MFT Program Learning Objectives

Instructional Philosophy

The Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling program at CSUN is designed based on a learning-centered, outcome-based educational principles as described below:

Learning-Centered Education
• A cross-disciplinary, constructivist pedagogical model, learning-centered education refers to designing educational curricula that focus on promoting active student learning of specific skills and knowledge rather than mastery of content.
• In this approach, learning is the focus of curriculum design. Student learning is measured to determine whether students are meaningfully engaging the material. Students are active in this process, applying and using knowledge rather than trying to memorize or analyze it.
• Clearly defined learning objectives and criteria are used to facilitate student learning and democratized the student-teacher relationship.

Outcome-Based Education
• Closely related to learning-centered, outcome-based learning refers to designing curriculum around the final learning outcomes or objectives.
• Rather than simply following the textbook chapter by chapter, the learning objectives drive the curriculum.

The learning objectives and outcome measures for this program have been derived from four distinct sources:

1. The California State Board of Behavioral Science (BBS) educational requirements for becoming a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

2. The Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) requirements for the specialization in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling.

3. The Marriage and Family Therapy Core Competencies developed by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

4. The Student Learning Objectives developed by the departmental faculty.

MFT Program Student Learning Objectives

1. Develop empathic, respectful, and collaborative relationships when working with individuals, children, couples, and families from diverse backgrounds and socioeconomic classes as well as with other professionals.

To be measured by:
a. Role plays of client sessions in 659A, 659B, 656, 675, 677
b. Field site supervisor evaluation of work with clients in field placements: 659P, 659Q, 690
c. Outcome-based assessment of therapeutic alliance in 679

2. Conduct psychosocial, family, clinical, diagnostic, crisis, and client progress assessments of clients that account for family system dynamics and larger socio-political and cultural contexts.

To be measured by:
a. Clinical and diagnostic assessments in 672 and 679
b. Law, ethics, and licensing portfolio in 671
c. Role plays in 659B, 675
d. Family system assessments and psychosocial assessments in 670A, 670B
e. Psychosocial assessments in 659Q
f. Field site supervisor evaluation of work with clients in field placements: 659P, 659Q, 690
g. Outcome-based assessment of client progress and alliance in 679

3. Utilize family therapy and counseling theories to conceptualize client situations and develop treatment plans that address diverse client needs based on the current evidence base.

To be measured by:
a. Clinical treatment plans in 655, 670A, 670B, 670C, 673, 675, 677
b. Evidence-based treatment plan in 603
c. Career development plans in 657C
d. Role plays in 656, 677
e. Field site supervisor evaluation of work with clients in field placements: 659P, 659Q, 690

4. Provide effective, evidence-based, and culturally responsive therapy interventions for individuals, children, couples, families, and groups dealing with mild to severe mental health, addiction, family, and/or relational issues.

To be measured by:
a. Role plays in 656, 677
b. Field site supervisor evaluation of work with clients in field placements: 659P, 659Q, 690
c. Psychoeducational presentations 674, 670C

5. Identify the legal, ethical, and documentation standards of marriage and family therapy practice and understand how they apply in various service contexts, such as private practice, schools, and public agencies, and with diverse populations.

To be measured by:
a. Field site supervisor evaluation of work with clients in field placements: 659P, 659Q, 690
b. Progress notes and clinical assessments in 659P
c. Portfolio in 671

6. Engage in reflective practices that promote personal growth and self awareness, enabling students to critically and accurately evaluate how their beliefs, values, behaviors, and cultural context affect clients and shape their perceptions of clients.

To be measured by:
a. Personal growth process in 659 A, 659 B
b. Personal growth papers in 643
c. Professional and personal growth plans in 690

7. Locate and use research to use implement best practice strategies with a diverse clients and issues.

To be measured by:
a. Evidence-based practice paper in 603
b. Research paper in 603

Program Outcomes
Furthermore the program as a whole is designed with the following outcomes in mind:
1. Prepare students to successfully pass licensure exams in California.
2. Serve the diverse population of the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles regions.
3. Create a supportive and inclusive learning environment for all students.

Faculty Outcomes
The program has set the following outcomes for its faculty:
1. The faculty demonstrates instructional effectiveness.
2. The faculty is comprised of experienced therapists actively engaged in clinical practice who apply this knowledge in their teaching roles.
3. Core faculty will publish and develop pioneering works in their areas of specialty.
4. Core faculty members promote diversity awareness and social justice within the field of family therapy and the community more broadly.

Assessment Policies
Program educational outcomes, including student learning outcomes, program outcomes, and faculty outcomes are measuring on an ongoing basis. The sources of data include signature assignments in individual courses, course evaluations by students, site supervisors, licensure data provided by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, alumni surveys, student surveys, employer surveys, and institutional data maintained by CSUN. These assessments are used to continually improve program outcomes.