COAMFTE is closely monitoring the threat of the COVID-19 virus and the potential implications on MFT programs.
We recognize that:
institutions are enacting action plans to keep their students, faculty and staff safe;
- programs are considering instituting alternate methods for program delivery; and
- clinical placement sites are also taking steps to keep their staff and clients safe.
Programs have to follow their institution's directives and make decisions that are best for them. It is the prerogative of programs to provide accommodations for their students in extenuating circumstances. As these accommodations are made, a gentle reminder to be mindful of potential consequences for students in terms of finances, degree completion, accreditation, licensure, and future employment.
If and when your institution has implemented its contingency plan, please immediately inform COAMFTE at email@example.com. COAMFTE may request programs to follow up specific to this information in their Annual Report. Please also notify COAMFTE as soon as your program has completed operating under the contingency/emergency plan and is back to operating normally. Given that these plans do not constitute permanent alterations to your programs, they are not subject to our substantive change policy, do not need to be submitted before implementation, and will not be reviewed for approval by the commission.
We encourage you to access the most current information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov/Coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
As a Commission we have been following the program director's forum closely and while we are not reviewing and providing feedback on plans, we wanted to be helpful by providing some resources that may be useful to you as you are responding to the needs of your community. Although these resources are specific to telehealth and the provision of on-line modalities, we are not stating that this is the path that programs need to or should take. We simply wanted to provide some additional support that may be useful given the current discussion about using these options.
Barnett, J. E., & Kolmes, K. (2016). The practice of tele-mental health: Ethical, legal, and clinical issues for practitioners. Practice Innovations, 1(1), 53-66
Gifford, V., Niles, B., Rivkin, I., Koverola, C., & Polaha, J. (2012). Continuing education training focused on the development of behavioral telehealth competencies in behavioral healthcare providers. Rural and Remote Health, 12, 1-15.
Inman, A. G., Soheilian, S. S., & Luu, L. P. (2018). Telesupervision: Building bridges in a digital era. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 75, 292-301.
Lehaman, R. M., & Conceicao, S. C. O. (2010). Creating a sense of presence in online teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
McClannon, T. W., Cheney, A. W., Bolt, L. L., & Terry, K. P. (2018). Predicting sense of presence and sense of community in immersive online learning environment. Online Learning, 22(4), 141-159.
Scholl, M. B., Hayden, S. C. W., & Clarke, P. B. (2017). Promoting optimal student engagement in an online counseling courses. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, 56, 197-210.
Vincenzes, K. A., & Drew M. (2017). Facilitating interactive relationships with students online.Distance Learning, 14(4), 13-22.
Yates, A., Brindley-Richards, W., & Thistoll, T. (2014). Student engagement in distance-based vocational education. Journal of Open, Flexible, and Distance Learning, 18(2), 29-43.
As always, feel free to contact COAMFTE Staff with any questions or concerns at COA@aamft.org