Master of Arts/Education Specialist in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling
CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION
COORDINATOR: DR. ANGELA SHORES
Successful completion of the Master of Arts/Education Specialist degree (M.A./Ed.S.) in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling prepares graduates to holistically assess and treat therapeutic needs of couples and families. As part of their 69 semester hours of graduate level training, students acquire theoretical and practical knowledge and skills that equip them to understand and intervene in their clients’ lives based on developmental, interpersonal, multicultural, and systemic factors. Students complete the core coursework required for the M.A./Ed.S. in Mental Health Counseling and specialized marriage, couple, and family counseling courses that prepare them for pursuit of the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential. (Note: Students choosing to pursue licensure as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), as opposed to or in addition to an LPC, will need to work closely with their program advisor to ensure that they meet requirements unique to the LMFT credential.)
Healthy marriages and strong families are essential components of a well-functioning society. In addition to the important role the family unit has to our society, Christian teaching and tradition emphasize the sacred nature of family relationships. In fact, the family is considered by many as the “domestic church,” wherein people learn about spiritual faith and how to experience loving and committed relationships. The strength and stability of these relationships are increasingly challenged by both internal and external forces, resulting in a need for mental health professionals who are trained to meet the particular needs of marriages, couples, and families in crisis. Marriage, couple, and family counseling is a valuable resource with proven efficacy and positive outcomes for marriages, couples, and families with varying degrees of therapeutic need. Licensed professional counselors are better equipped to provide effective services if trained in the specialty of marriage, couple, and family counseling.
1) To educate students in theories of marriage, couple, and family counseling;
2) To educate students in the areas of ethical and legal considerations as relevant to marriage, couple, and family counseling;
3) To equip students with knowledge and skills necessary to holistically assess couples’ and families’ therapeutic needs, considering multicultural and systemic factors as well as the strengths and limitations of those marriages, couples and families;
4) To equip students with knowledge and skills necessary to provide preventative and therapeutic counseling services to marriages, couples, and families at various developmental stages and/or stages of crisis;
5) To prepare students for state licensure as licensed professional counselors.
A. Professional Component
Theories of Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling
Methods of Research and Program Evaluation
Legal, Ethical and Professional Issues in Counseling
The Counselor as Professional,
Advanced Human Growth and Development
Professional Development of the Mental Health Counselor and Marriage, Couple, and Family Counselor
B. Skill Component
Methods of Assessment and Evaluation
The Helping Relationship
The Practice of Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling
Psychodiagnostics and Treatment Planning
Career Development: Theory and Practice
Crisis Intervention Counseling
Couples and Family Counseling
Child and Adolescent Counseling
Substance Abuse Counseling
Seminar on Contemporary Issues in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling
Practicum in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling
Internship in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling
Internship in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling
All courses in the counseling curricula (School Counseling, Mental Health Counseling, and Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling) are open to all counseling students who have prerequisites and permission of the professor. All core courses should be completed before any student enters the practicum or internships and may be required for other courses by the professor. Graduate students should talk with their advisors when planning a course of study to be sure that they include courses required to become licensed as professional counselors.
CRITERIA FOR ADMISSION
The requirements for the role of a marriage, couple, and family counselor are both personal and intellectual. During an admissions interview, the faculty will assess the academic background and personal qualities and goals of applicants. Applicants will be admitted who meet the personal and academic requirements of the program. Recognizing the need to accept students who have the greatest likelihood of success in this role, the following standards will be used for admission to the Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling program.
1. A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with a minimum 3.00 grade point average.
2. A minimum of 12 hours of psychology or related areas to include general, abnormal/psychopathology, personality theory, developmental.
3. Satisfactory test scores on either the Graduate Record Examination or the Miller Analogies Test within the past 5 years.
4. Three positive letters of academic and/or professional reference.
5. A successful interview by faculty within the program.
6. A questionnaire requiring applicants to respond to questions relative to the pursuit of a counseling graduate degree.
7. Proof of satisfactory criminal background record check for all states of residence for the past five (5) years with a residence verification statement.