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Top University in Bakersfield, CA, for a Child Development Degree

Students interested in studying child development in Bakersfield, CA, have only a few schools to choose from. Read about the top local schools' degree programs, tuition, and ranking info to find the right one for you.

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School Information

Only four schools in or within Bakersfield, CA, offer studies in or relating to child development. Based on rankings, graduation rates and program availability, the following schools are considered the top three in Bakersfield for child development studies:

  • Winner: California State University - Bakersfield lands in the top spot because it is the only ranked school and the only 4-year institution in the city that awards a bachelor's degree relating to child development. The school also boasted the highest recent graduation rate.
  • Runner Up #1: Taft College, though located about 30 miles from Bakersfield, is named the first runner up because of its graduation rate and child development facilities. Certificate and associate's degree programs are available in this field of study.
  • Runner Up #2: Due to its location within the city and the number of awards it granted in child development, Bakersfield College comes in at the third spot. Students can pursue a certificate or associate's degree in child development.

School Comparison Chart

Category California State University - Bakersfield Taft College Bakersfield College
Ranking Ranked 89th among Best Regional Universities (West) in 2013* N/A N/A
Location Bakersfield, CA Taft, CA (27.9 miles from Bakersfield) Bakersfield, CA
School Type 4-year, public 2-year, public 2-year, public
Tuition (2012-2013) $6,709 (in state), $18,367 (out-of-state)** $1,380 (in-state), $6,750 (out-of-state)** $1,324 (in-state), $7,484 (out-of-state)**
Child Development Program Levels Offered Bachelor's degrees <1-year certificates, associate's degrees <1-year certificates, 1- to <2-year certificates, associate's degrees
Child Development Degrees or Certificates Awarded (all levels) in 2011-2012 65** 31** 301**
Most Popular Child Development Program Level in 2011-2012 Bachelor's degree (65 awarded)** Associate's degree (20 awarded)** <1-year certificate (252 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) 41% for 2005 entering class** 27% for 2008 entering class** 19% for 2008 entering class**
Noteworthy Has an average freshman retention rate of 71.7%* Early Childhood Education Program utilizes a lab school State-funded preschool care is available to children of qualified students

Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Adult Development and Aging
  • Child Care Management
  • Child Care Services
  • Child Development
  • Community Organization and Advocacy
  • Family and Community Services
  • Family Systems
  • Human Development and Family Studies
  • Social Work
  • Youth Services

Winner: California State University - Bakersfield

  • Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies Program advisers are available to assist students
  • Offers a number of scholarships for those who qualify, as well as daycare, health services, and non-remedial tutoring

California State University - Bakersfield employs a total of 230 full-time faculty members, of which five instructors are focused on child and adolescent development. Students majoring in child, adolescent, and family studies can choose from three tracks: the Future Academic Studies for Teachers option (or FAST track) for prospective teachers, an elementary education teacher preparation track, or a general track. The general track is optimal for students hoping to work with children outside of the education field (such as social workers and counselors), but students interested in preschool and elementary teaching can also choose this option. Students who complete the bachelor's degree program can enroll in the school's teacher credential program after acquiring Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) certification and passing CSET and CBEST exams.

Runner-Up #1: Taft College

  • Since 2004, Taft College has expanded its facilities to include a Child Development Center that holds up to 75 children
  • Offers courses such as infant massage and reading infant cues

Taft College is a small school with about 52 full-time and 60 part-time faculty members. The Early Childhood Education Program is designed for those interested in working with children in a public or private environment. Students can choose from certificates in child development, early intervention, or family day care. An associate's degree in early childhood education is also available. Students get practical experience working with children up to 14 years old. Learning experiences take place in daycare, school, and home settings, and students also have access to several other nearby childcare facilities. Completion of these programs meets academic requirements for certification as a family child care provider or child care center instructor, although graduates might need to acquire additional work experience before applying for certification.

Runner-Up #2: Bakersfield College

  • The Child Development Center is licensed by the California Department of Social Services and teachers are certified through the California Commission on Teaching Credentialing
  • Students have access to the Child Development Center as a hands-on lab to work with and observe children

Bakersfield College is one of the oldest community colleges in the nation. Child development degree and certificate options include a 2-year Associate of Science in Child Development and Family Relations in addition to several certificate options for assistant and master teachers of preschool, school age, and special needs children. Most of the programs require supervised field experience. Students who complete the courses required for these programs meet academic requirements for a California child development teaching permit, but additional work experience might be required.

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