I Am Trying to Move On Here - More on MLE



I am making the mistake of still looking at the discussions about the AMTA Board of Directors not sending information to the Assembly of Delegates and getting ready to scrap the whole thing in favor of strengthening our current educational and clinical training programs and remaining at BLE. Ugh. I should know better than to keep reading, but I do.

I am amazed at the themes that happen. They are the same themes that happened at the first round of MLE roundtables, at the second round, and in all of the subsequent years of this discussion. There is only one addition - that of the fact that the Board did not task the Assembly of Delegates with the opportunity to drag this on and on. Otherwise, every other comment falls into the same sorts of categories that all the others have fallen into. Here's my compilation of the MLE greatest hits:
  1. What about me? "I can't afford to go back to school." "I am a competent music therapist with many years of experience - I WON'T be demeaned because I don't have a Masters degree." "My education, 20 years ago, was adequate." We automatically go to the perspective that we know the best - our own.
  2. What about the universities? "My school would NEVER go for changing to MLE!" "It's too soon for us to make the transition." Now, the way I understand that universities work, this is pretty valid. That's why it was recommended that this transition take 20 years (back from when all this started). "We don't have enough people to teach if we go to MLE." "My education, 20 years ago, was adequate."
  3. What about the students? Out of all of these, this is the one that seemed to be the most controversial and least controversial based on generational lines. From the get go, the people who were talking about just automatically going into Masters degree programs were the students. It was the rest of us who were concerned about student loans and timings. Students stated, over and over again, that they were planning on getting a Masters anyway to be competitive in the current job market - many talked about getting a Masters in a related field rather than going into music therapy to increase marketability - valid points.
  4. Why didn't this go to the Assembly? These comments intrigue me as this topic NEVER had to go to the Assembly. The original papers were presented to the Board of Directors from the Education and Training Advisory Board. The Board decided to investigate the idea further, and then appointed a Subcommittee of the Board to investigate. The MLE Subcommittee spent six years researching this topic and engaged the membership in all ways that were available to them. There were discussions at conferences, announcements in the Association newsletter, opportunities to talk to members of the MLE subcommittee, and (apparently) direct surveys of specific subgroups of members (I say apparently because I never got a survey - even though folks SWEAR that they sent things to every single Internship Director!). The subcommittee, who by the way was an off-shoot of the Board, reported back to the Board directly. The Board has always had the oversight of this topic. The topic was never a matter of Assembly business - we all assumed that it would be, however. I think that's why there is so much upset going on right now. We all assumed that the Assembly would make the final decision. The Board, however, decided not to bother with more of this discussion until we strengthen consistency in our internships and educational programs.
Interestingly, there are very few to no comments about our clients. Most of the comments center around the personal effect of this decision.

I believe that this decision of the Board was misguided, but I've been living with this idea for a long time. I do feel that the education and clinical training component of what we do does need serious examination and renewal. I think that this was the next step of our process if MLE was passed, so it makes sense to me that it is what is happening now. In fact, it was part of the original papers written by ETAB in 2010 and 2011 - the need to completely examine and possibly revamp how we do things in educational programs and in internship programs. This is a good step forward, but I disagree that it has to happen BEFORE we make a commitment to generations of future clients.

At some point, I will write about my experiences supervising both Bachelors level and equivalency level interns in my internship program - spoiler: I find my equivalency students to be more able to conceptualize, change habits, and absorb information. More on that lately.

For the moment, however, I will try my best to avoid the continuing MLE conversations happening on my social media feeds.

Time to move into the future!


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