The field of counseling can be an excellent place to exhibit your skills in helping others. College degree programs can help you learn the skills you need to conduct assessments on your clients, create an effective treatment plan, and administer your counseling techniques for the growth of your patients.
In some cases, students may have the desire to explore counseling in several different areas throughout their career. Institutions across the U.S. can provide unique degree experiences that can allow learners to gain expertise in different subject areas, so that they can do the most with their education and certifications.
Consider a Featured Online Counseling Program
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Online MA in School Counseling
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Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
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What Is a Dual Masters in Counseling Degree?
Of the current dual programs available, you may often see the combination of Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling during your search. Degree programs that contain both of these specializations can teach you more about assessment and treatment in the clinical domain, while still providing focus in counseling techniques for youth in the educational system.
Some universities may also provide the Online Master of Counseling partnered with a Criminal Justice degree, in order to help prepare learners for careers in corrections and offender rehabilitation. If you have a specific career field in mind and are seeking out degree programs to help you better prepare for counseling in that area, you should consider dual programs to assist you along the way.
The counseling aspect of the dual program was designed to provide students with background into the development of mental health counseling, as well as a current look into the treatments available for use in the field. This part of the dual program can provide you with the tools you need to be an effective counselor in your chosen field.
Your secondary degree can be chosen from a variety of different specialized areas in education, criminal justice, or even medicine. Your second degree program can insert expertise specific to that field into your learning program, so that you have relevant and useful knowledge for application during your career.
Online Dual Master's in Counseling Options
Students in today's educational pool may be more likely to pursue online educational programs than any other group. The ease of use of technology has provided students with more opportunities in terms of learning, which has contributed to the popularity of online degree options.
Online Dual Master of Counseling programs can allow students to learn from their very own homes, make their own schedules, and complete their programs at a pace that works for them. While learning online, current students can continue working full-time positions and engaging in their daily routines without too much interruption.
Colleges that provide dual Master of Counseling programs may require that students apply for both programs during the admissions process. Minimum GPA requirements for the online options are typically around 3.0, with different colleges having slightly different expectations for acceptance.
If you are looking for online options for your program, you are encouraged to verify the accreditation status of both programs prior to beginning your learning experience. Each program may have its own independent accreditation, which can be vital for licensure in the future.
Counseling degree programs can lead to licensure if accredited by the CACREP. If your program has received accreditation through this agency, it should be noted on the degree webpage or be verifiable through your school's admissions office.
Since dual degree programs often contain slightly more course requirements than the standard Master of Counseling program, the length of time for completion may be slightly longer. Most dual Master of Counseling degree programs in the online setting take 2.5-3 years to complete on average.
Typical Coursework for Dual Degree Programs
Browsing through different types of degree programs may enlighten you to the variations of course sequences at different universities. The curriculum that you engage in during your learning experience may be carefully developed in order to meet the minimum accreditation standards for your chosen field.
Law and Privacy
Counseling course work must contain elements related to ethical considerations for working with clients in the field, which can include privacy for clients, data storage, and provider/client relationships. Students may also explore the laws pertaining to counseling, including license maintenance and continuing education requirements.
Therapeutic interventions and intake assessments may also be a big portion of what students learn throughout this aspect of the dual program. Different methods of assessments for presenting problems, age groups, and demographics may be reviewed, as well as therapies for use with different client groups.
Business, Social Work, Criminal Justice
Your secondary program can also contribute to varying courses in your program. Students that choose educational programs for their second degree may take courses related to laws and regulations in the educational field, child development, and cognitive psychology.
Criminal Justice degree enrollees may be required to take course work related to the development and evolution of criminal justice, criminology, and the criminal justice system. Overall, the goal of these dual programs is to shift the theories of counseling into application within a secondary field.
Advantages of Dual Master of Counseling Programs
If you have a profound interest in helping others, a generalized online Master of Counseling could be the perfect choice for your educational experience. However, if you are looking to expand your counseling abilities into secondary fields throughout your career, choosing a dual degree program could provide you with an advantage when seeking out these positions.
As an example, students that have dreams of providing support to criminal offenders in hopes of helping them address trauma and making changes to their lives may be best suited for the online Master of Counseling/Master of Criminal Justice degree combination.
Students that have the desire to apply their knowledge in the field of education may have similar advantages with the Master of Counseling/Education Specialist program. While each program can be advantageous for learners interested in combining their expertise, they can also be highly useful for students that simply want more than just certification in 1 field.
Holding a dual degree program can be just as useful as having 2 different master’s degrees. Putting in the extra effort during a dual degree program can be a great way to solidify your certifications for work in a variety of different careers throughout your lifetime.
Counseling Career Options
One of the most useful benefits of pursuing a dual Master of Counseling degree is that it can provide you with multiple career opportunities after graduation. If you seek to blend your expertise during your career, you could apply for counseling positions within your second field specifically.
Since dual degrees can also provide you with certifications independent of each other, you can work for counseling agencies within any discipline. Your licensure in counseling can help you qualify for positions as a mental health counselor, school-based counselor, or even carer counselor in different areas.
If your second degree is within the field of criminal justice, you could pursue a career as a criminal rehabilitation counselor or you could work for correctional facilities as a source of support for employees and offenders.
Your certification in criminal justice can also qualify you for careers in the criminal justice system not directly related to the field of counseling. The expansion of your career opportunities is part of what makes dual degree programs so attractive for upcoming learners.
Dual degree programs including specialization in the field of education can help you to pursue careers in educational research, leadership in the field of education, or even careers at the state level in educational planning. Students that complete secondary programs in medicine could even work for psychotropic pharmaceutical research and sales.
Depending on the type of degree program you choose to accompany your Master of Counseling program, you could see multiple opportunities for employment during your career. You are encouraged to pursue the fields that you are drawn to the most, so that you can have an exceptional career experience in the field.