Marriage and Family Therapy Master s of Arts Program Handbook. Mount Mercy University

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1 Marriage and Family Therapy Master s of Arts Program Handbook Mount Mercy University

2 Welcome to the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Mount Mercy University. You are about to embark on an educational journey that is intended to touch every aspect of your life while preparing you for a career as a Marriage and Family Therapist. The faculty members are excited to welcome you into the program and look forward to joining you on this journey. This handbook is important to your progress in the graduate program. It introduces you to important policies and procedures, and contains useful information to guide you through coursework and other requirements for successful degree completion. Please review this information thoroughly and refer to this handbook when future questions arise. This handbook is meant to supplement the University Catalog and other Mount Mercy publications. Each of these publications is updated annually and can be found on the Mount Mercy web page. Although written information is helpful and should be referenced to as needed, there is no substitute for personal contact. You are encouraged to seek assistance as needed from faculty and staff as you progress through the program. As Program Director for the Marriage and Family Therapy Program, I will serve as your academic advisor throughout your enrollment in the Master s program. Please know that my door is always open to you. Sincerely, Randy Lyle, Ph.D. MFT Program Director 2

3 Faculty and Staff Randall R. Lyle, Associate Professor, Director of Marriage and Family Therapy Program B.A. Loretto Heights College, Denver Colo. M.Div. Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, Chicago Ph.D. Iowa State University Contact: Nancy Brauhn, Professor of Nursing BSN, University of Iowa MA, Loras College PhD, Marriage and Family Therapy, University of Iowa Contact: Don Damsteegt, Professor of Psychology B.A. Hope College (Mich.) M.Div. Western-Theological Seminary, M.A., Ph.D. University of Nebraska Contact: Melody A. Graham, Professor of Psychology and Dean of Graduate Programs B.A. University of California at Los Angeles M.A., Ph.D. Claremont Graduate University Contact: Richard A. Zingher, Professor of Social Work B.A. University of Kansas M.S.W. Rutgers University (N.J.) Contact: 3

4 Table of Contents Program Outcomes Chapter 1: ProgressionThrough the Program Admission Determination of Degree Plan Candidacy Review Clinical Practicum Final Review Graduation Chapter 2: Academic Requirements for MFT Program Chapter 3: Completion of Student Portfolios Portfolio Review Committee and Process Candidacy Review Final Review Chapter 4: Clinical Practicum Chapter 5: Graduate Policies and University Resources Appendices A. Requirements and Process to Become an LMFT in Iowa B. Core Competencies for MFTs adopted by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists C. Suggested Schedule of Courses D. Application for Practicum E. Instructions for Live Interview Assignment F. Practicum Agreement G. Supervisory Evaluation Forms 4

5 Student Learning Outcomes The MFT Master s program is designed around an outcomes-based educational philosophy. All coursework and program experiences are intended to foster student development and contribute to the following student outcomes upon program completion: 1. Students will demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives and techniques of major marriage and family therapy and systemic models of therapy. 2. Students will develop research skills necessary to read and evaluate the latest advances in the therapy field. 3. Students will think reflectively and critically about theoretical, legal and practice issues in the field of marriage and family therapy. 4. Students will develop empathic, respectful and congruent interpersonal skills in order to work successfully with individuals, couples, families and groups in educational, community and mental health settings. 5. Students will communicate effectively using oral, written, listening, non-verbal attending and observational skills. 6. Students will develop mental health and marriage and family therapy skills necessary to assess, evaluate and intervene with individuals, couples and families and their development. 7. Students will maintain an inclusive, multicultural, systemic and global perspective, emphasizing social justice, equity and loyalty to the ideals of the Sisters of Mercy. Students progress toward these outcomes will be evaluated at multiple points across the program. Students will receive ongoing feedback regarding their progress toward the student learning outcomes from faculty and supervisors. Students are also expected to be active participants in their learning processes and seek feedback regarding their progress toward student outcomes. 5

