Online School Counselor Certification

You can pursue online certificate programs in school counseling rather than certification programs. A certificate program can show you how to assist students with their education and help them cope with the stresses of school. Schools offering Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Online School Counseling Certificate Programs Are Available?

Online school counseling certificate programs are rare, but there are two different types available to interested students. You can earn either a professional counseling or college counseling certificate online to prepare you to work as a counselor at a middle school, high school or college. The professional counseling certificate allows you to provide mental health support to students, while the college counseling certificate trains you to assist students with their education and career paths. Most online school counseling programs emphasize academic guidance and support rather than mental health counseling.

To enroll in an online counseling certificate program, you typically don't need to hold prior college counseling experience. Most online certificate programs require that you earn your bachelor's degree before enrolling.

Program Fields Professional counseling certificate, college counseling certificate
Program Length 4 to 6 courses
Common Courses Counseling ethics, substance abuse, family problems, personality and psychology, financial aid preparations
Possible Careers Guidance counselor, mental health counselor
Job Outlook (2016-2026)23% growth (for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors)*
Median Salary (2018)$44,630 (for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Does the Program Work?

The online certificate program in school counseling usually consists of 4-6 courses. The program focuses more on the daily application of counseling skills rather than theory-based studies on counseling.

Most of the certificate program assignments can be completed independently and submitted by e-mail, but courses sometimes involve live discussions with faculty and peers online. For this reason, you'll usually need speakers or headphones and a microphone. To access most of the online program's features, you may need to have Java enabled on your browser.

What Courses Will I Take?

Classes in counseling vary depending on your specific certificate program. The mental health counseling courses in professional counseling programs focus on adolescent issues like substance abuse, sexuality and family problems. Guidance counseling classes in college counseling programs focus more on helping students navigate through their coursework and school requirements. Common school counseling courses include:

  • Personality and psychology
  • Ethics in counseling
  • Assessing mental health
  • Using technology when counseling
  • Admissions counseling
  • Financial aid preparation
  • The entrance examinations process
  • Counseling underrepresented students

What Can I Do with My Certificate?

With your certificate in school counseling, you can become a mental health school counselor or a guidance counselor at middle or secondary schools or colleges. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many schools require their counselors to receive licensure, along with their counseling certificate. The BLS stated that licensure requirements vary by state, but you may need to earn your master's degree, pass a set of continuing education courses and sometimes even receive a teaching certificate to become a licensed school counselor.

The BLS reported that positions for educational, vocational and school counselors are expected to increase 13% in the decade from 2016-2026, which was faster than the average for other job fields. The BLS also reported an average yearly salary in the field of $60,160 in 2018.

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

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

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

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    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

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Pacific Oaks College

    Pacific Oaks College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Pacific Oaks College:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    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

  • 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:

    • Master
      • Master of Science in Educational Psychology

    Online Programs Available

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