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Tampa Master of Arts (MA) in Marriage & Family Therapy Courses & Admissions Requirements
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* Prerequisite courses: Social and Cultural Competencies for Counselors () and Theories in Counseling Families and Individuals ( ).
The ﬁeld experience is the primary mechanism of applied training and evaluation in the MA in Marriage & Therapy degree program. Field experience training is the supervised out of class contact of students with a client population that takes place within a marriage and family therapy setting. The purpose of ﬁeld experience training is to provide the environment and opportunity for students to apply their theoretical knowledge, to implement and develop counseling techniques based on this knowledge, and to foster the professional and personal attitudes important to the identity of a marriage and family therapist.
Practicum/field experiences for this degree must be 500 clock hours done in a marriage and family therapy setting — with 180 direct client contact hours.
Evaluation of student progress in ﬁeld experience training focuses on three areas:
- Theoretical knowledge
- Counseling skills
- Professional attitudes
The foundation of Argosy University, Tampa's student practicum/field experience training in marriage and family therapy is the accurate assessment and understanding of human problems. This assessment and understanding is the basis for the recommendation and/or implementation of effective techniques for the alleviation or resolution of these problems within a climate of absolute respect for the client.
Ethical standards of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy are incorporated into student training. The Argosy University, Tampa administration closely monitors academic and professional development during all stages of progress throughout a student's graduate career. This monitoring includes assessment of clinical suitability as well as academic achievement. Thus, aspects of student's personal adjustment, interpersonal relationships, and behavior in all settings are relevant to their progress in their program. Our aim is to assure that students are well qualiﬁed and have the potential to become competent and ethical professionals.
Students who are identiﬁed as not meeting training or professional development standards will receive a plan for remediation to help resolve identiﬁed problems. Students who are removed from the ﬁeld experience site because they are not meeting training or professional standards will lose credit hours for the term and will be required to repeat the semester of ﬁeld experience. They will also be referred to an appropriate committee for further evaluation and disciplinary action, including possible dismissal from the program.
All students are responsible for being familiar with the information contained in the Training Manual.
The ﬁeld experience is a required training experience. Students may begin the ﬁeld experience after the successful completion of the required prerequisites. Students are required to attend informational meetings and apply for ﬁeld study one semester before they plan to enroll for this experience.
Students earn 3 credit hours each time they register for field experience. All students enrolled in ﬁeld experience are concurrently enrolled in a practicum/field experience seminar led by a faculty member. The seminar meets on-campus throughout the semester. Special arrangements will be made for students taking ﬁeld experience at distant locations.
MA in Marriage & Family Therapy degree program students must complete 500 hours of practicum/field experience in a marriage and family therapy setting.
Students spend a minimum of 15 hours per week in a pre-approved site. A minimum of 180 hours is spent in "direct service" as deﬁned below. The remainder of the students' time is spent in "indirect service, " supervision, and "training activities. " Students must receive at least one hour of on-site, individual supervision per week.
- "Direct service" includes face-to-face provision of therapy services to individuals designated as clients by the site. "Face-to-face" service includes hours spent co-counseling with a licensed/credentialed professional.
- "Indirect service" may include community outreach, consultation and/or education, program development and/or evaluation, and support services (e.g., report writing, record maintenance).
- "Training activities" include formal supervision, case conferences, case management/utilization review meetings, rounds, administrative/planning meetings, in-service training/seminars. (Hours spent in attendance at ﬁeld experience seminar count towards the total number of hours of the ﬁeld experience.)
Argosy University approves a wide variety of ﬁeld training sites. All ﬁeld experience sites are within the local area unless a student speaks with the director of training to make other arrangements. The director of training shall make this decision on a case-by-case basis.
The training site and seminar leaders evaluate students in writing once each semester. Grades are assigned on a "Credit/No Credit" basis.
Students may not train in settings in which they are employed unless the ﬁeld experience supervisor is clearly different from the employment supervisor.
Professional Liability Insurance
All students enrolled in ﬁeld experience must be covered by professional liability insurance. Students must purchase the liability insurance that is provided through Argosy University, Tampa, in addition to their own personal liability insurance.
Prerequisites for Field Experience
In order for students to apply for ﬁeld experience, they must be in good academic standing (a GPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0) and have completed the academic planning which will allow for all of the ﬁeld experience prerequisite courses to be completed prior to the beginning of the ﬁeld experience.
Comprehensive Examination Requirements
Students in the MA in Marriage & Family Therapy degree program are required to successfully complete a Comprehensive Examination no later than the end of the ﬁfth year after entering the program. The material covered by the Comprehensive Examination reﬂects all coursework and material required of students in the program.
To be eligible to sit for the Comprehensive Examination, students must have successfully completed all courses, excluding ﬁeld experience. Courses that are transferred are considered successfully completed. Students taking the Comprehensive Examination must be in good standing and have a GPA of at least 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0). An application to take the exam must be submitted to the department head at least one month prior to the date of the examination.
The Comprehensive Examination is offered 3 times a year. Consult the department chair for the speciﬁc dates of the examination. All students must submit an application for the Comprehensive Examination. Although notiﬁcation of exam dates is sent to students, it is the student's responsibility to know when they are eligible to take the exam and to submit an application.
The department chair reviews students who register to sit for the Comprehensive Examination for eligibility. Students who need special accommodations during the examination are required to request them in writing at the time of application and provide any necessary documentation with the request.
Prior to each exam, an open meeting will be held to allow students an opportunity to ask questions about exam preparation and exam procedures. The format of the examination may change from year to year. The format will be discussed at the meetings prior to each exam.
Students are notiﬁed in writing of their exam grade. Possible outcomes are "Pass" or "Fail." If students do not pass, they are required to retake the examination. Students who fail the Comprehensive Examination are expected to meet with their advisor to review the problems evident in the examination. The advisor will discuss with the student speciﬁc areas of weakness and possible strategies for remediation. The student will then be allowed to retake the examination one time within the time frame of program completion.
A student who fails the Comprehensive Exam a second time will be reviewed by the Student Professional Development Committee (SPDC). After completion of required remediation, student may be eligible to retake the Comprehensive Examination. Any student who fails the examination a third time will be automatically dismissed from the program.