6 Chapter 1: Progression through the Program There are six general steps involved in successful completion of the Marriage and Family Therapy Master s Program. Familiarity with these steps and the actions required by students to complete each step will facilitate timely progression through the program. Step 1: Admission Students admission applications are considered complete after the Graduate Admissions office has received and processed the following elements: 1. Completed Admission Application Form (or online application form) 2. Transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended showing the granting of a Bachelor s degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better (applicants with less than a 3.0 should address the reasons for the lower GPA and why they should be considered for admittance. Exceptions can be made at the discretion of the Program Director.) 3. Two Professional Letters of Reference 4. A personal interview with the Program Director or members of the faculty Students application materials are reviewed by department faculty and Graduate School representatives to determine admission status. Students may be admitted into two distinct admission categories (see Table 1). Table 1: Admission Categories Admission Category Regular Special When Granted Bachelor s degree from an accredited college or university meeting the 3.0 GPA standard; positive interview. Non-degree students seeking to transfer credit to another university or fulfill requirements for licensure or certification. Action Required None required Students taking courses to complete licensure requirements should file a letter stating which courses they need to take and consult with Program Director. A student is required to achieve a minimum GPA of 3.0. Only two C grades are permitted in the graduate program. A third grade of C or below will result in suspension or dismissal from the program. No MFT Specialization course (see Table #2) can be accepted with a grade below B-. A student receiving a C+, C-, or C may repeat a graduate course once. A maximum of 2 courses may be repeated. 6

7 Step 2: Determination of Degree Plan After attending the New Student Orientation, MFT Master s students should complete a degree plan under the guidance of the MFT Program Director, who serves as their academic advisor throughout their enrollment in the Master s Program. Degree plans serve several purposes. First, they enable the department to make course projections for semester schedules. Secondly, they facilitate students progression through their degree programs and lastly, they are used by the student for registration each semester. Suggested programs of study are included in this Handbook, and most students will follow these course sequences. Students who need a custom degree plan (due to part-time enrollment, transferred coursework, etc.), should make an appointment to meet individually with the MFT Program Director as early as possible after enrollment. Degree plan templates are available on the Graduate Programs website. Completed degree plans should be approved by the MFT Program Director and included in students academic records to facilitate academic advising throughout the program. Degree plans should be on file with the MFT Program Director by the end of the students first Term of enrollment and any changes must be approved by the MFT Program Director. Step 3: Candidacy Review At Candidacy, the Department affirms a student s clinical potential and declares that she/he is a candidate for the degree. At Candidacy Review, MFT Master s students submit a portfolio of their academic work to date for collective review by the MFT program faculty. The deadline for Portfolio submissions is published each semester in the Department Calendar of Events. It should be noted that the Program reserves the right to exit anyone from the program at any time at its own discretion. To be eligible to submit a Portfolio for Candidacy Review, students must meet the following requirements: 1. Completion of 20 graduate credits with a GPA of 3.0 or better 2. Completion of MF 503, MF 518, MF 545, MF 569, MF 546 and MF Regular status admission Satisfactory review at Candidacy will result in students continuation in the program and enrollment in the MFT Practicum courses. Unsatisfactory review at Candidacy will, depending on nature of areas in which student has not demonstrated competence, result in requirement of remedial coursework/student activities OR the student s dismissal from the program. All students will receive formative feedback through the Candidacy Review to foster continued personal and professional development. Specific elements of the portfolios, as well as detailed information about portfolio evaluation, are described in Chapter 3 of this Handbook. 7

8 Step 4: Clinical Practicum After completion of coursework focused on theory and basic clinical skills offered during the first year of the program, students then enroll in a 12-month practicum experience to further advance and refine their clinical competence. The clinical practicum within the MFT Master s program includes three 4-credit hour courses (MF 590, MF 690 & MF 692) that should be completed consecutively. Students are responsible for making arrangements for an off-site practicum placement, and should begin locating a site at least one semester prior to when they plan to begin the practicum. Students should remain in communication with the MFT Clinical Director to ensure they obtain a site that meets program requirements and is the best fit for individual student needs. See Chapter 4 for a detailed description of policies and procedures for the MFT Master s Program Practicum. Step 5: Final Review In order to assess students attainment of Program Outcomes at the completion of the Master s program, students submit a completed Portfolio of MFT Theory and Practice to the Portfolio Review Committee during their final semester within the program. The completed portfolio should include documentation of students attainment of all Program Outcomes, and serves as the Comprehensive Examination for the program. See Chapter 3 of this Handbook for complete information about Portfolio submission. To be eligible to submit a Portfolio, a student must: 1. Be maintaining matriculation or enrolled in their last semester of course work 2. Not be on academic probation or suspension 3. Have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher 4. Have been admitted to Candidacy. 5. Attend a Portfolio Review Orientation meeting Step 6: Graduation To be eligible for graduate students must complete the following: 1. Successfully completed all course work with a minimum GPA of Successfully completed portfolio review. 3. Completed 300 hours of direct client contact with 150 of those hours being relational (as documented on the Clinical Hours Report Form) and documented 60 hours of clinical supervision, 30 of which will be individual (not more than 2 students and 1 supervisor). 4. Completed an application for graduation Students should apply for graduation within 6 months of their anticipated graduation. Applications for graduation are found on the web page and are available from the registrar s office. Graduation fees will appear on your bill following the date of 8

