United States Hybrid Graduate Certificate Programs

Hybrid Graduate Certificate Programs are designed for those who want to develop focused knowledge through a low residency, flexible format. Hybrid graduate certificates might allow students to explore new trends in their field or to refresh their skills in preparation for a career change. As an added possibility, certificates might also provide a head start on a masters degree in any number of areas. These include business, nursing, education, psychology and more.

What Are Hybrid Graduate Certificate Programs?

Sometimes called ‘blended’ or ‘partially online’, hybrid graduate certificate programs allow you to experience a mix of hands-on onsite classes with web-based courses. Usually, the in-person sessions bring students together with faculty for discussion, team exercises, and live lectures and demonstrations. Then, between times, students access their readings and course material through an online portal. With this mix of self-paced and scheduled programming, the hybrid format may keep you motivated while providing the flexibilty you need.

Why Consider Hybrid Graduate Certificate Programs?

As a continuation to your education, hybrid graduate certificate programs may provide a great option to a full degree. A graduate certificate is a professional credential that is awarded after completion of a set number of courses. While the actual number of courses varies – usually, between three and twelve, certificates tend to be shorter term than a full degree. In fact, full-time students might be able to complete their course requirements in under a year. So, if you are someone who wants to continue your education, but lacks the time for a graduate degree, or is simply interested in a more focused area of study, you might consider the certificate route.

Develop Skills as an Independent Learner

Within the online portion of your hybrid courses, you may get free range on how you manage your own time to meet the week's deadlines and coursework. Then, during in-class sessions, you still could get face-to-face to-do lists and reminders from your professor. As a result, you may develop your skills as an independent learner and more easily fit your education into your current schedule.

Deepen Your Expertise

The choice to deepen your expertise might not only increase your value to employers but also, hits refresh on your resume. This might in turn, position you to pursue and achieve your professional goals, branch out and pursue interests, or climb the corporate ladder.

Meet State Requirements

Some hybrid graduate certificate programs are designed to prepare students to meet state requirements for licensure or certification. These programs are often for students who have their masters degree but are required to fulfill extra coursework to pursue a certain career in their industry. Areas of study where this could apply include psychology, nursing and education.

Prepare for a Masters Degree

Sometimes courses and credits earned may be applied toward a full masters degree program. These certificates may appeal to students who are not ready to commit to a full degree but want to keep the door open. Schools vary so follow up directly to see if credits might be transferable.

Refine or Learn a Technique

Whether you are a nurse or an artist, a certificate typically involves themed courses that may help you refine or learn a new technique or method. Usually, this is done via core certificate courses, but sometimes, you can choose electives to make your studies more meaningful or purposeful for your needs.

Learn and Collaborate

Back to school means you may learn from engaging and experienced experts in your fields. Also, you may have the chance to collaborate with fellow graduate students both online and on campus. Great news if you want to network with other professionals who share your interests.

In a traditional classroom, you show up for class – say, once or twice a week, and when you're not in class, you may not be connected or holding discussions with your classmates. In a hybrid certificate, you are likely to be expected to show up for class when it happens. But also, you may be expected to actively take part with other students online. This may be done through chat rooms, or other online group forums.

Apply What You Learn

While fully online programs may be convenient, hybrid graduate certificates allow for hands on, experiential learning. This may add an extra dimension to your education. Often on campus portions are utilized for active collaborations, lab work, simulations and other learning opportunities that are difficult to accomplish alone. Every hybrid certificate program is different, so contact schools directly to see what opportunities might be available to you.

DID YOU KNOW? When surveyed, 4% of healthcare social workers reported they had a post-baccalaureate certificate, 4% a post-masters certificate.i

Types of Hybrid Graduate Certificate Programs

Available in many disciplines, a hybrid graduate certificate might complement either a masters or bachelors degree. Each program may have their own requirements and goals, so contact schools directly to learn more.

Hybrid Graduate Certificate in Applied Psychology

A hybrid graduate certificate in applied psychology may help students apply the science of human behavior to solve real world problems. As an example, a certificate in industrial-organizational psychology focuses on the study of how people work in groups and organizations. A community psychology emphasis might prepare students to make positive societal changes and help individuals in need. Programs of this nature may be available and/or suitable to students with a bachelors degree other than psychology. However, there may be applicable prerequisite courses.

Hybrid Graduate Certificate in Business

Some of the hybrid graduate certificate in business programs are designed for non-business majors. These tend to provide an overall foundation in functional areas such as accounting, marketing, operations, management and strategy. Other business certificate programs are designed to refine a student’s area of focus – whether in supply chain management, market research or finance. The on campus portion of hybrid graduate certificates in business may provide an opportunity for group projects, networking and leadership development - all potentially important aspects of a business education.

Hybrid Graduate Certificate in Education

Hybrid graduate certificates in education may prepare educators to pursue new career paths within the field and state. As an example, a Post-Master Superintendent Certification is designed for individuals who seek certification as a School Administrator. This type of certificate is likely to revolve around leadership, ethics and theory.

Hybrid Graduate Certificate in Fine Arts

The fine arts lends itself well to the hybrid format, since students may need to practice in small experiential groups, or receive and give feedback. If you can imagine a mix of performance and scholarship, you might consider a graduate certificate in applied Shakespeare. In this type of program, you are likely to take an online survey course in graduate-level Shakespeare. Then, your campus visits help you to earn the remainder credits. This might mean an immersive acting or directing stint, play attendance or classes on how to teach Shakespeare. Interested students might then extend their Shakespeare experience. For instance, where the school permits, they might apply the earned certificate core requirements to a master's degree in Applied Shakespeare.  

Hybrid Graduate Certificate in Nursing

Several nursing certificates are available through a blend of online learning and on-site supervised practice. Many of these are designed for nurses who already have their Masters in Nursing and may want to branch out into an area such as nurse education or family nurse practitioner.

Hybrid Graduate Certificate in Social Work

As a professional program, a hybrid graduate certificate in social work may be designed for current MSW graduates who want to refine the scope of their practice. One example is a Bilingual School Social Work Certificate. This type of programs may prepare social workers to be eligible for state certification in this clinical area.

Hybrid Graduate Certificate in STEM Fields

Hybrid graduate certificates in science, mathematics and engineering might provide students with current research and advanced technical knowledge. This might suit those who seek to pivot a career. Or, those who want a broader set of skills to potentially advance within a current situation. For instance, a professional renewable energy certificate might provide an in-depth study of renewable and sustainable energy technologies, policies, and business.

Take the Next Step and Find Hybrid Graduate Certificate Programs

Many hybrid graduate certificate programs are available through regionally-accredited universities. To find the program that mirrors your goals, choose a subject from the menu to refine your search. Then, contact the schools easily with the on-page form. Take the next step now!


[i] onetonline.org/link/summary/21-1022.00

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