CFLE Spotlight - Gladys J. Hildreth, Ph.D., CFLE

CFLE since 1989
CFLE Network

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We are introducing a new feature in the CFLE Network – CFLE Spotlight. A significant number of CFLEs have been certified for 20, 25 and even 30 years! These CFLEs have a wealth of experience and knowledge and we thought it only fitting to give them a little recognition while also benefiting from their wisdom. We will ask each featured CFLE to complete a selection of questions/statements (in bold in the list below) covering both their professional and personal lives and will share some of the best responses in this column. Our first featured CFLE is Gladys J. Hildreth.

My 58-year career has focused on promoting and modeling healthy families. After earning a doctoral degree from Michigan State University in 1974, I taught at major universities across the United States including Louisiana State University (Professor Emeritus), Texas Woman’s University, University of Kentucky, and for the past 10 years, University of North Texas. My areas of research and teaching interests include ethnically diverse families, the elderly and preparation of family life educators.

Much of my work in the classroom and as a researcher is influenced by the CFLE credential, which I earned in 1989. As a 28 year CFLE, I have been able to articulate the value of Family Life Education, especially when applying for jobs. Watching my students complete the requirements and application process for earning the CFLE credential has been a major reward for me.


The perfect weekend includes being with my husband of 61 years, my adult children, and my six grandchildren. The weekend would be awesome!

If I wasn’t in this field, I probably would have been a family policy lawyer.

The best advice I can give someone just getting into Family Life Education (FLE) is to have a solid educational background in human development and an interest in applied family research.

I think it is important for people to be aware of the internal and external aspects of their lives (know what they can and cannot change).

My favorite book is Child of the Dark, because the contents embraces the rewards of hard work.

Most people would be surprised to know that I collect souvenir roosters. I have over 100 in my collection.

CFLE is important to me because it provides evidence that I have knowledge and am well grounded in Family Life Education. In addition, the credential assists me in helping my students gain employment after graduation.

Never underestimate the value of human resources (judgement, time, relationships, education, love, compassion, and forgiveness).

The world would be a better place if people had more humanistic values.

A wise saying that guides me is that happiness is not a station in life; rather happiness is a mode of traveling from day to day with good and bad experiences.  

The best thing about working in Family Life Education is observing family change as a result of being taught aspects of FLE. Collaborating with other professionals and exchanging ideas has also been a very worthwhile experience. Watching students become family life professionals and making a difference in society is rewarding and appreciated.

The most frustrating thing about my job is trying to get others outside of my field to recognize that FLE is real and needed and not considered as fluff. Program planners and policy makers need to recognize, require, and support FLE for all grades.

The most rewarding part of my job is training students to help families with challenges recognize their strengths and improve their lives. I also enjoy the student/faculty relationship I have with students.

The best way to encourage employees is to listen and hear their stories, and to make decisions based on realities and facts.

I feel most peaceful when I am in the company of others with similar interest and views on life.

 Jokes told by my eight-year-old grandson always makes me laugh.

I play the piano.

I play competitive Scrabble.

What I wish you had asked me:

With the advancement of technology, why don’t you ask me why there aren’t more avenues for advertising and promoting the value of Family Life Education for everyone? Radio and television offers possibilities that should be explored!