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Child Advocacy Studies

OKCU's Child Advocacy Studies programs teach students why children are mistreated, and how best to treat these children.

Unravel a complex system: You'll learn to work effectively within the multiple systems and institutions involved in maltreatment cases, and how to handle the situations with the children and their families. 

Intervene, Prevent, and Advocate: Get specialized training in how to intervene and prevent child maltreatment, and learn to advocate for social change to decrease child maltreatment.

For Undergraduates or Working Professionals: The CAS certificate and minor are ideal for college students who plan to make a difference in young lives—but they're helpful for many different backgrounds. 

Majors that complement the minor 

  • psychology
  • social work
  • law enforcement
  • sociology and criminology
  • justice studies
  • nursing
  • education

Keys to Success

  • Small class sizes with individualized attention
  • Classes taught by professionals from multiple disciplines
  • Lectures by faculty from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center on Child Abuse and Neglect as well as other professionals working in the community
  • Internship opportunities are available.
Courses Offered for Minor (21 hours)

Complete 5 Required Courses:

CAST 3013: Perspectives on Child Maltreatment and Child Advocacy

CAST 3113: Global Child Advocacy Issues

CAST 3214: Child Advocacy: Professional and System Responses to Child Maltreatment

CAST 4014: Child Advocacy: Responding to the Survivor of Child Abuse and Survivor Response

CAST 4084: CAST Capstone Experience

Chose 1 elective course:

CAST 3213: Child Exploitation, Pornography, and the Internet

CAST 3313: Sociology of Child Poverty

CAST 3413: Gender, Violence, and Society

CAST 3513: Child Advocacy Research Studies

For the Certificate (11 hours)

The certificate in Child Advocacy Training Studies (CAST) consists of 11 credit hours. The purpose of this certificate is

  • to educate and train professionals who respond to child maltreatment to work collaboratively with individuals from multiple disciplines,
  • to provide ethically sensitive services, and
  • to provide effective case management services to children who have been maltreated.

This certificate would benefit people currently employed or planning to be employed in:

  • Social work
  • Mental health
  • Law enforcement
  • Nursing
  • Education
  • Government
Requirements

Students must complete three required classes for the certificate. They include:

  • CAST 3013: Perspectives on Child Maltreatment and Child Advocacy
  • CAST 3214: Child Advocacy: Professional and System Responses to Child Maltreatment
  • CAST 4014: Child Advocacy: Responding to the Survivor of Child Abuse and Survivor Response

Students at Oklahoma City University enjoy individualized instruction due to small class sizes and caring professors. Lectures will be given by faculty from OCU and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Center for Child Abuse and Neglect (OUHSC- CCAN) who have obtained the highest degrees in their fields and by faculty with real work experience in their academic fields.

Because this certificate is multidisciplinary in nature, students will learn about a range of disciplines and the roles they play when working with children who have
been maltreated. In addition, many of the classes are taught in the
evening to accommodate those who are employed during the day.

Admission Criteria
  1. Students have to be admitted to OCU with a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.75 or above.
  2. Students must complete FBI clearance.
  3. Students must complete application for minor which includes application form, 2 letters of reference, background check, and essay.
Faculty and Contact Information

OCU Faculty Teaching in the Program

Melissa Hakman, Ph.D Associate Professor of Psychology

Julie Cowgill, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Sociology and Justice Studies

Joe Meinhart, Ph.D. Visiting Professor of Sociology and Justice Studies

Also, guest lectures from professionals working in the community, including talks given by faculty at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Center for Child Abuse and Neglect.

Adjunct Faculty

Keri Pierce, LCSW University of Oklahoma Health Science Center

Guest Lecturers

Lectures are often given by professionals working in the community, including:

  • Faculty at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Center for Child Abuse and Neglect (CCAN)
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
  • CARE Center
  • OKC Police Department
  • Oklahoma Institute on Child Advocacy (OICA)

Contact Us

Contact Melissa Hakman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, for more information. mhakman@okcu.edu or (405) 208-5397

Gainful Employment Program Disclosure

Click here to download a Gainful Employment Program Disclosure.

YOU QUALIFY FOR FINANCIAL AID

If you score above a 22 on the ACT/100 SAT with a 3.0 GPA, you qualify for: 

Academic scholarships from $1,700–$8,000 per year

Departmental scholarships from $3,000–$11,000 per year

learn more about financial aid at OKCU

Ready to apply?

Apply Now