CHILD DEVELOPMENT MAJOR
at Meredith College
Through the multidisciplinary child development major, you will be prepared for careers in early childhood settings and non-profit agencies serving young children and their families, as well as the pursuit of graduate and professional studies.
Our Bachelor’s in Childhood Development
In Meredith’s childhood development program, you gain a deep understanding of the impact a child’s ecological framework has on their development. You will learn more about the physical, social, emotional, linguistic, and intellectual growth of children.
Take a deep dive into the complex interrelationships among the child, the family, their diverse culture, and society at large, and use this knowledge to apply a developmental perspective to your work with children and families. You can combine the child development major with the licensure requirements for either Birth through Kindergarten or K-6 to become eligible to teach in the public school setting.
Multiple internship opportunities allow you to focus on unique and specific aspects of serving young children and their families. This in-depth experience will better prepare you for employment in your chosen career path or for continued education in graduate school.
Why Study Child Development at Meredith?
- Meredith’s extensive contacts in the Raleigh community allow students to choose from a variety of options in early education and community-based services.
- A student interested in pursuing a career in child life may pursue internships such as the programs at Duke University Medical Center or WakeMed.
- A student interested in pursuing graduate studies in allied health sciences, such as physical therapy or speech therapy, may shadow a professional in her field of interest.
- A student interested in administrative or state initiatives may work with childcare directors or programs under the auspices of the Division of Child Development.
- Faculty provide on-site supervision for individual students, who may choose a particular faculty member with whom to develop an independent study or community internship.
- Students at Meredith have the opportunity to participate in hands-on observation and work at the Ellen Brewer House (EBH), an infant/toddler education program serving children whose ages range from 6 weeks to 2 years.
- Students earning a degree in child development are eligible to seek North Carolina teacher licensure for birth through kindergarten (B-K) or elementary education (K-6).
- Scholarship opportunities for students majoring in child development include the Sue Ballard Scholarship, the Marilyn Stuber Scholarship, the Hull Scholarship, and the Dapore Scholarship.
- Examples of student success include
- Emily Wilkinson, ’19, has always had a passion for children and individuals with special needs. While at Meredith, she served with the Special Olympics of North Carolina and was part of Meredith’s Special Populations Dance. Emily plans to earn her Master of Arts in Teaching with a concentration in K-12 special education and hopes to one day open her own private school or learning center for children and adults with special needs.
Ellen Brewer House
The Ellen Brewer House is a five-star, on-campus childcare program serving children whose ages range from 6 weeks to 2 years. It has been cited statewide as an exemplary program and offers child development students the opportunity for hands-on learning. Learn more about the EBH.
Meredith Advocates for Young Children
Meredith Advocates for Young Children (MAYC) is an organization devoted to helping shape the development of young children. MAYC allows students to become involved in the community and develop a professional network.
Careers in Child Development
A childhood development degree prepares students for a wide array of potential careers and graduate study. Potential career options include early education and child care programs, child life, early intervention, government agencies, and other agencies offering children’s programs.
Professional positions held and graduate programs attended by recent graduates of Meredith’s child development program include
- Teaching in early education programs, such as Frankie Lemmon School, White Plains Child Development Center, and First Environments Early Learning Center
- Teaching in public school Pre-K and K-6 classrooms
- Teaching and directing in non-profit programs for children and families, such as the YMCA
- Master’s degree in child development, education, speech and language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, recreational therapy, and child life
Emily Wilkinson, ’19, has always had a passion for children and individuals with special needs. Her Meredith experience has grown that passion and her own personal experiences have inspired her to become a special education teacher.
Turning her challenges into incentives for action and change, Madison Burton, ’18, has adapted to difficulties in her life in order to discover her calling.
The Power of Picture Books
In this episode of The Meredith Minute, Professor of Education Jennifer Olson discusses how picture books are used to convey complex concepts, tackle difficult subjects, or offer role models to readers of all ages.
Child Development News
Dr. Jillian Ardley, associate professor of Child Development in the Department of Human Environment Services, participated in the 104th Annual North Carolina Association of Family Consumer Sciences conference held in Kitty Hawk, N.C., from March 3-5,2022.
Two Meredith College faculty members have received a $350,000 multi-year grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to fund research examining the benefit of support systems on maternal mental health. Assistant Professor of Psychology Betty-Shannon Prevatt, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor of Child Development Pamela Norcross, Ph.D., are the co-primary investigators (PIs) on this project.
Equity Statement: All students have the right to an equitable and inclusive learning environment, including fair treatment, acknowledged as individuals, while being encouraged to participate fully in their educational experiences. Thus, the Child Development program will create an environment of respect, tolerance, and understanding of others as unique individuals, through safe spaces within classrooms for discussion, listening, thinking, and learning about these differences. The Child Development program acknowledges that there are many different people, identities, experiences, and perspectives, and as a program, we will address biases and challenge policies and mindset that reinforce dominance or invisibility of others inside and outside of the classroom to help students reach their full potential as students, members of Meredith College community, and society.