Texas Tech University

Youth Development Graduate Certificate

The Youth Development Specialist Graduate Certificate is designed to assist youth professionals to train individuals in the second decade of life with the skills necessary for a successful transition into adulthood. The target audience is professionals who are either working directly with adolescents and young adults or are involved in education and research related to youth. Great Plains IDEA is the only alliance of public universities to offer a youth specialist certificate completely online. The program addresses the need for advanced education in youth issues and does so through a strengths-based curriculum.

Program Overview

This program is the only online degree which focuses solely on youth development. Students will become immersed in a strengths-based curriculum, an approach which is in high demand nationwide, and learn a methodology which supports youth, enabling them to become socially, emotionally, and cognitively competent adults.

A Graduate Certificate in Youth Development prepares students for a career in organizations such as 4-H and Boys and Girls Clubs of America, non-profits, faith-based groups, community recreation, juvenile justice facilities, middle and high school programs, extension services, and military youth programs.

With this degree, you will be able to:

  • Develop policies with a positive effect.
  • Understand normative pathways to development.
  • Work with agencies, boards, families, and other professionals.
  • Gain the necessary skills for budgeting, grant writing, and fund-raising.
  • Examine the impact of local, state, federal, and global policies on youth.
  • Identify how youth and family cultural issues affect positive youth outcomes.

Benefits of Online Courses

The format of online courses is flexible and convenient and allows distance education students the opportunity to take courses that fit into their work and home schedules. Instructors will include interactive learning experiences, such as e-mail, online chats, and threaded discussions (also known as "asynchronous web-talk," threaded discussions are a form of discussion-over-time allowing students to develop critical thinking skills, reflect on questions more carefully, and respond in an assertive and thoughtful manner.)

Benefits of online learning also include:

  • Advance your career
  • Increase your earning potential
  • Maintain work and family commitments
  • Interact with instructors and classmates from across the nation

Participating Institutions

In addition to Texas Tech University, the following Great Plains IDEA institutions participate in the program: Kansas State University, Michigan State University, University of Missouri, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and North Dakota State University. Students may be admitted to the program at any one of the participating universities. This university becomes the student's "home" (degree-granting) university. Students will register for all courses at the home institution, although graduate faculty at any of the member institutions may teach courses.

Application Process

Texas Tech University reviews applications to the program on an ongoing basis. If you select TTU as your home/degree-granting institution, you must take the following steps to be admitted:

  • Apply for admission to the Texas Tech Graduate School. For information on how to apply online, visit TTU Graduate Admissions.
  • Contact the Youth Development Graduate Advisor Dr. Elizabeth Trejos to determine additional application materials that may be required by the department.
  • Work with the Youth Development Graduate Advisor to develop a certification plan and program of study.
  • If you have further questions please contact the Great Plains IDEA campus coordinator Leslie McClure, the GPIDEA assistant Taylor Wright, or the Youth Development Advisor Dr. Elizabeth Trejos.

Financial Aid

To qualify for financial aid, all graduate students must be enrolled as fulltime students in the fall, spring, (6 hours) and summer semesters (5 hours).

FAFSA forms must be filled out for all government loan programs. This form uses last year's income. If you've had a change in circumstances (i.e., quit work to go to school, have large moving or medical expenses) contact the Texas Tech Financial Aid Office. They may be able to adjust your aid package based on this information which could not be conveyed on the forms.

You may also reach the Financial Aid Office at (806) 742-3681 or by email. The fax number is (806) 742-0880.

Tuition and Fees

Students admitted to the program at Texas Tech University enroll at TTU for all courses, whether they are taught at TTU or by a participating university. A common tuition rate is set by the Great Plains IDEA Board of Directors. The tuition rate is $530 per credit hour for graduate courses and $380 per credit hour for undergraduate courses. In-state and out-of-state tuition rates do not apply. This price will cover all course costs except textbook or course packet purchases.

Course Registration

Students enroll for all courses through their home institution by contacting the Great Plains IDEA Coordinator. Students will have only one enrollment process to complete and one check to write. All coursework completed will be recorded on your home institution's transcript.

Students who have not been admitted to the Great Plains IDEA program may enroll in a course if space is available. Each course has a maximum enrollment; and those who have been admitted to a degree program at one of the participating universities will be given preference.

Classroom Instruction

Courses are taught online using a course management system accessed through your web browser. Some courses have supplemental materials on videos or CDs and others may require telephone conferencing.

The format of online courses is flexible and convenient and allows distance education students the opportunity to take courses that fit into their work and schedules. Instructors will include interactive learning experiences, such as e-mail, online chats, and threaded discussions that allow students to develop critical thinking skills, reflect on questions more carefully, and respond in an assertive and thoughtful manner.

Course Materials

As is true for other courses, textbooks and supplemental materials required for each course are the responsibility of the students.

Transcripts

The Dean of the Graduate School will maintain a transcript for students admitted to the program at Texas Tech University. Each semester, course rosters and grade sheets will be exchanged among institutions, allowing grades to be automatically recorded on your transcript at your home institution.

Technical Requirements

You need a computer meeting the minimum specifications, the capability to access and download materials from the Internet and a browser equivalent to Netscape/Explorer 6.0 or newer. An e-mail address is essential as well as access to a VCR (VHS) and FAX. In order to access classes, you must set up an e-mail address using the email system at each teaching institution. For example, if you take a course taught at Iowa State, the faculty member will send email to your Iowa State email account, not to your Texas Tech (called: "e-Raider") address or to a local Internet service provide account (i.e. AOL, Yahoo, or Hotmail).

Program Requirements

The program consists of 13 semester credit hours of course work, including 12 credit hours of core courses, and 1 credit hour of foundations seminar.

CORE COURSES

  • Youth Policy
  • Adolescents & Their Families
  • Contemporary Youth Issues
  • Youth in Cultural Contexts
  • Community Youth Development
  • Youth Development

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