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Bachelor’s in Human Development: Therapeutic Companion Concentration

The B.A. Human Development: Therapeutic Companion Concentration prepares graduates who are able to provide one-on-one support for children with special needs in classroom settings.

2 years full-time or 5 years part-time

30-60 credits required for completion

Credit for Learning from Experience is available

B.A. Human Development: Therapeutic Companion Concentration

This degree program introduces students to the knowledge, skills and competencies required of an effective therapeutic companion for children with special needs so they may provides a “bridge” between the child and her/his environment, giving support and guidance, modeling relationships and appropriate behaviors for the child.

The B.A. Completion Program in Human Development: Therapeutic Companion Concentration is ideal for those who enjoy working one on one with children or have an interest in getting more special needs experience.

Sample Courses

Working with Children and Families in a Diverse World

This class examines the psychosocial needs of children, families, and a developmental / constructivist approach to supporting their growth and well-being. It includes the critical importance of culture/ethnic traditions, values and beliefs, social identity development, the dynamics of interpersonal power and how these all affect our work as a practitioners and advocates. Students will observe children and families in a variety of contexts, hone skills for critical reflection, and develop effective facilitative strategies applicable to teaching, counseling, parenting, social services and advocacy. Emphasis will be on valuing diversity and respecting the individual; active experiential learning; interaction between theory and practice; and the impact of social contexts on oneself and others.

Contemporary Urban Adolescence

This class will focus on several issues that affect the quality of life of adolescents in urban areas. Subjects for study will include: unemployment and underemployment; gangs and other peer pressures; early sexuality; teen pregnancy; AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases; and drugs. We will examine these topics from a developmental perspective and visit programs that are addressing them.

Introduction to Therapeutic Companions/ Behavior Interventions

This class provides an overview of the working definition of the therapeutic companion, the types of childhood difficulties that may benefit from therapeutic support and professional competencies required. Students will explore the history and purposes of the field. Additionally, students will begin to develop an understanding of

  • The environments and employment settings in which Therapeutic Companions could work (preschools, schools, clinics, agencies, etc.)
  • Functional behavioral principles and analysis
  • How to translate behavioral approach and language into child relationship base and implement recommendations of analysis
  • How to facilitate social interactions for the child/client and peers
  • Issues around advocacy for children in an IEP

Other B.A. Human Development Programs


Admission Requirement

  • Demonstrated commitment to the mission and values of Pacific Oaks College
  • Associate’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution in Child Development, Early Childhood Education, or a traditional academic (non-vocational) area of study or successful completion of 48 units from a regionally accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of 2.0. and meet the following course requirements:
    • Humanities and the Arts (9 units)
    • Science and Math (9 units)
    • Oral and Written Communication (9 units)
    • Minimum of 3 units in English Communications
    • Maximum of 3 units in Early Childhood Education Language Arts
    • Social Science (9 units)
    • Minimum of 3 units in Introductory Psychology
    • Minimum of 3 units in either Introductory Sociology or Cultural Anthropology
  • Completed Application for Admission
  • Application Fee
  • Resume
  • Official Transcripts from All Institutions Attended
  • Personal Statement