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Family and Youth

West Virginia University announces a minor in Family and Youth. This minor is offered through the Child Development and Family Studies (CDFS) program, one of four programs offered through the Technology, Learning and Culture Department in the College of Applied Human Sciences.

The purpose of this minor is to better prepare individuals to work with youth in a variety of settings. Students will concentrate on courses that address topics such as the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of youth and families as facilitated by families, educators, child care professionals, and others. These classes are taught by instructors in the Child Development and Family Studies Program in the Department of Technology, Learning and Culture. Upon completion of six courses, the student will be better prepared for career opportunities in a variety of settings including Extension, 4H, Early Head Start and Head Start Family workers, juvenile care centers, Child Life Hospital Centers, juvenile day report centers, group homes and temporary facilities.

This minor will be available through Extended Learning for three categories of students:

  1. Traditional students enrolled at WVU in majors other than Child Development and Family Studies who might want to minor in this area of study. A Family and Youth minor may add a valuable dimension to their program of study, such as students from Psychology, Education, Parks and Recreation, Extension, Nursing, and Social Work.
  2. Students enrolled in the Multidisciplinary Studies (MDS) program. The Multidisciplinary Studies Bachelor of Arts program is comprised of three related minors. This program does not limit students to courses of study in a particular college or school, but emphasizes multidisciplinary/cross-disciplinary studies. The program's flexibility, appropriate breadth and depth in the chosen areas of study, and focus on developing an understanding of the nature of cross-disciplinary investigation constitute its most salient features. Each student chooses three minor areas and must demonstrate how these areas work together toward his/her educational and/or career goals. Some students may find the Family and Youth Minor to be a good fit in the overall development of their unique program of studies. For example, a student may choose areas of physical education, communication, and family and youth with the goal of a career in child/ youth afterschool programming.
  3. Non-traditional adult learners enrolled in the Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA) program may find the Family and Youth Minor to be a valuable asset in their program of study. This program assesses the life and/or work experiences of the adult student for potential college-equivalent credit. Although the students in this program do not have a specific disciplinary major, they do earn a total of 120 credits and those credits may include areas of emphasis.

The Family and Youth Minor is offered through WVU Online and is ideal for nontraditional students and working professionals. It is also available through Extended Learning for traditional non-CDFS undergraduates pursuing a variety of academic options.

The Family and Youth Minor consist of 6 courses and a total of 18 credit hours. At least 9 hours must be at the 300 level or above. The current sequencing of courses requires approximately 3 semesters to fulfill the minor requirements.

Minimum Performance Standards

To qualify for an Extended Learning minor in Family and Youth, a student must have earned a minimum grade of "C" or better in each of the above required and chosen courses and a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 in all the coursework in the minor.

Required Prerequisite Course:

CDFS 110 Families Across the Life-Span
Explores the physical, psychological, and cognitive developmental changes of individuals who are functioning in family systems that change across the life span.

Select six credit hours from the following three courses:

CDFS 110 is a prerequisite for these courses. CDFS 112 is required for the minor.

CDFS 112 Marriage and the Family
Explores the various dimensions of self-development and personal preference relevant to dating, mate selection, marriage, having children, parenting, divorce, and remarriage.

CDFS 210 Introduction to Parenting
Introduction to terminology, descriptions, and explanations of the parental role and parent-child interactions. Emphasis on social and personal definitions of the parental role and on the problems and changes in parent-child relationship.

Prerequisites: CDFS 110

CDFS 212 Early Childhood Development
Physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of children from three-to-seven years of age with implications for guidance and care in practical settings.

Prerequisites: CDFS 110

Select nine additional credit hours from the following four courses:

CDFS 110 is a prerequisite for these courses. CDFS 412 is required for the minor.

CDFS 412 Adolescent Development
The adolescent in contemporary American culture, including normative physical, social, and personality development; relationships within various typical social settings (e.g., family, school, community, peer group).

Prerequisites: CDFS 110

CDFS 413 Contemporary Issues in Family Relations
Study of the recent research findings in the major areas of family relationships. Topics include effects of family violence, substance abuse, poverty, and health.

Prerequisites: CDFS 110

CDFS 414 Adolescent Problems/Disorders
Focuses on developmental psychopathology with particular attention to patterns of non-normality in adolescent developing including behavioral and emotional problems. Various preventions and intervention strategies are examined relative to the topic.

Prerequisites: CDFS 110

CDFS 415 Family Interaction and Communication
The family as a social group; processes related to well-being for a variety of family relationships.

Prerequisites: CDFS 110

For additional information contact Nancy Wolfe-Dilgard at To register for online courses, contact WVU Online at (800) 253-2762 or email

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