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Pacific Oaks College is a not-for-profit, accredited higher education institution offering bachelor's-completion, master's, and certificate programs in human development, counseling, education, early childhood education, and teacher credentialing. In addition to its main campus in Pasadena, Pacific Oaks College offers courses in Sacramento, Salinas, Visalia, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles, as well as human development and early childhood education programs online.

Pacific Oaks is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and has been since 1959.

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B.A. Early Childhood Education

Pacific Oaks' B.A. in Early Childhood Education is designed to equip graduates with the skills and teaching methodology they need to create and implement optimal learning environments for children birth through age eight. Students in the B.A. program may also choose to complete specific elective coursework and specialized practice to also meet the course requirements for the California Preliminary Multiple Subject (MSEL) Teaching Credential.

B.A. Early Childhood Education with Dual Credential - Preliminary Multiple Subject (MSEL) Teaching Credential and Preliminary Education Specialist Instruction Credential

Students in the early childhood education bachelor's-completion program who complete the dual credential are qualified to teach both general education students in a variety of subjects as well as students with mild or moderate disabilities in grades K-12. Pacific Oaks' B.A. in Early Childhood Education is designed to equip graduates with the skills and teaching methodology they need to create and implement optimal learning environments for children birth through age six.

B.A. Early Childhood Education with Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching

Pacific Oaks' B.A. in Early Childhood Education is designed to equip graduates with the skills and teaching methodology they need to create and implement optimal learning environments for children birth through age eight. Students in the B.A. program may also choose to complete specific elective coursework and specialized practice to also meet the course requirements for the California Preliminary Multiple Subject (MSEL) Teaching Credential.

B.A. Human Development

Pacific Oaks' bachelor's-completion program equips graduates with a comprehensive interdisciplinary understanding of human development across the lifespan, from birth through the end of life. Students become familiar with the biological, psychological, emotional, and sociological factors that contribute to an individual's development, and to the implications those factors have on have such wide-ranging skills and milestones as problem solving, language acquisition, personality and identity formation, and social and emotional maturation. Integrated into the content is Pacific Oaks' hallmark commitment to social justice, advocacy, and its respect for diversity and individual potential. 

Human Development Post-Graduate Certificate - Bi-Cultural Development

Pacific Oaks College's post-graduate certificate in Human Development is designed for professionals with a master's degree in any area and advances knowledge of developmental theory, cultural diversity, communication, and application of theory in practice. The program provides a powerful professional development opportunity for individuals to learn about Human Development from one of the nation's leaders in the field. Students select one of several certificate options including Early Childhood Education; Leadership in Education and Human Services; and Social and Human Services. The program can be taken full or part time. Students are required to take 15-units, which include mastery of competencies based upon previous academic coursework, therefore each program of study is unique to each student's background.

Human Development Post-Graduate Certificate - Early Childhood Education

Pacific Oaks College's post-graduate certificate in Human Development is designed for professionals with a master's degree in any area and advances knowledge of developmental theory, cultural diversity, communication, and application of theory in practice. The program provides a powerful professional development opportunity for individuals to learn about Human Development from one of the nation's leaders in the field. Students select one of several certificate options including Early Childhood Education; Leadership in Education and Human Services; and Social and Human Services. The program can be taken full or part time. Students are required to take 15-units, which include mastery of competencies based upon previous academic coursework, therefore each program of study is unique to each student's background.

Human Development Post-Graduate Certificate - Leadership in Education and Human Services

Pacific Oaks College's post-graduate certificate in Human Development is designed for professionals with a master's degree in any area and advances knowledge of developmental theory, cultural diversity, communication, and application of theory in practice. The program provides a powerful professional development opportunity for individuals to learn about Human Development from one of the nation's leaders in the field. Students select one of several certificate options including Early Childhood Education; Leadership in Education and Human Services; and Social and Human Services. The program can be taken full or part time. Students are required to take 15-units, which include mastery of competencies based upon previous academic coursework, therefore each program of study is unique to each student's background.

Human Development Post-Graduate Certificate - Social and Human Services

Pacific Oaks College's post-graduate certificate in Human Development is designed for professionals with a master's degree in any area and advances knowledge of developmental theory, cultural diversity, communication, and application of theory in practice. The program provides a powerful professional development opportunity for individuals to learn about Human Development from one of the nation's leaders in the field. Students select one of several certificate options including Early Childhood Education; Leadership in Education and Human Services; and Social and Human Services. The program can be taken full or part time. Students are required to take 15-units, which include mastery of competencies based upon previous academic coursework, therefore each program of study is unique to each student's background.

