Pathways Early Childhood Education Exams

Do you have the knowledge one would acquire in these college courses?

  • Introduction to Early Childhood Education
  • Child Developmental Psychology
  • Infant / Toddler Growth and Development
  • Early Language and Literacy Development

If the answer is yes, you may be ready to earn credit through the Early Childhood Pathways Exams offered by Charter Oak State College. These four multiple-choice exams enable the awarding of twelve college credits to students who demonstrate knowledge equivalent to that which would be earned by college courses.

Topics Covered on Pathways Exams

Introduction to Early Childhood Education:

Historical perspectives including theorists and trends; foundations of child development; the physical and social environment; curriculum integration; developmentally appropriate practices and special needs students; working with families; and professional growth.

Child Developmental Psychology:

Individual changes from infancy through late childhood; and the sources and causes of developmental changes from biological, cognitive, and psychosocial perspectives.

Infant / Toddler Growth and Development:

Whole child development; observing and recording behavior; development of attachment, emotions and feelings, social skills, motor skills, and cognition; literacy and language development; curriculum; relationships with families; and creating safe environments.

Early Language and Literacy Development:

Early language and literacy development, including oral language, listening, writing and reading skills; influences of a child’s cultural/social background, home-school connections and experiences on emerging literacy development; and creation of a literacy-rich environment that engages children in developmentally appropriate language arts experiences.

Pathways Exams - Descriptions & Study Guides



Exam Schedule

Exams are normally scheduled at least twice per month.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should take these exams?

Anyone who has knowledge equivalent to what is learned in a full semester course on these topics, but does not have college credit in these areas, should consider taking the exams. Generally, this knowledge is gained from work experience and in-service courses.

How can I find out if I am ready to take these exams?

Each exam has a study guide that describes the content of the exam and includes practice questions, and reference texts for further study. The study guides are available through the Charter Oak State College website at or by calling Charter Oak State College at 860-515-3708.

If I have completed the Connecticut Charts-A-Course training am I prepared for these exams?

The Connecticut Charts-A-Course training lays a good foundation for the knowledge tested on several of these exams. However, some additional studying may be needed. Students should consult the study guides. The textbooks and other resources are available to help a student prepare for these exams. It is suggested that students review the content of the exam and use the suggested resources in areas where the student may be weak.

When and where do I take my exams?

Exams are administered online by Charter Oak State College and are normally scheduled on Saturdays each month at 12:00pm. Call 860-515-3708 for exam dates and location.

What is the cost of the exams?

Each of these exams costs $100, plus the cost of textbooks.

Is there scholarship money available?

If you are currently working in early care, meet one of the priorities for scholarships and are income eligible, the Connecticut Charts-A-Course at Office of Early Childhood Scholarship Assistance Program can help you pay for these exams. Information is available at: or by calling 800-832-7784.

How much credit will I earn?

You will earn three credits for each exam successfully completed. A total of twelve credits is possible if you take and pass all four exams. You may request a Charter Oak State College transcript to be sent to the college of your choice.

Who will accept these credits?

All of the CT State Community Colleges and Post University accept these credits. The credits can also be used toward a degree at Charter Oak State College. Many other colleges and universities may accept these credits in place of their own courses, or the credits may be used as elective credits. It is suggested that students call the institution where they want to use the credits to ask questions about how the credits will transfer.

Credit by Examination

  • Your educational pathway – Start on the right path to a college degree by earning credit for what you know. Then enroll in an Early Childhood Education degree program.
  • Your career pathway – Enhance your career path by demonstrating that you have knowledge in the areas tested on the Early Childhood Pathways Exams.

To receive Pathway Exam study guides, or to schedule an exam, call 860-515-3708.

Testing is a cost-effective way to earn college credit while accommodating work and family schedules. In addition to the Early Childhood Pathways Exam, students can consider earning credit through a broad array of CLEP and DSST/DANTES examinations. There are tests in many content areas which are listed at

Registering for Charter Oak State College Exams

Exams are 3 credits each and are normally scheduled on Saturdays, twice each month at 12 p.m. You must reschedule at least two weeks prior to the test date.

  1. Complete the Pathways Exams Registration Form.
  2. If you are interested in taking the Medical Terminology exam, you must be a Charter Oak matriculated student.
  3. You must bring a photo ID to sit for an exam.

If you have a disability and need special accommodations, please contact the testing office at (860) 515-3708.