9 application submission. Information will be sent to you regarding ordering hood, cap and gown. Master s candidates are invited to attend a graduation hooding ceremony where you will ceremoniously receive your master s hood. You will receive your diploma at the University commencement ceremony which is held the same weekend as the hooding ceremony. The University holds one commencement ceremony a year. Students graduating in December of the proceeding year, February, May or August are invited to attend that ceremony. Post-Graduation: Professional Licensure The vast majority of students entering the MFT program desire to provide direct mental health care services to individuals, couples, and/or families upon graduation. In order to practice as a marriage and family therapist within the State of Iowa, as well as most other states in the US and countries abroad, one must obtain a license through a government agency. In Iowa, the Iowa Department of Public Health, Board of Behavioral Science, Bureau of Professional Licensure administers licensure for MFTs (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, LMFT). MFT program graduates are required to pass a written examination and the accumulation of significant post-graduate, supervised clinical experience. See Appendix A for a summary of the LMFT licensure processes. 9

10 Chapter 2: Academic Requirements for MFT Program The MFT master s program is a 60-credit-hour program of study, including an intensive 12-month practicum of at least 300 client contact hours. Marriage and Family Therapists are employed in a wide variety of settings, such as social service agencies, churches, private family therapy practice, and mediation/consultation companies. The Master s program in MFT is focused on developing students skills for direct clinical work with individuals, couples, and families. The MFT Master s program operates from a competency-based educational philosophy, with the goal of facilitating students development toward demonstrating clinical competence and obtaining the designation of Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. The Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) has recently published a comprehensive description of the core competencies for MFTs at the time of licensure (see Appendix B for complete list of the 128 core competencies). These core competencies are closely related to the Practice Domains of the Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB), the body that governs the national examination process for LMFTs (see Appendix A for licensure information). Within each course in the MFT program, students will be expected to demonstrate attainment of specific competencies; course grades will reflect students developing competence. The practicum experience then becomes the capstone of the Master s program, allowing students to put into practice the theory and skills they have learned under the close supervision of faculty. Students then continue their professional development and attainment of competencies during the post-graduation clinical experiences and supervision necessary to fulfill licensure requirements. This is most often accomplished in the context of full or part-time employment in the mental health field. Program of Study The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy is a 60-semester-hour thesis or non-thesis program. Table 2 contains the courses required for the MFT program. See Appendix C for suggested schedules of courses for full time students throughout program completion. Part time students, and others with unique scheduling needs, should schedule a meeting with the MFT Program Director as early as possible upon entering the program in order to determine the best degree plan design to meet student needs and program requirements. (Suggested part-time degree plan may be found in appendix C.) 10

11 Table 2: Summary of MFT Program Requirements Courses Credit Hours General Courses MF 524 Human Development 3 MF 550 Human Sexuality 3 MF 626 Psychopathology 3 MF 602 Cross Cultural Families 3 MF 640 Research Methods 3 MF 671 Therapeutic Methods with Parents & Children Total 4 19 hours Elective courses (3 required) MF 679 Intro to Medical Family Therapy (Elective) 3 MF 604 Neuroscience for MFT (Elective) 3 MF 655 Spirituality and the Family (Elective) 3 MF 695 Thesis Direction (optional) (3) Total 9 hours MFT Specialization Courses Required for Practicum MF 503 Family Systems 3 MF 518 Models of MFT 4 MF 569 Ethical and Professional Issues in MFT 3 MF582 Models of Couples Therapy 4 MF 545 Micro-counseling 3 MF 546 Pre-practicum 3 Total Clinical Courses MF 590 Practicum I 4 MF 690 Practicum II 4 MF 692 Practicum III 4 MF 700,701, 702, 703 Practicum IV (hours completion) Total 20 hours 12 hours Total Program Requirement 60 hours Students wishing to do a Thesis may replace one of the electives with the Thesis Direction course. See Program Director for more information. 11

