Proof of Sufficient Academic History (See Admissions Standards for Acceptable Proof of Academic History)

Program Requirements

Total credits: 120 credits

Core Curriculum

Areas of Concentration

The B.A. in Human Development program offers various concentrations. Limited concentrations are available at the Off-campus 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.

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