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Specialization in Poverty and Intervention

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In this interdisciplinary program, students will view development and intervention through multiple disciplines and at multiple levels.  The program takes an ecological perspective focused on various aspects of poverty including neurological processes, child development, family functioning, and community dynamics. Students are introduced to models and interventions operating at the individual, family, school and community levels.

Requirements and Enrollment

Master’s students receive a “Program Specialization” designation on their transcripts. The Specialization involves five courses drawn from three departments: Human Organization and Development, Psychology and Human Development, and Teaching and Learning. The course sequence fits within existing Master’s programs of students from the participating departments. Courses are open to doctoral students and other Master’s students if space permits.

Students take the four core courses outlined below, taught by leading researchers. The fifth course requirement is a research methods course aligned with the disciplinary focus of students’ individual studies.  Students enroll in the program by contacting the designated person in each department:  Vicki Harris in Psychology and Human Development, Velma Murry in Human and Organizational Development, and David Dickinson or Dale Farran in Teaching and Learning.

Course Requirements

Fall Semester

  1. PSY-PC 7500. Brain Development and Cognition. Alexandra Key
    This course provides an introduction to neuroscience of cognitive development. It will examine neural mechanisms that support specific cognitive skills, consider brain plasticity in the context of maturation and learning, and explore the role of environment in typical and atypical brain development. Findings from cognitive neuroscience studies and their implications for educational practice will be discussed.
  2. HOD 7120. Human Development and Prevention Science. Velma Murry

    This course is designed to provide an interdisciplinary overview of prevention science, with emphasis on the interconnectedness of context and human development to preventive intervention approaches and strategies that are employed to prevent and reduce behavioral, developmental, and health-related problem. Other overarching frameworks include theories of poverty, risk resilience-protection, and community participatory research. 

Spring Semester

  1. EDUC 6460.  Language, Education and Diversity.  David Dickinson
    This course introduces students to varied perspectives on language use and learning through multiple disciplinary perspectives. The course examines implications of language learning for reading from developmental and cognitive process perspectives. Interventions designed to foster language development are selected and reviewed by students
  2. EDUC 6100.  Development in Context: The Effects of Poverty.  Dale Farran
    This class acquaints students with the strong evidence that poverty experienced in childhood in the United States has consequences on development, health and well being both immediately and long term into adulthood.  The course focuses on the outcomes as well as understanding the process by which poverty exerts its effects.  Interventions at the micro and macro level are explored.