MFT Degrees, Schools, and Careers in South Carolina
Individuals that are seeking to pursue graduate education related to martial and family therapy (MFT) in South Carolina have several options related to the specific program that they choose for their education. Currently, only two programs—one masters-level and one post-degree program—are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). However, there are a number of other programs that offer coursework and training in MFT or in closely related fields. As such, it is recommended that prospective students seek out the educational requirements for their desired job or occupation and ensure that the program they chose meets those requirements.
Located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Converse College offers a Master in Marriage and Family Therapy program that is 63-credits. Students can choose to attend the program part- or full-time, completing all requirements in 5- or 2-years, respectively. The program has partnered with COAMFTE-accredited West Gate Training and Consultation Network to provide students with clinical experiences during their graduate education, with the expectation that students complete 500-hours of direct client contact and 100 hours of supervision. In addition, students can choose to pursue specialty training in Play Therapy.
In addition to the program offered by Converse College, the West Gate Family Therapy Institute offers a post-graduate degree program in MFT. This program is ideal for those individuals that have received a degree in MFT but have not completed the requirements necessary for licensure in South Carolina or have completed a degree in a related field. The program, outlined in the handbook featured on the school’s website, provides particular emphasis on clinical experiences within the West Gate Family Therapy Clinic, but also allows students to pursue coursework necessary to meet requirements for licensure within South Carolina.
In addition to available COAMFTE-accredited MFT programs, there exist a number of counseling programs that offer training in concepts relevant to marital and family therapy. For instance, the University of South Carolina offers an Ed.S. in Counseling and Counselor Education wherein students can specialize in marriage, couples, and family therapy.
Online MFT Degrees in South Carolina
In the past several years, COAMFTE began accreditation of graduate schools in MFT that are completely online. Particularly for those that are seeking an MFT graduate education that is more flexible in nature, online programs offer an incredible, convenient opportunities to pursue a career as an MFT. To date, there are no programs based in South Carolina that offer online-only programs in MFT; however, students within the state that wish to pursue an online-only degree can choose to do so through nationally-based COAMFTE-accredited programs, such as Capella University, which offers an M.A. in MFT, and Northcentral University, which offers both an M.A. and a PhD in MFT.
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MFT Accreditation in South Carolina
If a student is seeking to become a licensed MFT within the state of South Carolina, he or she is advised to consult the state’s requirements for licensure, which include 48 semester hours of coursework, a specific number of post-degree supervised clinical hours, and the successful completion of the national MFT examination. The state websites recommend that individuals interested in applying for licensure attend an accredited institution, so as to increase the chances that their degree meets educational requirements.
Accreditation signals the “stamp of approval” by a given organization; in the field of MFT, the main accreditation organization is the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). As noted previously, two programs detailed above are currently accredited by COAMFTE. However, this does not mean that students that received a degree from an alternative institution cannot become licensed—so long as a student can provide documentation that they have completed the educational requirements outlined on by the South Carolina government.
Career Opportunities for MFTs in South Carolina
Across the country, job opportunities for MFT are growing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of jobs for MFTs will increase around 19 percent in the next decade, which is significantly more than is expected on average! Moreover, the U.S. World News Report ranks MFT positions in the top three positions within social services, based on factors such as salary, job demand, satisfaction, and stress. Within South Carolina specifically, there are currently 130 MFTs employed, with a mean salary of $36,950. In terms of the specific jobs available in the state of South Carolina, trainees can choose from employment in a range of settings, from hospitals and residential treatment settings, to private practice and schools. Read more about SC MFT license requirements.
Marriage and Family Therapists Salary in South Carolina
Table data taken from 2020 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211013.htm)