April 27, 2009

Ph.D. Student Profile: Heeran Kim

Heeran KimHeeran Kim is completing her first year as a doctoral student in the family, youth, and community track with a focus in family education. Born and raised in South Korea, she received her B.A. in educational psychology and her M.A. in counseling psychology from Sookmyung Women's University. She has worked with children and their families with diverse backgrounds including low income families and people living in suburban areas of Korea. She is interested in family and parent education for minority people such as families and parents with ethnic diversity, lower socioeconomic status, and single parents. Her research interests include family resilience and multicultural education. After completing her Ph.D., she intends to return to Korea to pursue professional goals. One of her goals is to teach students in academic settings and the other is to work as a practitioner (or an activist) in educational organizations serving families and parents.

April 22, 2009

Summer topic: Parenting after an unexpected outcome of pregnancy

This course provides an interdisciplinary model of understanding the parent-infant relationship, beginning in pregnancy, from a developmental perspective.

Content examines the prenatal parent-infant relationship using attachment based theory, with special emphasis on how the developmental tasks of pregnancy and parenting are changed when there is an unexpected outcome such as premature birth, special needs, infant loss and the pregnancy that follows and adoption.

The role of fathers and their involvement will be addressed and emphasized. Additionally, how unexpected outcomes impact siblings, often forgotten in the trauma of an unexpected outcome, will be covered. Interventions useful in a variety of settings (health care, preschool program, church, social agency) will be explored.

Students should be prepared to explore their own belief systems around grief and loss.

Download flyer (pdf)


Instructor: Joann O'Leary, Ph.D.
Class will be held 9:00 AM-4:30 PM
Tuesday, May 26
Wednesday, May 27
Wednesday, June 3
Monday, June 8
Room 215 Peik Hall

Continue reading "Summer topic: Parenting after an unexpected outcome of pregnancy" »

April 17, 2009

Deb Roberts receives advanced study scholarship

RobertsD.jpgFamily Education M.Ed. professional studies and parent and family education licensure student Deborah S. Roberts has been awarded an advanced study student scholarship from the College's alumni society in recognition of her academic performance and potential for making a significant contribution to the field of education and human development. The award was presented to Roberts on Friday, April 17 at the CEHD Alumni Society awards celebration. A reception followed the ceremony.

April 5, 2009

Dissertation leads to work with local Hmong community members

Melissa Shamblott, Ph.D., is a Family Education alumna whose doctoral dissertation was of interest to Hmong leaders and researchers at the University of Minnesota working to increase school readiness of children in "family, friend, and neighbor care" [video length: 4 minutes 11 seconds].

April 3, 2009

CI 5900—Using Reflective Dialogue in Parent Education

Graduate student Heather Cline introduces a new 1-credit special topic course offered Summer Session 2009, "Using Reflective Dialogue Videos and Teaching Methods in Parent Education."

Dates: Monday, June 29 and Tuesday, June 30, 2009.
Location: Room 28, Peik Hall.
Register now for Summer Session

March 31, 2009

CI 5937—Parent Child Interaction

Betty Cooke, Ph.D., teaches CI 5937—Parent Child Interaction, a 3-credit course delivered online in 13 weekly modules. The course will next be offered Fall Semester 2009. Cooke discusses the nature of online learning in the course, reviews course goals and objectives, and describes who will benefit from the course content in a series of short video introductions to the course.

(72 sec.)

Course goals and objectives (72 sec.)
Who benefits from the course? (31 sec.)

Register now for fall (registration begins April 9)

March 11, 2009

CI 5946—Assessment and Evaluation in Parent Education

CI 5946 is a 2-credit online offering taught in 8 weekly modules March 26-May 20, 2009. The course focuses on assessment and evaluation in parent education. Dr. Susan Walker, the instructor, has provided an online introduction to the course for you in several segments, listed below. Watch each of the following short videos for an good introduction to this course. Please register for this course by March 26, 2009.

(19 seconds)

Why Take CI 5946? (50 sec.)
Dr. Susan Walker, instructor (59 seconds)
CI 5946 textbook (1 min. 23 sec.)
CI 5946 assignments (1 min. 23 sec.)

February 9, 2009

Cooke receives MnAEYC award

Dr. Betty Cooke Betty Cooke, Ph.D., lecturer in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction (family, youth, and community), received the Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children's Evelyn House Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the field of early childhood and family education and to MnAEYC. The award was presented to Cooke on February 6, 2009 by MnAEYC co-president Angele Sancho Passe at the Annual Conference of the Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children (MnAEYC) and the Minnesota School Age Care Alliance (MnSACA). The theme of this year’s Annual Conference was "Partnering for Minnesota’s Children."

