Degrees & Classes

Degrees & Classes

Parenting Education

BTC's Childbirth and Parenting education program is designed to educate and support individuals in their role as parents or caretakers of children.

The program incorporates positive parenting skills with a child development knowledge base that promotes strong and healthy families.

The program recognizes parenting as an important occupation that requires education, experience, knowledge, thought, energy, and concern.

The various parenting courses offered provide instruction in the principles of child development and specific parenting skills and prepare individuals for their dual role of parent/wage earner.

The value of Parenting Education at BTC is that participation in the various parenting courses contributes to the development of children into healthy, mature adults and helps build strong families. Course goals vary depending on the particular course but all include developing realistic age-level expectations.

Jobs & Employment

Early Learning providers are in demand. They work in a variety of settings from in the home to public and private settings.

Potential Positions

Childcare provider, child caregiver, aide, child care worker attendant, au pair


Filter courses by quarter 
Use this tool to see this program's course offerings for upcoming quarters

  • CHFM 105Preparation for Childbirth & Parenting2 credits

    This traditional course covers the full spectrum of pregnancy, labor and birth, newborn care, postpartum and parenting, and is designed for those who want to focus on their pregnancy and parenting while building relationships with other pregnant families. Information about the last trimester of pregnancy, labor and birth including comfort and coping techniques, newborn care and feeding, and the challenges and rewards of parenting will be covered. A postpartum session (reunion) with parents and babies is included.

    Future Offerings
    10/16-12/11Th 7:00p-9:30pAMES POpenings: 5
  • CHFM 106Pregnancy & Childbirth1 credits

    A condensed version of our traditional series, this shorter series focuses on healthy pregnancy and birth and is great as a refresher option. Information on pregnancy, labor and birth, and comfort and coping techniques will be covered. There will be limited information on newborns, breastfeeding, and the postpartum period presented, and less time to practice skills in class. A postpartum session (reunion) with parents and babies is included.

    Future Offerings
    10/13-11/10M 7:00p-9:30pAMES POpenings: 8
    11/5-12/10W 6:30p-9:00pTHALHOFER TOpenings: 12
  • CHFM 107Prep. For Childbirth: Weekend Condensed1 credits

    This weekend course is designed for the pregnant woman and her support person whose schedule prevents them from taking the eight session course. The weekend format will provide a quick overview of late pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, as well as breathing and relaxation methods to make childbirth easier.

    Future Offerings
    9/20-9/21Sa 8:30a-5:30pWILBUR KOpenings: 4
    10/18-10/19Sa 8:30a-5:30pWARREN AOpenings: 8
    11/15-11/16Sa 8:30a-5:30pAMES POpenings: 11
    12/6-12/7Sa 8:30a-5:30pWARREN AOpenings: 11
  • CHFM 109HypnoBirthing1 credits

    This five session course for women and their partners is designed for those seeking preparation for a safe, satisfying, natural birth. Information about the process of labor and birth is covered, with emphasis on eliminating fears and building trust in women's inherent ability to give birth. Using techniques like visualization, guided imagery, and special breathing patterns, women learn to achieve deep relation. With HypnoBirthing, women remain aware, fully in control, but profoundly relaxed.

    Future Offerings
    9/23-10/21T 6:30p-9:00pWILBUR KOpenings: 9
    11/4-12/2T 6:30p-9:00pWILBUR KOpenings: 11
  • CHFM 111Understanding Birth eClass1 credits

    This hybrid childbirth preparation class offers you the best of both worlds: the flexibility of an online curriculum as well as two classroom sessions for you to practice labor support techniques and connect with other pregnant families. The self-paced online portion of the class uses text, film clips and interactive tools to teach basic information about pregnancy, the labor process, medical procedures, babies, and breastfeeding. During the two classroom sessions you will receive the support and knowledge of a local experienced instructor who can answer your questions, demonstrate numerous hands-on labor support techniques, provide feedback about your progress, and connect you with local resources. This is a great class for those with schedule conflicts or on bed rest, and is a great refresher class for those who already took a childbirth preparation class with first baby.

    Future Offerings
    9/25-10/23Th 6:30p-9:00pTHALHOFER TOpenings: 12
    11/16-12/4Th 6:30p-9:00pWILBUR KOpenings: 11
  • CHFM 119Breastfeeding Basics & Beyond0.5 credits

    Breastfeeding offers a baby an optimal start in life and provides lifelong health benefits. Breastfeeding is an integral part of the natural continuum of pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum. Accurate information and support are essential for a breastfeeding mother. This course is designed to provide the expectant woman and her support person(s) basic information necessary to initiate and to sustain breastfeeding, for as long as desired. Topics covered will include: breastfeeding resources, role of the support person(s), preparation and getting started, responding to challenges in the early postpartum period and beyond, including mother-baby separation and pumping, and answers to personal questions.

