NCU Catalog - April 2018 
    
    Apr 14, 2021  
NCU Catalog - April 2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Marriage and Family Sciences


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Mission Statement

The mission of the Northcentral University Department of Marriage and Family Sciences is to provide personalized educational opportunities to students throughout the world that will allow them to acquire the knowledge, skills, and values integral to professional practice within the marriage and family sciences.

Vision Statement

The vision of the Northcentral University Department of Marriage and Family Sciences is to improve the human condition by engaging a diverse community of faculty, staff, and students through education, research, and practice.

Department Goals

The Northcentral University Department of Marriage and Family Sciences promotes the development of:

  • Specialized knowledge and skills in discipline-specific models and theories
  • Ethical professionals
  • Commitment to affirm and promote diversity
  • Research competency
  • Practical skills that positively impact individuals, families, and communities

Licensure and Accreditation

Students wishing to use their graduate training to acquire clinical licensure are advised to enter the Marriage and Family Therapy Program. Northcentral University does not approve or endorse students attempting to become clinically licensed without successfully completing a formal clinical degree program. With the exception of the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Program, Northcentral University does not offer such a program. Therefore, Northcentral University cannot support students who independently attempt to use their degree in general psychology to obtain licensure as a clinical or counseling psychologist.

Any student who intends to seek licensure or certification must take full responsibility for ensuring that their degree program at Northcentral meets whatever requirements are stipulated by licensing or certification bodies within their locality and their field of endeavor. Northcentral University cannot provide assistance to students regarding the interpretation or understanding of a state’s licensure requirements, or the requirements of any other such entity. Northcentral University cannot guarantee that a graduate of the MFT program will be able to obtain a license as a marriage and family therapist in a state where they may seek licensure.

Students who complete courses with practical application are responsible for keeping all clinical demographic data and supervision records for presentation to any licensing or certification agency. Northcentral is not responsible for maintaining these records and may not be able to provide this information if a student applies for licensure or certification.

If you wish to pursue licensure, it is important to know that some states require that students have a degree from a program that carries a particular accreditation, such as the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), the American Psychological Association (APA), or the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The MAMFT and the PHDMFT programs are COAMFTE accredited. Students seeking to become clinicians are advised to enter the Marriage and Family Therapy program. All MFT students and applicants are encouraged to review their own local licensure or certification requirements. Please click this link for a directory of MFT Licensure Boards within the United States and Canada. In addition to the information in this section, additional information related to the clinical training courses for non-degree and degree-seeking students can be found in the Clinical Training Handbook.

Although this has changed dramatically since NCU’s MAMFT program was accredited by COAMFTE in 2012, there are currently two states - Kansas and New Hampshire - that will not accept an online degree for purposes of licensure.

Liability Insurance

Students in internship or practicum courses must purchase liability insurance prior to starting work with clients. Many practicum/internship sites require students to show evidence of liability coverage prior to beginning a practicum/internship. Northcentral requires students participating in practicum/internship to purchase student professional liability insurance, typically available at a lower student rate. Students are required to provide proof of this insurance with minimum coverage accounts of $1,000.000/$3,000,000. Insurance is included in the benefits of student membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) or the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT). Information regarding application for membership is provided in the ethics course of the MAMFT program.

MFT Pre-Practicum

Students are required to complete the Practicum Preparation Process (PPP), including all pre-practicum documents, before they can enroll in their first practicum course and before they can legally see clients in a clinical training site.

Non-Degree Seeking Students - In order to be eligible for clinical work while a student at NCU, non-Degree seeking students need to demonstrate passing grades in all pre-requisite (or equivalent) courses from an accredited university. The six content areas for pre-requisite coursework include: one course in theoretical foundations, one course in professional ethics, one course in clinical assessment, one course in diagnosis/psychopathology, and two courses in treatment methods/models of therapy/counseling.  Non-degree students will need to provide a copy of their transcripts to confirm successful completion (passing grades) for these pre-requisite courses.

