Why study Child Development at MC?

The Major in Child Development & Learning is an option for those students who are interested in working with children and adolescents outside the teaching profession. Students in the Child Development and Learning major build a strong foundation in the theory and practice of child development, from conception through adolescence. Various hands-on opportunities are embedded throughout the curriculum for students to provide direct service to children, engage in developmental research, and advance child welfare initiatives and policy. Factors such as economics, family, education, and culture are explored to understand the ecological contexts in which children develop. Close to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the college is uniquely situated for students to also explore the influence of nature on children’s development. 

Other special areas of interest for Child Development students include children with special needs, child advocacy, and international child welfare. Child Development majors often go on to graduate studies or professions within education, social services, special education, or child/family intervention and prevention. Students interested in teaching in elementary grades pursue the Child Development and Learning for Teacher Licensure major.

Teacher Licensure

Students in the Child Development & Learning for Teacher Licensure Major are prepared to become highly qualified teachers in elementary education (grades K-5), following collaborative, supportive, and stimulating learning experiences and successful completion of the Licensure exam required by the State of Tennessee. This major draws upon the strengths of the broad study of the liberal arts, specialized courses in psychology and education, and the professional application of skills through a semester-long clinical teaching experience. Child Development with Licensure majors develop a strong understanding of child development, the learning process, and the skills to design, implement, and assess instruction appropriate for diverse student populations.

Grounded in a commitment to personal and professional growth, students gain skills to solve the many theoretical, practical, and ethical problems associated with what to teach and how to teach, as well as the ability to effectively integrate technology into the instructional process. Various screening criteria, including a minimum GPA, are required for admission to and completion of this major.

Students interested in middle or high school education (grades 6-12) should pursue a major in the subject area in which they plan to teach. A major in Teaching English as a Second Language is another teacher licensure option. 

Maryville College Works Logo

Maryville College Works is our comprehensive career preparation program that is integrated into the College’s four-year liberal arts curriculum. Key components include assessment, advising, networking and professional experiences.

External relationships

Birth to Three
Boys and Girls Club
Cherokee Health Systems, University of Tennessee, and Autism Site Knoxville for the Autism Training Initiative
New Hope: Blount County Child Advocacy Center

Meet a current student

Alyssa MillerAlyssa Miller '20
Hometown: Maryville, Tenn.

With a career goal of working in a school, Alyssa is making
sure to get a fulfilling educational experience so that she can
someday encourage her students to do the same. Along with
excelling in the classroom at MC, Alyssa is a member and
team leader of the Student Programming Board, a student
worker for the Office of Admissions, a member of the Cheer
Team, a member and student coach of the Scotties Dance
Team and a member and officer of Dance Ensemble.
She decided on MC “because the size of the College allows for a tight knit community,
which provides students the ability to form personal relationships with faculty and staff.
“These relationships can last a lifetime, and they help you grow into a successful adult,”
Alyssa added. “After graduation, I hope to teach at a private school, teaching elementary-age
children and helping them develop a love for learning.”