Why does a program need to be COAMFTE-accredited?
There are many benefits to becoming a COAMFTE-accredited program. Attaining COAMFTE accreditation will:
- Enable your program to continuously self-evaluate and improve the teaching/learning practices and their subsequent outcomes in your program.
- Publicly acknowledge your program on the AAMFT/COAMFTE website for accredited programs as one that has demonstrated compliance with nationally developed standards.
- Enhance your program’s national reputation and represent peer recognition.
- Ensure that your program prepares students for licensure in relation to the emerging needs of the field of marriage and family therapy.
- Assure, through peer review, that your program is preparing competent marriage and family therapists.
- Provide access to federal and non-federally funded grant and scholarship programs.
- Assist your program in determining the acceptability of transfer credits and coursework from other COAMFTE-accredited programs.
- Serve as a recruiting tool, attracting expert faculty and highly qualified students.
How long does it take to complete the COAMFTE accreditation process?
There are many steps in the accreditation process. The accreditation process usually takes about two years.
How much does the accreditation application fee cost?
Application fees vary depending upon the number of programs applying from the same institution and the status of the applicant program(s). Programs may submit fees via check (made payable to AAMFT), or via credit card. Please click here to see the fee schedule.
Does accreditation expire? How do I maintain accreditation?
Yes. The self-study process is continuous and requires maintenance of accreditation. Each accredited program must demonstrate its continuing compliance with COAMFTE standards through the submission of an annual report. Programs wishing to renew their accreditation must prepare a new Self-Study to continue accreditation before their accreditation expires.
What are the steps to earn COAMFTE accreditation?
The accreditation process is a voluntary process that requires self-study by the program, an on-site review by a selected group of peers, and a review and decision by the COAMFTE to determine compliance with accreditation standards. To learn more on the steps of COAMFTE accreditation, please view our Accreditation Process at a Glance page.
My program is interested in seeking accreditation. Where do I begin?
A program wishing to make formal application for accreditation should do so only after studying the eligibility criterion, accreditation standards, accreditation process, policies and procedures, and having discussion with the chief accreditation officer regarding requirements and application deadlines. All programs applying for initial accreditation are required to have a representative attend a COAMFTE accreditation training prior to the submission of a Self-Study. Programs must submit a letter of intent specifying its intent to seek accreditation (initial or renewal) six months prior to the submission of the Self-Study. The letter of intent must include a projected date for submission of the Eligibility Criteria and Self-Study consistent with the schedule of the submission deadlines; provide evidence of support from the institutional administration and program faculty; be on institution letterhead; and be signed by the Program Director. The letter of intent does not need to include any evidence of program compliance with Accreditation Standards.
My program would like to hire an accreditation consultant. Can I contact one of the Commissioners for their recommendation?
A list of consultants is available from the Accreditation Office. Consultants do not represent the Commission and the use of their services does not guarantee accreditation of the program. Consultants may not serve as members of a Site Visit Team to a program for which they have acted previously as consultants. Commission members cannot serve as consultants while on the Commission. All arrangements, including fees, must be made between the consultant and the program. Programs shall not contact individual Commissioners with questions regarding accreditation standards, policies and procedures, or other accreditation related activities.
When and how does my program submit the Eligibility Criteria?
Programs submitting a Eligibility Criteria must refer to the Accreditation Process for instructions. All components of the Eligibility Criteria must: be combined into one PDF document with bookmarks linking to each individual component. The document should be under 25 pages (not including appendices). The Eligibility Criteria submission cannot exceed 30 MB, submissions that exceed 30 MB will not be accepted and will be returned to the program. Please submit the Eligbility Criteria via email to email@example.com. Programs applying for initial accreditation need to apply before the April 1st or October 1st submission deadline.
When does my program receive notice of the Eligibility Criteria results from COAMFTE?
If your program submitted the Self-Study by the Fall deadline, your program will receive the results of the Commission’s review of your Self-Study in late January. If your program submitted the Self-Study by the Spring deadline, your program will receive the results of the Commission’s review of your Self-Study in late June-Early July. This letter will contain a notice regarding if a Site Visit has been recommended or not and a Key-Element by Key-Element breakdown of the Commission’s review
When and how does my program submit the Self-Study?
Programs submitting a Self-Study must refer to the Accreditation Process for instructions. All components of the Self-Study must be combined into one PDF document with bookmarks linking to each individual component. The Self-Study submission cannot exceed 30 MB. Self-Study submissions that exceed 30 MB will not be accepted and will be returned to the program. COAMFTE will send a shared folder, specific for your program, to the program director’s email, the program director will then upload the Self-Study into the folder, and contact COAMFTE to confirm submission. Programs applying for initial accreditation need to apply before the April 1st or October 1st submission deadline.
When does my program receive notice of the Self-Study Review results from COAMFTE?
If your program submitted the Self-Study by the Fall deadline, your program will receive the results of the Commission’s review of your Self-Study in late January. If your program submitted the Self-Study by the Spring deadline, your program will receive the results of the Commission’s review of your Self-Study in late June-Early July. This letter will contain a notice regarding if a Site Visit has been recommended or not and a Key-Element by Key-Element breakdown of the Commission’s review.
When does my program get notified of accreditation status?
The Commission meets two times a year for review of programs. The COAMFTE Accredited Program Directory is updated after every Commission meeting. Those meetings are typically held in April and November. You should check back to the website after those meetings to see if the school/program status has changed.
How and when do I report changes in our program?
Accredited programs are required to notify the Commission (in writing) of any substantive change and receive COAMFTE approval prior to including that change in the accredited program. Programs submitting a Substantive Change must follow the format and submission requirements outlined in the Substantive Change Form posted on the COAMFTE website.