The mission of the Colorado State University Marriage and Family Therapy Master’s training program is to train students in accordance with the Professional Marriage and Family Therapy Principles to provide ethical, multiculturally-informed, evidence-based, and systemically oriented therapeutic services for a diverse population of individuals, couples, and families within a variety of professional settings, including community, academic, and policy-making settings.
The CSU MFT training program is committed to training clinicians who understand diversity in clinical, research, academic, and policy-making settings and are skilled consumers and producers of research related to MFT. Graduates are trained to be ethically and culturally sensitive professionals who understand the societal dynamics of gender, race, class, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, culture, religion, etc. As clinicians, our graduates are trained to incorporate a social justice context into the therapeutic process. We are committed to training students in evidence-based practices with an understanding of the rigorous research practices required to effectively produce and consume research. At the core of the CSU MFT program philosophy is a belief that students learn best with an integration of experiential learning and academic training.
The CSU MFT program aims to graduate marriage and family therapists who successfully complete the clinical and academic training standards as guided by the PMFTPS which include the COAMFTE Core Competencies, the AAMFT code of ethics, and the state of Colorado MFT licensure regulations. The following are the program goals and student learning outcomes associated with each goal:
SLO = Student Learning Outcomes
Goal 1: To prepare effective Marriage and Family Therapists.
- SLO1: Students will possess the competencies necessary to successfully and ethically conceptualize cases and facilitate admission to treatment.
- SLO2: Students will possess the competencies necessary to conduct effective and ethical clinical assessments and diagnoses of clients.
- SLO3: Students will possess the competencies necessary to conduct effective and ethical treatment planning and case management.
- SLO4: Students will possess the competencies necessary to employ effective and ethical therapeutic interventions.
- SLO5: Students will possess the competencies necessary to maintain compliance with ethical, legal, and professional standards in the practice of MFT.
- SLO8: Students will receive at least 500 clinical hours during the program.
- SLO9: Students will receive at least 100 hours of clinical supervision during the program.
Goal 2: To prepare Marriage and Family Therapists to responsibly serve diverse, marginalized, and underserved communities.
- SLO7: Students will demonstrate cultural competence in admitting clients to treatment, clinical assessment and diagnosis, treatment planning, therapeutic interventions, legal and ethical issues, and research and theory.
- SLO10: Students will provide therapeutic services in all community programs offered by the MFT Program that expressly serve diverse, marginalized, and underserved populations; specifically, the Center for Family and Couple Therapy, Campus Connections Therapeutic Mentoring Program for At-Risk Youth, and Center for Trauma and Resilience Assessments.
Goal 3: To prepare students to be critical consumers of and contributors to the MFT literature.
- SLO6: Students will possess the competencies necessary to apply relevant research to their clinical practice and to evaluate their own effectiveness as therapists.
- SLO11: Students will complete an original thesis research project.
Goal 4: To prepare students to be successful in accomplishing their chosen professional goals related to MFT.
- SLO12: Students will demonstrate professional identity as an MFT by becoming members of the AAMFT.
- SLO13: Graduates will demonstrate professional identity as an MFT by maintaining membership in AAMFT.
- SLO14: Graduates will pass the national or state-equivalent MFT licensure exam.
- SLO15: Graduates will gain licensure in MFT.
- SLO16: Graduates will secure employment, if desired, in the MFT field.
- SLO17: Graduates will secure employment, if desired, in other mental health organizations or other clinically-related field.
- SLO18: Students desiring a doctoral degree will secure acceptance into a Ph.D. program.
We make every effort to ensure all students complete the MFT program successfully. Retention is a two-way street.
We continually strive to create a strong program so that students want to stay. This is done by collecting regular feedback from students, faculty and administrators, clients, and community partners. We use this feedback to continually improve the program. Students can refer to the MFT Policy and Procedures for Student Complaints, Concerns, and Grievances in the MFT Program Clinical Administrative Manual.
We strive to provide students with a clear indication of their development and competence in all areas of the program so students will be able to successfully complete the program. If at any time a student is struggling with courses or thesis, the student and the instructor of the course or their thesis adviser will communicate about the issue and work together to resolve it. See the HDFS Graduate Handbook for further detail.
