University of Minnesota
Driven to Discover

Parent-Infant Pathways:
An Educator's Guide to Providing Information and Support to New Parents

EDHD 5300 008 89335
Earn a Continuing Education Certificate (84 clock hours) or 2 Academic Credits

Next session: June 6 to August 8, 2016

There are predictable times when parents will benefit from specific information, insights, and support. New parents are especially eager to understand their infant's growth and development. The period following the birth of a child offers a special opportunity for professionals to reach new parents with important information and to build relationships. Parent-Infant Pathways captures the key information needed by new parents, has effective strategies and materials to impart this information, and explains how to empower parents and demonstrate support.

The Parent-Infant Pathways course is designed to enhance the work of professionals in the fields of early education, early intervention, parent education, nursing, pediatrics, social service, and health care by providing specific training around early infant development, parent education, and parent-infant relationships.

Each pathway of information is supported by current research and reflects best practice. Upon completion of the course, participants will be better able to address new parents' questions, thoughts, and concerns as well as help parents more easily identify infant communication cues and capabilities.

The course is divided into nine learning modules:

Pathways Overview

Pathway 1: Womb to the World

Pathway 2: The Sleeping Baby

Pathway 3: The Social Newborn

Pathway 4: The Crying Baby

Pathway 5: Rooting and Suckling

Pathway 6: Grasping and Holding

Pathway 7: Strength and Control

Pathway 8: Premature Babies and Their Parents: A Different Beginning

This online course is approved by the Minnesota Center for Professional Development to count toward career lattice steps and approved by the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) for their members (ICEA accepts a maximum of 24 clock hours per course).

International students are welcome!


For 84 clock hours: $800 registration fee plus required materials

For 2 academic credits: $800 tuition plus required materials

Registration Information

To register for clock hours:

  1. Please read important information in About Online Courses.
  2. Register and pay online. You will receive a confirmation of registration.
  3. You will be emailed getting started instructions, including how to access the course site, on the Friday before the session begins.

To register for academic credit:

There is a two-step registration process. You must complete both steps in order to fully and completely register for this course. You will be emailed getting started instructions, including how to access the course site, on the Friday before the session begins.

  • Degree-seeking students currently enrolled at the University of Minnesota may not use our for-credit courses toward their degree program. Should a currently enrolled student choose to register for academic credit, the student may be subjected to additional University fees.
  • Degree-seeking students enrolled in schools other than the University of Minnesota wishing to use our course as an elective must directly seek prior approval from their degree program.


  1. Please read important information in About Online Courses.
  2. Register online.
  3. Complete and submit the Registration Request for Graduate Credit form. Complete the highlighted sections (e.g., do NOT register via OneStop; send your Grad Credit Request form to CEED, not the University.) Questions? Contact Karen Anderson at To register for summer session: This form must be received in CEED's office by May 30, 2016. CEED will obtain the appropriate approval signatures and forward your form to One Stop Student Services.
  4. When the University processes your request form, you will receive a confirmation from One Stop Student Services with information regarding your student account and payment. You must activate your student account to make your payment.
  5. On the Friday before the session begins, you will be emailed getting started instructions, including how to access the course site.

Required Materials

The textbook for this course is being published in May. Information on ordering will be added here as soon as it becomes available. If you are registered, an email will be sent to you with this information.

Renee Torbenson, Instructor

Renee Torbenson photoRenee Torbenson, BS, MA, Licensed Parent Educator, Lactation Educator, Certified Infant Massage Instructor. Ms. Torbenson holds a B.S. from the University of Minnesota and a M.A. in Early Childhood Education from Concordia University, St. Paul. Renee has been an educator for over 35 years--25 years in the Minneapolis Early Childhood Education (ECFE) program as a parent educator and infant specialist working with parents of newborns through 18 months. Renee was instrumental in beginning the collaboration with North Memorial Hospital where she has implemented the Parent-Infant Pathways curriculum for the past 15 years in her work as a family educator.

Testimonials from Participants

  • "This was a great experience and a fantastic way to add to my knowledge base. It was easy to navigate through the course and the information was presented in various formats that filled my needs. I will not hesitate to take another online CEED course."
  • "The research-based information will be invaluable to me in my work as an early childhood teacher."
  • "I can recommend your course wholeheartedly to those interested in increasing their knowledge in the field of infant development and parent education."
  • "It was a wonderful course. I feel so lucky to have been a part of it."
  • "Thank you for the wonderful course. I am recommending it to our special education teachers. I found the information very useful for our population."
  • "Despite all the intuitive knowledge that comes from experience...what this course is giving me is practical ways with families."

Related Resources

Upcoming Sessions

  • Summer 2016: June 6 to August 8, 2016
  • Fall 2016: October 10 to December 12, 2016


Contact Karen Anderson, CEED Online Course Manager, at or 612-625-6617.

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The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer
Last modified on February 21, 2013.