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Online Master’s Degree in School Psychology

Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and the factors that affect behavior and mental processes. Practicing psychologists are found in many different settings, including hospitals, clinics, substance abuse centers, private practices, and schools. If you are interested in helping students cope with their problems and succeed academically, you should consider earning a master’s degree in school psychology. These degrees are offered at traditional college and university campuses as well as online, a format that enables students to earn their degree without disrupting the obligations they may have to their family or employer. A school psychology master’s degree program may require the completion of 60 credit hours and an internship or residency program to finish, though the time of completion may vary based on the institution.

Classes for an Online Master’s Degree in School Psychology

Students in an online master’s degree in school psychology program may learn to evaluate students, provide psychological intervention, collaborate with teachers and parents to find effective solutions for behavior problems, and create programs that encourage a healthy and positive learning environment. As such, many school psychology curriculums feature courses such as counseling techniques, multicultural perspectives in human behavior, consultation and collaboration in the school, and legal and ethical issues in the school. A course in counseling techniques covers the essential counseling skills that can help students become successful professionals. They develop these skills through reading assignments, learning activities, class discussion, lectures, and participation in small group activities and critiques of counseling sessions. Here are some other common school psychology courses:

  • Cognitive/Affective Psychology
  • Principles of School Psychology
  • Child and Adolescent Psychology
  • Legal and Ethical Issues in School
  • Consultation and Intervention Techniques

Many school psychology curriculums require students to complete a residency, practicum, or field training programs. A residency program may consist of a two-week seminar followed by supervised time within an agency or school. The goal of these programs is to enable the student to apply classroom knowledge in a real-world setting that allows them to further develop their counseling skills.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Master’s Degree in School Psychology

Graduates of an online master’s degree program in school psychology may be qualified for employment as school psychologists. These professionals apply their psychological knowledge and skill to address students’ learning and behavioral problems. They may also collect information through observation and interviews, determine patterns that provide insight on behavior, work with students and families to help them make positive changes, and create and implement treatment plans. School psychologists need at least a master’s degree, as well as a state license, to practice. In May 2010, school psychologists earned a median annual salary of $66,810, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment of school psychologists is expected to increase 22% from 2010 to 2020, which is faster than average for all occupations. An expected increase in school enrollment will spur demand for school psychologists to help counsel students and study how in and out-of-school factors affect learning, according to the BLS. However, these projections are no guarantee of salary or opportunity of employment, which is determined by location, employer, condition of the economy, and an applicant’s credentials.

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