Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Joy Faini Saab

Committee Co-Chair

Allison Swan Dagen

Committee Member

Sebastian Diaz

Committee Member

Carol Markstrom

Committee Member

Aimee Morewood


West Virginia commenced the state universal pre-kindergarten program in 2002, being one of the first states to implement a universal early childhood education program for all fouryear- olds. Ten years later the program is approaching the goal year of full implementation. Research in the field was examined to identify past and current conditions of UPK in WV and throughout the nation. In this study, key informants---teachers and parents---were interviewed and asked to share their perceptions on elements of the program that they encountered to be challenging and successful. Participants in this qualitative study allowed the researcher to gain rich insights on the experiences within the classroom and the effects that it has on children and families. It was ascertained that there are some concerns that can readily be addressed to enhance the pre-k services available to children, but there are many aspects of the program that parents and teachers perceive to be flourishing. The characteristics will be discussed through the words of participants and then interpreted of how their stories can be used to improve WV UPK in years to come.