The Way In: Most Effective Ways to Draw Potential Applicants to MFT Master’s Programs
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Successful student recruitment is key to the flourishing of the field of marriage and family therapy (MFT). In this mixed methods study, guided by the theory of planned behavior, we interviewed 21 undergraduate juniors and seniors on their attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control with respect to applying to MFT master’s programs within 2 years of graduation. Using their responses, we constructed and administered a survey to 174 participants. The survey included both direct and belief-based measures of attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control towards applying. Overall, subjective norms (i.e., perceived social pressures from family, friends, professors and advisors, and MFT insiders) had the greatest predictive power of potential applicants’ intention to apply. We discuss the implications for MFT student recruitment, and offer specific recommendations.
KeywordsMFT master’s programs Mixed methods Public outreach Student recruitment Theory of planned behavior
We would like to acknowledge support for this project from the Hanna Spyker Endowed Chair Research Grant from the College of Health Sciences at University of Louisiana at Monroe. We are very grateful to Dr. Wendel A. Ray for his support of this research project.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Authors of this study report no conflict of interest.
Informed consent was obtained from all participants before their participation in the study. This research does not involve animals.
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