Online Master's Degree in School Guidance Counseling

While accredited online programs aren't common, you can find some school guidance counseling master's degree programs offered via the Web. Classes in psychology and counseling methods plus clinical experiences can prepare you for a career as a school and vocational counselor. Schools offering Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Earn My School Guidance Counseling Master's Degree Online?

There aren't many online master's degree programs in school guidance counseling, but the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs does accredit some programs, most of which are offered by for-profit schools. In these online guidance counseling master's degree programs, you are often required to attend on-campus sessions periodically, and you usually still need to participate in internships and clinical experiences. This helps give you the clinical face-to-face experience necessary to work with school children.

Many universities around the U.S. offer campus-based school guidance counseling master's degree programs. When you enroll in an on-campus guidance counseling master's degree program, you'll take lecture-based courses and spend time in clinical settings.

Program Options Online classes plus on-campus sessions and internships; on-campus programs
Common Courses Group counseling, substance dependency, counseling children and adolescents, crisis intervention
Median Salary (2014) $53,370 (for school, and career counselors)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will My Coursework Cover?

The courses you take in a school guidance counseling master's degree program give you the background you need to help students handle academic, personal, social and family issues. You take courses in psychology, group counseling, alcohol and drug dependency, family structure and crisis intervention. Additionally, you learn about counseling children and teenagers. Counseling methods and guidance principles are also discussed.

Most school guidance counseling master's degree programs include extensive real-world clinical practice, even if you find an online program. Some of these experiences could include role playing with classmates, projects and supervised clinical work. Additionally, you often need to undertake a research project and prepare a thesis to complete your master's degree program.

What Kind of Career Will I Have?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for school and vocational counselors are predicted to increase about 8% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). School guidance counselors are increasingly being called on to work with students who have troubles at home or issues with drugs and alcohol, says the BLS. The middle 50% of school guidance counselors earned between $40,900 and $69,250 in May 2014.

State licensure or certification requirements for school guidance counselors vary by state, but you will need credentials in most cases. Some states also require you to have a teaching license, according to the BLS. If you'd like to advance, you can teach other counselors or move into school administration, both of which require a higher degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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