    Future Offerings
    10/9Th 6:30p-9:00pTHALHOFER TOpenings: 7
    12/9T 6:30p-9:00pTHALHOFER TOpenings: 9
  • CHFM 101Updates in Childbirth Education/Pre-parenting1 credits

    Update sessions on topics related to pregnancy care, emotional/social issues of pregnancy, labor and birth practices.

    Future Offerings
    11/13Th 6:30p-9:00pWILBUR KOpenings: 12
  • CHFM 121Baby 'N Me (1-7 months)2 credits

    The first year of life is an exciting one for baby and parents. This course is designed to offer support and encouragement in the fulfillment of this magnificent role as parent and provide an opportunity to meet and share with other parents of young babies. Topics of discussion include child development, toy selection, sleep patterns, games and songs, and strategies for preventing parent burnout. Babies remain with their parents during the 8 sessions.

    Future Offerings
    10/8-11/26W 1:00p-3:00pREAD AMOpenings: 9
  • CHFM 122Baby 'N Me (8-12 months)2 credits

    As your children transition from infancy, the parenting issues you face change. This course provides a safe, inviting, relaxed atmosphere where you can meet other parents, build relationships and find answers to your parenting questions. Adults choose discussion topics such as emerging language, safety, nutrition, and beginning discipline. Babies explore in the same room and make new friends while you gain valuable support and current information on raising an older infant.

    Future Offerings
    10/28-12/16T 1:00p-3:00pREAD AMOpenings: 3
    1/12-3/16M 1:00p-3:00pREAD AMOpenings: 12
  • CHFM 123Moms, Dads, and Babies1 credits

    Starting a new family is joyful and often stressful. Here is a chance for moms and dads to share with other parents/caregivers in a safe and stimulating environment while playing with their babies. Topics include but are not limited to: sleep patterns, infant development, adjusting to parenting, games and songs and starting solids.

    Future Offerings
    9/29-10/20M 6:00p-8:00pREAD AMOpenings: 12
    2/23-3/16M 6:00p-8:00pREAD AMOpenings: 12
  • CHFM 131Exploring with Toddlers: Ones2 credits

    Connect with your child through play and exploration together in our activity-filled classroom while meeting new families. Watch your child scoop seeds at our sensory table, paint and sculpt in our art area, and climb and throw in our gross motor room. Circle time includes songs, movement, and early literacy activities. New parent-chosen topics each quarter guide our discussion groups as we talk about themes related to development, temperament, guiding behavior, and caring for yourself and your one-year old.

    Future Offerings
    9/24-12/3W 9:00a-11:30aMALONE MOpenings: 4
    9/25-12/4Th 9:15a-11:45aOLZA-KELSH COpenings: 2
    9/23-12/2T 9:15a-11:45pOLZA-KELSH COpenings: 5
    9/22-11/24M 9:00a-11:30aREAD AMWaitlisted: 9
    9/22-11/24M 9:00a-11:30aREAD AMOpenings: 12
  • CHFM 132Exploring with Toddlers: Twos2 credits

    Build community with other families while your child learns socialization skills in our preschool-like classroom. Twos love to cook in our home center, build with blocks, dress up in costumes, and explore art, math, and science activities. Outside, kids dig in the sand, slide, and ride trikes. Circle time activities include songs, stories and musical instruments. Parents/caregivers choose new discussion topics each quarter, such as two-year old development, behavior guidance, toilet training, and temper tantrums.

  • CHFM 135More Than One2 credits

    Form lasting connections with other families while your children's imagination, curiosity and creativity soar. Kids can explore the dress up area, the sensory table, the home center, a variety of multi-age art, math, science and group activities as well as explore outdoors. Parents/caregivers choose their discussion topics such as sibling rivalry, balancing family needs, and positive discipline. This class is for families with multiple children (birth to 5 years) or those with a preschool-aged child without siblings.

    Future Offerings
    9/24-11/26W 9:00a-11:30aREAD AMWaitlisted: 4
    9/25-12/4Th 9:00a-11:30aREAD AMWaitlisted: 3
    9/26-12/5F 9:00a-11:30aREAD AMWaitlisted: 3
  • CHFM 140Raising Toddlers and Preschoolers1 credits

    During the first five years of life, children change rapidly and dramatically. Parents and caregivers are adjusting too! As your child's first and most influential teacher, you will develop skills to guide and encourage your child as he/she grows. Join this course for gaining information on understanding young children and their behavior, building self-esteem, effective communication, cooperation, discipline techniques, and emotional and social development.

