Youth Development Specialist – Graduate Certificate

Youth Development Specialist

The Youth Development Specialist Graduate Certificate provides flexibility so you can build a certificate program to benefit your career goals with maximum impact.


Helping youth navigate childhood and transition to adulthood is challenging and rewarding. Our online youth development specialist graduate certificate can help you enhance your work with youth in a variety of settings. This certificate helps any educators, service providers or practitioners of youth better support them emotionally, socially, and cognitively as they make the jump into adulthood. If you want to enhance your credentials or boost your qualifications for a career as a youth professional, this may be the certificate for you.

This youth development program uses a strengths-based curriculum to provide you with research and professional skills that support youth to make them socially, emotionally, and cognitively competent adults.

There is an increasing demand for employees of youth-serving organizations to obtain graduate degrees, certificates, and/or licensure. The Youth Development program is offered as part of the Innovative Digital Education Alliance (IDEA), a recognized leader in professional development and advanced degrees in youth development. 

The graduate certificate in youth development will benefit:

  • Elementary, middle, and high school educators
  • Extension educators
  • Military youth specialists
  • Any service providers or practitioners working directly with youth

Diverse career opportunities

  • 4-H
  • Non-profits
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of America
  • Faith-based groups
  • Community recreation
  • Juvenile justice facilities
  • Extension services
  • Military youth programs
  • Middle and high school programs
This youth development program prepares you for a career in helping today’s youth transition into adulthood. It uses a strengths-based curriculum to provide human and family service workers with research and professional skills that support youth to make them socially, emotionally, and cognitively competent adults.

Collaborative Advantage of IDEA

The Innovative Digital Education Alliance

Achieve your personal and professional goals through convenient, flexible, high-quality coursework you can complete anytime, anywhere. As a student in Iowa State University’s Youth Development Specialist Graduate Certificate program, you will learn from expert faculty who bring real-life experience to the coursework and are committed to helping you transition your learning beyond the online classroom into your career.

The Youth Development Specialist Graduate Certificate program is part of a consortium of universities connected through IDEA. While Iowa State University is your home university where you will apply, register for courses and receive your diploma, you’ll benefit from the diverse perspectives and unique strengths brought by classmates and expert faculty at partner universities.

Learn more about the IDEA program at Iowa State.

Admission Requirements

Graduate College Requirements:

  • 4 year Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)
  • Academic Records/Transcripts
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA (Program may alter requirement.)
  • Proof of English Proficiency

For specific program requirements and application process, visit the Graduate College program webpage.


Total: 12

The Course Planner provides a list of courses and shows when they are traditionally offered.

Non-degree credits
You may take up to nine graduate credit hours as a non-degree-seeking student before being formally admitted to the program. If you are interested in taking courses as a non-degree student, please start by applying as a non-degree student through the Admissions Office and contact to schedule your courses once your application has been approved.


As a member of IDEA, all students pay universal tuition. For more information, visit the IDEA website.

IDEA Contacts

Gilda Figueroa
Campus Coordinator
2624 Howe Hall

David Welshhons
Graduate Student Services Specialist
2624 Howe Hall

Dr. Meghan Gillette
Faculty Adviser
1335 Palmer