Online Guidance Counseling Degrees and Certification

A career in guidance counseling will allow you to provide educational, personal, social and career guidance to students or adults. Read on to learn about online degree options and certification and licensing info. Schools offering Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is Involved in an Online Guidance Counseling Degree Program?

There are several online counseling degree programs available at the graduate level. These programs not only involve academic guidance training, but social, personal and career guidance training as well. Training consists of coursework and research, and most programs also have a counseling internship component. Most programs are not entirely online, but have occasional in-person workshops and meetings as well.

The online component of a guidance counseling program typically involves the coursework portion of the program. You'll take your classes via the Internet using the school's distance learning portal. Here, you'll be able to access your assignments, upload homework and communicate with instructors and classmates. Programs typically utilize a variety of multimedia applications, including webcasts, chat rooms, videos, audio lectures, online forums and video chats.

Online AvailabilityMost online programs are hybrid
Common CoursesEthics, social human behavior, family dynamics, crisis intervention, psychotherapy
CredentialingCertification and state licensure required to practice
Work EnvironmentsAcademic settings, independent practices, mental health clinics, corporate companies

What Type of Coursework Will I Do?

Coursework varies between different degree levels and specializations, but in general, you will be expected to complete a specific number of hours of field experience. Since these degree programs are offered online, the fieldwork typically involves internships and practicums at local schools or clinical settings where you are supervised by a licensed counselor.

Depending on the degree level, coursework topics you may cover vary. At the Ph.D. level, you'll typically specialize in a specific topic and create a dissertation regarding a current issue involving your topic of choice. Master's degree programs usually involve more coursework than a doctoral program, which allows you to develop an in-depth understanding in many counseling areas. Coursework may include:

  • General psychology
  • Ethics
  • Human growth and development
  • Social human behavior
  • Family dynamics
  • Diagnostic techniques
  • Crisis intervention
  • Addictions and interventions
  • Psychotherapy

Do I Need Certification?

In order to practice counseling within in the United States, you must obtain certification in counseling. You can obtain counseling certification by completing an exam offered by the National Board for Certified Counselors (www.nbcc.org). After successfully passing this exam, you will be designated a National Certified Counselor (NCC).

In order to be qualified to sit for the NCC exam, you'll be required to obtain a master's degree in counseling. Some online graduate degree programs that may qualify you for certification include:

  • Master of Arts in Counseling
  • Master of Education in School Counseling
  • Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling

You are also required to undergo 40 hours of professional development in order to maintain your certification. These hours may be completed through approved settings such as training sessions, workshops, conferences and seminars.

Do I Need to Obtain Licensure?

Once you obtain your NCC certification, you must seek state licensure in order to begin legally practicing guidance counseling. You may find guidance counseling positions in such venues as academic settings, independent practices, mental health clinics or corporate companies.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • University of Saint Francis

    University of Saint Francis responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at University of Saint Francis:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Concordia University Portland

    Concordia University Portland responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Concordia University Portland:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

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