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Betty Cooke, Ph.D

Retired Faculty, University of Minnesota, MN

Betty Cooke has over 50 years of professional experience working with and for young children and their families. She has been an early childhood educator, parent educator, and administrator of programs for children and families. She has been a teacher educator of early childhood educators and parenting educators at the University of Nebraska and the University of Minnesota (UMN). In 1988 Betty completed a Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis on parent and family education at the UMN. 

Betty has been involved with Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE), the Minnesota public school parent education program for all families with children 0-4 since 1977. She is a licensed parent educator and was a parent educator for two of the early ECFE pilot programs. From 1990 – 2005, she was an Early Childhood and Family Education Specialist at the Minnesota Department of Education. She was responsible for providing leadership for ECFE programs in all Minnesota school districts and the four tribal schools. 

Betty returned to the Family Education faculty at the UMN in 2005 where she taught graduate parent education teacher licensure courses, coordinated the development of all parent education licensure courses for online delivery, and led the development of the Certificate in Parent Education program at the UMN, which is available entirely online to students across the country and internationally.

Betty has been involved with the National Parenting Education Network (NPEN) since its inception, serving on the Guidance Council, several NPEN Committees, and as Chair from 2010-2012. She currently serves on the NPEN Advisory Panel and chairs the Professional Preparation and Recognition Committee’s Parenting Educator Competencies Subcommittee which was responsible for developing Parenting Educator Competencies: A Resource Document for the Field of Parenting Education.

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