M.A. Curriculum and Instruction (discontinued)

The MA in Curriculum and Instruction from Pacific Oaks College is one of only a handful of degree programs that prepare candidates for certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching (NBCT). Due to its novel approach that gives particular attention to sound alternative and progressive teaching methods, the program equips educators with new means to empower students by motivating them to direct their own learning, grow personally, and build upon their own experiences within the context of their unique cultural identities. Mirroring this, program candidates are immersed in a learning environment characterized by self-reflection, collaboration, development of respectful and reciprocal relationships, and problem-solving opportunities. At the core of the program is Pacific Oaks belief that every human being has innate value and infinite potential and graduates are prepared to help students discover their fundamental worth and strengths.

M.A. Early Childhood Education

Our master's program in Early Childhood Education prepares graduates to integrate Pacific Oaks' transformative approach to early childhood education into leadership roles in public schools, child care programs, state agencies, and a variety of nonprofits serving children and families. Graduates will be prepared with a strong grounding in the theory and research that supports high-quality educational experiences for children, and will have gained an unrivaled amount of real-world experience, working with children and families, fostering staff development, and collaborating with educational administrators and leaders on projects such as program evaluation, business processes, and creating and implementing effective policies and practices. Benefiting from Pacific Oaks' commitment to culture-centered education, students will be immersed in an environment that celebrates diversity, inclusion, and equality and will emerge with the cultural competencies to provide leadership in a wide variety of educational settings.

M.A. Education with Preliminary Education Specialist Instruction Credential

Students in the M.A. Education program who complete the Preliminary Education Specialist Instruction Credential are qualified to teach students with mild to moderate disabilities in K-12 settings and adults through age 22. Our Master of Arts in Education prepares students to take the next step in their professional journey by combining advanced study in Education theory and practice with the academic requirements for California State Teaching Credentials. The program is designed to build on the foundation that students bring with them to the classroom and to enhance the knowledge and skills they have acquired at the undergraduate level and/or through their prior professional experience.

M.A. Education with Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential

Our Master of Arts in Education prepares students to take the next step in their professional journey by combining advanced study in Education theory and practice with the academic requirements for the California Multiple Subject English Learner (MSEL) Teaching Credential. The program is designed to build on the foundation that students bring with them to the classroom and to enhance the knowledge and skills they have acquired at the undergraduate level and/or through their prior professional experience.

M.A. Human Development

The Human Development program at Pacific Oaks College is designed to provide advanced study in the growth and development of individuals at various stages of the lifespan. As master's candidates, students are immersed in theories of human development and in the biological, psychological, emotional, and sociological factors that contribute to an individual's growth; they learn to critically evaluate the implications those factors have on skills and milestones that develop throughout a lifetime. Graduates are prepared to apply human development theories and principles to their roles as parents, educators, care-givers, supervisors, and other capacities in which they play a significant role in the development of children and adults of any age. The program builds competence in human development, knowledge of the social and political contexts of development, communication skills, integration of theory into practice, and research—preparing graduates to take on leadership roles in a range of settings serving individuals of all ages, as well as families.

M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy

Pacific Oaks' M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy program provides students with a robust blend of theory and hands-on practice. The College maintains relationships with clinics and community agencies throughout the greater Los Angeles area to provide students with extensive opportunities for supervised fieldwork. Graduates are prepared to consider issues of social justice within family systems and to explore how those factors directly impact family dynamics and the mental health of each family member.

M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy, African American Family Studies

Through the African-American Family Studies program, students explore mental health theory and practice from a deeply culture-centered perspective. Graduates gain a broad understanding of marriage and family therapy as well as specialized knowledge of the diverse mental health needs of African-American children and families. The curriculum is informed by the UJIMA model of collective work and responsibility, with the goal of developing marriage and family therapists who are highly competent in serving and advocating for the mental health needs of African-American families.

M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy, Latina/Latino Family Studies

The only master's program of its kind in California, the Latina/Latino Family Studies program equips graduates with broad preparation in marriage and family therapy as well as a special educational emphasis on the diverse mental health needs of Latina/Latino children and families. The educational experience of the Comadre-Compadre Cohort model is an intensely dynamic, intellectually relevant process. Faculty and students make up a community that uniquely challenges both the personal and professional development of all its participants.

M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy, Trauma Studies

The Trauma Studies Specialization, within a social ecological context, is keeping with the School of Cultural and Family Psychology’s social justice mission that underscores urgent societal issues that have long term disabling effects on the family health, child development and well-being. The students in this specialization will develop skills to work in mental health settings, veterans’ hospital, gang intervention programs, continuation schools, immigrant detention centers and domestic violence and child abuse centers.

Multiple Subject English Learner Teaching Credential

Pacific Oaks currently offers several pathways for completing coursework required for either a Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential or a Preliminary Education Specialist Instruction Credential. Students may complete the course requirements for credentialing as a stand-alone program or within the context of a joint degree/credential program.

Preliminary Education Specialist Credential

Pacific Oaks currently offers several pathways for completing coursework required for either a Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential or a Preliminary Education Specialist Instruction Credential. Students may complete the course requirements for credentialing as a stand-alone program or within the context of a joint degree/credential program.