About Us

"Free the child's potential, and you will transform him into the world." — Maria Montessori

Photo: school girl raising her hand

Welcome to the Department of Child and Family Development!

The Department of Child and Family Development is a highly integrated academic unit within the College of Education. The Department offers a B.S. in Child Development in Applied Arts and Sciences, a Master of Science degree in Child Development, and a graduate certificate (EC-TEaMH) in early childhood mental health. In addition, the department offers a Master of Science in Child Development with a specialization in Early Childhood Mental Health that meets licensure requirements for students wishing to become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).

Our Mission

The SDSU Child and Family Development (CFD) Department’s mission is to prepare students to become early childhood educators and professionals who work with children, families, schools and communities. The focus of the department is on the study of social emotional development as the underlying foundation for all other areas of development including physical, cognitive, motor and language. The program represents an interdisciplinary field of study with the basic assumption that development takes place across the lifespan in the context of the family, community, and public policy. The Child Development department’s emphasis on primary prevention prepares students with hands-on experiences through community-based learning.

Help support our mission!

Learn about giving opportunities to help support us in our mission.

Our Students

We are very proud of the diverse and dedicated students our of department. Read below for a more in-depth view of our students and their awards, research, and experiences.

Degree Learning Outcomes and Curriculum Map

Please see the attached document for our degree learning objectives. 

2018-19 Outstanding Graduate Student Award

Briana Bashaw-Wood

Photo of Brianna Bashaw-Wood

Briana is a wife, the mother of a lively 2-year-old, and a forever student.  Completing her masters is the completion of a 10-year dream filled with challenges, setbacks, new paths, the love of learning, and new forever friends.  She completed her BA in Psychology with a minor in Counseling and Social Change in 2010 and the EC-SEBRIS ( now EC-TEaMH) program in 2012. Briana hopes to make a difference in the lives of the children and families that she works with and is excited to start her journey as an APCC (Associate Professional Clinical Counselor). 


2018-19 Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award:

Rachel Glovinsky

Photo of Rachel Glovinsky

Attending college at San Diego State University has provided me with the opportunity to find my individual voice, and explore my passions further. I have always been fascinated with both children and differing family dynamics, so studying Child and Family Development was a way to explore the subject matter that intrigued me. I took my undergraduate studies very serious; I recognized early on my educational career that I would need to attend graduate school to accomplish the goals I had set for myself. This said, I worked hard, and learned a lot along the way! I have been fortunate enough to form connections and relationships with many of my professors, something that has further strengthened my love for the field. There are such brilliant minds in the department, and I hope to one day inspire individuals in the same way some of my professors inspired me. After graduation, I will be working towards a Master of Social Welfare with the ultimate goal of applying for state licensure. I have been accepted into the MSW program at both Columbia University, and at the University of Southern California. While still deciding between the two, I feel extremely fortunate to have the chance to continue my education at universities that I could only dream about attending throughout my younger years. My particular interests lie in working with children and adolescents who have experienced trauma in their past. After proper training and experience, I hope to one day work as a therapist within the juvenile penitentiary system.


2019 Student Research Symposium Provost's Award Winner:

Hannah Zimmerman


At this year's Student Research Symposium, I presented on School-Based Grief Groups. I worked with Dr. Lisa Linder and Elizabeth Hospice to analyze Pre- and Post-Assessments that middle and high school students, in an eight week school-based grief group, completed. Through this research, we were able to determine that this School-Based Grief Group does produce significant improvement in grief symptoms for children who have lost a close family member. We also looked at how this grief group, specifically, produced improvement in participants social seeking behaviors.