It is possible that you pursue counseling program certification online if you want. Though there are certification programs. A certification program can help you to learn how to assist students with their education and then help them cope with the challenges of school.
The available Online School Counseling Program
You must understand that online school counseling certificate programs are not that common, however, two different types have been made available for the interested students. It is either you earn either a professional counseling or college counseling certificate online that will train you to work as a counselor at a middle school, high school or college. As for the professional counseling certificate, it allows you to provide mental health services to students, while the college counseling certificate prepares you to assist students with their education and career focus. Mostly, online school counseling courses talk more on academic guidance and support rather than mental health counseling.
If you desire to enroll in an online counseling certificate program, it is not necessary that you hold a previous college counseling experience. If you have a bachelor degree certificate, you can enroll for guidance and counselor programs online.
I shall list the available online school counseling or guidance and counselor certification programs available and they are:
Professional counseling certificate and college counseling certificate
They both consist of 4 to 6 courses as course length. And the common courses that are learned during the training are Counseling ethics, substance abuse, family problems, personality and psychology, and financial aid preparations. The career you may later secure after the completion of the program possibly may be a guidance counselor or mental health counselor. However, to become a mental health counselor, you must have acquired your master degree in psychology counseling certification programs either online or on-campus with the accredited institution; acquire your licensure in the state you hope to serve after an internship and long hours of supervision by a professional counselor.
The Mechanism of the Program
When I said mechanism of the program, I mean, how the program works. Just as I mentioned above in brief, this online school counseling program consists of 4-6 courses, it equally focuses more on the everyday application of counseling skills rather than the theory aspect of the program. You will be given various assignments that can be completed independently and then submitted online probably by e-mail, but courses sometimes involve live discussions with faculty and peers online either through synchronous or asynchronous, a method of e-learning.
What are the Courses that are Involved
It is normal that Classes in counseling are of different settings based on the particular certificate program you intend to achieve. If your focus is on the mental health counseling courses as set in professional counseling programs; you will need to focus on issues that involve adolescents such as substance abuse, sexually related issues, and family psychology or issues. If the classes have to involve college guidance, the programs focus more on helping students understand their coursework and what the school requires of them. These are the common school counseling certificate courses listed below:
- 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
Can I do anything with this Certificate?
Yes, of course, you can do a lot with this certificate, just like I have been repeating, you can become a school counselor or a mental health practitioner after the acceptance of your practice licensure from your state of work. As the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), has recorded it, many schools have made it mandatory that their counselors must have received licensure, along with their counseling certificate. They also made it clear that the requirements for obtaining licensure depend on the state, however, you must first earn your master’s degree, pass a set of continuing education courses as required and in fact acquire a teaching certificate before you will be allowed to practice as a licensed counselor in schools.
It has also been recorded by the BLS that positions for educational, vocational and school counselors are on the hope to increase by 8% through 2014-2024, this prediction made the growing rate faster than the normal job in another field. The average salary of a guidance counselor in the united state as reported by BLS was $56, 490 early in the year 2014.
The Institutions that Offer Online Guidance and Counseling Certificate Programs
Online coursework in school counseling programs will teach you how to lead group counseling sessions; will guide you on how to provide career advice to students that are graduating, and how to guide family into counseling for struggling children. If you complete counseling masters, expect to gain experience through an internship or practicum, as all programs on this list I am about to document down require them.
Here is the list of programs and the Institutions that offer them:
Regent University: this institution offer master of art in school counseling online. The school trains you on the principles and practices of counseling in various institutions i.e. schools, however, it uses the Christianity approach that is combined with the Biblical values with theories and practices of youth guidance and counseling. You must complete two or one-week residencies on Regent’s Virginia Beach campus. After the completion of your program, you will have been trained to work in both private and public schools as a guidance and counseling counselor.
Prescott College: offers an online master of education in school guidance counseling. The institution combines online coursework with mentored, in-person study experiences. If you are a regular student on-campus your classes will only consist of six days per year. You will have to complete 36 credit hours to finish the program and will include classes involving vocational counseling, you will go through a supervised practicum, and research practices for guidance counselors. The program enrollment dates per year are three times, this means, you can enroll for courses at your convenience time.
Missouri Baptist University: this university online school counseling program helps you complete your program in 36 months. The program requires you to take 51 credit hours online classes are taught by faculty members through Christian approach or background, the entire coursework trains you with Christian values with studies based on theories and practical, of real-world applications of school counseling. The scheme of work is designed upon classes about career counseling, internships in elementary and secondary school counseling, and group counseling theories and practices.
