Consumer and Family Sciences Professional Development Program

Project Director: Shelley MacDermid, professor, Department of Child Development and Family Studies

Funding: Cooperative Extension Service, $52,631

Term of Project: March 2000-December 2003

Description: Lifelong learning is now much more than just a buzzword. Professionals in many fields regularly seek opportunities for additional training, often a prerequisite for continued practice. Many professionals are interested in formal university training, as opposed to conferences and other less formal opportunities, but do not wish to seek a degree. To date, there have been only limited opportunities for human service professionals to receive advanced training from faculty at Purdue University. The Consumer and Family Sciences Professional Development Program expands educational opportunities and makes Purdue expertise more readily available to professionals across the state. The program also offers Extension educators not only new opportunities for their own training, but also a new set of tools they can make available to others.

Phase 1 was completed at the end of summer 2000. During this phase, the first course was designed and offered to child care resource and referral specialists who spent three days on the West Lafayette campus learning how to work more effectively with employers. Phase 2 took place in 2001, when courses two and three were offered. One targeted human service professionals, and the other focused on high school educators.