Resources for Success

MFT Program Learning Objectives

Instructional Philosophy
The Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling program at CSUN is designed based on a learning-centered, outcome-based educational principles as described below:

Learning-Centered Education
• A cross-disciplinary, constructivist pedagogical model, learning-centered education refers to designing educational curricula that focus on promoting active student learning of specific skills and knowledge rather than mastery of content.
• In this approach, learning is the focus of curriculum design. Student learning is measured to determine whether students are meaningfully engaging the material. Students are active in this process, applying and using knowledge rather than trying to memorize or analyze it.
• Clearly defined learning objectives and criteria are used to facilitate student learning and democratized the student-teacher relationship.

Outcome-Based Education
• Closely related to learning-centered, outcome-based learning refers to designing curriculum around the final learning outcomes or objectives.
• Rather than simply following the textbook chapter by chapter, the learning objectives drive the curriculum.

The learning objectives and outcome measures for this program have been derived from four distinct sources:

1. The California State Board of Behavioral Science (BBS) educational requirements for becoming a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

2. The Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) requirements for the specialization in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling.

3. The Marriage and Family Therapy Core Competencies developed by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

4. The Student Learning Objectives (SLO) developed by the departmental faculty.

Program Goals & Student Learning Objectives (SLO's)
Program Goal #1:
Effective Clinical Practice: The program provides training that enables students to effectively provide clinical services to the diverse communities of Southern California.

  • SLO1: Therapeutic Relationship: Students will demonstrate empathic, respectful, and collaborative relationships when working with individuals, children, couples, and families from diverse backgrounds and socioeconomic classes as well as with other professionals.
  • SLO2: Assessment: Students conduct psychosocial, family, clinical, diagnostic, crisis, and progress assessments of clients that account for family system dynamics and larger socio-political and cultural contexts.
  • SLO3: Intervention: Students demonstrate effective, evidence-based, and culturally responsive therapy interventions for individuals, children, couples, families, and groups dealing with mild to severe mental health, addiction, family, and/or relational issues.


Program Goal #2:
Diversity: Students consciously engage with and reflect on the complexities of intersecting personal identities and societal processes to inform their clinical work.

  • SLO4: Personal Awareness: Students demonstrate reflective practices that promote personal growth and self-awareness, enabling students to critically and accurately evaluate how their beliefs, values, behaviors, and cultural context affect clients and shape their perceptions of clients.
  • SLO5: Working with Diverse Clients: Students demonstrate ability to meaningfully address the intersection of personal identities with societal processes in their clinical work with clients.


Program Goal #3
Theory, Research, and Law/Ethics: Program provides students with a solid knowledge foundation in family therapy theories, its evidence base, and ethical standards.

  • SLO6: Theories and Treatment Planning: Students demonstrate ability to apply family therapy and counseling theories to conceptualize client situations and develop treatment plans that address diverse client needs based on the current evidence base.
  • SLO7: Law and Ethics: Students identify the legal, ethical, and documentation standards of marriage and family therapy practice and understand how they apply in various service contexts, such as private practice, schools, and public agencies, and with diverse populations.
  • SLO8: Research: Students apply and use research to use implement best practice strategies with a diverse clients and issues.


Program Goal #4
Graduate Success: Program will demonstrate successful entering the field of family therapy.

  • SLO9: Employed: Graduates will be able to become employed and/or working in the field in prescribed amount of time.
  • SLO10: Licensure: Graduates will be able to successfully pass the licensure exam on the first attempt.
Assessment Policies
Program educational outcomes, including student learning outcomes, program outcomes, and faculty outcomes are measuring on an ongoing basis. The sources of data include signature assignments in individual courses, course evaluations by students, site supervisors, licensure data provided by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, alumni surveys, student surveys, employer surveys, and institutional data maintained by CSUN. These assessments are used to continually improve program outcomes.