    Future Offerings
    10/27-11/24M 7:00p-9:00pREAD AMOpenings: 9
  • CHFM 141Raising School Age Children1 credits

    Being an effective parent/caregiver can be challenging as well as rewarding. This course will provide a practical approach to improving adult/child relations for parents/caregivers of children ages 6-11 years. Topics cover normal child development including dealing with "tweens"; encouraging cooperation and responsibility; avoiding power struggles and communicating with your child about drugs, alcohol, sexuality and media. Participants will also have the opportunity to engage in an online discussion board.

    Future Offerings
    10/7-11/25T 7:00p-9:00pREAD AMOpenings: 17
  • CHFM 142Creating a Cooperative Family1 credits

    Parenting teenagers is one of the most challenging tasks of raising children today. To provide guidance through the often turbulent adolescent years, parents need a practical down-to-earth philosophy that can help them understand the motivations of their teens. Join this course which will provide you with more effective ways to communicate with your teen, plus learn methods to develop responsible behavior and high self-esteem in your teenager.

  • CHFM 148Creating a Cooperative Family2 credits

    This is an interactive class for parents who want more cooperative, respectful and joyful relationships with their children. In class you will explore ways to: discipline (teach) with kindness and firmness at the same time, help children achieve self-discipline and problem solving skills, create an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual respect in your home, and reduce power struggles. Choose a 'Positive Discipline' book by Jane Nelson related to your child's age. Some available in the BTC campus store.

    Future Offerings
    11/1-11/8Sa 9:00a-4:30pREAD AMOpenings: 16
  • CHFM 160Love and Logic for Successful Parenting1 credits

    Based on the highly acclaimed Love and Logic philosophy developed by Jim Fay and Foster Cline, this class unlocks the secrets of successful parenting. Participants in this class will learn the specific "how-to's" of successful parenting, not just theoretical concepts. The discussions and readings will provide parents with specific, tangible skills to use and a mind-set that allows them to develop a loving relationship while setting limits and boundaries.

    Future Offerings
    10/25Sa 9:00a-4:00pROSE-DUCKWOROpenings: 17
  • CHFM 170Raising Emotionally Healthy Kids1 credits

    Based on the book, “What Angry Kids Need: Parenting Your Angry Child Without Going Mad,” this course is designed to help parents understand their child’s emotions, and many of the problematic behaviors that can be associated with children’s intense feelings. Parents will learn tools to help their children express emotions in healthy ways, to manage their feelings in a way that allows them to solve problems effectively, and to help children build the skills to become emotionally resilient in today’s world. In addition, parents will explore how their own style of managing their emotions and conflict impacts parenting.


Program Entry Information

A variety of pre-parenting Childbirth Education, Adult/Child and Adult-Only parenting discussion courses are offered each quarter.

Participants can register for their course of interest. Half scholarships are generally available.

Students are encouraged to take as many different parenting courses as they wish as their child grows and changes.

Some Adult discussion courses are now offered partially or fully online.

Entry Requirements

Adult/Child classes for parents or caregivers of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are offered quarterly and participants can continue on in these classes as their child grows.

Adult discussion classes are offered either in a Saturday workshop format or one evening a week for several weeks and topics vary from quarter to quarter.

Participants can enter the courses at the beginning of any quarter.

Program Outcomes

  • Plan safe, healthy environments to invite learning
  • Facilitate steps to advance children’s physical and intellectual development
  • Create positive ways to support children’s social and emotional development
  • Develop strategies to establish productive relationships with children and families
  • Observe and record children’s behavior
  • Apply principles of child growth and development

Aleen Warren - Instructor image

Aleen Warren

Instructor Information

    • Biography

      Aleen Warren has taught childbirth education classes in the program co-sponsored by BTC and PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center since 1991. She has a Bachelors Degree in Human Services from WWU and completed the Evergreen Hospital Childbirth Educator certification in 1991. Aleen completed the LPN certification from BTC in 2010,and now works as a LPN for Family Care Network in addition to teaching childbirth education courses.

Ann Marie Read - Instructor image

Ann Marie Read

Instructor Information

    • Biography

      Ann Marie has a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of Washington. She has over 20 years of experience providing nursing care to acutely ill children and adults in both pediatric and adult emergency department settings. She is dedicated to supporting new healthcare workers and enthusiastically brings her professional knowledge to the classroom.

