Youth Development Certificate

Youth Development CertificateCertificate

Students in this program will:

  • Understand, integrate, and be able to apply conceptual approaches to youth development
  • Understand normative pathways to development
  • Understand youth and family cultural issues/contexts and their micro- and macro-influences on positive youth outcomes
  • Understand and apply basic research and evaluation skills to youth development programming through an applied project that serves as a capstone experience under the direction of the candidate's home institution
  • Develop skills in problem-solving with "stakeholders" including funding sources, boards, other agencies, families and other professionals
  • Demonstrate understanding of the development and impact of local, regional, state, federal, and global policies on youth and be able to advocate through policy development for optimal youth outcomes
  • Be able to develop and apply resources (e.g., agency budgeting, grant writing and processing, fundraising) for successful implementation and management of youth-serving organizations
  • Understand the history of the youth development area and advocate for the continued professionalization of the field


  • Non-Profit Youth Organizations
  • Faith-Based Groups
  • Community Recreation Leaders
  • Juvenile Corrections Professionals
  • Elementary, Middle or High School Educators
  • Extension Educators

Application to this program

Required materials:

1. Graduate Studies Application
2. Unofficial Transcripts
3. Resume
4. Statement of Professional Goals
In your Statement of Professional Goals, address the following: 
-What personal and/or professional experiences have led you to want to pursue a Graduate Certificate in Youth Development?
-What are your professional goals and how will this degree help you achieve those? 
-This is an on-line program.  Please describe your academic strengths and weaknesses related to successfully managing on-line coursework.  If you do not have prior academic experience in on-line courses, please indicate so.  
5. Three Letters of Reference
Ensure that at least one reference letter is academic (e.g., instructor, advisor) and any non-academic letters are professional (e.g., relevant employer)

Other Application Materials


Degree Requirements

Course Requirements:

Youth Development Specialist Certificate

Youth Program Management & Administration Certificate

    • CYAF 877 Design & Evaluation of Youth Programs (3 credits)
    • CYAF 879 Youth Development Personnel & Program Managment (3 credits)
    • 1 additional course (3 credits)

    If you wish to receive a certificate while pursuing a Master's Degree, please contact your advisor.