California Hybrid Counseling Masters Programs

Hybrid Counseling Masters programs combine the flexibility of an online counseling degree with a low residency experience of graduate school. Students get to interact with classmates and faculty as well as have access to all the facilities while on-campus. The online component makes it convenient for working professionals to complete assignments and study when they have the time. Courses are usually prerecorded lectures and available through a web portal so all you need is a computer and reliable Internet. Typically, the onsite classes are kept to a minimum through weekend or summer intensives, although this is formatted through each graduate school. Since Counseling is a human-centered field where interpersonal skills are important, a blended online may be your perfect solution to balancing a Master’s Degree in Counseling with the other demands on your schedule.  

DID YOU KNOW? 93% of Academic Advisors have a Master's Degree[i]

Hybrid Counseling Masters Programs: Basics

Hybrid Counseling Masters Programs prepare students whose interests are to work as licensed professional marriage, couple and family counselors, student affairs and college counselors, school counselors, clinical mental health counselors, career counselors and addiction counselors. While a blended online program may be formatted differently from traditional campus programs, the average length is 2-years of full-time study beyond the undergraduate degree. Prospective applicants should expect some variance between graduate schools, but typically are required to have their documents in order (school transcripts, grade point average, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, personal essay. Aside from that, if you are not entering a dual degree program (Bachelor’s/Master’s), you need to have obtained a Bachelor’s degree first. Some programs are geared to the student with prior undergraduate study in psychology, while others may be accessible to students who are coming from other disciplines.

Choosing a Master’s Degree in Counseling

Hybrid Counseling Masters Programs may be offered as Master of Arts or Master of Sciences. To a large extent the two primary factors in choosing a degree are:

  1. Your undergraduate degree (B.A. in English or B.S. in Psychology)
  2. Your career interests (research, teach, see clients)

Typically, the Master of Arts in Counseling is suited for those students with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts, English or a non-science Psychology degree. The M.A. usually has a less specific orientation than the M.S. and graduates may go on to seek licensure but may be looking for more of an academic career. A thesis is often required for graduation. On the opposite side, a Master of Science in Counseling tends to be more technical and sought by the students with Bachelor of Science in Psychology. After graduation, these students may proceed to focus on completing their clinical hours so they can seek licensure.

What to Look for in a Hybrid Master’s Program in Counseling?

First off, Counseling is a regulated field, meaning you need to be licensed in your area in order to work as a counselor. Many of todays’ savvy employers are looking for your talents but prefer hiring graduates from a program accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP).[ii] Their scope is accreditation for Master’s degree programs Addiction, Career, Clinical Mental Health, Marriage-Couple-Family, School, Student Affairs and College Counseling.[iii]

Potential Counseling Careers

Perhaps at this stage, your life is already filled with scheduling demands and you are wondering why you should go to graduate school. Certainly the variety of Hybrid Counseling Masters programs is appealing, but you are thinking forward to a potential career. If you are wondering what type of counseling career paths are accessible with a Master’s degree, consider that this is the standard entry-level education required for:

  • Mental Health Counselors: Required to have a Master’s degree & a license[iv]
  • Marriage and Family Therapists: Required to have a Master’s degree & a license[v]
  • Rehabilitation Counselors: Required to have a Master’s Degree, possible certification or licensing[vi]
  • School Counselors: Required to have a Master’s Degree in School Counseling & state issued license[vii]
  • Substance Abuse Counselors: Required in some cases to have a Master’s degree, and licensing to work in private practice[viii]

Continued Education

Graduates may continue their education up to a doctoral degree, which is required for postsecondary teachers[ix]. This could mean a PhD in Counseling Psychology or to continue the specialization you have chosen at the Master’s level.

Take the Next Step

Hybrid Counseling Masters programs are perhaps the best of two worlds. On one hand, scheduled intensives bring you into contact with your classmates and professors and go into course topics that cannot be adapted to online study. On the other hand, you get to learn many of the course topics at your own pace, and from the comfort of home. Ready to find the degree that aligns with your ambitions? Start browsing sponsored listings such as Hybrid MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Each counseling school has unique features; request more information in order to make the best choice.

sources: [i] |[ii] |[iii] |[iv] |[v] |[vi] |[vii] |[viii] |[ix] |

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