Carolina Olza-Kelsh - Instructor image

Carolina Olza-Kelsh

Instructor Information

    • Biography

      Carolina Olza-Kelsh has taught parenting education at BTC since 2008. She has a Bachelors degree in International Relations from the University of the Americas in Mexico and is currently working on a masters degree in early childhood education. She has extensive experience working with young children and volunteers regularly in the public schools. Carolina also teaches parenting education at WCC. Carolina strongly believes in partnering with families to support, enhance, and maximize the quality of care parents give their children. She likes to incorporate her bilingual and multicultural background in her classes. Carolina has two young children of her own.

Francie Gass - Instructor image

Francie Gass

Instructor Information

    • Biography

      Francie Gass has taught parenting classes at BTC since 1984. She has a Bachelors degree in Nursing from Columbia University and extensive experience working with children and families, both in pediatric and public health nursing as well as parenting. Francie teaches courses that parents and their young children attend together as well as parenting discussion courses.

      Francie's parenting and teaching philosophy is strongly influenced by Positive Discipline values such as mutual respect, kindness and firmness at the same time, relationship building, and looking for solutions first rather than punishment. Francie has parented two grown children.

Jennifer Brown - Instructor image

Jennifer Brown

Instructor Information

    • Biography

      Jennifer Brown has taught parenting education at BTC since 2010. She has a Bachelors degree in Human Development/Child, Consumer, and Family Studies from WSU and a Master of Social Work from the U of W. Jennifer works as a Child and Family Therapist in addition to teaching parenting classes for BTC and is the co-author of a parenting book titled "What Angry Kids Need: Parenting Your Angry Child Without Going Mad".

Kathy Wilbur - Instructor image

Kathy Wilbur

Instructor Information

    • Biography

      Kathy Wilbur has taught childbirth education classes for the cosponsored program with BTC and PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center since 1995 and HypnoBirthing since 2004. She has a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Early Childhood Education and teaching credentials from California State, San Bernardino. Kathy has been CCE/P Childbirth Educator certified since 1981, ICEA childbirth educator certified since 1995, certified as a doula (labor support provider) since 1989, and has been HypnoBirthing instructor certified since 2004.

Michelle Malone - Instructor image

Michelle Malone

Instructor Information

    • Biography

      Michelle Malone joined the BTC parenting education team in 2013. She has a Bachelors degree in Secondary Education, a Masters Degree in Geology, and is pursuing certification in Parenting Education. She has worked and volunteered in a variety of early childhood, elementary, secondary, and adult education settings, including working with students with special needs and English Language Learners. Her parenting philosophy focuses on building strong parent-child relationships with empathy, compassion, and positive discipline techniques. Michelle is a mother of two young children.

Pam Ames - Instructor image

Pam Ames

Instructor Information

    • Biography

      Pam Ames has taught childbirth education for the program co-sponsored by BTC and PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center since 1977. In addition to teaching expectant parents, she also teaches parent/infant and parenting discussion classes for BTC. Pam has a Bachelors degree in Education from WWU, completed the ASPO Certified Childbirth Educator Certification in 1981, has been an accredited La Leche leader since 1977, and received IBCLC (lactation consultant) accreditation in 1989.

Roxanne Rose-Duckworth - Instructor image

Roxanne Rose-Duckworth

Instructor Information

    • Biography

      Roxann Rose-Duckworth taught in elementary classrooms for twelve years in New York, Idaho and Washington states. Now she teaches parenting courses at Bellingham Technical College and Rebound of Whatcom County as well as a wide array of education courses at Western Washington University, Whatcom Community College and Skagit Valley College. Roxann has found much success using the Love and Logic principles in parenting and in classrooms. In 1996, the Walt Disney's American Teacher Awards honored Roxann as one of three exemplary general elementary teachers. Roxann has worked as an educational consultant to the Disney Company and various school districts. She is the author of two books, one that focuses on helping teachers increase their students' independence. Roxann lives in Bellingham with her husband and son.

Terry Thalhofer - Instructor image

Terry Thalhofer

Instructor Information

    • Biography

      Terry Thalhofer has taught childbirth education classes in the program cosponsored by BTC and PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center since 1990 and breastfeeding classes since 1986. She has a Bachelors degree in Zoology from OSU, completed CEA/S Childbirth Educator certification in 1989, has been an accredited La Leche League leader since 1982, received IBCLC(lactation consultant) accreditation in 1989, and completed Birth Doula Training from Bates Technical College in 2004.