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 such as inclusive early childhood/childhood education.
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