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Child, Youth, and Family Studies Overview

Child, Youth, and Family Studies

Career/Program Overview

RCTC's Child, Youth, and Family Studies major is designed to provide students with a comprehensive, basic curriculum needed to work in careers with families and children from infancy through youth in a variety of settings. Students gain necessary skills and competencies by observing and working with children in a four-star rated Head Start classroom, as well as through classroom lecture/discussions, projects, observations, and hands-on practical experiences.


Depending on which degree option is selected, coursework may include Child Development, Health, Safety, and Nutrition, Guidance, Observing and Assessing, Child and Youth Issues, Learning Environments, Creative Development Experiences, Multicultural Learning Experiences, or Children and Youth with Special Needs.

Program/Degree Options

RCTC's Child, Youth, and Family Studies program offers two certificates, a diploma, and an AAS degree. The certificate in Child Development program meets the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) educational requirement for assistant teachers in child care centers. The Child Development diploma option meets the minimum (DHS) educational requirements for teachers in child care centers. DHS Rule 3 requires additional work experience for individuals with a certificate or diploma in order to be hired as an assistant teacher or teacher.

The Youth Work Certificate prepares students to become youth service workers and youth development practitioners. Students may combine the Youth Work Certificate with an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Studies and seek further education to earn a degree in youth studies, child and youth studies, or youth ministry.

RCTC offers three different areas of emphasis within the AAS degree in Child, Youth, and Family Studies. Students can choose to focus on diversity, inclusion and special needs, or youth studies.

Program Start Date(s)

Child Development coursework can be taken any fall, spring, or summer semester. Depending on which degree option selected students may need to start fall semester in order to complete the degree option in one or two semesters. If taken on a full-time basis, the diploma program can be completed in as little as one year and the AAS degree within two years.

Career Opportunities/Information

Upon graduation students will be eligible for employment that provides direct services to children, youth, and families. Many graduates are employed in nursery schools, special education programs, Head Start, and schools as paraprofessionals, licensed family child care providers, youth workers, or family service workers, and home visitors. Graduates of the program may seek further education to earn a degree in early childhood education, elementary education, early childhood special education, child development and family studies, youth studies, psychology, or social work.


Rochester Community and Technical College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

For additional information on the most current list of RCTC program articulations see us at: http://www.rctc.edu/catalog/articulations

Additional Information

Program Website: http://www.rctc.edu/program/cd
Program Plan: http://www.rctc.edu/catalog/programs
More Information: http://www.rctc.edu/contact

Gainful Employment Programs

The U.S. Department of Education's (USDE) gainful employment regulations require disclosure of certain program information for programs that lead to certificates or diplomas and are financial aid eligible.

Child Development Cert 19 ge
Child Development Dipl 31 ge
Overview content updated: 2016-08-12
Contact Information
(507) 285-7210 or 1‑800‑247‑1296
Rochester Community and Technical College
851 30th Ave SE :: Rochester, MN 55904-4999
Celebrating 100 years!    1915-2015    www.rctc.edu/100th
Rochester Community and Technical College, a member of Minnesota State.
RCTC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity educator and employer.
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