College of Education and Human Development

Family Social Science

Parent and Family Education Programs

Parenting in the modern world presents unique advantages and challenges that past generations experienced very differently. A global pandemic, financial instability, and increasing health and child care costs are just some of the larger social issues that parents, families and caregivers grapple with while raising children. In addition, racial, social, and health injustices, historical and systemic racism and other intersectional inequities further impact the lived experiences of today’s caregivers and their communities, which in turn influence childhood development and parenting practices.

But, families were never meant to do this alone! The Parent and Family Education program prepares professionals to support, educate and build community for today’s parents and families as they navigate today’s changing world.

The Parent and Family Education program is the only fully online program in the state of Minnesota and one of the leading Parent and Family Education licensure programs in the nation.

Explore Our Programs

Have you always wanted to work with families in your community? Do you want to support parents and their children as they journey through parenthood? Have you heard about or participated in a district Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) program and want to see yourself represented in the educational profession? The Parent and Family Education program prepares professionals to support, educate and build community for today’s parents and families as they navigate today’s changing world. Our fully online programs infuse diversity, equity, and inclusion principles throughout our research-based curriculum. Class activities and assignments allow you to connect with colleagues as you apply the concepts to your ongoing work.

Our graduates go on to become licensed ECFE parent educators, home visitors, and certified parent and family educators working in health care, social service, non-profits, county agencies, religious settings, and beyond. Find which program is best for you!

Unsure which program is right for you? Learn more about all of our program track options in the Parent and Family Education Program Manual. Combining programs may require multiple applications and application fees.

This fully online degree program will prepare you to work directly with and coordinate services for caregivers and families. This program is for professionals who already have a teaching license in Parent and Family Education, or work in an area where the Minnesota teaching license is not required in order to work with families. Students in this program may be eligible for Federal financial aid and/or department distributed merit aid. The M.Ed. program requires completion of a capstone interview at the end of the degree.

This fully online master’s program will prepare you to obtain a Minnesota teaching license in Parent and Family Education to teach in Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) programs in Minnesota while earning credits towards a Master’s degree. This M.Ed. program requires completion of a capstone interview at the end of the degree. This option may be eligible for Federal financial aid.

This fully online licensure program will prepare you to teach parent and family education in Minnesota’s statewide Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) programs. The licensure program is designed for professionals who want to add the Parent and Family Education license to an existing teaching license or want an initial teaching license.

TThis fully online program will prepare you to design, deliver, and evaluate educational programs in a variety of educational programs (such as public school programs, child care centers, and Head Start programs), health care, social-service agencies, and faith-based institutions. The certificate does not meet eligibility requirements for working in Minnesota’s Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) program.

Paying for your education

Scholarships for Parent and Family Education students are typically awarded once or twice per year and are highly competitive. To learn more information about application deadlines and eligibility requirements visit the FSoS Departmental Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards page or reach out to famed@umn.edu. Many of the award opportunities listed require students to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

In addition, the Parent and Family Education team has identified potential funding sources outside of the University of Minnesota, including state and private programs designed to support educators. Learn more about them at the External Funding Resources page.

As a program we are committed to providing accessible opportunities for students to receive financial assistance for the cost of tuition, books, professional development opportunities, etc. If you are experiencing financial constraints, please reach out to faculty or your adviser. We are here to help.

Faculty and Staff Contacts

Parent and Family Education Program Team:

  • Shannon Rader, Director of Parent and Family Education Programs & Licensure Program Lead
  • Jennifer George, Assistant Professor
  • Maggie Beaupre DeYoung, Parent and Family Education Advisor

Family Social Science Leadership

Contact the Parent and Family Education programs at famed@umn.edu

Our program is part of a vibrant and growing Family Social Science department with diverse faculty and research that focuses on disciplines including parent-child interaction, family therapy, traumatic stress and resilience in families, family financial capital, sexual and gender in close relationships, technology, immigrant and refugee families, and LGBTQ+ families.

Our program is committed to preparing socially and culturally competent educators who can work with and support ALL families. To learn more about the importance of this commitment, see our diversity, equity and inclusion statement.