January 30, 2009

Heather Cline chairs student section of MCFR

Heather Cline

Heather Cline is the chair of the very active Student Section of the Minnesota Council on Family Relations, which draws students from Family Education and Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota along with undergraduate and graduate students from other Minnesota colleges and universities that offer family studies program. One of the highlights of their year was the creation of a mentorship program matching professionals with students to promote engagement between current and future professionals focuses on families. If you are interested in serving as a student mentor, please contact Heather at The Student Section also initiated a student poster session at the fall conference, which provides students with an opportunity to present their research or practitioner-focused work.

Cooke, Walker, and Cline present at NCFR Conference

Family Education faculty and students in have been very involved in both the Minnesota Council on Family Relations and the National Council on Family Relations (MCFR and NCFR) during the past year. Heather Cline, and faculty members Betty Cook and Susan Walker presented a round table on "Preparing Parent Educators Through Online Professional Development Programs" at the November 2008 NCFR conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. The presentation highlighted both the parent education licensure program and certificate program in family education. Susan Walker also presented a session on "What Can Family Life Education Learn From MySpace About Reaching the Next Generation of Parent?" Her presentation was of much interest to family life educators in attendance. Susan is an officer in the Education and Enrichment section of NCFR.

August 15, 2008

All About Child Care: What Parents Need to Know

All About Child Care: What Parents Need to Know is a 20 minute video that provides an overview of what child care is like for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. The video is intended to give parents or others who may be looking for child care an idea of what options are available, and what they should be on the lookout for in terms of finding high quality care for their infant, toddler, or preschooler.

Including footage from family, friend, and neighbor care; family child care; a child care center; and preschool settings as well as helpful advice from parents, this video covers the following topics:

  • What is child care like?
  • What should you look for when choosing child care?
    • infant and young toddler care
    • older toddler and preschool care
  • Advice from parents

All About Child Care: What Parents Need to Know is available free, for educational use only through the following link:

This would be a valuable educational resource for parent educators to use with parents as they discuss making wise child care choices for their children.

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

April 28, 2008

Alumna Andria Daniel, Lead Educator for Learning Dreams

Andria Daniel (M.Ed. '07) is the lead educator for the Learning Dreams site at Hall Elementary School in North Minneapolis, where she works with families of children who are experiencing problems with school.

"The focus is on the parent," says Andria, who often connects with families in the Learning Dreams program by meeting with a child’s parents in their home. She invites parents to reflect on how they would like to learn new skills and information. Then she helps parents identify their own learning dream or goal. The next step is to help the parent connect with community resources to help them achieve their learning goal. Andria shared examples of helping a parent get her driver’s license by covering the cost of behind-the-wheel driver’s training, and connecting a parent who wants to own her own business with Women Venture, an organization that trains women to become successful business owners. Once parents are making progress on their own learning, they are helped to support their children's education and learning at home and at school. "This is a great opportunity for me to work with parents and apply my knowledge of adult learning skills," said Andria.

Andria Daniel graduated in May 2007 with a Master of Education Professional Studies degree in Family Education. Her goal is to continue to help families achieve their own learning goals and dreams by working with them in their homes and communities.

January 22, 2008

New Version of Parent Education Core Curricium Framework released

This winter Minnesota's ECFE Curriculum Committee carefully reviewed and edited indicators of Early Childhood Development along with a few indicators in the other four domains. This new version should hold for 2008, but the committee is likely to continue reviewing it and open to revising it based upon future feedback.

Download the most recent draft of
“Minnesota’s Parent Education Core Curriculum Framework and Indicators."

Download the "Integrated Lesson Plan" as a Word file.

December 1, 2007

Student Profile: Hsin-Ru Kang


I am from Taiwan, where I was an elementary school teacher for years. My college degree was music education; however, I am interested in parent education and family mental health. Therefore, I am pursuing my PhD in FYC with a specialization in Family Education, and declaring a graduate minor in Complementary Therapies and Healing Practices. Currently, I am working with Dr. Susan Walker on two projects. One is about Asian parent education research. The other one is American parent education website comparisons research. Given that I grew up in Chinese culture, I will do Chinese parent education and family mental health research in the future. For professional growth, I am joining National Council on Family Relationships and Minnesota Council on Family Relationships. I plan to participate in activities and conferences in the family education field to strengthen my scholarly and practical capability. I will also make efforts on giving presentations at conferences and publishing articles in the future.

