Extension Resources: Curricula

Below are various curricula and professional development resources developed by Extension to support the development and maintenance of healthy couple and marital relationships for diverse audiences.

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CoupleTALK. Developed by Kansas State University Extension, CoupleTalk is a free, non-credit, Internet-based distance education course designed to help couples build skills to make their relationship stronger and more satisfying.

Cultivating Healthy Couple and Marital Relationships: A Guide to Effective Programming. This 80-page guide (click on title to see sample and introduction), the first official publication from the National Extension Relationship and Marriage Education Network is based on presentations from the 2006 Family Life E-Seminar and papers later published in the May 2007 special issue of The Forum for Family and Consumer Issues. The guide, authored by members of NERMEN and developed/ published out of The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, offers theoretically and empirically informed implications for designing, delivering, and evaluating relationship and marriage education programs for diverse audiences. While supplies last, order a printed and bound, high resolution color copy of the guide for only $10.00 Click here for Order Form.

Family Change: Separation and Divorce. This program offers the community educator a workshop resource for helping divorcing parents to understand personal and family adjustments, legal issues, and financial matters. It includes a leader's manual and a parents' manual. (Kansas State University Extension, 2002).

The Healthy Marriage Handbook. This colorful, 44-page resource is an educational “handbook” for a healthy marriage. It is designed to share information learned from studying healthy marriages. Helpful tips as well as additional publications, resources, and Web sites are provided in a reader friendly format. Useful in family and child programs and services as well as premarital and marriage enrichment programs.Topics covered include: How you think and what you do; Managing your money; Remarriages and stepfamilies; Issues that hurt relationships; and Domestic violence. Click here to learn more and order copies.

Intentional Harmony: Managing Work and Life. Developed by University of Illinois Extension, this research-based, multidimensional curriculum is designed to help adults manage the challenges of contemporary working life. The program includes modules that correspond to managing work and multiple domains of nonwork life, including the partner or spousal relationship.

Long Live the Healthy Family! A Program for Building and Maintaining Strong Latino Marriages and Families features a complete instructional manual for family life educators to deliver in their communities. Developed by Kansas State University Extension and Utah State University Extension, the manual includes instructor preparation, four lessons on relationship skill building within a Latino cultural context, slides, accompanying handouts, and evaluation instruments. The manual available in English is available for download. The Spanish version will be available in Fall 2011. A hard-copy with a CD can be ordered at: or through this website.

coupleMarriage Matters. Developed at the Ohio State University Extension, the Marriage Matters newsletter series provides research-based information, suggestions and activities to help couples enhance the quality of their relationship. Each stand-alone article addresses topics for couples at various stages in their relationship-dating, engagement, newlywed, mid and later life, remarriage-and the transitions associated with these stages.

Married and Loving It! Developed by University of Idaho Cooperative Extension, the Married and Loving It! program consists of 5-sessions designed to strengthen marriage relationships by presenting the research findings about successful and happy couples to the general public.

Oregon Center for Applied Sciences Online Stepparenting Program. This resource, provided by the Oregon Center for Applied Science, Inc., is a web-based interactive step-parenting toolkit that allows participants to sign up for free and then access different resources, including video scenarios that depict common challenges that stepfamilies may experience, tips sheets, activities, and articles relevant to stepfamilies and relationships in those families. The video scenarios present a short clip of a challenge that stepfamilies may face and then allows the participant to choose one of three responses that will play out. The different perspectives are presented, followed by questions that can be answered and then compared with the website answers. Finally, there is a description of key concepts and whether the approach used was effective or not. This website helps depict key communication concepts in a way that can makes them more understandable for stepfamilies and couples. (Oregon Center for Applied Sciences, 2007)

Saying "I Do": Consider the Possibilities. Developed by Utah State University Extension, this on-line, self-paced course provides instruction, resources, skills, and hope to couples who are considering marriage as well as couples desiring to strengthen their marriage. This course addresses the issues that newlywed couples struggle with most often in their relationships and covers topics related to finances, employment, communication, conflict, commitment, personal interests and expectations, sexual relations, and things to watch out for are discussed.

Smart Steps for Stepfamilies. Developed in partnership between Cornell Cooperative Extension, Auburn University and Alabama Cooperative Extension, and the National Stepfamily Resource Center, this 6-session curriculum addresses the unique needs and issues that couples in stepfamilies face and provides strategies for building healthy relationships and stable stepfamilies. A parallel series of lessons is also included in this program for children in stepfamilies.

Strong Latino Couple Relationships. . Developed by Utah State University Extension, 'Strong Latino Couple Relationships' offers a 4-section activity book for strengthening marital bonds within Latino couples. Based of information gathered from Latino married couples, this program guides couples through family unity, communication, sharing values, and trust & respect. (Spanish-version Relaciones Latinas De Parejas Fuertes)

Together We Can. Developed by Michigan State University Extension, Together We Can is a free curriculum that helps strengthen and improve the co-parenting relationships of single parents through a series of interactive educational experiences. Lessons in this six-module curriculum include: positive co-parenting relationships, stress and conflict management strategies, ongoing involvement of both parents, money management/child-support payment, and healthy decisions about romantic and couple relationships.

Utah Divorce Orientation. Developed in partnership with Utah State University Extension, this program was designed to be a resource to individuals who may be thinking about divorce. These individuals are at the “crossroads of divorce,” facing a challenging decision that has consequences for the future of their own lives and the lives of family members. The 8 lesson video-based program explores whether unhappy marriages can become happy again, offers insight on the consequences of divorce, and explains legal options.