The child and adolescent development concentration combines course work with practical experience to provide students with a broad base of knowledge regarding the physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional development of children and adolescents. The diverse types of positions taken by graduates of this concentration include pediatrician, pediatric nurse, early childhood educator, parent educator, child life specialist, adoption caseworker, youth after-school program director, director of a day care center, and more.
Questions about this concentration can be directed to:
237 Bevier Hall
905 South Goodwin Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
General Job Description: Sara is a pediatrician working for a community health center. Their mission is to take care of the medically underserved.
Sara Velarde loves working with children, a characteristic that served her well as an undergraduate in human development and family studies and continues to serve her well as a pediatrician at VNA Health Care.
Sara says her undergraduate classes in HDFS proved to be an asset in her transition into medical training. “Being an HDFS major gave me a great background in child development, so from the beginning of my medical training, I felt very comfortable discussing children’s developmental stages with their parents.”
Sara’s favorite, and most valuable, experiences at the U of I were the many opportunities to work directly with children, including observations and working with children in the Child Development Lab. She says that those experiences served as a great complement to the science courses she later took in medical school.
Sara also gleaned some invaluable life lessons from her extracurricular activities at the U of I. “I would describe myself as an introvert,” she says. “Leadership does not come naturally to me.” But as a member of several registered student organizations, Sara seized the opportunity to grow into a leader. “Taking leadership roles helped me to step out of my comfort zone and to develop some of the confidence and leadership skills that I would need for medical school and eventually for practicing medicine,” she says.
Sara says that the culture of pride, hard work, and academic success at the U of I all contributed to her success. “I can’t say enough how well my experience at the U of I prepared me for my job,” she says. “I am proud to have graduated from an institution that prepared me so well for professional success.”