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Step-by-Step Information for Survival and Success

Congratulations, You Have Been ACCEPTED!!!

Checklist of what to do when you get accepted
(all the details below)



  • Read through this website: it is the student handbook for the program.
  • Download the BBS MFT Student Handbook
  • Register for classes
  • Learn how to navigate CSUN
  • Review fieldwork requirements and decide whether you want to be in a practicum section that allows you to work in a community fieldwork site or at one of the two CSUN affiliated training sites.
  • Learn more info about CSUN and MFT department requirements
  • Prepare yourself and significant others



BBS Student Handbook and Website
Learn more about the trainee, intern, and licensing process.

California Board of Behavior Sciences MFT Student Handbook

Registering for Classes

Review course sequencing for your cohort.

The SOLAR Student Center is your one-stop shop to view and manage your academic, financial and personal information. Use the SOLAR Student Center to:


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Navigating CSUN


  • Parking
  • Email
  • Updating email account
  • Forwarding your campus email to an off-campus email account
  • Health requirements
  • CSUN ID card
  • Tuition/Fee Policy
  • Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE)
  • Buying books
  • Attendance
  • Maintaining Personal Records
  • Expectations for professional conduct
  • Writing papers

Navigating CSUN

Parking:
  • Parking is tough! Show up early!
  • Most classes are held in the Education building or Juniper Hall (park in B5 parking structure) or Sierra Hall (park in B3 parking structure).
  • Make sure you have a parking pass or you will get a ticket. You can purchase daily permits inside the lots. Permits cost $6 per day and the machines except cash and credit cards.
  • Here’s a link to the CSUN map http://www.csun.edu/maps/
  • Purchase parking permit online. Go to my Northridge Portal, select “Parking Permit & CSUN Photo ID”


Email:
  • Locate your Admissions "Activate CSUN User ID and Password" letter sent to you from Admissions and Records. The "Activate CSUN User ID and Password" letter contains your CSUN User ID and Initial Password.
  • Visit the CSUN Login (www.csun.edu/account) page, and enter your CSUN User ID and Initial Password.
  • Follow the subsequent instructions to activate your CSUN User ID and Password.


Update Email Account:
  • If you previously used a Webmail account, you must change your CSUN password before accessing your new Gmail account.
  • Access your new Gmail account, sign in with your CSUN email address.
  • If you do not know your CSUN email address, you can obtain it by logging in to the myNorthridge Portal and visiting the Student Center (SOLAR). Your CSUN email address is located under "Personal Information."


Forward Your Campus E-mail to an Off-Campus E-mail Account:
  • Go to www.csun.edu.
  • Go to My Northridge Portal at the left
  • Go to the box at the bottom left “Technology Resources”
  • Enter User ID and Password, then select “Email “
  • Log on to “Webmail Direct”
  • Click the Log on to Old webmail button
  • Select the “Options” link.
  • Select the “Forwarding” link.
  • Select “Yes” to forward your mail, then enter the forwarding email address.
  • Click “Apply.”
  • Log out by selecting “Sign Out.”

Health Requirements:
  • CSUN requires proof of current negative tuberculosis (T.B.) skin test and/or a letter from a physician attesting that the student is in good health and has no communicable diseases.
  • For more information call (818) 677-3666 or visit http://www.csun.edu/shc/.
  • The University offers Health Insurance. For more information, call CSU HealthLink (800) 853-5899, or visit www.CSUHealthLink.com (read below).

ID Card:
  • This will act as your CSUN library card.
  • Without a CSUN ID card the University Student Union and the Student Health Center will be unavailable to you.
  • To get a campus services photo ID:
  • Take your Confirmation or Enrollment Summary, Cash Net Receipt, another form of picture ID (passport, driver's license, DMV ID card) and $5 to university Cash Services at Bayramian Hall, main lobby.
  • Photo lab staff will take your picture in the Student Services Building, Room 101.
  • Or purchase your photo ID online. Go to my Northridge portal. Select “Parking Permit and CSUN Photo ID”

Tuition/Fee Policy:
  • Registration fees are due at the time of registration, but may be paid according to the Fee Payment Schedule.
  • Registration in classes will be cancelled unless payment is made by the due date, OR your Student Center (SOLAR) account shows that you:
  • Have Anticipated Financial Aid sufficient to cover your fees;
  • Have activated an Installment Payment Plan (IPP). See "Installment Payment Plan";
  • Are sponsored by a third party and the sponsor agreement has been received by CSUN;
  • Are approved for fee waiver.

Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE):
  • All undergraduate students in the California State University System (CSU) are required to demonstrate their proficiency with regard to writing skills as a requirement for graduation. Thus, all graduate applicants must provide evidence that they have passed the CSU WPE or its equivalent.
  • The WPE is offered twice in the fall semester and four times during the spring semester.
  • The test consists of a 75-minute written essay response to an assigned topic.
  • For more information and test dates visit http://www.csun.edu/testing/upper/.

Buying Books:


Questions to ask your professor about your textbook:
  • Will the textbook be available in the library?
  • Are earlier editions of textbooks allowed (they are usually cheaper)?
  • *Tip: Don’t wait until the first week of class to buy books – you probably won’t find them in time.
Attendance:
  • As a professional program, the curriculum requires intensive interaction with your classmates and participation in practical experiences. Thus, attendance is required for all scheduled classes.
  • You should plan to arrive 5 minutes before each class and to stay until the end (or even later). Leaving class early also counts as an absence unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor.
  • All practicum courses (EPC 659 A, B, P, and Q) require weekly attendance; missing 2 sessions in any one semester will require you to retake the course, delaying graduation.
  • In case of absence, you should email your professor prior to the class being missed. This demonstrates professionalism, responsibility, and commitment.
  • All assignments are due at the beginning of class on the scheduled due date, even in the case of absence, unless you have prior written permission to turn the assignment in late from the professor. Instructors are under no obligation to accept late assignments, and you may receive zero credit for the assignment.
  • In most classes, attendance and participation are calculated into the final grade.


