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San Diego County LCSW/MFT Residency/Internship Program

Information of the 2014-2015 LCSW/MFT R/I Program

The County of San Diego Mental Health Services has allocated funds from the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Workforce Education and Training (WET) to award MFT Residency/Internship (MFT R/I) Stipends to MFT students in San Diego County who will complete their degree by Dec 31, 2015


The mission of the Mental Health Services Act, enacted in 2005, is to transform California’s public mental health delivery; in part, with mental health professionals dedicated to community service and to the care of those living with mental illness, by inspiring hope in their recovery, focusing on their personal strengths, respecting their cultural perspectives and learning from their lived experiences as consumers.

The goal of the MFT R/I Program Stipend is threefold: 1. to recruit MFT graduates with the capacity to serve the culturally diverse needs of persons in mental health care, 2. to prepare recruited MFT graduates in the delivery of mental health services that promote wellness, recovery and resilience, and 3. to recruit into MFT academic programs individuals who have experience in the public mental health system as clients or family members of clients. The ultimate objective of the stipend is to promote public mental health as a career option for those entering the MFT profession.

The San Diego MFT Consortium

Alliant International University is the administrator of the San Diego MFT R/I Program on behalf of San Diego MFT Consortium that represents all the MFT educational programs in San Diego County. Each MFT program has a contact person who helps recruit, inform and advise their students on the MFT R/I Program, assists applicants through the application process, helps assemble the Stipend Awards Council that is responsible for reviewing applications and selecting recipients, and helps identify public mental health positions that fill the needs of the county. Contact information for the contact persons are provided on the last page.

Stipend Amount and Number of Stipends Awarded

The total amount of each stipend will be $13,300. It breaks down to $8,000 to the individual recipients to defray the cost of their graduate education, $5,000 supervision stipend to subsidize recipients’ post degree clinical supervision needs, and $300 license preparation support. Three (3) stipends will be awarded in San Diego County each year for five (5) years starting from 2011.

Employment Commitment

Recipients of the San Diego County MFT R/I program stipends will be required to commit two years of full-time employment at a mental health service agency operated by the state, a county, or an agency contracted by the San Diego County to provide mental health care. Employment may be in a paid or unpaid position as a mental health clinician that qualifies for MFT Internship. The program coordinator approves the agency and the position as qualifying to fulfill the employment obligation.

Eligibility Requirement

MFT students eligible for the 2014-2015 stipends must be in good academic standing and complete their degree between Jan 1, 2015 and Dec 31, 2015 Completion of degree refers to the conferral date posted by the school’s registrar. The degree must be from a graduate program that is an active member of the San Diego MFT Educators’ Consortium. The degree obtained must qualify the students for registration as an MFT Intern with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Students must also qualify for employment in California.

There are two additional requirements: One, stipend recipients must complete practicum training in the treatment of serious mental disorders in underserved communities and to culturally diverse populations, and receive academic instruction that is consistent with the principles and values of the MHSA. This includes, but is not limited to, the treatment of serious mental health illnesses in underserved communities and to culturally diverse populations. The principles espoused by the MHSA include recovery, wellness, client-driven care, outcome-driven services and consumer self-help support. Two, stipend recipients must do a mental health outreach project in the local community to raise awareness of mental health and mental health career options.


Eligible MFT students qualify for a stipend if they are willing to provide services in underserved communities or specialized programs that have been designated by the San Diego County as high need areas for mental health practitioners. This would include geographic areas (rural or urban) and delivery programs within state and county mental health systems that are funded through the MHSA (Full Service Partnerships, Wellness Centers, etc.). In addition, selection priority will be given to students with bilingual or multicultural capacity that best serve the needs of these communities or programs.

Application Information

The application form and guide will be available Oct 1st, 2014 through the website of the San Diego MFT consortium www.sdmftconsortiumlalliant.edu.The application process includes submission of the three parts of the 2014-15 Application Form, School Recommendation Form and the W-9 Federal Tax Form. Applicants will be notified via email of the receipt and eligibility of their applications two weeks after the application deadline.

