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Youth Work Academic Certificate

The academic certificate program in Youth Work prepares students for careers in youth services. Graduates of this program will be prepared for employment as youth service workers and youth development practitioners. Students receive a background in the principles and practices of service to children and adolescents, including programs for dependent, delinquent and special needs youth. Courses in this program address topics such as adolescent growth and behavior, approaches to practice, and practice with family and community systems. Students complete a 12-week field placement at a youth service agency under the supervision of a College instructor and site administrator.

Prior to graduation, students are expected to demonstrate through class participation, course assignments, term papers, projects and field assignments: knowledge of key concepts and research; competence in working with individuals and groups; ability to plan basic environments and activities for youth; and skills for working with families, community representatives and coworkers.

Student Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this program graduates will be able to:

  • Explain basic concepts and principles of youth development.
  • Design activities and environments that promote the healthy development of youth.
  • Communicate effectively orally with youth and with other professionals.
  • Communicate effectively in writing through documents typical of the profession such as progress reports and incident reports.

Program Entry Requirements:
This program is open to all interested students meeting College admission requirements. Admission to the certificate program in Youth Work is gained through application to the College and selection of this program by the student. Students must complete the placement tests required for all new admissions. Students identified as needing developmental work must satisfactorily complete the appropriate English and mathematics courses as part of their degree program. Prior to placement at a practicum site, students must submit current copies of clearance for criminal history, child abuse and health, which will be evaluated by Youth Work faculty.

Program of Study and Graduation Requirements:
Graduation from the program is based upon successful completion of the required 33 credits of course work with a grade of "C" or better in all core courses, and a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0.

Youth Work Academic Certificate Course Sequence

Course Number and Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits  

First Semester

YW 101 – Foundations of Youth Work   3  
ENGL 101 – English Composition I   3  
YW 110 – Family and Community Engagement   3  
CIS 103 – Applied Computer Technology   3  
Directed Elective* – choose one: 3  
BHHS 101 – Introduction to Behavioral Health and Human Services      
BHHS 105 – Introduction to Group Dynamics      
BHHS 111 – Introduction to Helping Skills BHHS 101    
BHHS 151 –Child Abuse and Family Violence      
JUS 171 Juvenile Justice      
PSYC 101 – Introduction to Psychology      
PSYC 201 – Child Psychology      
PSYC 215 – Developmental Psychology PSYC 101    
MATH 118 - Intermediate Algebra or higher

Second Semester

YW 115 – Critical Issues in Youth Work   3  
ENGL 102 – The Research Paper ENGL 101 with a grade of "C" or better 3  
Directed Elective – Choose one from list above   3  
Directed Elective – Choose one from list above   3  
Youth Work 196 – Practicum in Youth Work**   3/4  

Minimum Credits Needed to Graduate: 33


*Students planning to obtain the A.A.S. degree in Behavioral Health and Human Services (BHHS) should select their courses to match BHHS requirements in consultation with an advisor.

**Students may substitute BHHS 195 or BHHS 213 with permission of the Youth Work certificate program coordinator.

For More Information Contact:
The Division of Liberal Studies, Room BR-21, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Telephone (215) 751-8450; or the College Information Center (215) 751-8010

Gainful Employment Information

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