MFT Degrees, Schools, and Careers in Kansas
Those who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in marriage and family therapy (MFT) within the state of Kansas have several options in terms of schools that offer masters- and doctorate-level degrees. In particular, there are currently four MFT programs (offered by two different schools) that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE)—three masters’ level programs and one doctoral level program. However, as detailed further in the Accreditation section of the article, this does not mean that these four programs are the only MFT graduate programs in the state; there are likely more programs that offer masters or doctorate degrees in MFT or coursework highly relevant to the study of marital and family therapy.
With locations in Wichita and Kansas City, Friends University offers a masters of science in family therapy. Students within the program at both locations complete a range of courses providing them with extensive knowledge in the theory and practice of relational therapies, as well as ample time applying these principles within real-life clinical settings—students are required to complete 1,000 hours of clinical work, 500 of which is face-to-face clinical hours. In the Wichita campus, students complete some of their training at the Center on Family Living, a school-run clinic The program is comprised of 60 credits, designed to be taken over the course of 2 calendar years. Students are also required to take and pass a comprehensive exam.
Kansas State University offers a masters and doctoral program in MFT. First, the master’s program offered by KSU is comprised of 60-65 credit hours of coursework (depending on the capstone project that a student chooses) and a range of clinical experiences, which students complete at The Family Center, which serves individuals, couples, and families in the Manhattan, Kansas area, as well as other local agencies. In addition to coursework and clinical practicum in the Manhattan area, students are required to pass comprehensive examination and complete a capstone project, the specific content of which is tailored to a given student’s career goals. If students are interested in pursuing a career in an academic setting, they are offered the unique opportunity to become involved with research at the university.
The doctoral program offered by KSU is a 90-credit program that requires students to participate in a number of different training experiences that prepares them for jobs across various clinical and academic settings. In particular, students are required to complete at least 1,000 hours of direct clinical work, which they complete at The Family Center, as well as through practicum experiences at other local mental health agencies. If students have previously completed a masters in MFT elsewhere, they may be eligible to transfer up to 30 credits toward their doctoral degree, pending approval of the credits. All students are also requires to involve themselves in academic pursuits, through completion of a “doctoral portfolio” (comprised of tasks such as publication and presentation of research) and/or comprehensive examinations.
In addition to programs accredited by COAMFTE, students may consider programs accredited by other large organizations, such as the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, particularly those with a focus in marital or family therapy. Currently, Mid-American Nazarene University offers a master’s degree in counseling with a particular MFT emphasis that is accredited by CACREP.
Online MFT Degrees in Kansas
Online schooling offers an excellent opportunity for those who live in more remote areas or are wishing to pursue their education in a more flexible manner to obtain graduate-level education in their area of interest. Although many schools across the country often offer students the opportunity to complete some of their schooling online, balanced with other coursework completed on campus, there are several institutions that offer completely online schooling. COAMFTE has recently begun accrediting online-only programs in MFT; to date, there have been no online-only offerings located within the state of Kansas.
As such, individuals residing in Kansas that wish to pursue their degrees online can instead choose to pursue schooling from either of the accredited, online-only programs across the nation—Northcentral University, which offers both masters- and doctoral-level coursework, and Capella University, which offers a masters-level program in MFT. Students that pursue their degrees through either of these institutions generally will complete their coursework online and engage in clinical practicums close to their homes.
Learn more about an online MFT degree.
MFT Accreditation in Kansas
When an individual is considering applying for a graduate program in MFT, it is recommended that they consider the accreditation status of the program that they are applying to. “Accreditation” refers to the process through which educational programs submit their programs to be evaluated by an outside, objective accreditation organization. If the program of classes and requirements mandated by the university meets specific requirements outlined by the board, it becomes “accredited” and receives the stamp of approval from the organization.
One major benefit to attending an accredited program is that the accreditation requirements generally line up with the licensure requirements for the majority of US states; as such, students that attend accredited programs—particularly those accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Education (COAMFTE)—can rest assured that their programs meet licensing requirements across most US states.
Career Opportunities for MFTs in Kansas
Across the nation, job opportunities for MFTs are expanding rapidly; in fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of jobs available for MFTs will grow around 20 percent in the next decade! In addition to growing opportunities for MFTs, organizations such as the U.S. News and World Report have ranked MFT as the No. 3 occupation within the social sciences Specifically, within the state of Kansas, there are currently 270 MFTs employed in various settings, including positions within the local, state, and federal governments, educational and university settings, private practices, medical settings, and residential treatment facilities, among others. The mean salary for MFTs in Kansas is currently $53,590, which is slightly more than the national average! For further information on opportunities for MFTs within the state of Kansas, the Kansas Association for Marriage and Family Therapy’s website has a number of resources available that may be helpful to prospective MFTs. Read more about the KS MFT licensure requirements.
Marriage and Family Therapists Salary in Kansas
Table data taken from 2014 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211013.htm)