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Nazareth College Announces Community Youth Development Major

  • Published: November 22, 2013

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Program Director: Dr. Marie Watkins, (585) 389-2748

Media: Julie Long (585) 389-2456

Nazareth College Announces Community Youth Development Major

Nazareth College is pleased to introduce a new bachelor of arts in Community Youth Development (CYD) beginning Spring 2014.  This bachelor’s program is centered on an innovative and engaging liberal arts curriculum aimed at developing a blend of youth and community development competencies. This new program aims at increasing students’ confidence, credentials, and competitiveness for employment in a fast advancing field where they will be focused on encouraging, planning for, and supporting the active engagement of children and youth.  This degree will be the only one of its kind offered in Upstate New York and only one of three offered in the entire Northeast.  

Nationally, an estimated 17,000 organizations currently serve more than 30 million young people in after-school and out of school time settings.  However, despite this growing need for qualified and capable youth workers in both traditional and non-traditional settings, a very small number of colleges and universities offer undergraduate degrees focused on youth development. Nazareth hopes to respond to both the lack of educational opportunities for those interested in youth work and the growing diversity of skills required to enter the field by including three concentrations in the CYD major.  

This new program was designed with input from a variety of professionals who are employed in and out of the field. More than 15 agencies that represent public and private youth service organizations, including local funders, policy makers, mental health, and out of school time youth services provided letters of support for the new Community Youth Development major.  

Core classes within the major focus upon youth engagement and youth advocacy, reflective practice as a youth worker, along with youth development-focused and trauma-informed age-appropriate and culturally-sensitive planning, decision-making, and program delivery.  Students who graduate with the CYD degree will have gained critical thinking skills, cultural sensitivities, and civic responsiveness through a variety of interdisciplinary curricular and experiential learning opportunities.  They will be prepared to enter and advance through the youth service career field and/or enter graduate studies in a comparable field. The bachelor of arts degree in Community Youth Development aligns with the NYAfterSchool Works credentialing requirements and it is possible to achieve this credential upon graduation.  

Beyond the basic requirements for all majors, students will have the option to enter one of three specific tracts: Youth Service Administration, Youth and Culture, and Youth and Spirituality.  The skills gained in the CYD major will be useful to any student hoping to become an educator, social worker, minister, or healthcare provider, to name a few.  This will be a twenty-four credit inter-disciplinary Bachelor of the Arts program.

Founded in 1924, Nazareth College is located on a close-knit, suburban campus in the dynamic, metropolitan region of Rochester, N.Y. The College offers challenging academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences and professional programs in health and human services, education, and management. Nazareth's strong cultures of service and community prepare students to be successful professionals and engaged citizens. The College enrolls approximately 2,000 undergraduate students and 1,000 graduate students.

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Community Youth Development Major


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