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Graduate’s Strong Desire to Help Parents and Families Leads to Launching Her Own Business

Selfie from Emily Ragland.Emily Ragland, who earned her master’s degree in Youth, Family, and Community Services (YFCS), plans a May 11 launch for her consulting business. Her website is

She is the owner of communiTEAM training, consulting and coaching in Pittsboro, N.C. where she looks to support families and communities by way of trauma-informed education with a focus on the unique needs of those with developmental delays and autism spectrum disorder.

Ragland credits her time management, organization and passion for being able to create a work/student balance. 

Kim Allen, one of Ragland’s favorite professors, echoes her strategy for success in graduate school. “Emily has been super engaged and remarkable at making connections with peers, former graduates, and faculty. She is the epitome of student engagement,” says Allen.

Graduate Certificate Coordinator Deidra Craig adds, “She is a hard worker and dedicated to improving the lives of youth and families amid the COVID-19 crisis.”

We caught up with Ragland to learn more about her experience in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences program and congratulate our #NCStateOnline spring 2020 graduates! 

Why did you pursue Youth, Family, and Community Sciences (YFCS) degree? When did you enroll? What were some of the deciding factors in choosing NC State’s program versus others?

Honestly, I don’t remember how I came across the YFCS program, but I had been out of school for a decade and finally realized that I wanted to focus on parents and families. This was the perfect fit! 

I spoke with Dr. Allen and she got me even more excited about the program. I enrolled for Spring of 2018 but my husband and I were moving at that time, so I pushed it back and started in the summer instead. 

I didn’t apply anywhere else, and I didn’t want to go anywhere else. I knew that I wanted to stay engaged with families and learn more about supporting them and community programs that serve families, and this just made sense.

Describe your experience in the YFCS program?

It was a great opportunity to widen my horizons, add to my knowledge-base and engage with the field on a professional level. 

Graduate school is all about development and NC State did a great job helping me develop as a professional! I appreciate Dr. Kim Allen, Dr. Hardison-Moody and Dr. Maru!

How do you see your YFCS degree helping you in your current career? / How has the program already impacted your current work? 

I will be equipped to share information with communities, professionals and parents as I support them and their goals. I also am a member of the Family Life Coaching Association (FLCA) now and would not have had this chance without YFCS.

What is your advice for other working professionals who are thinking about continuing their education or are currently enrolled in a master’s program? Would you encourage others to take an online program? If so, why?

I absolutely would. I was scared of the online idea because I went to a small high school and a small college. I was successful in those settings and felt that the online setup would not allow for such connection with professors and fellow students. That said, it was created wonderfully and I felt close to my professors and made some close friends as well. I think, especially with COVID-19, online is almost as real as life gets anymore, and even when it goes back to “normal”, online is a great fit for someone who is already pretty busy.

Congratulations to Emily and the rest of the spring 2020 graduating class! 

Are you interested in advancing your career by earning an online Master of Youth, Family, and Community Sciences degree? Visit the program page or for a full list of degree and certificate programs. 

This post was originally published in DELTA News.