USF Marriage & Family Therapy M.S. Program Celebrates First Graduating Class

MFT First Graduating Class

Congratulations to the first graduating class of the Marriage and Family Therapy M.S. Program at USF! Left to right: Myisha Wallace, Rachel Crosby, Riley Arnemann, Ariel Bradley, Austen Park, Elisa Terrill, and Shannon Heller.

MFT Quilt

MFT Graduate Rachel Crosby sewed and gifted this quilt to the MFT Program to commemorate the first graduating class. Her description of the quilt is as follows:

  • Pattern is made of triangles, paired in dyads, coming together in heart shapes to represent family systems.
  • No heart is the same, as is no family.
  • There is a mix both new fabric and fabrics from past projects to symbolize old ideas and new knowledge coming together.
  • The pieces of fabric are different sizes and aligned imperfectly, as representative of the imperfect nature of people and relationships.
  • Each heart also has different decorative embroidery connecting some of the pieces together to symbolize different therapeutic interventions.
  • The top stitch is a pattern of radiating circles to symbolize the ecosystems family systems operate withinEach of the 1st cohort’s student’s initials are embroidered along with those faculty and administrative persons highly involved in the creation and success of this program.

A celebration was held Friday, July 22 to congratulate the first graduating class of the Marriage and Family Therapy M.S. Program at USF. The official graduation ceremony is August 6th, but the special ceremony was scheduled to recognize the program's inaugural graduating class.

Faculty and students shared testimony about the joys and difficulties of a program established just as the Covid 19 Pandemic required all classes to go online.

"It is always a challenge to get a new academic program up and running, but doing so during a pandemic brought on extra challenges for students who specifically selected an on-campus program. I am so proud of their determination and desire to continue the coursework, and know they will all be outstanding therapists in their selected areas," said Dr. Ryan Henry, MFT Program Director.

Practicum supervisors also shared pre-recorded messages regarding their experiences working with each of the students, highlighting personal accomplishments and successes.

The MFT Program prepares students in both theoretical and clinical work with individuals, families, and couples in the community. The curriculum includes coursework in foundations of counseling, marital and family studies, legal and ethical issues, systems theory, research, diagnosis and treatment, human growth and development and more. Courses are coupled with four consecutive practicums where students accumulate 500 hours of direct client contact. 

Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to be registered MFT interns in the state of Florida and once additional supervised training hours and required licensing exam are completed, students can obtain their license in MFT to work in areas including behavioral health agencies, private practice, hospitals, Veteran Affairs (VA), and both residential and outpatient facilities.