By Lisa Denenmark August 19, 2015


The latest LMFT exam results are out. And once again Counseling Psychology at CIIS, as it does in the classroom, continues to lead in the exam room.

The Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS), California's state regulatory agency responsible for licensing, examination, and enforcement of Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs) has just released statistics for its January 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015 exam cycle. 

To become licensed, MFT candidates must pass both the Standard and Clinical Vignettes exams.

Broken down by school, BBS exam statistics show:

•  CIIS examinees' pass rate was 92% (Standard exam), compared with 65% pass rate for all schools in California.

•  94% of CIIS first-time Standard exam-takers passed, compared with 77% of California schools overall.

•  On the Clinical Vignettes exam, CIIS pass rate was 94%, compared with 84% of California schools overall. 

•  97% of CIIS first-time Clinical Vignettes exam-takers passed, compared with 86% of California schools overall.

•  CIIS ranked highest on both exams among schools with more than 15 test-takers. (Schools with 100% pass rates on the Standard exam averaged 4.5 test-takers, compared with 75 from CIIS.)     

•  Not only is CIIS one of the largest educators of MFTs, but CIIS is also the leader in pass rates among larger schools in California. Among schools with more than 50 people taking the exams, the highest pass rate after CIIS (92% Standard, 94% Clinical Vignettes, respectively) was 76% Standard and 86% Clinical Vignettes.

•  Over the past 6 consecutive exam cycles, CIIS is first in pass rates among California schools with more than 25 exam-takers.

"The report reflects positively on the focus that CIIS faculty place on excellent clinical education," says Steven Tierney, Chair of CIIS Master's in Counseling Psychology programs. "Our students have the skills they need to assess and diagnose cases and create effective, evidence-based interventions. CIIS' focus on experiential education produces those skills as demonstrated in the LMFT exam results."

Academic Vice President Judie Wexler also sees the high pass rates as a reflection of both the quality of education at CIIS and the way in which the University educates its students.

"We seek to create deep learning experiences for our students so that they are able to readily access the material, analyze it, apply it, and remember it," she says.

For Integral Counseling Psychology (ICP) Program Chair Barbara Morrill, integral education is the key. "Our high pass numbers underscore for me how important it is to educate the whole person, body, mind, spirit and context," she says. ICP is the largest of CIIS' five Counseling Psychology degree programs.

Becky McGovern, Director, MCP Field Placement and Clinic Sites, believes that the numbers are an independent confirmation of the high-quality training CIIS students receive, both in the classroom and the field.

"Such extraordinary success on the exams celebrates our entire community--the students themselves, of course, but also faculty, staff, supervisors, and many partner agencies and clinics where CIIS student-therapists begin to practice, as well as the huge number of clients who receive services as they advance student learning," she says.

The pass rates are a clear and consistent indicator of how successful CIIS students are post-graduation.

"Our faculty give the students a strong start and prepare them well for their clinical hours after graduation and for the licensing exams," says Wexler.

"Therapists-to-be begin their journey in the classroom and are advanced to the field," says McGovern. "Graduation is one capstone of their process. Passing the two exams is the other. This completes the circle of learning."

Clinical Psychology, Integral Counseling Psychology, Psychology

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