CDV 496 Directed Field Experience

The purpose of directed field experience is to provide students the opportunity to work with children and families in settings similar to ones that students might work in after graduation. This is a supervised experience in which students will be expected to interpret their experiences and observations in the framework of contemporary child development theory and knowledge. Hence, prior job experience will not be accepted as a substitute for this course requirement.

In addition to working directly with children and families, students will also participate in a seminar. The seminar provides students with an opportunity to process and consolidate their fieldwork experiences with each other under the guidance of a fieldwork supervisor. Students will 1) share the successes of their field experiences, 2) problem-solve any challenges that arise, and 3) integrate their knowledge of child development concepts and theory with their practical fieldwork experience. Students will also examine and integrate their personal and professional goals and values to gain an understanding of their personal self in a professional role. By examining and comparing their experiences with each other, students will gain a more comprehensive view of the 1) type and quality of child-focused settings, 2) varying techniques and strategies for promoting the development of children, and 3) the development and maintenance of professional relationships with parents and colleagues.

Directed Field Experience Requirements

Students are required to complete 4 units of directed field experience: 3 units of directed field experience and 1 unit of seminar. Students taking CDV 496 will be expected to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Students must have completed all Child Development Core coursework except for the Capstone courses. 
  • Students must submit a Field Experience Enrollment Form before the deadline listed below in order to register for this course. Please see Applying for Directed Field Experience section below.
  • Students must submit both TB and Live Scan (Certificate of Clearance) documentation to the Child Development Program Office with their Field Experience Enrollment Form. Please contact the Child Development Program Office for information regarding TB and Live Scan (fingerprinting) requirements. 
  • Students will be placed in an approved fieldwork location. Your Field Experience Supervisor will contact you 4-6 weeks prior to the start of the semester with information regarding your fieldwork placement.
  • Students must complete all fieldsite requirements (e.g., TB test, MMR, Live Scan) prior to beginning their fieldwork (students will be informed of the fieldsite requirements at the time of placement). 
  • Students will complete 9 hours a week (135 hours over the semester) of volunteer work at their approved fieldwork location. 
  • Students will attend seminar meetings, complete all assigned readings, and submit journals and assigned projects.

Applying for Directed Field Experience

Students must complete and submit the following documentation by the dates shown below depending on the semester in which the field experience is to be completed:

Semester in which the student will engage in fieldworkDate by which the field placement form must be completed and submitted to the program office
FallApril 1 *
SpringNovember 1 *

*If the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, applications will be due on the next business day.

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