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 evidence of the following:
    • 1) current Tuberculous clearance
    • 2) Certificate of Clearance from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing or Child Development Permit.
  • All documentation MUST be submitted to the Child Development Department Office with their Field Experience Enrollment Form.
  • Immunization against Influenza, Pertussis, and Measles: Please note that the State of California has recently changed its immunization requirements for persons working with children in many settings. Students should be prepared to provide documentation of immunization against influenza, pertussis, and measles to their fieldwork site. If a student does not have the proper documentation, he or she may not be able to complete his or her fieldwork hours. 
  • Please note that the State of California immunization and clearance requirements can change at any time. Students may be asked to submit evidence of additional clearances or immunizations as mandated by the State government or specific fieldsite.
  • For updated information regarding California immunization requirements, please visit the California Department of Public Health and California School Immunization Law websites. 
  • Students should keep a copy of all clearance and immunization documentation for their own records to present to their field placement site.  
  • 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.
  • Please note that most agencies who work with children and families operate Monday through Friday 8am-6pm. Some weekend and evening hours may be available, but are not guaranteed. Students may need to adjust their schedules to accommodate their field placement's operating hours. 
  • Some fieldsites may have additional requirements (e.g., interview, background check, site specific Live Scan). Students must complete all fieldsite requirements prior to beginning their fieldwork.  
  • 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 department office
FallApril 15 *
SpringOctober 15 *

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

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