Child Policy Research Certificate

The Child Policy Research Certificate offers Duke undergraduates a chance to explore child and family policy issues through interdisciplinary study, while conducting original research on real-world policy issues.

The program focuses on how research translates into practical solutions for children. Working closely with faculty members, Certificate students gain skills they need to conduct effective policy-oriented research.

The certificate requires the completion of six courses: three core courses, a methodology course and two electives from departments such as psychology and neuroscience, public policy, sociology, economics and education. The online Certificate application is available here.

The Chronicle provided a more in-depth look at Duke University’s certificate programs in a feature article May 1, 2020.

2021 Child Policy Research Certificate Graduates

The Center for Child and Family Policy congratulates Sara Platek, Eve Royal and Noor Sandhu on successfully completing and graduating from the Child Policy Research Certificate program. As part of the program, students work closely with faculty members and research scientists to conduct original research on real-world child and family policy issues.

Sara PlatekSara Platek, a public policy major with a minor in psychology, worked with CCFP Research Scientist Robert Carr on her project, “Kindergarten Readiness in North Carolina Schools: Examining the Relationship Between School-wide Economic Disadvantage and School Readiness Across Geographic Locales.” The study examines important sociodemographic correlates of school readiness in kindergarten in North Carolina public schools. Her work assesses the relationship between school readiness and school level characteristics, including economic disadvantage and urbanicity.

“Joining the Child Policy Research Certificate Program was one of the best decisions I made at Duke. It provided structure for my studies in public policy and guided me towards the issues in education that I am most passionate about.” — Sara Platek

Eve RoyalEve Royal, a psychology major with a minor in education, was mentored by CCFP Research Scientist Katie Rosanbalm on her project, “Prioritizing School Climate to Improve Student Outcomes.” It was a literature review about how evaluating school climate and students’ and faculty’s responses to the social, academic, and physical environment will improve school outcomes for teachers, administrators, students, and the community. Royal found that focusing on improving the overall climate of a school may be the best way to increase students’ investment in school, foster a strong sense of belonging within the school, and prevent student dropout.

“The CPR certificate program has allowed me to combine my interests in psychology and education through research about best practices for instructing students and creating a supportive learning environment that allows them to thrive as students and as young people.”  — Eve Royal

Noor SandhuNoor Sandhu, a sociology major, worked with Professor Angel Harris on her project, “The Detrimental Impact of Childhood Toxic Stress: How Toxic Stress Impacts Academic Achievement Among Youth.” Her work examines whether youths’ relationship with parents, work status, and changes for positive outcomes within their neighborhood are associated with levels of stress and academic achievement.

The Child Policy Research certificate gave me the opportunity to study the intersection of my interests within my major, policy issues that impact children and families, and with research. I am grateful for my professors, classes, and peers that made this program a highlight of my academic experience at Duke.”  — Noor Sandhu