Majoring in Human Development

Overview

Human development is the study of how people grow and change, from conception through the end of life. The changing nature of the American family, childhood and adolescence, the cultural dynamics of globalization, the influence of media on identity, children's rights, social policies, racial identity, coping and resiliency: these are just a few of the issues you explore as a human development major at Connecticut College. Your studies integrate theory, research and practice. Some students do research with professors and co-publish scholarly papers, and three-quarters of our courses have a service-learning component. Coursework will touch on anthropology, biology, economics, education, history, medicine, psychology and other subjects.

Internships and service learning

You work in the local community, putting to use what you've learned. You also learn as you work, and take that new knowledge back to class. The department works closely with the College's Office of Volunteers for Community Service to develop opportunities for you in local schools, community programs and non-profits.

Connecticut College Children's Program

The Children’s Program enrolls 90 infants and young children with a wide variety of backgrounds, abilities and special needs. You work with them alongside certified teachers, aides, therapists and administrators. What you learn at the Children's Program builds on the knowledge you gain in the classroom.

What can you do with a majorcertificate in Human Development?

Here are some of the positions our graduates have gone on to hold:

  • Assistant Principal, Andover School System
  • Kindergarten Teacher, Jerome Harrison School
  • Speech and Language Pathologist, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary
  • Assistant Director of Admissions, Harvard Divinity School
  • Assistant Director of Women's Philanthropy, Andover School System
  • Occupational Therapist, Shriners Hospitals for Children
  • Assistant Clinical Professor, Yale University
  • Curriculum Facilitator, Peck Place Elementary School
  • Director, Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center Inc.
  • Administrative Director, Child Care Corp.
  • Seventh Grade English and Language Arts Teacher, Achievement First Charter Schools
  • Child Development Specialist, Children's National Medical Center
  • Clinical Social Worker, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles
  • Associate Director of Professional Development, New York City Department of Education
  • Associate Director of Marketing and Sales, John Wiley & Sons Inc.
  • Elementary Autism Teacher, Winthrop School

Faculty

Sunil Bhatia, Professor of Human Development, Chair of Human Development Department Sunil Bhatia, Professor of Human Development, Chair of Human Development Department

Sunil Bhatia, Professor of Human Development, Chair of Human Development Department
Racial, ethnic and migrant identity in global and transnational cultures • Cultural psychology and narrative theory • Ethnography and qualitative methods

Michelle R. Dunlap, Professor of Human Development, Faculty Ombudsperson 2010-2014 Michelle R. Dunlap, Professor of Human Development, Faculty Ombudsperson 2010-2014

Michelle R. Dunlap, Professor of Human Development, Faculty Ombudsperson 2010-2014
Improving college student coping and skills in community service learning settings • Social and personality development • Contemporary family issues (e.g. single parent families, kinship care families) • Multicultural issues and methods for increasing service provider cultural competency

Jennifer Fredricks, Professor of Human Development, Director of the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy Jennifer Fredricks, Professor of Human Development, Director of the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy

Jennifer Fredricks, Professor of Human Development, Director of the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy  (On sabbatical 2014-2015 academic year)
Human development • Adolescence • Child and family policy • Social policy • Educational psychology

Loren Marulis, Martha Bennett '73 Assistant Professor of Human Development Loren Marulis, Martha Bennett '73 Assistant Professor of Human Development

Loren Marulis, Martha Bennett '73 Assistant Professor of Human Development
Human development • Early cognitive development • Metacognitive and self-regulatory processes • Early childhood development and education • Educational psychology

Sara Radlinski, Adjunct Professor Emeritus of Human Development, Director Emeritus of the Connecticut College Children's Program Sara Radlinski, Adjunct Professor Emeritus of Human Development, Director Emeritus of the Connecticut College Children's Program

Sara Radlinski, Adjunct Professor Emeritus of Human Development, Director Emeritus of the Connecticut College Children's Program
Early childhood special education • Program and staff development in an inclusive early childhood program • Play and development in young children • Supporting families and child care providers of young children

Margaret Sheridan, Martha Bennett '73 Professor Emeritus of Human Development Margaret Sheridan, Martha Bennett '73 Professor Emeritus of Human Development

Margaret Sheridan, Martha Bennett '73 Professor Emeritus of Human Development
Play and development • Developmental disabilities • Public spaces and natural settings • Infant massage and touch therapies

Student profile


Eilis Klein  Eilis Klein

Human development


Q: Why Connecticut College?
A: When I came to tour Conn on Admitted Students Day, I was walking on Tempel Green with my dad and we opened up a map to find Coffee Grounds. Someone spotted us clearly struggling to locate something and ran over to us to help. That sense of community is what made me decide to come to Conn.


Q: Why human development?
A: I was initially interested in Psych. I have always loved emotions and people, so I was naturally drawn to that subject. But Human Development offers a broader, more comprehensive look at the world, and that has really become my passion. Human Development teaches me to look at an issue from all the different perspectives at once, so no issue is an isolated, insular event. I feel like this integrated, holistic perspective more accurately depicts the world.


Q: Most challenging or rewarding class?
A: "Child Rights and Public Policy" has been my most rewarding class thus far. This course was my first experience with the integrated approach that Human Development brings to conversations about policy. We looked at how things like poverty, addiction, the Child Services system, socio-economic status, school culture and education policy all work together and separately to affect child rights and public policy. 


Q: Will you study abroad?
A: I am planning to study in Australia next spring. There are some interesting things going on in the fields of child development and psychology there!

Selected courses


  • Children's Rights and Public Policy
  • Children and Family Social Policies
  • Children in Learning Environments
  • Social and Personality Development
  • Adolescent Development
  • Media, Self and Society
  • Children and Families in a Multicultural Society
  • Social Policy Analysis in Urban America
  • Developmental Research in Language: Ethnography, Socialization and the Construction of Self and Identity

More...


Student research


More...


Related news

More...