The courses below are open to all Springfield College students and do not have any prerequisites.
YDEV 101 Introduction to Youth Development
This course provides an overview of youth development principles, contexts, and practices, and will trace the evolution of the youth development field. Additionally, through contemplative practice, students will enhance their social and emotional competencies in working with youth. Students will gain a strong foundation in youth development while developing intrapersonal and interpersonal skills necessary to effectively handle challenging situations and to create positive learning environments and well-managed program sites.
YDEV 280 Designing and Implementing Youth Programs
This course provides students with an understanding of issues and techniques related to developing and implementing youth programs. Students will understand the theories, practices, and contemporary challenges of program planning for youth development. Topics will include program planning; developing goals and objectives; program promotion; needs assessments; recruiting and retaining participants; recruiting, training, and supervising staff and volunteers; evaluating programs; risk management; budgeting; and facility management.
YDEV 240 Youth in Society
This course provides a critical comparative framework for interpreting the experiences and perceptions of youth in the United States. We consider the ways that society portrays youth; the effect of corporate culture on youth; and the expression of youth identities through experiences like the prom, the Internet, fashion, and music. We look at real people's experiences within these contexts, and see how they operate as spaces for youth to internalize and confront social power relations reflected in age, social class, racial and ethnic, and gendered norms.
YDEV 330 Programming for Diverse Youth Populations
This course provides students with an understanding of issues and strategies related to programming for diverse youth populations. Topics covered include youth of color, gender, youth with disabilities, and more, as well as intersections between these topics. This course develops in students a greater self-awareness and a deeper understanding of the complexities of diversity as well as individual, cultural, and structural elements that constrain and promote program participation. Students describe key issues, elements, and strategies associated with developing programs for diverse groups of youth. Students also identify approaches to engage and empower different groups of youth.
YDEV 350 Philosophies and Theories of Youth Development
This course provides students with a foundation in the theories and philosophies associated with the field of youth development. In this course, students critically analyze the strengths, limitations, and potential applications of various theories, philosophies, and ideas. Examples include: developmental systems theory, ecological systems theory, social cognitive theory, resiliency, protective factors, developmental assets, prevention, and more. Students work or volunteer with a youth program for the duration of the semester in order to facilitate application of course concepts.
YDEV 492 Researching and Evaluating Youth Programs
This course develops students’ research and analytical skills as we examine methodological frameworks for planning and implementing qualitative and quantitative social research and evaluation of youth programs. Topics include: ethical issues; understanding research and evaluation reports; developing research and evaluation designs; constructing and implementing data collection procedures; and methods of analyzing and sharing findings. Students design and implement their own outcomes evaluations of local youth programs.
YDEV 210 People and Nature
Why don’t kids go outside much anymore? Have we lost our connection with nature, and if so, what might happen as a result? What is nature anyway? In this course, we critically evaluate potential answers to these questions as we investigate people’s relationships with nature. Topics covered in the course include a history of environmental values and attitudes; social and psychological benefits of engagement with nature; constraints to participation in the outdoors; approaches to facilitate outdoor participation; and various initiatives to promote nature experiences.
Click here to view the types of structured fieldwork experiences for Youth Development majors.