Online Master of Science in education: The online school counseling program at Concordia University Wisconsin is known for offering students the opportunity to explore the principles, theories, and practical applications of school counseling. Even without your teaching license are still eligible to enroll to study the program online with this institution, but must take supplementary courses to complete your program. You will be trained in a Christian value to work as a counselor in private and parochial schools. Students must complete 600 hours of supervised practicum experience, divided evenly across an elementary school, a middle school, and a high school.
What is the Salary Impression of a Guidance and counseling counselor?
Every profession has the average salary that it attracts to anyone that chose it as a path to a career. School counseling or guidance and counseling as a course do not take a wrong route in terms of the beautiful salary it attracts to the counselors in the field. I will list the salary of various counselors and the states in which it is earned based on the United States salary policy.
States Wages per Hour Yearly Salary
New York – School Counselor Salary $29.11 $60,551
Massachusetts – School Counselor $28.98 $60,274
Maryland – School Counselor $27.59 $57,378
California – School Counselor $27.18 $56,530
Nebraska – School Counselor $26.87 $55,899
Vermont – School Counselor $26.77 $55,690
Alaska – School Counselor $26.68 $55,500
Nevada – School Counselor $26.68 $55,500
Montana – School Counselor $26.68 $55,500
North Dakota – School Counselor $26.68 $55,500
Wyoming – School Counselor $26.68 $55,500
Idaho – School Counselor $26.68 $55,500
West Virginia – School Counselor $26.66 $55,450
Hawaii – School Counselor $26.60 $55,318
Washington – School Counselor $26.52 $55,162
Arizona School $26.02 $54,119
What are the Roles or Responsibilities of a School Counselor
Probably, after the completion of your program, and finally secure a job in a school as a counselor; you may need to learn and understand the roles and conducts guiding a counselor in the American school setting. There is no doubt that, if you are a parent, you may be wondering “what is the role of a school counselor on a daily basis?” Those days of a counselor sitting in school without doing anything are gone. You don’t need to wait for a crisis to occur anymore. You are now a very important member of the academy team. You are employed, and one of your duties is to help students in the areas of educational achievement. The social and emotional development of the students is taken care of by you through your skills in guidance and counseling. You will play a vital role in making the student productive in their life and study. Through your counseling, a student will be taught to become responsible adults of tomorrow.
Liaise with the Teachers and Parents of the School Students
Your responsibility does not end in working with the students alone; there are sometimes that it is necessary that you involve the student’s parents or teachers while you are counseling them. After you must have understood the problem of a student in coping with an academic issue, as a counselor, you can call the teacher and explain the strategies through which he or she can use to help the student learn better. You may equally sometimes, meet with the child’s parent to discuss the means or path through which they can take to help to facilitate learning in the home in order to maximize the learning results. If the case of the student involves mental health issue, a counselor can also relate with the teacher and parent for a way forward to curb the problem. For instance, there are some students with severe behavioral issues. These kinds of students will need serious attention both from the counselor, teachers, and parents.
You can refer the Matter of the student to External Agency
In some cases, the problems that you as the school counselors see as too difficult to deal with at the school level; you can decide to refer the said student to external agencies to see if they can handle his case because they may have well-equipped aids to help the child’s mental issue. For instance, you may tell the parents that their child undergoes psychological testing. Under child welfare laws, it has been made mandatory that a school counselor must also report the occurrence of child abuse or neglect to the relevant authorities that handle such issues.
You will Partake in Student Learning and Welfare Support Members
You must understand and accept that as a school counselor, you are an important partaker of a school’s student welfare and learning support committees. You will discuss what concerns student with other committee members in other to deliberate what is the next step to carry in order to balance the student welfare and learning experience. You will also collect and share information related to student welfare and learning support matters. In the process, you will have developed, coordinated, and assess initiatives that promote student welfare and improve learning standards.
Improve the Counseling Program by Evaluation
Your responsibility should be to strive to ensure that your school’s counseling program is standard. As a school counselor, you are required to think critically about the existing counseling policy so that you can find different ways to improve it for the benefit of everyone in the school. After observations and then you discovered what should be changed and what should be implemented for a better counseling environment, then take your recommendations up with the school board or principal and campaign for implementation that will benefit all staff members, students, and their family members.
Being a counselor may be tough but the reward that comes with it is always fantastic.