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University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignCollege of ACES
Department of Human Development and Family Studies
Give to Human Development and Family Studies

Become a Certified Family Life Educator

Completing the HDFS Family Studies Concentration with the appropriate choice of required and elective courses can qualify you for provisional status as a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE), a credential awarded by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR).

Family life education focuses on healthy family functioning within a family systems perspective and provides a primarily preventive approach. The goal of family life education is to teach and foster skills and knowledge to enable individuals and families to function optimally. Certified Family Life Educators have careers in a variety of areas, such as:

  • Parenting education
  • Sexuality education
  • Divorce mediation
  • Family financial counseling
  • Adoption/foster care services
  • Marriage enrichment
  • Prevention programs
  • Immigration/migrant services
  • Public policy relating to family life
CFLE Curriculum

To be eligible for the CFLE credential, you must complete course work covering 10 critical content areas, plus an internship or practicum experience related to family life education. HDFS graduates seeking provisional CFLE status must have completed the following courses, which mirror the Family Studies Concentration plus two electives:

  • HDFS 105 – Intro to Human Development
  • HDFS 220 – Families in Global Perspective
  • HDFS 290 – Intro to Research Methods
  • HDFS 401 – Socialization and Development
  • HDFS 425 – Critical Family Transitions
  • HDFS 427 – Family Adaptation & Resilience
  • ACE 240 – Personal Financial Planning
  • CHLH 206 – Human Sexuality
  • HDFS 120 – Intro to Family Studies
  • HDFS 225 – Close Relationships
  • HDFS 340 – Gender, Relationships & Society
  • HDFS 420 – Family Diversity in the U.S.
  • HDFS 426 – Family Conflict Management
  • HDFS 450 – Practicum in HDFS (min. 120 hrs)
  • HDFS 461 – Family Life Education or HDFS 561 – Child and Family Program Dev

The CFLE checklist shows how these courses are applied to the 10 NCFR content areas.

Application Process

Within two years of graduation, graduates who have completed the approved CFLE preparation courses may submit to NCFR an abbreviated application form, along with an official transcript, signed copy of the CFLE Code of Ethics, and application fee, in order to obtain Provisional CFLE status. After two years of community-based experience as a CFLE, you may apply for Full CFLE status.

Once achieving Provisional Status, you will be linked through email, listservs, and professional development experiences to an international group of family educators who are committed to enhancing the well-being of individuals and families across the life span. Some CFLEs continue with graduate education to further enhance their knowledge and skills and/or to obtain specialized training in clinical areas, such as marriage and family therapy.

Questions? Contact CFLE advisor, Dr. Jennifer Hardesty.