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University News | 12.10.18

Ph.D. in Couple and Family Therapy Program Achieves National Accreditation

Adler University’s Ph.D. in Couple and Family Therapy program has been awarded full accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), the national accrediting agency for the field.

Adler University’s program is the only on-campus Ph.D. program in Illinois to earn this designation.

“This accomplishment really speaks to the University’s commitment to top-notch education and especially to training in social justice and socially responsible practice,” said Kristina S. Brown, Ph.D., LMFT, Chair of the Couple and Family Therapy Department.

The program received accreditation for six years effective November 1, 2018.

The commission’s goal is to promote best practices for Marriage and Family Therapy educational programs. Part of the accreditation review process is to make sure doctoral students in the program are prepared to serve in the field of couple and family therapy as clinicians, supervisors, scholars, academics, and leaders.

The high program standards for the accreditation help “students learn and bring skills, knowledge, and direct services to the populations they serve,” Dr. Brown said, adding that this is something that the program has been doing since it began in fall 2014.

“We have maintained high, rigorous standards both for entry into the program, as well as for students as they move through program,” Dr. Brown said.

Being accredited “also means that our future alumni will be entering into the field with a COAMFTE accredited Ph.D., which is a requirement of many professional opportunities,” Dr. Brown said.

Getting accredited is a rigorous process taking at least two years and includes submitting eligibility criteria and a self-study, and hosting a site visit. Maintaining the accreditation requires the program to submit annual reports demonstrating continuing compliance with COAMFTE standards, including meeting student achievement criteria.

“The Couple and Family therapy program is built on a mission, program goals, and student learning outcomes, so we have to present regularly collected data demonstrating students and faculty are meeting our established benchmarks,” Dr. Brown said.

In addition to this one COAMFTE accredited Ph.D. program in Illinois, there is an accredited online Ph.D. program and four accredited Masters programs in Illinois. This includes Adler University’s Master of Arts in Couple and Family Therapy program, which gained accreditation on November 1, 2016, also under Dr. Brown’s leadership.

“I want to thank Dr. Kristina Brown for her leadership in successfully navigating the initial accreditation process for the Ph.D. in Couple and Family Therapy program,” said Wendy B. Paszkiewicz, Psy.D., Vice President of Academic Affairs. “Drs. Cadmona Hall, Isha Williams, Amy Zavada, and Ileana Ungureanu are also to be acknowledged and thanked for their respective roles in this accreditation process and overall support of the program since its inception.”

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