Rick Peterson, Ph.D.

Center on Disability and Development
Department of Educational Psychology
Texas A&M University
Harrington 637C
Mail Stop 4225
College Station, TX 77843-4225
Phone: 979-845-1877
Email: [email protected]
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Last Updated: March 22, 2011

Rick Peterson

Leadership Administrative Staff: Extension Service
Specialty Resource Contacts: Program development experience in the areas family life, parenting, child care, and mental health
Project/Program/Clinic Contacts: Career Technology Special Populations Training and Resource Education Center (CTSP Center), Agrability
Discipline(s): Education: Early Intervention/Early Childhood
Family Studies
Human Development/Child Development
Mental and Behavioral Health
Marriage and Family Therapy
AUCD Council Membership: No Council Membership


Dr. Peterson is an Associate Professor and Parenting Specialist with Texas Cooperative Extension at Texas A&M University.  He has statewide leadership responsibilities for program development and outcome evaluation of parenting and family life education programs. He conducts workshops and applied research related to parenting and family functioning and has written numerous Extension publications, curricula and peer reviewed journal articles.  Dr. Peterson is the Director of the Career Technology Special Population Training and Resource Center at Texas A&M University.  The Center provides assist to career and technology teachers with information and resources to better equip them to serve special education students. In addition, Dr. Peterson is a faculty member of the Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University and focuses on community outreach education.  One of Rick's current initiatives is the integration of technology into program delivery of Extension programs and materials through web access as well as self-paced learning modules for parents, caregivers and family professionals.  

Dr. Peterson has program development experience in the areas of family life, parenting, child care and mental health.  His work experience as a therapist, researcher, mediator and family life educator has provided him a unique perspective in which to view families and the services they receive.  As an extension specialist, Rick has conducted applied family research, developed educational outreach programs, evaluated their effectiveness, and reported impacts to stakeholders for public policy consideration regarding family functioning and well-being.  As an educator he has developed and taught such classes as community programs in family life, parent education and a graduate course in program planning and evaluation.

He values collaboration in both research and program development and has worked with diverse disciplines including child care providers, human service providers, agriculture economists, farm management and mental health care professionals.  As a board member of the National Association for Rural Mental Health, he has participated in public policy discussions regarding mental health research and service delivery and their impact on family and community health.

Rick is the president of the National Association for Rural Mental Health.  He is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a Certified Family Life Educator, and a trained Mediator, and holds degrees from Kansas State University including  a B.A. in Agriculture, a M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Ph.D. in Family Life Education.