August 22, 2007

Learning to Be a Citizen Professional

Printable PDF flyer

Continue reading "Learning to Be a Citizen Professional" »

May 10, 2007

Minnesota Parent Education Core Curriculum Framework and Indicators now available for educators

A draft of the new Minnesota Parent Education Core Curriculum Framework and Indicators (PECCFI) document is now available for parent educators to download and print. In addition, editable forms (Microsoft Word documents) are available for educators to use in developing parent education curriculum.

Minnesota's Parent Education Core Curriculum Framework and Indicators is not intended to be a prescribed curriculum. It provides a framework that defines and places parameters around the core content—what we teach—in parent education. Parent educators should continue to have autonomy and exercise creativity in assessing the specific and unique needs and expectations of each parent and parent group with whom they work and in designing curriculum and selecting resources to best meet their needs and expectations. The framework and indicators are a foundation for doing this work.

One of the visions of the committee that developed Minnesota’s Parent Education Core Curriculum Framework and Indicators was that it focuses the role of the professional parent educator on that of being an educator, not just a group facilitator. Group facilitation skills are one of an array of teaching methods for delivering parent education content. This may be a shift for some parent educators who view their role as one of mainly facilitating a self-directed group learning process.

The specific goals of the Parent Education Core Curriculum Framework and Indicators are to provide a resource that:
(1) Frames or defines the body of knowledge in the field of parent education.
(2) Identifies the intended content and objectives of parent education in ECFE and Even Start in Minnesota.
(3) Is applicable across the field of parent education with any type of parent education program, population, setting, and delivery mode.
(4) Is a planning tool for development and delivery of parent education curriculum and lesson plans.
(5) Provides guidance for parent goal setting in parent education.
(6) Guides assessment of parent education outcomes and programs.
(7) Promotes accountability in parent education programs and with individual parent educators.
(8) Informs practice in parent education.

Download the entire document Minnesota's Parent Education Core Curriculum Framework and Indicators (pdf, 66 pages, 263 kb)

Download planning forms (Microsoft Word documents, 30-43 kb each)
PECCFI Integrated Curriculum and Planning Grid
PECCFI Integrated Lesson Plan
PECCFI Brainstorming and Outline

February 27, 2007

Parent Education Core Curriculum Framework and Indicators

FAMILY FORUM, the Winter 2007 issue of the newsletter of the Minnesota Council on Family Relations features "Parent Education Core Curriculum Framework and Indicators" by Betty Cooke, Lecturer in Family Education, University of Minnesota, and Beth Yokom, Anoka-Hennepin Public Schools Family Education (see pages 4-6 of the newsletter).

The newsletter also features an article about our new online series of Parent Education courses (p. 8, 10).

Betty Cooke serves on the MCFE Board and was recently elected to the position of "President Elect."

February 5, 2007

Family Education Students and Graduates Profiled Online

We are proud of family education students and graduates! We are delighted that many have given permission to use their photos and short profiles that reflect their interests and experiences in our programs and their academic careers. The links below take you to pages that include their profiles. You may need to scroll to the bottom of the page or search alphabetically to find them.

Current Students and Recent Graduates

Ph.D. students Diane Anderson, Kathleen Matuska, and Sheila Moriarty

Ph.D. graduates Elizabeth (Elee) Wood and Robert Brenneman

M.A. student Heather Dubbeldee and graduate Sara Carpenter

Parent and family education licensure and M.Ed. student San Ha

Family and consumer sciences licensure graduates
Heidi Johnson and Shawna Grapentin

Distinguished Alumni

Geraldine Hodelin, Jamaica

Jean Illsley Clarke, Amy Jean Knorr, Marilyn (Marty) Rossmann

December 20, 2006

Parent and Family Education: From Face-To-Face to Online Delivery

The following link is to a Power Point presentation on "Parent and Family Education: From Face-To-Face to Online Delivery" presented at the December 1, 2006 Minnesota Council on Family Relations Annual Conference on the St. Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota by Michael Jerpbak, recent Family Education Ph.D. graduate, and Betty Cooke, Family Education Faculty.

Download file

For further information, contact Mike at or Betty at

October 31, 2006

Family Attunement Project Funded

The Sundance Family Foundation has awarded funds for Dr. Lynn Englund to develop and research a family education curriculum designed from the "attunement" perspective. This approach to family education seeks to create new opportunities for greater attunement or harmony between parents' goals and desires for family life and minimize the discrepancies with the reality of daily family life. The University of Minnesota Child Care Center is a partner in the project.