Practicum Information

Marriage and Family Therapy practicum courses require approval from the MFT Director of Clinical Training prior to enrollment in the clinical courses. Students wishing to enroll in a practicum course should begin the approval process with their Academic and Finance Advisor at least two months prior to their anticipated practicum enrollment date. Additional details regarding practicum options within each degree program can be found below.

MA in Marriage and Family Therapy - - Marriage and Family Therapy Master’s students must complete at least two practicum courses (3 credits each). Prior to enrolling in the first practicum course, students must complete the Practicum Preparation Process (PPP) and receive clinical readiness approval. As part of the PPP, students will be required to secure a local clinical placement as well as a local supervisor who is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor (or Supervisor Candidate) or who meets state requirements for supervision of post-graduate (or, if stated by state licensure law, student requirements) MFTs seeking state licensure within their state. In order to finish the practicum requirements and continue on to the internship, students must meet weekly via videoconference in the practicum courses. It is recommended that students complete 10-12 direct client hours per week, or approximately 100 hours per course. By the end of the second practicum course, students should have close to 200 hours. Students who have significantly fewer hours than that will be asked to meet with the Director of Clinical Training and may be required to complete a practicum extension course. Students must also receive satisfactory evaluations from their local site supervisor and their Northcentral faculty supervisor in order to complete the practicum sequence. Students must complete the required number of hours in order to graduate; additional practicum and internship classes are available to students who need additional time to complete the clinical hour requirement.

The practicum courses for master’s level degree seeking Marriage and Family Therapy students are MFT-6951  and MFT-6952  . Additional details can be found in the course descriptions.

Non-degree students who need an MFT Practicum course can enroll in MFT-6951  , MFT-6952  (3 credit hours each) or those needing an internship course can enroll in MFT-6991  , MFT-6992  , and MFT-6995  (1 credit hour each) as needed. Additional details can be found in the course descriptions.

Practicum Pre-requisite Courses (completed at NCU or an equivalent program):

Foundations Courses

Fundamental Courses

      Or

PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy - Marriage and Family Therapy doctoral students must complete at least one 3-credit practicum course. Prior to enrolling in the required practicum course, students must complete the Practicum Preparation Process (PPP) and receive approval to enroll in this course. As part of the PPP, students will be required to secure a local clinical placement as well as a local clinical supervisor who is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor (or Supervisor Candidate) or who meets state requirements for supervision of post-graduate MFTs seeking state licensure. If students are currently licensed to practice Marriage and Family Therapy independently in their state, they are not required to have a local on-site supervisor. Doctoral students will receive weekly supervision and evaluation from NCU Clinical Faculty.

The practicum course for doctoral level degree seeking Marriage and Family Therapy students is MFT-8951  (3 credit hours). Additional details can be found in the course description.

Doctorate of Marriage and Family Therapy (DMFT) - Marriage and Family Therapy DMFT students must complete at least one 3-credit practicum course (with a clinical or supervision focus). Prior to enrolling in the required practicum course, students must complete the Practicum Preparation Process (PPP) and receive approval to enroll in this course. As part of the PPP, students will be required to secure a local clinical placement as well as a local clinical supervisor who is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor (or Supervisor Candidate) or who meets state requirements for supervision of post-graduate MFTs seeking state licensure. If students are currently licensed to practice Marriage and Family Therapy independently in their state, they can elect to complete a supervision practicum and are not required to have a local on-site supervisor. DMFT students will receive supervision and evaluation from NCU Clinical Faculty.

The practicum course for DMFT students in the DMFT is DMFT-8951  or DMFT-8971  (each is 3 credit hours). Additional details can be found in the course description for these courses.

Internship Information

The Marriage and Family Therapy internship courses require pre-internship approval from the MFT Director of Clinical Training prior to enrollment. The student’s Academic and Finance Advisor should be contacted in order to begin this process. Additional details regarding internship options within each degree program can be found below.

