Why COAMFTE Accreditation is Important to Your MFT Education
Of the many vital acronyms in the psychological profession, COAMFTE is especially important if you’re hoping to enjoy a promising career as a marriage and family therapist. The Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy (COAMFTE) accredits training programs like the M.A. and PsyD programs offered by Alliant International University to ensure the highest caliber of professional education.
Learn more about COAMFTE and how it can benefit your career as a marriage and family therapist (MFT).
What is COAMFTE Accreditation?
As one of the fastest-growing specialties in mental health, marriage and family therapy benefits couples and families around the world. To ensure clients are seen by the most knowledgeable and experienced therapists, the field’s governing body, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), created a special accrediting agency to hold graduate and post-graduate training programs to the highest standard.
- To oversee and ensure high-quality MFT education through accreditation
- To promote continued improvement in the field of professional marriage and family therapy education by helping institutions develop top-tier programs
- To develop and preserve standards so that students enrolled in accredited institutions receive adequate knowledge, skills, and ethics for professional competence
- To serve as a guide for students selecting quality training in marriage and family therapy, and to produce a list of accredited programs for state boards and licensing agencies
COAMFTE oversees marriage and family therapy training programs at the master’s, doctoral, and post-degree levels.
Why is accreditation important?
Accreditation is a useful indicator students can use to compare different training programs and determine whether the program offers quality education that meets the current requirements for professional practice. Since COAMFTE was developed and continues to be maintained by its parent organization, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, programs accredited under it are regularly monitored and evaluated to ensure they meet established professional standards.
How Do Schools Get COAMFTE Accredited?
Programs accredited by COAMFTE endeavor excellence in the field of marriage and family therapy, which means they are held to the highest standards. COAMFTE-accredited educational programs should meet the following guidelines:
- A comprehensive focus on the relational/systemic philosophy and ethics within the field of marriage and family therapy (MFT)
- A curriculum, program structure, and process founded in the Professional Marriage and Family Therapy Principles (PMFTPs)
- A dedication to multiculturally-informed education, including consideration for how societal and systemic inequality affects diverse, marginalized, and/or underserved populations as well as appropriate responsiveness to these effects
- An inclusive and diverse learning environment
- An educational experience that conforms to the mission, goals, and outcomes of the specific level of educational attainment (i.e., master’s, doctoral, post-degree)
- Access to appropriate learning resources required to prepare students for MFT practice
- A commitment to clinical training, if applicable to program outcomes
COAMFTE accreditation is achieved after a self-study report from each program (evaluating its mission, goals, outcomes as well as graduate and faculty competencies), an on-site visit, and a thorough evaluation by COAMFTE. This process is ongoing and programs must continually meet acceptable standards to maintain accreditation.
Which California Schools Have COAMFTE Accreditation?
Marriage and family therapy educational programs currently accredited by COAMFTE in the state of California include:
- Alliant International University
- Alliant International University – San Diego (MA) & (PsyD)
- Alliant International University – Los Angeles (MA) & (PsyD)
- Alliant International University – Sacramento (MA) & (PsyD)
- Alliant International University – Irvine (MA) & (PsyD)
- Bethel Seminary (MA)
- California State University – Northridge (MS)
- Chapman University (MA)
- Loma Linda University (MS & PhD)
- Northcentral University (MA) & (PhD)
- San Diego State University (MS)
- University of San Diego (MA)
How does COAMFTE Benefit Students?
Students who enroll in programs accredited by COAMFTE are pursuing degrees that meet the standards of professional practice in MFT. Here are some other benefits of attending a COAMFTE-accredited program:
- Knowledge that the faculty in your program are likely active contributors to the existing knowledge and research regarding marriage and family therapy
- Confidence that your program will stand behind its stated objectives
- Preparation for state and/or national MFT examination
- Preparation for licensure as a marriage and family therapist
- The option to have your coursework, credits, and clinical hours transferred among other COAMFTE-accredited programs
- Earning a recognized qualifying degree that facilitates the attainment of licensure
- Earning a recognized qualifying degree that may facilitate attainment of licensure in other states
You can be sure that your COAMFTE program is regularly monitored and evaluated to keep with the current standards of professional practice, and you can assure that, as MFT standards change, your COAMFTE-accredited program will adapt appropriately.
Alliant International University is one of only a handful of California institutions to hold the distinction of being accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy.
In fact, Alliant’s marriage and family therapy PsyD program was the first COAMFTE-accredited PsyD program in the country and is the only COAMFTE-accredited PsyD program in the state of California.
Whether you choose to pursue a graduate education in MFT with Alliant’s California School of Professional Psychology or another university, choosing a COAMFTE-accredited program may help you best achieve your professional goals as a Marriage and Family Therapist.
Contact Alliant for more information about our COAMFTE accreditation standards.
Click here for more information on the benefits of COAMFTE Accreditation.