While none specialize in elementary school counseling, there are several online master's degree programs in general school counseling. These programs equip graduates to work with all students, including those at the elementary level. Many courses are offered completely online; however, some programs may include a mix of distance education and on-campus classes. All school guidance counselor degree programs call for an internship in a school.
Courses in a master's program in school guidance counseling examine intellectual and social development in children. Students learn about the role of a school counselor and examine legal and ethical factors. Most programs take two to three years to complete. Students will need a microphone to participate in online conferences and must possess a bachelor's degree as well as professional teaching experience.
Master's Degree in Elementary Guidance Counseling
Master's degree programs in elementary guidance counseling provide educators and other professionals who work with children in schools with enhanced administrative and practical skills. Students use data analysis, research and counseling, and psychological theories to address educational, social and behavioral issues of children in grades K-8.
Information and Requirements
Applicants typically must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Most institutions require students to have professional experience in education as a teacher or in school administration. Online courses are viewed using learning management systems, such as Blackboard, in order for students to interact with their professors and fellow students through discussion boards and chat rooms.
Students must possess a computer that meets university hardware and software requirements as well as Internet access. Additionally, online learners may be required to possess a microphone for online discussions and real-time conferences.
Master's students examine current issues in elementary school guidance counseling. They gain advanced knowledge of the philosophies and theories that guide the counseling of elementary school students.
This online course explores the developmental and psychological needs and problems of children through the examination of their own personality types and their family structure. Readings, research and personal interactions with children and their parents make up the bulk of the course curriculum.
Guidance Counseling in the Elementary School Environment
Students examine the physical, social and intellectual factors in child development. Particular focus is placed on a child's behavior in both the school and home. Other areas of study include best practices in evaluation and case conferencing techniques.
Building Resiliency in Children
In this course, students research techniques in building resiliency and optimism in young schoolchildren in order to instill confidence in their academic and social abilities. Topics of discussion include techniques devised to help children overcome adverse circumstances.
Graduates of a master's degree may seek a position in public and private elementary schools after obtaining the appropriate certification and licenses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, elementary school guidance counselors earned an average annual salary of $63,760 as of May 2015.
Continuing Education and Licensure Information
All states require that school counselors be certified, or licensed. Licensing generally requires a master's degree and passing a certification examination in counseling. Continuing education courses may be required to maintain the counseling certification. Students should make sure that any online program they are considering meets the requirements of the state in which they wish to be licensed.
Students can pursue a Master of Education or Master of Science in School Counseling online. While these programs do not specialize at the elementary school counseling, graduates of either program will gain the skills necessary to obtain jobs in the elementary counseling field.