Discovery in Child Development


Opportunities abound for child development and education students to start making discoveries and differences in the world.

Getting involved in these opportunities has led education and child development students to many rewarding experiences, from being professionally published to traveling overseas to share their insights and knowledge.

Child development major Luke HolbertThe Fast-Track to Becoming a Teacher

The demand for special education teachers is growing, and Lucas Holbert is on the fast track to meeting that need.

Lucas recently joined Whittier College’s new Pathway Integrating Child Development and Education Specialist (PICES) program, which allows child development majors to graduate with both their bachelor’s and their K-12 special education teaching credential in four years.

“I’m excited about the PICES program and I look forward to getting our students out there,” Cean Colcord, assistant professor of education and child development and director of PICES, said. The program is coordinating with local schools and school districts to place students in classrooms, where they can gain field experience in different special education settings.

OMEP members hold up an International Day of Peace sign with students.Stand Up for Children

The first collegiate chapter of OMEP (Organization Mondiale pour L'Education Presolaire) in the world, members of OMEP Whittier College are activists who promote the health, rights, well-being, and education of children, especially those enduring poverty, war, abandonment, or natural disaster, whether here or around the world.

In the spirit of this mission, student members travel to international conferences, including the OMEP World Assembly and Conference in Seoul, South Korea. There, students have shared their knowledge about child advocacy. Back on campus, OMEP members also gain experience organizing events, including film screenings and the annual International Day of Peace with local school children.

For more information, contact Kori Vartanian, acting director of The Broadoaks School, at

Students play under a tent top on the Whittier College campus.Research How Children Play and Grow

Mari Shigemasa and Monica Molgaard aren’t waiting to graduate to become researchers. Together, they are analyzing how culture affects the way minority children play in the schoolyard.

Professor Kay Sanders led their work, which will be published in a paper. Sanders' research examines how racial and ethnic socialization in community childcare programs contributes to childcare quality, relationships, and children’s social and emotional school readiness skills.

The chance to help a professor like Sanders is an invaluable opportunity for growth for an aspiring researcher. Students like Mari and Monica help by gathering and interpreting data, adding real-world experience to their resumes in the process. In the end, some students have the opportunity to co-author academic articles and make scholarly presentations on their research.