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Jan. 8, 2024

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Total Credit Hours

Online Asynchronous

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Creating Thriving Environments For Learners Starts Here

The Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Special Education in the College of Applied Human Services provides students with the foundation and skills to be successful early childhood educators who can create an inclusive environment where learners from all backgrounds thrive. This fully online program allows you to complete all coursework and classroom field placements in your home community. The degree encompasses the social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development of young children in the family and early childhood contexts. It is ideal for students who wish to pursue careers working with children with special needs. The program leads to certification in pre-K special needs.

Hands on puzzle pieces.

The Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Special Education is an online program at West Virginia University that prepares students to earn a teaching certification in pre-K special needs upon graduation. The courses will include, but are not limited to: human development; classroom pedagogy; special education (e.g., IEP development, due process, disability categories and characteristics); implement formative and summative assessments; utilize formal assessment data to inform lesson planning; self-reflection; technology in the classroom; and a variety of placements.

Due to the online nature of the program, we will work with you in completing your field and residency experiences in your home county.

Enrollment coach, Gary Phillips.

Gary is here to help.

Gary Phillips, Your Personal Online Admissions Coach

"Being a WVU graduate and a first-generation college student, I’m happy to be back to help you navigate the WVU System. Something WVU Online wants to do is assist you in creating your sense of community and continuity, making sure you have the answers to any and all questions."

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Early Childhood Special Education B.S. Admission Requirements

Incoming Freshman
2.75 GPA (high school)

WVU Undergraduate students or Transfer students
This population includes transfers from outside of WVU as well as major transfers from within WVU.
2.75 overall GPA

Students must be admitted to West Virginia University to become students in the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Special Education Program. Applicants will be required to pass the Praxis Core (reading, writing, math) by fall semester of year two.

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Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

WVU provides a comprehensive approach to helping you finance your education. Learn more by visiting the Student Financial Services website.

Students are encouraged to:

  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form by the March 1 deadline to determine their eligibility for federal and state funds as well as scholarships. WVU’s FAFSA Code is 003827; and
  • Check with your employer to see if they provide financial support for earning your degree.

Early Childhood Special Education, B.S takes 121 credit hours to complete. Cost per credit hour is $451.
$54,571 – Residents and Non-Residents

Credits Cost
1 $451
3 $1,353
6 $2,706
9 $4,059

Tuition and fees are usually not the only educational expenses you may have while pursuing a degree. You may have other costs such as books, supplies and living expenses. Please see the Estimate Costs and Aid webpage for how to estimate and plan for other potential expenses.

Courses and Curriculum

GEF Requirements (1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8): 27

Departmental Requirements
A minimum grade of C- required for all courses with a CDFS or ECSE designator.

Course Title Credit Hours
CDFS 191 First-Year Seminar 1
CDFS 110 Families Across the Life Span 3
CDFS 112 Introduction to Marriage and Family 3
CDFS 172 Health, Safety, and Nutrition in Early Childhood 3
CDFS 210 Introduction to Parenting 3
CDFS 212 Development in Early and Middle Childhood 3
CDFS 250 Research Methods 3
CDFS 413 Stress in Families 3
CDFS 415 Family Interaction and Communication 3

Select two of the following: (6)

Course Title Credit Hours
CDFS 420 Leadership in Early Childhood 3
CDFS 421 Child Care Center Administration 3
CDFS 422 The Business of Child Care Management and Financial Strategies 3

Course Title Credit Hours
CDFS 430 Best Practices in PreK Movement 3
CDFS 431 Infant Toddler Language and Literacy 3
CDFS 432 Early Socio-Emotional Development 3
CDFS 491A Professional Field Experience 3
SPED 304 Special Education in Contemporary Society (GEF 8) 3
ECSE 311 Developmental Assessment for Young Children with Special Needs 3
ECSE 312 Differentiated Instruction for Young Children with Special Needs 3
ECSE 314 Center-Based Programs Early Intervention 3
ECSE 315 Home-Based Programs for Early Intervention 3
ECSE 316 Behavior Support Young Children Special Needs 3
ECSE 317 Technology for Young Children with/without Special Needs 3
SPED 491 Professional Field Experience 9
C&I 410 Early Childhood Education 1 3
C&I 414 Creative Experiences in Early Childhood 3
RDNG 423 Literacy and the Young Child 3

General Electives: 12

Total hours: 121

Your Future In Early Childhood Special Education

At the completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Implement high-quality early childhood special education services in traditional and inclusive settings
  • Demonstrate knowledge of contemporary issues surrounding early childhood special education and inclusive education
  • Provide a developmentally appropriate classroom setting for Pre-K students by:
    • Constructing a positive and enriched early childhood environment where all children can develop skills for lifelong learning
    • Planning developmentally appropriate activities for diverse learners in an inclusive setting
    • Developing data-driven instruction from effectively implemented formative, summative, and formal assessments
  • Advocate for children, parents, the profession, and promote and engage in lifelong learning
  • Summarize knowledge and skills from the curriculum and profession to apply in the classroom setting
  • Describe the legal and professional standards required of teachers in inclusive settings
  • Reflect on one's knowledge and skills of teaching and interacting with young children

The Benefits to Choosing Our Program

  • All students pay in-state tuition.
  • Classes are small, allowing for increased interaction between faculty and students.

Career Outlook For Early Childhood Special Education

Students who graduate from WVU Online with the Early Childhood Special Education B.S. degree may be prepared for the following careers. These are only a few examples of some of the many opportunities that will be open to you with this degree. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for some positions.

Special Education Teacher - Preschool
Projected Growth: 8% or higher *Bright Outlook

Preschool Teacher
Projected Growth: 3-4%

Education and Childcare Administrator - Preschool and Daycare
Projected Growth: 1-2%

Information about careers on this list comes from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should pursue this degree?

The BS in Early Childhood Special Education is ideal for students who wish to pursue careers working with children with special needs. The program encompasses understanding family systems and dynamics, as well as the development of children and adolescents. It is also an excellent program for students who wish to pursue careers in family, youth, early childhood, early childhood special education and extension services, or for students who plan to pursue a graduate degree in a social science field.

What is the expected career growth in this field?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment of special education teachers is expected to grow 8% from 2020-2030. This growth is considered average for all occupations.

What can I expect for a salary?

Although salary will differ based on many factors, the median average annual wage for special education teachers according to was $61,820.

WVU Online

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Occasionally a student will encounter an issue with an online course that he or she doesn’t know how to resolve. Should this occur, please visit the link below.

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PO Box 6800
Morgantown, WV 26506-6800

Phone: (800) 253-2762

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