12 Chapter 3: Completion of MFT Theory and Practice Portfolios Purpose of Portfolios MFT Theory and Practice Portfolios serve four primary functions: 1. Demonstration of students minimal competence at two milestones (candidacy and final review) within program, 2. Opportunities (at candidacy and final review) for formative feedback to facilitate students development, 3. Summative evaluation of students competence at final review, 4. Formative feedback for program faculty and instructors as themes and patterns of learning are observed over time. Portfolio Review Committee A Portfolio Review Committee, composed of MFT program faculty and instructors of core MFT specialization courses (MF 503, MF 518, MF 545, MF 569, MF 546 & MF 582), will convene to evaluate portfolios of students seeking candidacy or graduation. Students to be reviewed will submit portfolios to the MFT Program Director through Live Text prior to the deadline. Late portfolios will not be accepted. Upon completion of the review process, portfolios feedback will be inputted in the LiveText program. A copy of feedback given to the student and a Portfolio Approval Form will be inserted into students records to indicate the outcome of the portfolio review. Portfolio Review for Candidacy Application Satisfactory review at Candidacy will result in students continuation in the program and enrollment in the MFT Practicum courses. Unsatisfactory review at Candidacy will, depending on nature of areas in which student has not demonstrated competence, result in a requirement of remedial coursework/student activities OR the student s dismissal from the program. All students will receive formative feedback through the Candidacy Review to foster continued personal and professional development. At Candidacy Review, students portfolios should demonstrate preliminary achievement of Program Outcomes identified by the MFT faculty as indicative of clinical potential and success within the practicum process. Table 3 lists required content for the Portfolio at Candidacy, along with the Program Outcome the item should demonstrate. Students should note that earning an acceptable overall grade for a given course does not necessarily mean that the Portfolio product completed within the course is adequate to demonstrate Program Outcomes. Grades for courses within the Department are generally assigned based on a combination of products, including exams, papers, participation, etc. Students are offered feedback on all course products and should, therefore, incorporate this feedback into revisions of Portfolio products if 12

13 necessary to demonstrate achievement of the identified Program Outcomes prior to submission of the Candidacy Portfolio. Table 3: Portfolio Products at Candidacy Review and Corresponding Program Outcomes Portfolio Products Mid-term and Final case study MF 503 Model Synopses from MF 518 Case conceptualization, Clinical Assessment and Treatment plans Professional Development Project from MF 569 Student Learning Outcome Demonstrated Students will demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives and techniques of major marriage and family therapy and systemic models of therapy. Students will think reflectively and critically about theoretical, legal and practice issues in the field of marriage and family therapy. Product from MF 582, evaluation of clinical skills from MF 545 & MF 546 Students will develop empathic, respectful and congruent interpersonal skills in order to work successfully with individuals, couples, families and groups in educational, community and mental health settings. Students will develop mental health and marriage and family therapy skills necessary to assess, evaluate and intervene with individuals, couples and families and their development. Documentation of AAMFT Student Membership Demonstrate one s professional identity as a Marriage and Family Therapist through membership in local, state, and national professional MFT organizations Final Portfolio Review Satisfactory final review will result in students approval by the MFT program for graduation, upon completion of required clinical contact hours. The final review serves as a summative evaluation of students demonstration of clinical competence and all Program Outcomes. Further, students will receive formative feedback from faculty to facilitate their postgraduate professional development and progress toward licensure. Table 4 links the Program Outcomes to Portfolio products. The required products for the MFT Theory and Practice Portfolio at Final Review are: 1. Clinical Demonstration and Position Paper 2. Practicum Summary Report Form 3. Documentation of Current AAMFT Student Membership 13

