Several schools offer graduate certificate programs in conflict resolution. Many can be completed entirely through online courses that students access at any time. Other programs are synchronous and require online students to log on and participate in real time. A few hybrid-format programs require some on-campus classes in addition to online study. Most programs call for students to get experience in conflict resolution, often through observing mediation sessions.
Students should have a bachelor's degree in a relevant field. Often, credits earned in a graduate certificate program can transfer to a master's degree program.
In these programs, which usually consist of fewer than 10 courses, students get basic knowledge of the kinds of problems that require conflict resolution. Students learn about methods of resolving family conflicts and workplace disputes. Intercultural issues are also examined. Other courses explore the role of communication in conflict resolution.
Graduate Certificates in Conflict Resolution
Students study concepts in conflict resolution that can lead to a deeper understanding of problems, familiarity with problems caused by cultural differences and techniques for solving problems rooted in communication, anger or misunderstanding. They acquire skills in negotiation, mediation and communication which help them to calmly and rationally determine the root of a problem and identify possible solutions.
To be eligible for enrollment in the graduate certificate program, students must have at least a bachelor's degree in a related field, like psychology or sociology. There are several online certificate programs available in conflict resolution and mediation.
Information and Requirements
The online graduate certificate program takes less than a year to complete. It is available entirely online, and students are not required to make any campus visits. However, though an internship is not a required part of the program, most schools require that students gain practical experience in facilitating disagreements. This can be as simple as observing groups of people at different companies working together. Students have online access to class lectures, professor's notes and class assignments.
Students must have a working computer and a reliable Internet connection to participate in online courses. They also need Adobe Reader and a word processing program.
The online graduate certificate program allows students to complete self-paced learning, where they access the courses anytime, as long as they complete the course in the specific time frame, typically 15 weeks. They can also choose synchronous learning, where they take lessons with a group of other students and the class has specific due dates and sometimes, specific class times.
Mediation, Negotiation and Facilitation
In this course, students study techniques for solving disputes by analyzing the mediation, facilitation and negotiation process. They study current research in the field and practice techniques in negotiation simulations.
Intervention and Resolution of Violent Family Conflicts
Students study the effects of trauma and violence witnessed or sustained during childhood. They learn about intervention methods and discuss the effects of programs designed to deal with the effects of violence.
Intercultural Negotiation and Communication
Through this course, students identify nonverbal and verbal cues that are signs of conflicts in various ethnicities and cultures. They learn the meaning behind different words and actions. They analyze techniques for solving problems in the work setting and abroad.
Workplace Conflict Management
In this class, students identify the underlying causes of many workplace disputes and learn techniques for resolving them. They also study the stages of a conflict so they can successfully intervene and negotiate.
With a graduate certificate in conflict resolution, students can find careers as mediators, conciliators or arbitrators working at schools, hospitals, jails or for businesses. The mean annual salary for these professionals was $69,060 in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education Information
Students who wish to continue their education and complete a master's degree in the field can do so. There are several online programs available and many of their classes will transfer from the graduate certificate. Online doctoral degree programs in conflict resolution are also available.
Individuals who are interested in work as mediators may seek an online graduate certificate in conflict resolution, which consists of a short series of courses that help students build their communication and negotiation skills and provide them with a familiarity with particular areas of arbitration, such as family conflict. For this online certificate program, students must usually complete real-world observational experiences.