During practicum and internship, all students will receive ongoing formal and informal feedback on their clinical skills. Students must be functioning at an (A) appropriately developing toward competence or (C) competent level. If at any point in the MFT program, a student is functioning at a level below (A) or (C) in any area of the AAMFT core competencies or the AAMFT Code of Ethics, the student will be given an unsatisfactory (UN) in that area and an action plan will be developed.
At the beginning of the program, all students review this policy and sign an agreement that they have reviewed the AAMFT Core Competencies, AAMFT Code of Ethics, and the policy. (The blank form is saved on Canvas; the signed form is saved in each student’s S: drive portfolio). Once a student receives a (UN), an action plan will be created with the student, the CFCT Director and the Program Director with the intention of setting goals to move toward success.
Retention is also a part of our Program Diversity Plan. A series of evaluation surveys are given to all MFT students at the end of each semester that include questions related to issues of diversity. Additionally, students are given information about advocacy and diversity support available at CSU. This information is on the CSU website, in the HDFS graduate handbook and is posted on the MFT Canvas site.
Diversity is a central value of our program. Because of this, faculty, and supervisors are expected to create a warm and welcoming environment for all students. Therefore, maintaining a social justice lens and attending to cultural issues are central to courses and supervision. MFT faculty and supervisors are expected to continue their cultural competence training in an on‐going fashion and diversity efforts by faculty are part of their annual evaluations with the department head. Faculty are also encouraged to be particularly sensitive to student requests that might be related to issues of identity and/or culture (i.e. issues related to religion or language). If a student leaves the program for any reason, an exit interview will be conducted. Among other questions, supervisors will assess if there was anything related to diversity issues that led to their departure.
The Marriage and Family Therapy Specialization Program uses Colorado State University’s definition of diversity: “Colorado State University is committed to embracing diversity through the inclusion of individuals reflective of characteristics such as: age, culture, different ideas and perspectives, disability, ethnicity, first-generation status, familial status, gender identity and expression, geographic background, marital status, national origin, race, religious and spiritual beliefs, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, physical appearance, medical diagnosis, documentation status, and veteran status with special attention given to populations historically underrepresented or excluded from participation in higher education. The University’s commitment to diversity is a longstanding one that reflects our role and mission as a land-grant institution.”
Students in the MFT program come from a variety of backgrounds and subscribe to a wide range of values and beliefs in their personal lives. They work as therapists in the CFCT and other settings where they see a variety of clients from diverse backgrounds who may have different values and beliefs from their therapists. MFT students are expected to show a willingness and ability to develop the skills to work with any type of client(s). While student therapists and their clients may not hold the same value systems, it is required that the clinical practice of our students is respectful of differing viewpoints and ensures best clinical practices in the field of MFT.
Our program is built on the Professional Marriage and Family Therapy Principles. All of these require that therapists work with a variety of clients in a way that is nondiscriminatory and multiculturally informed. This requires that student therapists differentiate their own personal values and beliefs from the therapeutic work they do with their clients. Faculty and clinical supervisors work with all student therapists to help them examine their own values and belief systems in ways that ensure they do not interfere with clients’ clinical progress.
Over the last five years, our program has included 61 graduate students. Of those, 18% identify as male, 82% female. When reporting race, 8% identify as Asian, 7% Latinx, 1% as Black, and 3% report having multiple racial identities.
Of the eight core MFT faculty members, 38% identify as male and 62% as female. When reporting race, 12% identify as Asian and 88% identify as being of European American decent.
Of our nine primary clinical supervisors, 45% identify as male and 55% as female. When reporting race, 12% identify as Asian, 12% identify as Black, and 76% identify as being of European American decent.
|Cohort Year Students Entered Program||Number of Students in Program||Graduation Rate in Advertised Time (%)*||Job Placement Rate (%)**||Licensure Rate (%)***|
Portability of Degree
Licensure for marriage and family therapists is regulated at a state level. A listing of state licensure requirements is available at The Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards. Applicants must review the state requirements for licensure in a state where they are interested in becoming licensed.