14 Table 4: Program Outcomes and Corresponding Portfolio Products at Final Review Program Outcomes 1. Students will demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives and techniques of major marriage and family therapy and systemic models of therapy. Domain 1 2. Students will develop research skills necessary to read and evaluate the latest advances in the therapy field. Domain 6 3. Students will think reflectively and critically about theoretical, legal and practice issues in the field of marriage and family therapy. Domain 5 4. Students will develop empathic, respectful and congruent interpersonal skills in order to work successfully with individuals, couples, families and groups in educational, community and mental health settings. Domain 3 5. Students will communicate effectively using oral, written, listening, non-verbal attending and observational skills. Students will be able to demonstrate competence through effective record keeping, case notes and documentation of progress in therapy. Domain 2 and 3 6. Students will develop mental health and marriage and family therapy skills necessary to assess, evaluate and intervene with individuals, couples and families and their development. Domain 2 and 4 7. Students will maintain an inclusive, multicultural, systemic and global perspective, emphasizing social justice, equity and loyalty to the ideals of the Sisters of Mercy. All Domains Final Portfolio Product Completion of portfolio products for MF 503 & 518 at candidacy. Clinical position paper and clinical demonstration. Products from MF 582, MF 604, MF 671 Successful completion of MF 640 & submission of portfolio product Clinical Demonstration and Position Paper, a minimum rating of 3 on case conceptualization rubric summed across all CCs evaluated (4). MF 569, MF 602 Clinical Demonstration and Position Paper, a minimum rating of 3 on Treatment Plan scoring rubric summed across all Treatment Plans evaluated (4).MF 545, MF 546, MF 590, 690, 692 Clinical Demonstration and Position Paper, copies of outcome measures from each practicum MF 545, MF 546, MF 590, 690, 692 Clinical Demonstration and Position Paper, a minimum rating of 3 on case conceptualization rubric summed across all CCs evaluated (4). A minimum rating of 3 on Treatment Plan scoring rubric summed across all Treatment Plans evaluated (4).MF 626, MF 679, MF 524, MF 550 and MF 604 Clinical Demonstration and Position Paper, MF 503, MF 569, MF 602, MF

15 Clinical Demonstration and Position Paper The Clinical Demonstration and Position Paper is an opportunity for students to describe and demonstrate their personal approaches to clinical practice. The paper should be no more than 20 pages and written in accordance with APA Publication Manual standards. The paper should clearly describe, broadly, how the student approaches therapy. It should contain a systemic assessment, case conceptualization, clinical assessment and treatment plan with two selected clients. A video or audiotape demonstration should then compliment the written description of the student s approach to therapy by demonstrating successful therapeutic processes with two clients seen at the practicum site or a role play of the audiotape may be an option(at least one client should be relational, i.e., couple or family). The paper should also reflect the students reflections on program outcome # 7. The paper will be a more in-depth examination and explanation than that provided for MF 503 and MF 518 but will included the same elements; case conceptualization, clinical assessment, treatment plan, etc. Students will be granted a significant degree of latitude to be creative in their presentation as long as all of the required elements are present and the specifics of the various rubrics are covered. All elements of the Final Portfolio will be submitted electronically using LiveText. 15

