NYSPEP'S mission is to promote and improve parenting education, in order to enhance parenting skills, knowledge and behavior.




What Is It Really Like to Be A Credentialed Parenting Educator? An Interview with Dawn Bruce

During the summer 2020 round of credential applications, Dawn Bruce; one of the first to be a Credentialed Parenting Educator (CPE) took the plunge; instead of renewing her existing credential she bumped up to the Credentialed Senior Parent Educator (CSPE) level.

After providing exemplary work, we wanted to hear from Dawn as to the value of seeking/obtaining the PE Credential through NYSPEP.

Jennie: Parenting Education is an often misunderstood and under valued profession-what drew you to this field?

Dawn: Initially, I was drawn to Parent Education because of my own experience as a mother. I became a widow four days before my son was born and this life changing experience propelled me into unexpected new territories. I attended the NYSPEP Strong Roots Last a Lifetime Conference in 2012 and enjoyed the presentations that were given. There I learned more about the parent educator credentials, which piqued my interest and wanted to apply for it.  There was so much I needed to learn as a first-time mother, while experiencing grief and an array of emotions and challenges. I also saw the need and the importance of parent education, not only understanding a child’s development, but also recognizing that parent education and reflection are opportunities for parents to grow, heal and develop. Now that I have a young adult, there is so much that I can share with other parents.

My personal work with parents in early childhood observing their challenges, resilience and the many social conditions that impacts their lives has also been a catalyst and encouragement for me to learn more about parent education. As I continue my journey to grow professionally and personally, I see myself continuing to develop as a parent educator. Parenting can and is challenging and at the same time it is an opportunity for parents to get to know themselves better and I would like to assist other parents in this process.

Jennie: Renewals happen every 4 years for the credential. What inspired you to go for the next level of credentialing?

Dawn: My current role as a supervisor gave me the experience, I needed to apply for the CSPE level.

Jennie: This can be a long process of self-reflection, what was the value personally and professionally for you?

Dawn: The most valuable part of this renewal process was reflecting on how much I have grown professionally and personally since I last renewed my parent educator credential. An opportunity presented itself for me to become a supervisor, I accepted the challenge and was able to demonstrate my learning from this role and utilize it in my portfolio process.

Jennie: Because of the nature of funding and the challenges of running programming-what would you say to an employer about the benefit of prioritizing this credential as professional development?

Dawn: The value of this process is being able to reflect on the accomplishments, as well as the professional and personal development that takes place. I think about having a resume and how one must review their skills, places where you have worked and the education you have obtained. I would say that the difference in this process is that one must go further than giving snapshots of skills and experience. This process challenges you to go deeper and write about your learning and professional experiences and how it is utilized in your daily work.

Jennie: We spend a lot of our time in the tension of professional vs. personal lives, how do you relieve that tension?  

Dawn: I really enjoy coloring in adult coloring books. It is a great stress reliever and helps me to draw on my inner creativity.

It was a pleasure to connect with Dawn. Her work in the field will benefit other educators moving forward and we look forward to expanding our opportunities to work directly with her. In the meantime, Dawn is the author of: The Coming of A New Dawn: A book of inspirational thoughts - https://www.iuniverse.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/109965-The-Coming-of-A-New-Dawn

The upcoming application submission deadlines are August 31st  and October 31st, 2020. 

Email credential@nyspep.org for more information or to request the zip file application.

Expand your professional affiliation today!

Join the NYSPEP Credentialing team next month as we discuss resources for meeting the parenting challenges in the age of Covid.

Virtual Professional Development Opportunity: P-3 Summer Institute Virtual Thursday Series

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The New York State Education Department is partnering with the Council on Children and Families (CCF) to be able to provide the P-3 Summer Institute Virtual Thursday series. The Institute is supported by the NYSB5 Grant awarded to the CCF by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. The NYSB5 project seeks to strengthen partnerships, coordinate services, expand parent choice, and increase quality to ensure that all children in New York State receive equitable and comprehensive services to ensure lifelong success.