COAMFTE Hot Tips

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Programs are advised to check that all links provided in the Eligibility Criteria are working (even after submission).
  2. Make sure all documents referenced are attached/linked in the Eligibility Criteria.
  3. Ensure that all policies/handbooks are publicly accessible on your program’s web page. 
    • Ensure that the link provided in Diversity Program Composition Section (EC-D) is publicly accessible. Please click here to view COAMFTE’s List of Items that Needs to be Publicly Accessible.
  4. Bookmark each individual component including appendices/supporting documents.
  5. Ensure that Eligibility Criteria is under 25 pages (not including appendices). If your document exceeds 25 pages, you may remove EC-E’s instructions/table and input “Not Applicable” (Only if you are renewing accreditation) and/or provide links to the required tables within the Eligibility Criteria document.
  6. Programs are advised to add page numbers that will help direct reviewers to where the requested policy/information is available.
  7. Programs that are resubmitting their Eligibility Criteria are not required to resubmit their entire Eligibility Criteria document. Programs are advised to only submit the information that were indicated as insufficient or required additional information. Please remove previously submitted information that the Eligibility Review Committee indicated as sufficient.

Self-Study

Establishing the Outcome-Based Education Framework

  • Programs can greatly benefit by laying a foundation for the accreditation process by completing the Self-Study Table for Key Element I-A at the very start of the process.
  • Please note that each Student Learning Outcome (SLO) needs to have-selected targets on specific measures of student competencies. 
  • Measures should be unique to each SLO.
  • For Key Element I-A, the use of grades is not a recommended assessment measure for student learning outcomes. Assessment Measures must align with the glossary definition in Standards Version 12.5. In Standards V12.5, the definition for Assessment Measure is "used to determine student achievement of professional competencies, is an evaluative tool for determining student progress toward and attainment of a specific outcome such as an identified knowledge, skill, or disposition. Assessment measures typically are embedded in assessment mechanisms such as examinations, written or oral presentations, skill-based demonstrations, or direct observation of student functioning. An assessment measure includes identification of the competency being evaluated and descriptions of achievement that describe progress and final outcome. The structure of an assessment measure must make the expected learning clear to the student being assessed, the evaluator completing the assessment, and reviewers making use of the assessment data. Examples include scores on specific examination topics (MFT theories section on Comprehensive Exam), project rubrics (specific rubrics scoring identified competencies in a Capstone project), and behavior-based observational scales (supervision evaluation)."
  • For Key Element I-C, programs need to have a mechanism in place to evaluate the program’s diverse and inclusive learning environment. The data from this mechanism needs to be documented and analyzed in order to be fed back into the program.

Mapping of the Key Elements in the Standards:

  • Plan for collecting and analyzing Graduate Achievement Data (GAD) is provided in Key Element I-B.  The GAD are presented and discussed in Key Element IV-A. 
  • Plan for assessing the outcome-based education framework including student learning outcomes (SLOs) is provided in Key Element I-B. Student learning outcome data are presented and discussed in Key Element IV-B.
  • Plan for assessing Environmental Supports is provided in Key Element I-C.  Results of the Environmental Support review process are reported and discussed in Key Element IV-C.
     

Documented Evidence:

  •  Label Appendices and supporting documents using specific page numbers when needed and/or hotlinks to direct reviewers to required evidence
  • Examples of supporting evidence for each Standard are identified in the Self-Study Training Resource 
  • Ensure that meetings minutes are taken to use as evidence of discussion, changes, improvements.

 Links:

  •  Check your links before submitting!  If a link doesn’t work, the Commission can’t review and will mark the key element as deficient.
     

Site Visit

  1. Read carefully through the Self-Study Review Letter and be prepared to address areas noted as deficient by COAMFTE
  2. Have any new information (such as recent meeting minutes/surveys/data) available for the Site Visit Team
  3. Make sure the materials are accessible for review by the Site Visit Team. 
  4. Ensure that all MFT faculty read the Self-Study and are familiar with the information.  
  5. Ensure faculty, supervisors and students are familiar with SLOs, Program Goals and program mission and how they are linked
  6. Ensure that faculty are aware of how Communities of Interest provide feedback and how it is incorporated into the program
  7. Ensure students understand how they are evaluated and how those evaluations are linked to SLOs
  8. Ensure that minutes reflect the decision and rationale for evaluating data points
  9. Conduct a mock site visit with each group the team meets.  Develop questions and help all groups prepare
  10. If you have questions about the Site Visit or the accreditation process, call COAMFTE staff
 

Annual Report

  1. When filling out the Annual Report, check your program's Graduate Achievement Data (GAD) Disclosure Table and the data that is in the Annual Report. The information on the program's website should be consistent with the information in the program's Annual Report.  In other words, the GAD Disclosure (MC-B) that is presented in the Annual Report should reflect the GAD Disclosure Table presented on the program's website. If your GAD Disclosure Table updates daily/monthly, please let the Commission know by providing contextual information in your Annual Report.
    • If the data on the program’s website differs from the data in the Annual Report, this raises a concern for the Commission about the accuracy of data. This could result in a Special Report and a special report fee.
  2. In regards to the GAD Table located on the program’s website:
    • For cohorts that your program is in the process of collecting data, please input “In process”
    • The purpose of publishing the GAD Disclosure Table on programmatic websites is to increase transparency of student performance and achievement.  Programs are encouraged to use it as a recruiting tool.  Prospective students, parents and the public can make informed decisions about the program based on the published information provided by the program. 
  3. After submitting the Annual Report, continue to check that the link to the program's landing/homepage and the link to the program's GAD Disclosure Table are working.
  4. Programs are required to collect data on Job Placement Rates.  Please have an ongoing process in place to survey or collect feedback from students and graduates regarding their employment using their MFT skills.
  5. When submitting evidence of financial viability, programs must submit a signed letter from the institutional administrator.  The program’s budget (only) is not an acceptable form of evidence of financial viability for Maintenance Criterion A. 
    • The letter must:
      • be dated
      • on the institution's letter head
      • contain a signature of the institutional administrator that has financial oversight of the program's budget, who is not serving as the program director. (ex. Department Chair, Dean, Provost)
      • indicate that there is support from the institution that resources are in place for the MFT program
  6. Providing contextual information is required in the following circumstances:
    • To explain a lack of data
    • Low graduate achievement rates (completion or licensure rates).
      • If the resulting low graduate achievement or lack of data is beyond the program’s control (student transfers out of program, takes a sabbatical, small cohorts, high number of international students, etc.) and the program provides contextual information demonstrating that they did all they could to explain it, the Commission can close out a cohort based on the contextual information.
  7. Programs need to remain engaged with their alumnae to gather the information required for the Annual Report. Programs may want to consider the following steps to help collect important data from graduates:
    • Ask students, who will be soon graduating, for their contact information, especially current email addresses (e.g. in Exit interview or Exit survey)
    • Maintain alumnae contact information and collect data from graduates for at least 3-5 years.
    • Set up an online survey to send to graduates, with suggested questions below: 
      • What year did you enter our program? (cohort information)
      • What year did you graduate?
      • Did you apply for any form of MFT licensure this year?
      • Are you an LMFT? If so, what year did you get licensed?
      • Are you currently working using the skills gained in the MFT program? If so, when did you start your job (year)?
      • What type of employment setting do you work?
      • Have you gone on to enroll in a doctoral program in MFT?