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Human Development Focus Areas, Credentials & Minors

You are the architect of your own program! You can customize your studies to address complex, interdisciplinary topics in learning and human development across the lifespan. You choose a focus area based around a grouping of courses on interrelated topics that you are passionate about.  You can also base your focus area courses around an already established UIC minor or an Illinois Gateways early childhood, infant toddler or director's credential.

Students interested in Early Childhood can earn an Illinois Gateways Credential by choosing courses that have been approved for attainment of the Credential. Heading link

What is an Illinois Gateways Credential?

Illinois Gateways Credentials are symbols of professional achievement that validate knowledge, skills and experience, as well as an individual achievement that you can be proud of. These credentials are awarded and recognized by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Bureau of Child Care and Development. They can be used to help with employment decisions in early learning programs, but are not a substitute or an alternative to a teaching license.

Required Courses for IL Gateways Credentials Heading link

The University of Illinois Chicago College of Education has partnered with Illinois Gateways to Opportunity to provide students an entitled application route through our HDL program coursework. The following three Illinois Gateways Credentials can be earned in our HDL program:

Human Development and Learning focus area around a UIC minor Heading link

Disability and Human Development Focus Area

Students can choose an area of focus under the framework of Disability Studies by following the minor track in Disability and Human Development.

Law and Society Focus Area

The focus area of Law and Society is a track following the Law and Society minor program. This program is designed to assist students in developing knowledge that would be of value in the pursuit of law school and in careers related to law. The minor gives students interested in law a formal preparatory course of study that provides a helpful degree of direction, discipline and focus.

Courses for Law & Society Focus Area

Social Justice Focus Area

Students can choose an area of focus under the framework of Social Justice by following the minor track in Social Justice. A focus area in Social Justice is designed for students who are interested in gaining experience working with community-based organizations and opportunities to combine their experiences with new skills and strategies for future careers in organizing, non-profits or simply applying a social justice lens to any professional fields.

Focused area based on other UIC minors

HDL students also can choose minors in other UIC programs related to human development and support services, such as:

Other ideas for Human Development and Learning focus areas Heading link

Youth Development

The youth development focus area includes courses that will increase student’s knowledge, skills and passion for working with youth in urban contexts. Students take courses centered around  children’s development and emotional, physical, social and intellectual selves.

Pre-Law Focus Area

The Pre-Law focus area could aid a student in developing knowledge in areas that are beneficial to pursuing legal education. In addition to foundational courses, UIC also offers courses and programs that are related to the study of law.

Social Work

The social work focus area can prepare students to enter a graduate program upon completing their undergraduate degree. Social work promotes or restores the relationships between people and their environment in order to improve quality of life for individuals, families, communities or organizations.