Online master’s in counseling: virtual + hands-on preparation

February 27, 2019

An online master’s in counseling program may sound like an oxymoron.

Counseling is all about face-to-face interaction; can an online degree provide that all-important interpersonal communication training?

Capella University combines theory and hands-on training in counseling and therapy master’s degree programs to provide real-world field experience along with the flexibility of online learning.

Online learning & virtual interactions

Capella’s primarily online counseling and therapy programs teach students principles of theory, research, assessment, and content-specific knowledge through rigorous study. Master’s candidates have access to online courserooms for ongoing interaction with faculty and peers. Courses also require live and recorded role plays to demonstrate counseling and therapy skills for analysis and review.

Every student receives weekly individual feedback from faculty members who share their real-world experiences. “The Capella faculty are all active counseling professionals who are committed to being counselor educators,” says Assistant Dean Lisa McKenna, PhD. “The professional development of our students and the successful completion of their studies are goals taken to heart by faculty, academic advisors, and staff.”

Hands-on training & fieldwork

Capella’s master’s in counseling and therapy programs incorporate hands-on training and extensive interaction between faculty and students. Each student participates in two residency courses, comprising a six-week online course with an embedded five and a half day face-to-face residency. During these residency courses, students learn skills and techniques from their faculty members while practicing in small groups.

Students enter fieldwork after successful completion of all courses, including the residencies. Fieldwork provides the opportunity to intern as counselors-in-training in agencies, schools, and clinics in their communities. This training is done under the direct supervision of a licensed professional.

By the time a student has completed the master’s counseling or therapy program requirements, they will have accrued 100 hours of supervised counseling experience in a practicum and 600 hours at fieldwork sites in their communities.

In essence, Capella offers the real-life, hands-on training required to develop a strong foundation as a counselor or therapist, while also giving students the flexibility to complete core coursework online.

Capella University offers certificates, master’s, and doctoral programs in counseling.

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