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NDSU shutters Family Therapy Center, citing lack of students enrolled

The NDSU Family Therapy Center has closed for at least the coming year. Dave Olson/The Forum

FARGO — The North Dakota State University Family Therapy Center has suspended all clinical services for at least a year, citing a lack of students enrolled in the program that uses the center as a training lab.

The center, which has been open about 30 years and which has never been shut down before, was serving about 25 clients this summer, according to Sadie Rudolph, media relations coordinator for NDSU.

Rudolph said the center served individuals, couples and families. She said the clinic provided LGBT affirmative therapy and had many LGBT clients.

Since 2015, students doing their training through the center came from NDSU's family therapy doctoral program.

Center clients are being referred to a number of alternative programs, including NDSU's Community Counseling Services, which is located in the same building as the Family Therapy Center at 1919 N. University Drive.

Rudolph said students who had worked at the Family Therapy Center were not paid but received academic credit. She added that students who worked as research or teaching assistants for 15 hours a week received a stipend.

She said the family therapy master's degree program connected to the center, which operated until 2015, was accredited. The family therapy doctoral program, which started in 2015, required a separate application for accreditation, but that application could not be submitted until NDSU had at least one doctoral student finish all coursework.

That would not have happened until 2018 at the earliest, so NDSU has not yet applied for accreditation for the doctoral program, according to Rudolph.

She added that because there are now only two faculty in the program, it is unknown whether NDSU would be able to achieve accreditation even if a student finished all coursework.

She said the program's two faculty members and one clinic coordinator have all been re-assigned to other duties.

Dave Olson
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