Shenango faculty members receive Certified Family Life Educator designation

Penn State Shenango instructor in human development and family studies (HDFS) Roxanne Atterholt, and associate professor of human development and family studies William McGuigan have received the National Council on Family Relations’ (NCFR) Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) designation. CFLEs have a proven background in the 10 family life content areas deemed core to family life education. Penn State Shenango is one of only three CFLE approved programs in a 100 mile radius.

Atterholt completed her graduate studies from the International Institute for Restorative Practices in Bethlehem, Pa., earning a master of science in counseling and restorative practices. She finished her undergraduate studies at the University of Akron receiving a bachelor of arts in psychology.

Before joining the Shenango campus full-time in 2013, Atterholt taught as an adjunct professor at the Shenango campus in its HDFS department and at Thiel College in its sociology department. Atterholt has also held faculty status as a field instructor for the University of Pittsburgh’s master of social work program.

In addition to instruction, Atterholt has worked as a psychological services associate at the New Castle Youth Development Center, Bureau of Juvenile Justice Services, where she oversaw professional psychological and counseling services.

McGuigan received his doctorate in family studies and sociology, a master’s degree in human development and family studies, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology, all from Oregon State University. His expertise is in child maltreatment and family violence. He is an active member of the review board for the International Journal of Child Abuse and Neglect.

His recent work has focused on bias and prejudice towards Old Order Amish. McGuigan has published several book chapters and peer reviewed articles in scientific journals, including an article in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology titled “The Effect of Contact on Attitudes Toward Old Order Amish.”

The NCFR’s current CFLEs work in a variety of settings, including service agencies, mental health centers, colleges and universities, community education, secondary and elementary schools, military family support centers, corporations, family planning agencies, hospitals, day care centers, faith-based organizations, education departments and private practice.

NCFR is a member-funded, nonpartisan educational and professional organization which provides service to family professionals. It 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, including Families and Individuals in Societal Context, Internal Dynamics of Families, Human Growth and Development, Human Sexuality, Interpersonal Relationships, Family Resource Management, Parent Education, Family Law and Public Policy, Professional Ethics and Practice, and Family Life Education Methodology. NCFR approval allows the school to offer their graduates the opportunity to apply for provisional certification using the abbreviated application process.

Penn State Shenango is one of approximately 125 university and colleges throughout the United States and Canada that offer degree programs that have been approved by the NCFR as meeting the criteria for the provisional CFLE credential.

For more information about Penn State Shenango and its CFLE courses, email Roxanne Atterholt at For information on the Certified Family Life Educator program or the National Council on Family Relations, email or call 763-781-9332, ex. 2882.




Last Updated April 29, 2014