Why Choose Nazareth for Community Youth Development?

Encouraging children and teens to 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.

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.
  • Hands-on experiences are embedded into courses, in partnership with community-based organizations and their youth.
  • 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.
  • Many students in this program double-major with programs such as sociology, psychology, social work, or an education degree program.

Program Options, Requirements, and Course Descriptions

Contact Information

Marie L. Watkins

Marie L. Watkins

Director in Community Youth Development
585-389-2748
mwatkin2@naz.edu
Golisano Academic Center 306
Bio

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. 

Veronica Peck

Alumni Spotlight

"I yearned to work with youth and to serve others. I chose community youth development because it addresses both and it combines aspects of social work, women and gender studies, psychology, and education. Service-learning and hands-on internships — through Nazareth’s Partners for Learning at Hope Hall School and at Center for Youth at Enrico Fermi Community School 17 — gave me completely different experiences, which allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and learn what environments I worked best within. When I applied for jobs, my CYD knowledge and experience stood out, including my concentration in youth service administration and 2 years’ experience working with youth. I was a Nazareth basketball player and always knew I wanted to continue that passion through coaching after I was done playing. I strongly take on the CYD motto 'fun with a purpose' every day through my coaching."

— Ronnie Peck ‘16, head women’s basketball coach, Five Towns College, Dix Hills, NY

Example Careers

  • Child life specialist
  • Youth advocate 
  • Recreation center staff
  • AfterSchool Works! New York program director
  • Youth services provider
  • Coach
  • Probation officer
  • Social worker
  • Mental health service provider
  • School counselor
  • Teacher

Internships/Field Experiences

  • City of Rochester's Bureau of Recreation
  • Charles Settlement House
  • Industry School and Residential Center
  • Community Place of Greater Rochester
  • Boys and Girls Club of Rochester
  • Ibero American Action League
  • YMCA of Greater Rochester
  • Center for Youth