Post-Graduate Certificate in Human Development

Program Description

Pacific Oaks College's post-graduate certificate in Human Development is designed for professionals with a master's degree in any area and advances knowledge of developmental theory, cultural diversity, communication, and application of theory in practice. The program provides a powerful professional development opportunity for individuals  to learn about Human Development from one of the nation's leaders in the field. Students select one of several certificate options including Early Childhood Education; Leadership in Education and Human Services; and Social and Human Services. The program can be taken full or part time. Students are required to take 15-units, which include mastery of competencies based upon previous academic coursework, therefore each program of study is unique to each student's background.


POC:Pasadena, CA


Human Development


Early Childhood Education
Leadership in Education and Human Services
Social and Human Services

Total Credits



Applicants must hold a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution and work in the human services field.

Sample Courses

Human Development and Social Change

Examines the importance of promoting positive social change in times of national stress. Exploring the connection between one's own personal growth and the act of evoking actual change, students learn useful techniques based in storytelling, art, performance, and action research. Readings are assigned from feminist theory, cultural studies, critical race theory, participatory democracy, and other frameworks for social change. To put their new thinking into action, each student designs a project proposing actual change at an organization, school, community or government agency. If a student already has an ongoing project addressing social change, this course can be used to improve that project. Group discussion is a key component of this class.

Emergent Curriculum: Reflecting Learner Lives

Emergent curriculum is a values-based approach to teaching and learning, which focuses on who the students are, their socio-cultural context and current issues, in order to shape "what happens" in an educational setting. Decision-making about curriculum should be negotiated by those who know the learners best.  In this approach, the focus is on the community that teachers and learners create and involve in their lives together. In this class, students explore sources of emergent curriculum, power dynamics, the balance between advanced dynamics, the balance between advanced planning and spontaneity, and issues of cultural relevance and accountability.  Participants are required to actively engage in their own classroom in teacher roles that are central to the emergent curriculum process—observation, analysis, collaboration, research and documentation.  Implications for learners of all ages will be considered, with a focus on the early childhood classroom.

Foundations of Teaching Art: Releasing the Imagination

Numerous studies show that students who are exposed to a creative and nurturing art program are also more likely to excel in all areas of school. If you have always considered yourself to be "art phobic" but have the desire to use art techniques in your classroom, this course is de­signed to empower you—and your stu­dents. We will explore art theory as well as hands-on art making. Beginning with an examination of the nature of creativity, the class will evolve into practical, hands-on techniques and concepts that can be put into immediate use. Areas of study will in­clude printmaking, sculpture, cartooning, approachable and achievable drawing techniques, working with charcoal, pastels, wat­ercolors, use of unorthodox materials, etc.

POC:Pasadena, CA