Child, Youth, and Family Studies

Career/Program Overview

RCTC’s Child, Youth, and Family Studies major prepares students for a meaningful career making a difference in the lives of others by supporting healthy development and well-being of others by providing assistance, resources, and high quality educational experiences to children, youth, and families in our diverse community.


Coursework provides students with specialized education that focuses on the essential knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to work effectively with children, youth, and families.  Coursework includes Child Development, Health and Safety, Positive Guidance, Observing and Assessing, Human Diversity, Family Relations, Special Needs, Learning Environments, Curriculum Planning, and Professional Leadership. Students gain necessary skills and competencies through lab experiences, observing others in the field, and completing hands-on clinical experiences.

Program/Degree Options

RCTC’s Child, Youth, and Family Studies program offers two certificates, a diploma, and an AAS degree. The 19 credit certificate in Child Development program meets the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) educational requirement for assistant teachers in child care centers. The 31 credit Child Development diploma option meets the minimum (DHS) educational requirements for teachers in child care centers. DHS Rule 3 requires additional work experience 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 bachelor’s degree in youth studies, child and youth studies, or youth ministry.

Program Start Date(s)

Child, Youth, and Family Studies offers face-to- face, daytime and evening, hybrid, and online courses year round. Full time students complete the diploma in as little as one year and the AAS degree within two years.

Career Opportunities/Information

Child, Youth, and Family Studies graduates seek employment providing direct services to children, youth, and families. Employment opportunities include Head Start teacher, nursery school teacher, child care worker, family child care provider, after school site coordinator, paraprofessional, early childhood mental health worker, home visitor, family service worker, child advocate, youth worker, PCA, child care resource and referral specialist, or camp counselor. Many program graduates seek further education to earn a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, elementary education, early childhood special education, child development and family studies, youth studies, psychology, social work or human services.


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:

Additional Information

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Program Award Credits Gainful
Child Development Dipl 31 Child Development Cert 19 Overview content updated: 2017-04-17