Child Advocacy Studies  
About the Program

A graphic banner reads "Child Advocacy Studies."

The undergraduate programs in Child Advocacy Studies are designed to educate students on the various factors that lead to child maltreatment and appropriate ways of responding to children who have been maltreated. Students will learn how to work effectively within multiple systems and institutions involved in maltreatment cases and how to handle the situations with the children and their families. The Child Advocacy Studies minor not only provides individuals with specialized training in intervention and prevention of child maltreatment, it also encourages advocacy to promote social change in the effort to decrease child maltreatment.

The programs are designed with working professionals in mind and are great for college students who plan to make a difference in young lives. The minor and certificate are applicable to individuals from a myriad of backgrounds. Majors that complement the minor are psychology, social work, law enforcement, sociology and criminology, justice studies, nursing and education.

Small class sizes with individualized attention will help ensure student success. Classes are taught by professionals from multiple disciplines. Lectures are also given 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.

For more information, please contact

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

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.