The parent education minor is for students entering professions involved with children and families. It provides the necessary knowledge and skills for working with parents. Also, the program addresses a need identified in the community for people with specific preparation for the role of parent educator. Many agencies offer or are interested in offering parent education programs, yet no specific preparation for that role has been available. This minor is designed to provide students with education for that role and to give students a set of skills that are increasingly in demand.
The minor is seen as particularly appropriate for students entering family- and child-related fields, including education, health care management, human services, criminal justice (especially juvenile justice), nursing and nurse practitioner programs, psychology, sociology, social welfare, speech, and women’s studies. People entering these fields may be in a position to develop and conduct parent education programs; a minor in parent education should serve them well in the employment market. Parent education happens in settings ranging from churches to industry and is not limited to educational settings in the usual sense.
The parent education minor encompasses three areas of preparation. One set of classes is intended to give students basic information necessary for effective parenting (child development, parenting techniques, family management and health care). The second facet of the program gives students the skills necessary for developing and conducting parent education programs such as group techniques and program development. The third component of the program entails actual field experience working in parent education programs. This experience is incorporated into a number of classes and is the central component of the final course in the minor. A field placement is required in the last semester. Placement opportunities include parent education in hospitals, social service agencies, public and private schools, and business and industry. Students work closely with a parent education program advisor to ensure an appropriate field placement. For more information consult an advisor in the Human Services or Psychology Departments.