MA in Marriage and Family Therapy -

Marriage and Family Therapy master’s students must complete 9 credit hours of clinical training – including practicum (6 credit hours) and internship (3 credit hours) courses over a minimum of 52 weeks. The primary requirement of this master’s level internship is to continue the clinical work that began in the practicum courses and complete the minimum total required 500 hours of direct client contact, 250 of which must be relational. In conjunction with client contact, master’s students must complete 100 hours of supervision, 51 of which must be direct individual or group supervision with the approved local supervisor in the same physical location.  Also, within the total supervision hours, at least 50 hours of supervision must include direct observation of the student’s clinical work through live observation or review of video or audio recordings of the student’s clinical sessions.  In many cases, these hours of observation-based supervision can be completed with both the direct local supervisor and the NCU faculty supervisor (depending on the state licensure regulations).  Students must participate in local supervision during every week they are actively seeing clients.  Additionally, students must meet for 2 hours each week via videoconference for NCU Group Supervision with an NCU faculty supervisor during the practicum and internship courses.  Per COAMFTE standards, students only count therapy hours during weeks that they receive AAMFT-approved supervision.

Students who need additional time to accrue therapy and/or supervision hours may be required to enroll in additional Internship courses prior to enrollment in the final Internship and Capstone course.

In addition to these client contact hours, students must take the AATBS practice exam online and submit the results to NCUOne. This is a practice exam for the national licensing exam or the California licensing exam. Information about preparing for and taking this practice exam is provided in the applicable course syllabus.

As a final requirement of MFT-6995  MFT Internship and Capstone Presentation, the student must prepare and give a presentation detailing his or her personal theory of therapy. This presentation will be given in an online video conference and must include video clips from actual therapy sessions in which the student demonstrates how he or she uses the presented theory of therapy with her/his clients. Students must pass the Final Case Presentation in order to graduate. 

PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy - COAMFTE requires that the majority of content and specialization courses be completed before doctoral students begin their doctoral internship. Thus, doctoral students in the PHDMFT program may begin their internship experience after completing the following courses:

  • MFT-7101 Foundations for Doctoral Study in MFT
  • MFT-7102 Scholarly Literature Review in MFT
  • MFT-8101 Advanced Theories in MFT
  • All Standard Curriculum Leveling Courses
  • MFT-8951 MFT Doctoral Practicum I
  • MFT-7103 Research Methods in MFT
  • MFT-8102 Dynamics of Family Interaction (Specialization Course #1)
  • MFT-7104 Statistical Design for MFT Research
  • MFT-7105 Assessment in MFT Research and Intervention
  • MFT-7106 or MFT-7107 Quantitative or Qualitative Research Design in MFT
  • Any 2 of the 4 remaining specialization courses

Final approval of a student’s internship plan rests with the Director of Doctoral Programs.   

MFT doctoral students must complete a 9-month internship under the direction of an AAMFT Approved Supervisor, AAMFT Supervisor Candidate, or state-approved supervisor.  With the approval of the Director of Doctoral Programs, MFT doctoral students who are licensed MFTs or have previously completed all required clinical and supervision hours may have a local supervisor who is not a clinical supervisor (i.e., AAMFT Approved or state approved supervisor), but who is a content expert specific to the students’ area of specialization.  For doctoral students who have not previously completed their clinical hours for licensure, the primary requirement of this internship is to complete at least 1,000 hours of direct client contact, 500 of which must be relational. In conjunction with client contact, doctoral students must complete 200 hours of supervision, 100 of which must be individual supervision. All local supervision will occur face-to-face.  Client contact and supervision hours obtained prior to practicum can count provided the hours are consistent with the hours required to obtain independent licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist in the student’s state.  These hours must be signed and documented appropriately.  Students are required to submit a summary of client contact and supervision hours during the Practicum Preparation and Internship Contract Processes.  Documentation of the completion of all required hours is submitted during the COMPs course.

Doctoral students who have completed the required 1000 hours of client contact and 200 hours of supervision prior to enrolling in the doctoral internship can elect to complete an internship with a focus on clinical research, clinical teaching, or administration within the field of Marriage and Family Therapy.  These students are required to have an on-site face-to-face supervisor who will serve as a mentor and supervisor.  Supervisors are approved on a case-by-case basis by the Director of Doctoral Programs. Students in a research, teaching, or administrative internship are required to have a supervisor who will be available to the intern for at least one hour of face-to-face supervision per week.

