Certificate in School-Based Marriage and Family Therapy

The School-Based Marriage and Family Therapy (SB-MFT) certificate program prepares candidates to fulfill the requirements for certification with the State Board of Education to work in the public school system. The program is available to current MFT master's students and to licensed graduates of COAMFTE-accredited programs.

State Certification as a School Marriage and Family Therapist

In 2007, Connecticut passed the first school certification law for MFTs in the country. Connecticut State Board of Education Regulations require applicants to meet specialized training and experience requirements for school MFT certification. Applicants must be licensed by the Department of Public Health, meet test requirements (required of all educators), fulfill a minimum of 300 hours of supervised experience in public schools, and complete graduate coursework in special education, developmental, learning and school-based systems theory.

Section 10-145d-566d of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies specifies:

To receive an initial educator certificate to serve as a school marriage and family therapist, the applicant shall meet the following requirements:

  1. Holds a bachelor's degree from an approved institution
  2. Holds a master's degree from an approved institution with a planned program in marriage and family therapy accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE)
  3. Has successfully met test score requirements
  4. Holds a valid license from the Connecticut Department of Public Health pursuant to Section 20-195c of the Connecticut General Statutes to practice marriage and family therapy
  5. Has completed graduate coursework in the following areas:
    1. Child and adolescent development
    2. Learning theories
    3. School-based systems theory
    4. Federal and state education laws including, but not limited to, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA), Americans with Disabilities Act Section 504, professional ethics and code of   professional responsibility for educators, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and statutory requirements for mandated reporting, suspensions and expulsions, and school and district accountability
    5. 300 hours of school-based marriage and family therapy practicum jointly supervised by faculty of a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) and a special service staff member of a board of education
  6. Has completed a course of study in special education comprised of not fewer than 36 clock hours which shall include study in understanding the growth and development of exceptional children, including handicapped and gifted and talented children and children who may require special education, and methods for identifying, planning for and working effectively with special-needs children in the regular classroom

Admission and Matriculation Requirements

  1. To apply for the School-Based Marriage and Family Therapy certificate, go to the Dean's Office of the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions to complete the two-page paper portion of the application.
  2. To complete the application, candidates must take the PRAXIS CORE, SAT, ACT or the GRE. Candidates who do not have passing scores on one or more sections of the test may be required to remediate any deficient area. Remediation may include re-taking and passing the sections that were not passed, taking additional coursework, or other remediation activities. If additional courses are required, the candidate must complete the coursework at a grade of B (3.0) or above and provide an official transcript to the Dean's office. Please see advisor for additional details and recommendations. When you take the Praxis Core exam, use the University's code of 3390 and provide ETS with your social security number so that your scores will be sent to the Dean's Office and uploaded into the system. Information on applying to take the Praxis Core examination can be obtained at ets.org.
  3. Fingerprinting/background check requirement: Students registering for coursework with a fieldwork component will be required to adhere to the requirements of the district where the fieldwork takes place: Check with the Program Director or faculty advisor for more information.