Wisdom for Parents Book Funds CFLE Scholarship

Dawn Cassidy, M.Ed., CFLE, Director of Family Life Education, [email protected]
/ NCFR Report, Winter 2021

In 2011, Robert E. Keim, Ph.D., CFLE, and Arminta Jacobson, Ph.D., CFLE, edited the book Wisdom for Parents: Key Ideas From Parent Educators. The book includes a collection of nearly a hundred short articles contributed by Certified Family Life Educators (CFLEs) who share their professional and personal expertise and advice about parenting. The summary chapter, written by Drs. Keim and Jacobson, and Jo Ann Engelbrecht, CFLE, includes parenting wisdom described in the book as “from writers and scholars spanning the past decades—wisdom that tends not to grow old, but still applies.” The book is sold through the NCFR Store and several online outlets, and it has been purchased by individuals and by several universities for use as a supplemental text for parenting courses.

Dr. Keim published the book at his own expense and generously donated the proceeds to help support the CFLE program. The CFLE credential is administered by NCFR and is recognized in the U.S. and Canada for Family Life Education professions. The program encourages applications from professionals who have preparation and experience in Family Life Education settings, including formal teaching, research and scholarship, community education, public information and education, curriculum and resource development, health care, military family support, and ministry. CFLEs have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, and many have advanced degrees.

NCFR used the proceeds from Wisdom for Parents to create the CFLE Scholarship Fund. For the first few years, NCFR used the funds to support scholarship applications from CFLEs to cover their CFLE annual fee. The success of the book enabled NCFR to expand the scholarship fund to also include the application fee for first-time CFLE applicants.

We are sad to share that Dr. Keim passed away Dec. 20, 2020. He thoughtfully bequeathed the book’s copyright to NCFR, which will allow for its continued proceeds to support the CFLE Scholarship Fund.

Continued Wisdom for Family Life Educators

Much of the success of the Wisdom for Parents book is due to the value of the information provided in it by knowledgeable and experienced CFLEs. I thought of them the other day when I was reviewing a list of CFLEs who have been certified for more than 20 years. There are currently 163 CFLEs who have been certified for more than 20 years and 62 who have been certified for more than 30! I suspect that is unusual in the world of voluntary certifications, and it reflects the commitment that Family Life Educators bring to the field. As CFLEs, their training and experience has been supported with research and evidence-based practice. This, coupled with their many years of experience, has likely resulted in a lot of wisdom about the practice of Family Life Education.

We’ve worked to tap some of that wisdom through CFLE Conversations—regular online networking sessions that debuted in 2021. These provide an opportunity for CFLEs working in similar areas and around common issues to connect with and support one another under the guidance of an experienced facilitator.

Building off that success, and in recognition of the value of the contributions of the Wisdom for Parents authors, a new column, “Wisdom for Family Life Educators,” will be introduced in the winter 2022 issue of Network, the newsletter for CFLEs. This column will provide an opportunity for CFLEs to share some of the things that they have learned over their years of providing various forms of Family Life Education.

I’m also hoping to provide another opportunity for Family Life Educators and CFLEs to share their wisdom at next year’s Family Life Education Summit.

NCFR Virtual Family Life Education Summit Will Return in 2022

As I shared in the fall issue of NCFR Report, NCFR’s first virtual Family Life Education Summit, held in June 2021, was a big success, with more than 170 people in attendance. NCFR is planning to host another virtual summit next spring on Friday, June 24, 2022. We’ll likely follow the same format, with one plenary presentation and three blocks of three to four concurrent sessions. I’m planning to work with members of the CFLE Advisory Board once again, and I will also enlist the help of a special FLE Summit Task Force, largely made up of practitioner Family Life Educators who work outside of academia. Several attendees of the 2021 Summit expressed interest in serving on this task force, so I will be reaching out to them soon. In the meantime, I welcome involvement from anyone who wants to help plan this important event and your input on how we can make the 2022 Virtual FLE Summit an even bigger success than the inaugural event.

CFLE Scholarship Fund and Annual Fee Waiver

The Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) Annual Fee Waiver and Scholarship were created to provide financial assistance to current CFLEs in paying 100% of the CFLE Annual Fee and 50% of the first-time CFLE application fee. 

CFLE Scholarship Criteria:

  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution

  • Training, education, and/or experience in Family Life Education

  • Ability to articulate a need for financial assistance from NCFR

Applicants should apply for the CFLE Scholarship before submitting their CFLE application.

CFLE Annual Fee Waiver Criteria

  • Active CFLE status, provisional or full, at the time of application

  • Meeting of all CFLE requirements, including submission of any recertification or upgrade materials and payment of fees currently due

  • Ability to articulate a need for financial assistance from NCFR

One-time fee waivers and CFLE Scholarships are awarded to up to six CFLEs each year. The quarterly application deadlines are Jan. 15, April 15, July 15, and Oct. 15. Visit the NCFR website at ncfr.org/cfle-scholarship-fund for information about the CFLE Scholarship Fund.