ACU is expanding its Christ-centered community to Dallas with two new graduate programs, both of which will begin in 2014.
The programs include a Master in Marriage and Family Therapy with an emphasis in Medical Family Therapy, and a Post-Baccalaureate Dietetic Internship.
Each program will challenge students to think critically about the world while they work alongside CitySquare to meet the needs of the clientele. This location and opportunity will provide a hands-on and transformative educational experience to those who participate.
Graduates will seek a licensure as a valid “Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist” in Texas and other states, and may choose to pursue a licensure as a “Licensed Professional Counselor”. The MFT term begins in Fall 2014 with part-time and full-time student tracks. The full-time student will finish the degree in two years, whereas the part-time student will complete it in three years. It is a 60-hour program with courses being offered face-to-face in Dallas, as well as through live video conferencing for students in Abilene and Dallas.
The coursework will include the traditional MFT curriculum with an additional emphasis on illness and disability across the lifespan, collaboration with healthcare systems and medical doctors. In conjunction with the Research Methods in Medical Family Therapy course, students will be required to complete a group research project.
Dr. Jaime Goff, associate professor and chair of the department of marriage and family studies, was one of the instigators behind the program’s creation. She is confident in the purpose and outcome of the program’s establishment.
“All of us, the faculty in the department, are really excited. The opportunities are so amazing with CitySquare and also being in a large, urban area like the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex,” Goff said. “Its going to offer so many opportunities for students for internships, networking . . .It’s a different, unique context of living and working in an urban area that is especially characterized by poverty, which will provide wonderful experiences that will be marketable in seeking employment after graduation.”
Any student is welcome to apply; there is no required undergraduate major or undergraduate prerequisites. Students with backgrounds in psychology, family studies, sociology, social work and ministry are most suited, but any student is welcome to apply. Applicants will be invited to ACU at CitySquare in Dallas for an on-site interview.
The second program is a Post-Baccalaureate Dietetic Internship, which will accept only 15 applicants. It is a nine credit-hour graduate-level certification program forÂ students who have completed the Didactic Program in Dietetics requirements in an accredited program.
This program is to begin in June 2014, and the courses are to be completed over an 11-month span. Online coursework begins in June, with internship rotations starting in September. This Dietetic Internship is the first and only one in the nation to focus on “community and poverty”.
Brandon Lemley, director of graduate marketing, has learned a lot about the programs while helping to launch their announcements on May 2.
“It’s typical for students to do these types of internships at a food bank or a large school district, but its not usual to have a university and non-profit partnership with an establishment like CitySquare,” Lemely said. “We can put students that care at the front lines and allow those who are passionate to learn about poverty, what creates poverty and how to address it.”
Students will acquire marketable experience through clinical rotations and their direct involvement with urban poverty. Throughout their involvement in CitySquare they will be required to develop a community program based on the needs of the clientele they encounter.
Applicants must go through an online matching process at https://portal.dicas.com, complete an application by Feb. 14, 2014, submit transcripts, maintain a grade point average of 3.2 and a minimum grade of B in Didactic Program in Dietetics courses and supporting courses including the sciences, statistics and management and submit two letters of recommendation.
Both programs have yet to be accredited, seeing as the process will take several years after the curriculum has been established. However, the accreditation for MFT will be retroactive once it’s confirmed, meaning that past students in the non-accredited program will receive accreditation based off their previous participation in the program. Also, a license in MFT can be obtained without accreditation.