Family Science Students Develop and Deliver Programming to High Schoolers

The W students
Students from the Mississippi University for Women

Family Science students from the Mississippi University for Women (The W) recently got a change of scenes when they were invited to give a presentation to students at New Hope High School in Columbus, MS. The hour-long program and additional breakout session were designed to provide high schoolers with a basic understanding of post-secondary education and career opportunities to explore with their families.

The W students Paige Flemings, Zann Jenkins, Benjamin Little, and Cassidy Murphy developed the presentation as part of their "Program Planning and Evaluation" class — one of the many courses in the Family Science Bachelor of Arts degree approved since 2004 to meet the criteria for the Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) credential. The class is taught by NCFR member Cecilia Brooks, Ph.D.

This course introduces students to the entire logic model of Family Life Education program design. Students spend the term developing, implementing and evaluating a program they present to a real audience. Department Chair (and NCFR member) Dorothy Berglund, Ph.D., CFLE, remarked that this is the first time in her tenure at The W that the class has provided Family Life Education to a group off campus.

Dr. Berglund shared that intern supervisors and hiring managers have long celebrated the strength of The W's Family Science graduates in developing programs with research-based and evidence-informed practices. Elaborating further, she said, "the high school students will benefit because their next phase of life is figuring out what to do after high school; this program will help them with those plans and with a direction for that next step.”

A unique trait of Family Science is that it is preventive. Family Life Educators trained in this discipline seek to prevent serious family problems before they start by helping families across their lifespan develop skills known to promote healthy family functioning. Being able to work directly with high school students is just one example of this work.

There are a number of great career opportunities for Family Science graduates that involve direct and indirect contact with families, Dr. Brooks said, listing opportunities as varied as social services, faith-based organizations, family interventions, health care, government and public policy, just to name a few.

Learn more about this course and its students.


140 degree programs at university and colleges throughout the United States and Canada have been CFLE-approved by NCFR. Search the NCFR Degree Programs Guide.

NCFR, which administers the CFLE credential, recognizes regionally accredited schools offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs with course work that includes content covering the 10 Family Life Education content areas required for approval as a provisional CFLE. NCFR approval allows graduates of these programs the opportunity to apply for provisional CFLE certification without taking the CFLE exam.

Interested in getting your program approved? Learn more about CFLE Academic Program Approval.