16 Clinical Practicum Practicum MFT students begin practicum during the second year of the program. Although all courses serve to prepare students for clinical practice, six courses contain specific prerequisite knowledge for the MFT practicum: MF 503, MF 518, MF 545, MF 546, MF 569 & MF 582. Any clinical deficiencies are addressed and remediated through ongoing instructional activities and course evaluations in the six (6) clinical preparation courses. Students who have not demonstrated minimal clinical competencies necessary to begin work with clients will not be permitted to enroll in practicum courses. Once all requirements and approvals have been fulfilled students should submit the Application for Practicum (appendix D). Students are expected to complete a continuous 12-month practicum experience in an offsite clinical facility approved by the program. Supervision is a critical element of the practicum process. Interns will receive weekly supervision from an on-campus supervisor as well as a supervisor affiliated with the offsite placement. The University supervisors will be AAMFT-approved supervisors or meet state LMFT supervision requirements or the equivalent in order to provide supervision for MFT students. Supervision is provided individually and in group formats utilizing live observation, video or audiotape recordings, and case report modalities. Successful completion of the MFT practicum includes documentation of 300 client contact hours and 60 hours of supervision. Half (at least 150) of the client contact hours must be relational therapy (e.g., couple or family is the focus of therapy and multiple family members are present in the session). The 60 hours of supervision must include 30 hours of individual supervision (1-2 trainees present) and 30 hours of supervision based on raw client data (e.g., live observation, video, or audio recording). Requirements for practicum will be reviewed in the practicum orientation process before the start of each semester. Attendance at the practicum orientation meeting is mandatory. Students are strongly encouraged to communicate regularly with their supervisors and program faculty about any practicum questions. Students are responsible for recording and getting verification of client contact and supervision hours, to get recording forms signed and turned in at the end of each month. Client Contact Hours Definitions of Hours for Mount Mercy and AAMFT o Individual Therapy. Therapy with one person (a child or an adult) in the room. o Couple Therapy. Therapy with a couple in the room (two people who are either married or in a romantic relationship). o Family Therapy. Therapy with at least two members of a family present in the room. o Individual Group Therapy. Therapy with a group of individuals (children or adults) who are not related to each other. 16

17 o Couple Group Therapy. Therapy with at least two couples (two people who are either married or in a romantic relationship). o Family Group Therapy. Therapy with at least two families (who are not related to each other) in the room. o Team Practice Therapy. Therapy where there is an on-going and collaborative therapeutic effort, in which all team members have a shared responsibility for a case to be treated, and a shared authority to make treatment decisions (subject to supervisor approval). Clients should understand that they are being treated by a team rather than an individual. You must turn in the team practice form only the weeks you engage in team practice. Remember you must turn in the standard Weekly Clinical Report form each week even if you do turn in the team practice form. Supervision Hours o Individual Supervision. Supervision of two students (dyadic supervision) can be counted as individual supervision. o Group Supervision. Group supervision can not exceed six students per group, regardless of the number of supervisors present. o Live Individual Supervision. When a supervisor is conducting live supervision, the therapist(s) (up to two therapists) in the room with the client may count the time as individual supervision regardless of the number of students who are observing. When a student is simultaneously being supervised and having direct clinical contact, the time is counted as both supervision time and direct clinical contact time. o Live Group Supervision. Students observing someone else's clinical work may receive credit for group supervision provided that (1) at least one supervisor is present with the students, (2) there are no more than six students altogether, and (3) the supervisory experience involves an interactional process between the therapist(s), the observing students, and the supervisor. If there are no more than two students altogether, the observing student may receive credit for individual supervision under the same conditions. o Supervisee-Supervisor Co-therapy. If a supervisor and no more than two supervisees are physically present in the treatment room, the supervisee may receive client contact (if the supervisor and supervisee are co-therapists), or supervision, but not both. The role of the supervisor (supervisor or co-therapist) should be clearly defined prior to the session. o Liability Insurance. As a "marriage and family therapy intern," you can be held responsible for the results of your professional activities. Each practicum student must obtain professional liability insurance which is designed to provide coverage for suits of malpractice error or omissions in the performance of your duties whether actual or alleged. 17

18 Students must have insurance prior to signing up for practicum courses. Students must provide the MFT Program Director with verification of liability insurance before the first practicum. No intern may see clients without having insurance. Insurance may be obtained through a number of agencies; however, as a benefit of membership in the AAMFT, students enrolled in a MFT program will receive their liability insurance at no cost. Membership and insurance applications are available on the AAMFT website (www.aamft.org- follow Professional Liability Insurance link under Family Therapists and Mental Health Practitioners heading). Site Selection Students are expected to provide clinical services in Practicum at one of several off-campus clinical facilities. The Program Director will assist you in selecting Practicum sites; however, it is the student's responsibility for securing a site. Selecting the most appropriate site is essential for the most benefit. You may wish to visit some of the sites early in your program to gain information about potential placements for the future. Students are expected to commit to one off-campus practicum site for the twelve months of practicum. This gives the sites greater benefits from the training opportunities they are providing and allows them to plan more effectively. If interns encounter difficulties or a lack of fit with the site, arrangements can be made with the Program Director to change sites. MFT practicum sites must meet accreditation requirements for supervision and type of client contact available for students. After students have identified sites of potential interest, they should call or the contact person for the practicum site to find out if the site is accepting interns at that time. If the site is accepting interns, students should follow the site s application process. This process will likely include the submission of a resume and an interview meeting. Students should approach this process as a job interview (e.g., dress professionally; arrive on time, follow-up interview with a thank you note). If a student wishes to complete his or her practicum requirements at a site other than those recognized by the program, he or she should work closely with the MFT Program Director to develop a practicum site and ensure that the practicum meets all program requirements. Evaluation in Practicum MFT practicum courses are graded on a pass/fail scale. Students are evaluated based on, engagement and participation in supervision experiences, demonstrated professional and personal growth, demonstration of clinical competence and their timely accumulation of client contact hours. Students will also produce a Live Interview recording and evaluation. Instructions for the Live Interview Assignment can be found in Appendix E. 18