Maintaining Personal Records:

In order to graduate students must retain personal copies of all practicum and fieldwork material. Examples include:
  • Contracts for each fieldsite
  • CSUN hour logs
  • BBS fieldwork logs
  • Supervisor agreement
  • Four workshop attendance forms
  • Verification for personal counseling
  • Evaluations from site supervisors and of sites
  • Proof of professional liability insurance for all semesters in which clients are seen.
  • And other departmental or university forms
*These records will be presented to a faculty member your during your last semester.


Expectations for Professional Conduct:

  • All MFT students are required to conduct themselves professionally at all times. Conduct expectations are outlined here, and students will be asked to agree to these terms at the initial orientation meeting.
  • University student conduct code http://www.csun.edu/catalog/appendices.html#E1

Writing Papers:

  • Your best friend while writing papers will be the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA Style Guide). For more information visit http://library.csun.edu/Research_Assistance/apacitationguide.pdf
  • Some papers will be based on your academics and some are reflections on your past relationships, your family and how you became the person you are today.
  • Start thinking about someone (a friend or classmate) you would feel comfortable reading and editing your work.
  • Don't forget to use our resources: our librarian's job is to help us use the data base, research principles, finding an article, interlibrary loans, book chapters directly to our email! Make an appointment or visit his office:

Psychology & Educational Psychology Librarian:
Eric P. Garcia
Oviatt Library
18111 Nordhoff St. Northridge, CA 91330-8328
Office Location:
Oviatt Library #226 (Second Floor) Phone: (818) 677-6809 Fax: (818) 677-4136 Email: eric.garcia@csun.edu
Deciding on Fieldwork Options in the First Year

Upon registering during the first semester, students may have the option of signing up for a "community" or "dedicated" first-year practicum.
  • "Community Practicum": Students enrolled in the general community practicum are free to apply for and work at any of the approved sites affiliated with our program. See list on Fieldwork page or find a site that meets the requirements and becomes added to this list. This option offers the greatest freedom in terms of finding a site that best fits a student's schedule and interests.
  • "Dedicated Practicum": Students in the standard program may select to sign up for a dedicated practicum site that is affiliated with one of the sites affiliated with the program: the Mitchell Family Counseling Center or the Strengths United. The benefits of these programs are that students are able to work with programs with faculty and obtain specialized training; however, their scheduling, time requirements, and target populations do not fit for all students.

Mitchell Family Counseling Center
  • On campus clinic with several school partnerships; students generally will see clients both on and off campus; requires travel
  • Generally requires evenings and weekends to maintain full client load
  • Supervision offered only in the afternoons (1-4 pm)

Strengths United
  • Students must complete the 60-hour training in trauma and abuse required by the state of California; this certificate enables them to work in other trauma centers after graduation. This training requires 4 intense training weekends before students may see clients. The training is only offered three times per year.
  • Students are placed in either a) the Trauma Center, which provides time-limited, outpatient services to rape victims and requires being on-call periodically to accompany rape victims to the hospital, or b) Family Preservation, which is in-home family therapy for families endanger of losing their children due to abuse or neglect.
  • Students may also be required to serve on the crisis hotline

Preparing Family, Partners, and Children

  • You cannot do this alone. You will need your friends and family to get through the next 2 and half years.
  • Prepare your support system: Discuss your class schedule, homework schedule, and fieldwork requirements and how these will impact the time you have for family and social obligations.
  • In addition to time spent in class, you will need to make time for homework, readings, group projects, papers, library research, weekend workshops, and recording role plays. You should plan on 10-20 hours per week in out-of-class work per week.
  • Once you start your fieldwork, you will spend 10-20 hours per week at a field site providing clinical services 50 weeks per year. Generally, these positions are not paid.

What to Expect the First Day of Class:
  • Show up very early (see parking section below)
  • Don’t be afraid! Everyone around you is either a therapist or training to be one. You are surrounding by a group of people who are understanding.
  • You will meet about 20 strangers. These will be your new friends on your journey through graduate school. Be nice to them because they may be the only ones that will understand what you are going through for the next two and a half years. Use them as a support system, they won’t mind; every new trainee wants to practice being a therapist.

What to Expect Over the Course of the Program:
  • Two afternoons/nights or twelve hours a week will be spent in class
  • 7:00 pm classes usually end around 9:45 pm (depending on the teacher). Which means (depending on where you live) you will probably get home late.
  • By the second semester you will need to secure a placement at a fieldwork site.
  • Be prepared to grow as person, a friend, a partner, a co-worker, and family member.
  • This will be one of the greatest experiences of your life!

Out-of-Class Time Commitments
First year
  • 10 hours personal psychotherapy
  • 1 four-hour workshop each semester (2 total in first year; 4 total over program)
  • Video-recording with small group
  • Group presentations
  • Visit to community mental health sites
  • Find field site for second year
Second year
  • 15-25 hours at field site
  • 1 four-hour workshop each semester (2 total in second year; 4 total over program)
  • Group presentations
  • Field site visit with instructor
  • Meetings with comps/project/thesis chair
Third Year
  • 15-25 hours at field site (most)
  • Meetings with comps/project/thesis chair


Common Expenses In Addition To Tuition

  • Books ($500+ per semester)
  • 10 personal psychotherapy sessions ($400+)
  • 4 Workshops ($65+ each)
  • Professional liability insurance and professional organization membership: ($75+ per year)
  • Internship Fees: Some internships charge a monthly fee for training $75+
  • Graduation fee: $47