The internship process for doctoral MFT students is offered as a series of three 1-credit courses including MFT-8961 , MFT-8962 , and MFT-8965 . Additional details can be found in the course description.

Doctorate of Marriage and Family Therapy – Students must complete the following content and specialization courses before beginning their doctoral internship:

  • DMFT-7101 Foundations for Doctoral Study in MFT
  • DMFT-7102 Scholarly Literature Review in MFT
  • DMFT-7201 Program Development for MFTs
  • DMFT-7202 Grant Writing Concepts and Approaches for MFTs
  • CMP-9600M DMFT Portfolio I
  • CMP-9601M DMFT DMFT Portfolio II
  • **DMFT-8951 MFT Doctoral Practicum I
  • DMFT-8970 MFT Supervision Methods
  • **DMFT-8971 DMFT Supervision Practicum
  • MFT-7103 Research Methods in MFT
  • DMFT-7110 Quantitative Research Design and Statistical Analysis in MFT
  • Any 2 of the 4 specialization courses

Final approval of a student’s internship plan rests with the Director of Doctoral Programs.   

DMFT students must complete a 9-month supervised internship. DMFT students who plan to engage in clinical work as part of their internship must meet weekly with a local supervisor who is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor, AAMFT Supervisor Candidate, or state-approved supervisor. This supervision will occur face-to-face.  DMFT students who are fully licensed MFTs can elect to complete an internship with a focus on clinical research, clinical teaching, entrepreneurship, or administration within the field of marriage and family therapy. These students are required to have an on-site face-to-face supervisor who will serve as a mentor/supervisor. This local supervisor is not required to be a clinical supervisor (i.e., AAMFT Approved or state approved supervisor), but is a content expert specific to the students’ area of specialization. Supervisors are approved on a case-by-case basis by the Director of Doctoral Programs. Students in a research, teaching or administrative internship are required to have a supervisor that will be available to the intern for at least one hour of face-to-face supervision per week.

MFT Supervision Training

In addition to the PHDMFT or DMFT level practicum and internship courses, students in these programs must complete a course in MFT supervision methodology. The supervision course will be conducted in connection with the requirements established by AAMFT for students to become Approved Supervisors. Not all requirements will be completed for the students to achieve the designation while in the program at Northcentral University. The supervision course in the PhD program (not in the DMFT program - students in the DMFT program should inquire about obtaining an approved course) is pre-approved by the AAMFT to count for the 30-hour supervision course requirement. Students will have to complete the direct supervision and supervision mentoring requirements outside of the program in order to qualify for the Approved Supervisor designation.

Doctoral MFT (PHDMFT and DMFT) students must enroll in MFT-8970 , DMFT-8970  or as an alternative to completing the supervision course at Northcentral; students may elect to complete the training directly through AAMFT. Upon completion of the AAMFT training, students may submit documentation through their Academic and Finance Advisor for approval and the course requirements (credit hours) for MFT-8970  or DMFT-8970  may be waived.

Non-Degree Seeking Students

Students who are not pursuing a degree with NCU, but who wish to enroll in Practicum or Internship courses must demonstrate that they meet the same clinical readiness standards as NCU degree seeking students.

These standards include:

  • Successful passing of a background check
  • Successful completion of pre-requisite (or equivalent) courses (demonstrated by transcript from an accredited university)
  • Acknowledgement of the informed consent, technology checklist, and clinical handbook documents
  • Proof of an active professional liability insurance policy
  • Clinical readiness interview

Non-degree seeking students must complete the same SASVAC (site and supervisor vetting and contracting) process as degree seeking students. In addition, non-degree seeking students are required to complete an individualized clinical training plan. This plan must be signed by the student; the plan outlines student and NCU expectations and responsibilities.

Programs

    Post-Baccalaureate CertificateMaster of Arts in Marriage and Family TherapyPost-Master’s CertificateDoctorate of Marriage and Family TherapyDoctor of Philosophy in Marriage and Family Therapy

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