Why Choose Nazareth for Community Youth Development?

Encouraging children and teens thrive in positive, healthy, and safe environments is the focus of community youth development — and as graduates can attest, a rewarding profession.

Nazareth is the only college that offers this program within 120 miles of Rochester. 

Learn what it takes to engage youth in opportunities that foster the knowledge, skills, and positive attitudes to be active, engaged citizens for life. 

Studying social work, psychology, education, management, and sociology provide an interdisciplinary perspective on the cultural, political, and sociological issues that influence outcomes, while internships provide opportunities to apply theory to the real world.

Nazareth also has strong programs in education and health and human service fields, providing extraordinary resources for cooperative learning and career exploration. The College's nationally recognized Center for Civic Engagement provides extensive opportunities for service learning, community service, and other community involvement — locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.

Program Highlights

  • Prepares students for credentialing as an AfterSchool Works! New York program director and childcare worker in out-of-school time and after-school settings.
  • Focuses on building positive mentor and coach relationships with children and youth in our community.
  • Explores cognitive, physical, emotional, and social development of children and youth.
  • Small classes provide personal attention, mentoring, and coaching — from faculty who continually bring their ongoing community experience to the classroom.

Program Options, Requirements, and Course Descriptions

Contact Information

Marie L. Watkins

Marie L. Watkins

Director in Community Youth Development
Golisano Academic Center 306

Education: B.A., Nazareth College; M.S. and Ph.D., Syracuse University (Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, Child and Family Studies)

Marie has over two decades of community-based experience as a youth worker, group worker, family therapist, and not-for-profit agency administrator. She has taught undergraduate and graduate social work courses at Syracuse University and Indiana University as an adjunct faculty member. She has also published journal articles and book chapters about youth work and the principles of youth development. 

Example Careers

  • Teacher
  • School counselor
  • Childcare provider in out-of-school time and after-school settings
  • Coach
  • Youth advocate 
  • Probation officer
  • Social worker
  • Doctor
  • Recreation center staff
  • Mental health services
  • Child life specialist
  • AfterSchool Works! New York program director

Internships/Field Experiences

  • City of Rochester's Bureau of Recreation
  • Dr. Douglas Smith Learning Center
  • Charles Settlement House
  • Dr. Louis Cerulli School #34
  • Industry School and Residential Center