July 29, 2017 | Marriage & Family Therapy |
The Harding University marriage and family therapy program hosted a hooding ceremony July 29 for students who completed their graduate coursework to earn a Master of Science in marriage and family therapy.
Professor Vann Rackley said students in the program receive the highest level of training a licensure preparation program can provide, and he felt these students were prepared to go out and make a difference.
“It brings me great joy knowing these graduates will be helping families in the midst of struggle in a powerful way,” he said. “This class supported each other and developed deep relationships that will last a lifetime.”
The full-time cohort program was established in 1993 and offers a built in support network of fellow students working through the program simultaneously, which provides a great environment for learning about family systems. Students form relationships with one another as they learn new things and also begin meeting with clients.
Valley Springs, Arkansas, native Arielle Saunders graduated from the program Saturday and plans to pursue her Ph.D. at Nova Southeastern University. She chose the University’s MFT program largely because of connections she formed during her time as an undergraduate student. The opportunity to attain dual licensure as a licensed professional counselor and marriage and family therapist upon graduation played a significant role in her decision. She appreciated how the instructors’ approached teaching the material and enjoyed the cohort experience.
“The faculty teach in a very hands on and personable yet challenging way,” she said. “They operate by a cohort model, so we went through as a group, which I really liked. I was pushed academically, personally and professionally to be the best I could be while I was in the program. That alone gives me confidence that I am well prepared to work in this field.
Leighton Teague, originally from North Little Rock, Arkansas, also graduated Saturday and decided to participate in the University’s program after a recommendation by Professor of Psychology Kathy Howard. Teague said she was challenged by the coursework and encouraged to view situations from a different perspective.
“The program really opens your eyes to the fact that you don’t know what you don’t know,” she said. “That is a necessary mindset to be able to assist clients when they’re in places of not knowing. This program has helped me feel confident in both my preparedness and unpreparedness as I enter the world of working professionals.”