School Based Marriage & Family Therapy

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Certificate Overview

This seven-course, 21-credit program will prepare candidates to use their knowledge and training as marriage and family therapists to work within the public school systems in fulfillment of the certification requirements of the State Board of Education. The program is available to current MFT students and to licensed graduates of COAMFTE-accredited programs. Completion of this program leads to eligibility for state certification.

The seven required courses can be taken concurrently while working towards a Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy, or after completion of the degree. Those courses that have been taken in the master's program do not need to be repeated. The required courses are:

  • ED 442 Educational Psychology: Designed to provide an understanding of the psychology of teaching and learning, this course emphasizes child and adolescent development, motivation techniques, teaching and learning theories, strategies for working with culturally diverse student populations, student performance monitoring and assessment, and current issues in educational psychology. Especially appropriate for those new to the profession, this course helps participants develop insights into student behavior. Course requirements include field experience in a culturally diverse school setting approved by the instructor for a minimum of 20 hours. Three credits.
  • ED/PY 534 Theories of Learning: This course presents a detailed consideration of the positions on the nature and conditions of human learning found in the principal schools of psychology and in contemporary research. Cross-referenced as PY 534. Three credits.
  • FT 447 Lifespan Human Development: This course explores the processes of individual and family development from childhood through old age. Presenting theoretical perspectives for studying child, adult, and family development, the course examines the modifications of family structures over time and psycho-social development within family systems and cultural contexts. Cross-referenced as CN 447. Three credits.
  • FT 555 Foundations of Marriage & Family Therapy: This course exposes candidates to the theories upon which the models of family therapy are based, exploring the critical epistemological issues in family therapy theory. Furthermore, it helps candidates think about therapy theoretically applying systems theory to an understanding of the variety of contexts in which marriage and family therapists work, including mental health systems, medical systems, etc. The course prepares candidates to understand and contribute to current thinking in the field in regard to theory and practice. Topics include general systems theory, cyberatics, communication theory, constructivism, and current developments in epistemology. Three credits.
  • SE 405 Exceptional Learners in the Mainstream: This course familiarizes the mainstream professional with the special learning needs of children and youth who have intellectual or developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, emotional disturbances, severe disabilities, multiple disabilities, and/or who are gifted and talented. Topics include methods of identifying and working effectively with children and youth with special learning needs in the regular classroom; the roles and responsibilities of counselors, psychologists, educators, and ancillary personnel as members of a multidisciplinary team in planning educational services for exceptional learners; and laws that impact on assessment, placement, parent and student rights, and support services. This course may require a fieldwork component as part of the evaluation process. Note: This course is not for those pursuing an initial certificate or cross-endorsement in special education; it is for general educators and students in affiliated fields of study. Cross-referenced as SE 430. Three credits.
  • FT 570 School-Based Practicum in Marriage and Family Therapy: This course is a requirement in the Area of Specialization in School Marriage & Family Therapy and provides an opportunity for candidates to apply theory to practice in the context of the public school system. The practicum is an advanced level clinical experience that is specifically designed to meet the requirements established by the Connecticut State Board of Education for certification in School Marriage & Family Therapy. (Prerequisite: Permission of advisor and Dean's approval) Three credits.

PLUS one of the following:

  • SE/SL 419 Special Learners in the Bilingual/ESL Classroom: Designed to familiarize bilingual and ESL teachers with the developmental learning needs of children and adolescents who are exceptional, this course examines the special learning needs of linguistically and culturally diverse children and adolescents in bilingual or ESL classrooms. Cross-referenced as SL 419. (Marriage & Family Therapy students need Dean's approval.) Three credits.
  • SL 477 Culture and Second Language Acquisition: Designed for second language and bilingual teachers, this course treats culture and language as interdependent phenomena, exploring the basic concepts, research, and principles applicable to culture and language learning with an emphasis on the practical application of these concepts to the language classroom. Participants also gain an enhanced awareness of their assumptions regarding their own and other cultures, and an understanding of how these assumptions influence language teaching and learning. Three credits.

Program Advisor

Dr. Rona Preli

Dr. Rona Preli, associate professor of Marriage & Family Therapy, is also the chair of the Marriage & Family Department.

She holds a B.S. from the University of Connecticut, an M.S. from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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