Frequently Asked Questions
Below are many of the questions that our current and future Child and Adolescent Development (ChAD) students have. If you have any additional questions you can always contact us.
- How often should I meet with a ChAD advisor?
- Students who are majoring in ChAD should meet with an academic advisor as soon as possible after entering SJSU or at the latest, during their first semester as a junior at SJSU. Additionally, after completing 85 units, students should meet with an advisor to apply for graduation. Whenever students feel the need for additional advising, they should feel free to make an appointment with the ChAD advisor.
- What is a passing grade?
- In ChAD, we encourage students to study carefully and learn the material. Occasionally students do not do well. For courses in our department, we accept grades as low as D- as passing. The one exception is that you must pass with a C or better in ChAD 100W. In regards to GPA, students must have a SJSU Studies, ChAD and overall GPA of 2.0. Students can check their progress report to review their GPA.
- What are faculty office hours?
Faculty office hours are dedicated times for students to have one-on-one discussions with their professors about course-related content or topics related to child and adolescent development. We strongly urge you to take advantage of this resource.
For example, if you are having trouble with an class assignment, go talk with the instructor to get advice and assistance. If you did not do well on a graded assignment, talk with your instructor about how you could improve your performance in the class.
Sometimes faculty are working on research projects and if you can ask them if there are opportunities for you to be involved with their projects. ChAD faculty can also answer questions about the various careers and educational pathways (e.g., graduate school) you can take after graduating from SJSU.
- What if I am having a problem with one of my instructors?
Sometimes instructors and students disagree on assignments or grades. There can also be issues about the lecture/discussions, interpersonal contacts, etc. Difficulties can occur in ChAD or in any other department on campus. If you disagree with an instructor’s decision or conduct, here are some options:
The first thing you should consider doing is immediately to make an appointment to talk privately with your teacher. Try to resolve the problem by being candid and clear about what the issues are.
If you are not comfortable talking with your instructor or after you have spoken with your instructor, you still feel that the issue is not resolved, make an appointment to discuss the situation with the department chair. For ChAD go to SH 201 and make an appointment with the department chair.
After you have met with the chair or if you have concerns that make you feel that you cannot discuss the problem with the department chair, continue the discussion in one of two ways:
Make an appointment to talk with the associate dean of the college in which the department is located (for ChAD this would be the College of Education, SH 103) or
Make an appointment with the SJSU ombudsperson
Alternatively, you can contact the SJSU ombudsperson with your concerns at any time.
- I need to see an advisor immediately but all the appointments in the near future are
taken. What should I do?
- Occasionally, and only with a compelling reason, students can schedule an immediate academic advising appointments. Please contact us to discuss with our staff.
- How do I know whether a course at some other college substitutes for one at SJSU?
- The University maintains a highly informative student information website that will show what equivalent courses are offered at community colleges, CSU campuses, and some other colleges and universities.
- What are the differences between the BA program options?
- Our BA in Child and Adolescent Development with a Preparation for Teaching is a great fit for students considering a career in teaching grades K – 8.
- Our BA in Child and Adolescent Development with a Early Childhood Focus or Community Focus is designed for students who are interested in careers working in early childhood education settings or with children and their families in community settings. This program has two pathways: (1) early childhood focus and (2) community focus.
Requirements and Electives
Students must complete 120 units to graduate from either program. However, the BA in ChAD with a Preparation for Teaching Program has more required courses than does the BA in ChAD with an Early Childhood or Community Focus Programs because a BA in ChAD with a Preparation for Teaching includes the subject matter preparation program. As a result, the BA in ChAD with a Preparation for Teaching has fewer options for electives.
Although many of the basic required ChAD courses are the same for both plans, the practicum for the BA in ChAD with a Preparation for Teaching Program takes place in a K-8 classroom, whereas the practicum for the BA in ChAD with an Early Childhood or Community Focus Programs takes place either in the department lab preschool or in a community setting serving children and families.
Students who pursue a BA in ChAD with a Preparation for Teaching are fairly certain that they want to also earn a teaching credential. Students who pursue a BA in ChAD with an Early Childhood or Community Focus are generally interested either in early education or a community focus on children and families.
- What are the benefits of pursuing a BA in ChAD with a Preparation for Teaching?
The required courses for this degree include subject matter preparation in each of the academic areas commonly taught in elementary schools, such as
- language and literature
- mathematics and science
- humanities and the arts
- human development and physical education
- and history and the social sciences.
Coursework in these topics will help you prepare to pass the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET), which is a required test for teacher credential programs.
- What is the CSET waiver, and how does it relate to pursuing a BA in ChAD with a Preparation
The California Commission on Teacher Credentialling (CTC) in the summer of 2017 approved our BA with a Preparation for Teaching major to be a waiver of the CSET. Students who complete all the degree requirements with no course substitutions and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA can waive the CSET requirement for the credential. Students who substitute requirements for the BA in ChAD with a Preparation for Teaching will not be ineligible for the waiver and, thus, will be required to pass the CSET. To discuss this further, please meet with one of our ChAD advisors.
- Do I have to follow requirements for the BA in ChAD with a Preparation for Teaching
if I want to become a teacher?
Teaching credential programs typically require a BA but it doesn't necessarily have to contain a focus on preparation for teaching. Completing the BA in Chad with a Preparation for Teaching also does not guarantee admission to a credential program. Colleges use several criteria for acceptance into credential programs. Check the requirements of the credential program that interests you.
- Can I switch from one BA option to another?
You can switch from one program to another at any time. However, you must fulfill all requirements for the plan you have selected before your degree will be granted by SJSU. In addition, if you change from plans, you will need to complete a formal change of major form.
- Will my ChAD advisor be able to help me make a decision about which plan to follow?
Yes! Schedule an academic advising appointment regularly and anytime you have questions or concerns, so our advisors can support you in having a valuable academic experience at SJSU.
- How can I apply for graduation?
- I am graduating this semester. How can I participate in commencement?
- Congratulations! Please visit the SJSU Commencement webpage for information.