Application Guidelines

Application Deadline: October 15, 2014

Applications submitted before 11:59 pm of October 15, 2014 will be reviewed and applicant will be notified if application is incomplete. Applications submitted after 11:59 pm of October 15, 2014 will not be accepted.

MFT students/graduates interested in applying for the stipends must contact the contact person of their MFT academic program. Applicants need to receive advisement from their school on the student’s eligibility for the stipend program. The faculty advising the student must submit an online recommendation form to verify the student’s eligibility and academic standing. The student needs to request that a school administrator or faculty advisor complete the School Recommendation Form.

Selection of Stipend Recipients

All eligible stipend applications will be anonymously scored by a Stipend Awards Council established by the San Diego MFT Consortium. The Stipend Awards Council includes members representing public mental health such as county and state personnel familiar with MHSA, county contracted agencies, community based centers, MFT professional organizations, and mental health consumers.

The level of qualification of each applicant is based on the categories listed below. Applicants are advised to adequately demonstrate their qualification in each category when completing the application.

  1. Language capacity.  Applicant has the capacity to provide mental health services in a second language identified as a needed threshold language for the San Diego County. California Department of Mental Health defines “threshold language” as a primary language, other than English, for the beneficiary population in a geographic area.
  2. Multicultural capacity.  Applicant has personal and/or employment experience in communities of diverse cultures, social economic statuses, and geographical settings.
  3. Community orientation.  Applicant has personal, employment and/or volunteer experience which convey a high degree of commitment towards community service, especially in low-income and socially disadvantaged areas.
  4. Public mental health service. Applicant has personal and/or professional experience in the public mental health system.
  5. Career in public mental health. Applicant conveys a commitment to public mental health as a professional which is evident by practicum training in or prior employment at a public mental health agency, and/or training/employment serving a specialized population.
  6. Public mental health preparation.  Applicant has academic knowledge and clinical competence in providing services to the population served by the public mental health system.
  7. Personal capacity.  Applicant has personal strengths and skills which will enhance applicant’s ability to integrate and apply knowledge and training to work in public mental health settings.

Upon review of application scores, Stipend Awards Council will rank applications and award the stipends. Alliant International University will notify the stipend recipients using their primary email address and they will be required to respond to accept or decline the stipend.

 Requirement of Stipend Recipients

Once being awarded, stipend recipients will be required to complete the requirement listed below. Failure to complete will forfeit the stipend award. Specific dates and times will be provided to stipend recipients by email.

  1. Two hour orientation session. The orientation session will be scheduled around the third week of November and will describe the MFT R/I program, explain the administration of the program through Alliant International University, and review employment requirements in San Diego County. The MFT R/I Stipend Contract (payback agreement) will be reviewed in detail and recipients will be required to sign the payback agreement to accept the stipend.
  2. Two day training on public mental health care and MHSA values. Emphasis in this training will be on the recovery paradigm and its implications for mental health practice.
  3. Community Outreach Project: Each Recipient will design and carry out an outreach project in the local underserved communities on mental health stigma and/or mental health career option.

San Diego MFT Consortium

Alliant International University is the administrator of the San Diego R/I Program that represents all the MFT training programs in San Diego County. Each program has a contact person to the Consortium. They are:


Alliant International University

MFT R/I Program: 858-635-4579
Program manager: Linna Wang, Ph.D. lwang@alliant.edu
Program Coordinator: Peter McKimmin, Ph.D. pmckimmin@alliant.edu 

Alliant International University

Linna Wang

National University

Valerie Alexander

San Diego State University

Jan Ewring

University of San Diego

Todd Edwards 

Phoenix University

Barbara Burt

Brandman University

Marnie Elam 

Bethel Seminary

Ben K Lim

Azusa Pacific University

Rebecca Kenyon

Southern California Seminary

Julie Hayden