At-Risk Child & Youth Care program

mUndergrad minor

Do you want to help improve the lives of young people?

Prepare for a career that supports the growth and development of at-risk youth with a minor in At-Risk Child and Youth Care (CYC). 

UW-La Crosse's At-Risk Child and Youth Care (CYC) minor is a multidisciplinary program that provides students with knowledge and skills to promote the well being of all children and adolescents.The program focuses on vulnerable/at-risk populations within the context of the family, the community, and the life span.

What will I learn in the At-Risk-Child and Youth Care minor?

Students who complete the minor are expected to:

  • Identify the role of individual and family factors associated with at-risk children
  • Differentiate typical from atypical human development
  • Apply theories, concepts and research findings to promote child well-being
  • Identify the purpose and structure of community and government systems in promoting and advocating for child well-being

Jobs working with at-risk-youth

Specific careers that many students obtain after acceptance and completion of related graduate programs include: School psychology; school guidance; social work; mental health counseling; child life, speech/language therapist; physical therapy; and occupational therapy.

The minor assists students who may go on to work within a wide variety of settings. Some areas require an advanced degree.

Work settings

  • Early child care and education
  • Community-based and youth development programs
  • Parent education and family support
  • School-based programs
  • Community mental health
  • Group homes
  • Residential centers
  • Day and residential treatment
  • Early intervention
  • Home-based care and treatment
  • Psychiatric centers
  • Rehabilitation programs
  • Pediatric health care
  • Juvenile justice programs

What distinguishes the At-Risk-Child and Youth Care Program?

Gain internship experience

All students in program are required to complete a three-credit, 120-hour internship prior to completion of the minor. Internships are related in some way to at-risk youth populations and offer practical experiences in the field. Examples of internship locations include school guidance counselor offices, YMCAs, children's centers and summer camps for at-risk youth.

Engage in the community

Students engage in an extensive service learning experience in the community in the Child and Youth Care Capstone class as a program requirement.

Get excellent preparation for graduate school

Students in the minor are well prepared for graduate work. The program has a high acceptance rate into graduate programs in related fields.

Sample courses