By introducing a new family studies emphasis last fall, the Behavioral Science program will qualify graduates to teach both families and single adults how to improve their relationships and general living skills, said Dawn Cassidy, the director of education for the National Council on Family Relations during a recent visit to campus.

NCFR has worked with UVU in bringing this new emphasis to life. In fact, a graduate of the behavioral science family studies program would be effectively certified through NCFR as a Family Life Educator. As such, one could work in a numerous array of fields like parenting education, pre-marriage education, family law and public policy. Family studies students are encouraged to join NCFR before graduation to make the certification process easier and to gain knowledge before joining the workforce. The student rate for membership is $80 a year which includes magazine and journal subscriptions.

Bachelor’s degree graduates have five years to work toward full certification which requires 3,200 hours of relevant experience, including job experience or volunteer work. The experience requirement is 1,600 hours for people graduating with a master’s degree.

Educators say it’s important to note that this is not a therapy program, but one of education and prevention. Jeremy Boden, one of UVU’s newest Behavioral Science instructors recently held a series of lectures on campus emphasizing education in relationships that included “How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk,” “Top Five Things to Know Before Getting Married,” and “Top Five Things Newlyweds Should Know.” Boden, who teaches family life education, taught all three seminars. The seminars were held with the support of professors Russ Gaede and Ella Tomlin.