Online school counseling degrees are meant for students who want to work as counselors within educational settings, such as primary or secondary schools. Students in these programs may already have some classroom teaching experience, and will dive deeper into both education and psychology in their studies.
Coursework in online school counseling degree programs will vary depending upon whether a student earns a degree based in education, science, or counseling. In general, students can expect coursework in research and statistics, child and adolescent psychology, behavioral assessments, curriculum development, counseling techniques, conflict resolution, and career counseling.
School counselors play an important role within the educational system. They can help teachers and administrators correct students’ behavioral issues by meeting with students and parents and understanding the root of issues, when applicable. They can serve as intermediaries in conflict resolutions between multiple students, students and teachers, or students and parents. They can also advise students on which courses to take to meet graduation requirements or future career goals, and advise them on which colleges they may want to consider.
It is important for students to note that requirements for becoming a school counselor vary by state. Many states require at least a year or two of classroom teaching experience prior to pursuing counseling certification. Many states also require fieldwork in schools in order to earn certification. Because state requirements vary, students may want to ensure that either their school offers certification valid in their state, or that they can pursue an alternative certification program within their state in addition to their degree.