19 Students who do not complete the required number of client contact hours will be given an IP (in progress) grade until the hours are completed. Depending on the number of hours remaining students may have to register for another term of Practicum (see below) or complete their hours within a prescribed period of time and then get a change of grade. In order to have the IP removed and the grade changed to a Pass, students must schedule a meeting with the supervisor who assigned the IP grade. Students should bring a grade change form and documentation of fulfillment of course requirements to the MFT Program Director. Students will receive ongoing feedback from supervisors throughout their practicum experiences. Supervisor feedback is intended to be constructive and facilitate students professional and personal development. At the end of each semester of practicum, a written evaluation of trainee s developing clinical competence is also completed by both the supervisor and by the intern. (Appendices G,H,I) These evaluations are intended to provide students with feedback about their developing clinical competence, which facilitates the formulation of goals within the next supervision course. In addition, client feedback will be incorporated into interns evaluations. Continued Enrollment in Practicum A Satisfactory evaluation in MF 692, MFT Practicum III, signifies completion of all internship requirements for the MFT Master s program. Students who have not completed all requirements will receive an IP (in progress) grade for MF 692 and be required to register and pay for additional practicum credits based on the cut-off points in Table 5. Table 5: Registration Schedule for Internship Enrollment After 3 rd Practicum Client Contact Remaining Register for Course Credit Hours 100 or more MF 703, MFT Practicum IV MF 702, MFT Practicum IV MF 701, MFT Practicum IV 1 <29 MF 700, Matriculation 0 19

20 Chapter 5: Graduate Policies and University Resources Graduate School Calendar of Events The Graduate MFT Program publishes a Calendar of Events containing important dates and deadlines. In order to best stay informed of departmental events, students should access this calendar prior to the beginning of each semester. Information in the calendar includes dates related to registration, orientations, practicums, portfolio reviews, and graduation. In addition, dates for professional conferences and much more are highlighted for students. These calendars are available at the beginning of each semester and may be found on the Grad website. Correspondence from the Program and the University Intermittent correspondence is necessary to keep students informed of changes in academic/departmental policies and procedures, as well as other information pertinent to student affairs. Such information may include changes in dates/time of courses instructions for registration. All University correspondence will come to your Mount Mercy address. It is imperative that you check this address frequently or have it forwarded to an address that you do check frequently. Please change your contact information on MyMountMercy if it changes etc. Student Membership in Professional Organizations All students within the Department of Counseling and Human Services are expected to become actively involved in the professional organization(s) most closely associated with their interests and program of study. MFT students are required to join the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), the organization that acts as advocates for special interests of their members. It is in students best interest that their professional organizations be strong, purposeful, and effective in order to advocate for members, the profession, and public interests. Faculty members encourage students to become active, contributing members within their professional organizations. As a student member of AAMFT, students are also members of the Iowa Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (IAMFT). Students will receive ongoing information from program faculty regarding AAMFT and IAMFT events and opportunities. Students are strongly encouraged to attend AAMFT and IAMFT annual conferences. Writing Guidelines and Avoiding Plagiarism Written communication is vital in our modern society, and students success in their educational endeavors will be substantially facilitated by their abilities to communicate clearly in their written assignments. This section of the handbook is intended to provide a brief overview of several critical elements of professional writing expected as well as to provide resources available to students. 20

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