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May 1, 2008



Both the Parent Education Licensure and Parent Education Certificate Programs offered through Family Education at the University of Minnesota include a core of 16-credits in parent education including:

• CI 5932 Introduction to Parent Education (1 credit)
• CI 5937 Parent-Child Interaction (3 credits)
• CI 5942 Everyday Experiences of Families (2 credits)
• CI 5943 Parent Learning and Development: Implications for Parent Education (2 credits)
• CI 5944 Parent Education Curriculum (2 credits)
• CI 5945 Teaching and Learning in Parent Education (2 credits)
• CI 5946 Assessment and Evaluation in Parent Education (2 credits)
• CI 5949 Student Teaching in Parent Education (2 credits)

For the past two years all of these courses have been available to students online (except CI 5937 Parent-Child Interaction, which will be taught online starting Fall 2008).

During the 2007-2008 academic year, Betty Cooke, Instructor, and Heather Dubbeldee, Graduate Assistant, in Family Education have been working with staff in Academic Technology Services (ATS) in the College of Education and Human Development to prepare the course for online delivery so that all parent education courses in Family Education are available online by the fall 2009 semester. Academic Technology Services staff provide technical and instructional design services to assist Betty and Heather in the conversion of the content of the course to online delivery. This is a course originally developed by Ruth Thomas, Chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and on the Faculty in Family Education. In the course, students analyze and critique parent-child interaction theory and research, consider implications for parent-child relationships and parents’ and children’s development, and apply this course material to professional work with families.

As in the other online courses, students will participate in live online chat sessions and weekly asynchronous online discussions with their classmates and weekly reflections with their instructor. They read the latest research, view presentations by University of Minnesota faculty and noted experts in the field, and create and engage in professional practice education sessions reflecting course content in their communities.

Of particular note in the course is the extensive use of a wide variety of video, DVD, and movie scenes of parent-child interaction in various settings and at various stages throughout the life cycle which students can view on their computers on the course site. These visual scenes are very effective in bringing the often complex concepts addressed throughout the course to life and make lasting impressions on the students as they are learning these concepts.

Information about the Parent Education Licensure and Certification Programs is available at the following University of Minnesota website links:

Dr. Susan Walker Completes First Year as FE Faculty

Dr. Susan Walker

The Family Education faculty and students are pleased that Dr. Susan Walker joined the Family, Youth, and Community faculty in the fall and is completing her first year with us. The energy and enthusiasm that she shares with us have inspired us all; she has quickly become a respected and well-liked colleague and instructor.

Susan arrived in Minnesota last summer, having moved from the Washington, D.C., area where she had been employed at the University of Maryland. This year she has taught courses in the online parent education curriculum and other graduate level family education courses, is continuing her research work with rural, low-income mothers, and has become well acquainted with tasks related to a number of departmental and College committees.

Susan said she "is thrilled to be in Minnesota to do the work she was meant to do." When asked what brought her here, Susan replied that part of the reason she was thrilled with the opportunity to work in parent and family education at the University of Minnesota was "because of the rich environment here compared to other parts of the country." Although she had been involved in work with parents and families in other areas, such as health, schools and policy issues, she said her position in FYC is one that "truly supports the needs of parents, their interests and advocacy, and reinforces the structures by being part a group." She explained that she can do in Minnesota what she can't do elsewhere because of the climate of support for parent and family education.

The decision to change jobs in her career and to move her family were not made easily. Susan, her husband and daughter all recognized what they were giving up by leaving dear friends and the lives they had known in Maryland; however, Susan said that following her passion and dreams was made easier because there was "a personal pull" in the return to the family's Midwestern roots in Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and "escape from some of the insanity" of life in the Washington, D.C., area.

Outside of work, the loves of her life are her 14-year-old daughter, Alice, and husband, Patrick. A significant amount of non-human love and joy in her life comes from Audrey, a pug not yet two years old, that Susan says "has undergone significant stress and trauma in her young life and is a symbol of resilience and happiness."

Susan, we're delighted to have you with us and appreciate all that you have inspired and accomplished this year!

Susan's dog, Audrey

Parent Education Certificate Program Enrolls First Students

A new parent education certificate program was recently approved by the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, and students from across the country are beginning to apply to it. This certificate is offered through Family Education in Family, Youth & Community in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education and Human Development. It is intended to prepare professionals to plan, coordinate, and teach parent education programs and services for families with children from early childhood through adolescence.

Family Education has a long history of providing a parent education licensure program to prepare students to obtain the Minnesota Board of Teaching Parent and Family Educator license for employment as parent educators in Minnesota’s Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) programs offered by public school districts. When all of the parent education courses needed for completion of this teacher licensure program became available online for both distance and local learners during the past two years, it was a logical next step to broaden the outreach of the program to those who work with parents in Minnesota programs other than ECFE and in other states and countries. Thus, the certificate program was launched.

The 16-credit program prepares professionals who are well qualified to deliver programs designed to address the intellectual, emotional, cultural, social and physical needs of parents and children. In addition to educational settings that may include public-school parent education programs, preschools, child care centers, and Head Start programs, parent educators may also work in health care and social service agencies and institutions and faith-based settings.

More information about the program and how to apply is available on the University of Minnesota website at http://cehd.umn.edu/students/Certificates/ParentEd.html.