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Bachelor of Science in
Child Development & Family STudies

Early Childhood Development 

student with babyThe CDFS Early Childhood Development Pathway includes three options that are best suited for students who are interested in working with young children in inclusive environments. These options encompass the social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development of young children in the family and in early childhood contexts.  Students use current recommended curricula for preschoolers and implement other innovative activities with young children ranging from birth to age 8.  

CDFS Undergraduate Student Handbook

1) Pre-School Special Needs Pre-K Endorsement - Certification

Students who pursue certification options complete coursework that allows them to apply for licensure in Preschool Education from the West Virginia Department of Education, and is best suited for students interested in working in public preschool classrooms. This certification option provides students with opportunity to apply for a certification in preschool education (Pre-K) with an endorsement in Pre-K Special Needs.

  Admission requirements include:

  • Passing the PRAXIS CORE is required for admission to this option. Students are strongly encouraged to take and pass the PRAXIS CORE as soon as the major is declared, and must have all subject areas passed within one academic year (two semesters) and prior to taking CDFS 316. Please see ets.org for WVDE scores and test codes. You may also be exempt from taking the Praxis Core if you meet the minimum score on the ACT or SAT as determined by the state of West Virginia. Please consult the following webpage for minimum scores: https://www.ets.org/praxis/wv/requirements.
  • Passing the PRAXIS II: Special Education: Preschool/Early Childhood is required prior to enrolling in Special Education Student Teaching (SPED 419).
  • Passing the PRAXIS II is required prior to enrolling in Child Development Student Teaching (CDFS 491).
  • Maintaining an overall GPA of 2.75; earning a “C” or better in all CDFS and SPED courses.
  • Purchase of Live Text Field Experience Edition.
  • Students who wish to be admitted to Option 1 and have not taken or passed the Praxis CORE will be admitted to the non-certification track. They may be admitted to the certification track once they pass all subjects of the Praxis CORE, which must be done within one academic year (2 full semesters) of admission and prior to enrollment in CDFS 316.

This Pre-K option provides the candidate the opportunity to apply for a certification in Pre-K and Pre-K Special Needs.  Having both the ability to apply for certification and endorsement will prepare graduates for greater employment opportunities, as most school systems are required by law to be fully inclusive (preschool classrooms include children with special needs). The student will have experience and the required courses for both certifications.

2) Preschool Education, Birth Through Age 5 - Certification

Requirements include:

  • Passing the PRAXIS CORE is required for this option. Students are strongly encouraged to take and pass the PRAXIS CORE as soon as the major is declared, but must have all subject areas passed within one academic year (two semesters) and prior to taking CDFS 316. Please see ets.org for WVDE scores and test codes. You may also be exempt from taking the Praxis Core if you meet the minimum score on the ACT or SAT as determined by the state of West Virginia. Consult the following webpage for minimum scores: https://www.ets.org/praxis/wv/requirements.
  • Passing the PRAXIS II is required prior to enrolling in Child Development Student Teaching (CDFS 491).
  • Maintaining an overall GPA of 2.75, and earning a “C” or better in all CDFS and SPED courses
  • Purchase of Live Text.
  • Students who wish to be admitted to Option 2 and have not taken or passed the Praxis CORE will be admitted to the non-certification track. They may be admitted to the certification track once they pass all subjects of the Praxis CORE, which must be done within one academic year (2 full semesters) of admission and prior to enrollment in CDFS 316.

Students in this option will only be eligible to apply for certification in Pre-K (not PreK-PreK Special Needs Endorsement).  Students who were in Option #1 and passed the PRAXIS CORE but did not complete the requirements for Special Education may transfer into this option if they meet the qualifications. Students must understand that this option only prepares students for Pre-K certification. After graduating in Option #2 students may not return to WVU and add the SPED courses from Option #2.

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3) Child Development/Birth Through Age 5 Non-Certification

Requirements include:

  • Maintaining an overall GPA of 2.5, and earning a “C” or better in all CDFS courses

Students who do not wish to be certified, but are interested in early childhood should choose Option #3.  This option is for students who need the child development background for their career goals but do not need certification. These students may not seek certification through the West Virginia Department of Education. Students often seek careers in child care centers, Head Start or Early Head start programs, social service agencies, and other child-focused careers.