What Can I Expect from an Online Master’s in Educational Psychology Program?
If you’re shopping for a program to earn your master’s degree in assessment and measurement, online options offer convenience and a quality education that rivals that of traditional on-campus programs. Attendance requirements are often broad, setting parameters and giving you the freedom to choose your class engagement times within them. This makes it easier to pursue your graduate degree while you work full-time or fulfill other personal obligations. You also have some control over completion time, with accelerated programs that get you to your degree faster and part-time options if you keep a busy schedule. To find the program that works best for your situation, compare the curriculum and demands of several distance learning institutions to find the one that matches your career goals and won’t interfere with your lifestyle.
Concentrations Offered for an Online Master’s in Educational Psychology
|CONCENTRATION||DESCRIPTION||POTENTIAL CAREERS FOR THIS CONCENTRATION|
|Applied Behavior Analysis||Applied behavior analysis uses the psychological principles of learning theory to change the behavior in both children and adults. This is used in business, health care, education and animal training.||Counselor, psychological assistant, special education assistant or teacher, board-certified behavior analyst and social worker|
|Research and Evaluation||Prepares professional students for administrative careers in a private or public school system or nonprofit setting.||School administrator, educational grant developer, school district administrator|
|Special Education||Focuses on teaching students how to develop curricula for students with mental, learning or physical disabilities.||Special education teacher, music therapist, art therapist, tutor|
|Conflict Resolution and Crisis Management||Focuses on the psychology and strategies involved in managing crisis situations and bringing these to the best resolution possible.||Forensic psychologist, parole officer, mediator, crisis negotiators|
Curriculum for an Online Master’s in Educational Psychology
Coursework for a master’s in educational psychology includes core classes that focus on teaching, counseling and human development concepts. Concentration classes range from diverse theories and psychosocial contexts. Some online degree programs deliver all of their courses online, while others require tests, labs and technical classes to be completed on-ground. Sample classes include:
|Child and Adolescent Psychopathology||Explores mental disorders in children and adolescents and their outcomes as these children become adults.|
|Behavior Assessment and Intervention||Provides a more in-depth view of behavior analysis and the crucial stages of development.|
|School-based Counseling Theories||Examines the various methods of treating adolescents and children for learning disabilities and mental health issues that affect academic performance.|
|Ethical Standards in Educational Psychology||Evaluate the ethics and standards that govern educational psychology and the use of technology.|
|Qualitative Inquiry in Education||Covers each step in collecting qualitative data, managing information and interpreting the results.|
How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology?
The online M.Ed. program typically takes one to two years to complete in a self-paced full-time program. The number of credit hours depends on the particular program and concentration and can range from 35 to 52 hours. Part-time programs typically take three to four years but allow students to continue working full-time while completing the coursework at a slower pace.
Certifications and Licenses an Online Master’s in Educational Psychology Prepares For
|Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)||Applies to independent practitioners who offer behavior-analytic services. Candidates must take and pass the BCBA exam.|
|National Association of School Psychologist (NASP)||This credential acknowledges school psychologists who have met rigorous nationally recognized standards.|
Accreditation for Online Master’s in Educational Psychology
The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education provides accreditation for some master’s in educational psychology degrees. A particular college or university receives accreditation according to the standards set by the U.S. Department of Education. A school may receive national or regional accreditation. Regional accreditation applies to most local colleges and universities and is generally more prestigious due to its higher standards.
Employment Outlook for Master’s in Educational Psychology Graduates
Job Placement: Master’s v. Bachelor’s
Most career positions in educational psychology require at least a master’s degree. Those with a bachelor’s degree may seek positions as a corrections officer, a police officer, a social work assistant or an administrative service manager assistant. Correction officers have a lower-than-average job outlook. Police officers have a job outlook of 7 percent. Those with a master’s in educational psychology have many opportunities to further their careers, including going ahead to receive a doctorate. Those with master’s degrees also see a higher-than-average job outlook in most positions.
Potential career choices for someone with a master’s in assessment and measurement generally offer a low-end salary of $40,000 to $50,000, with an upper range that more than doubles. The table below shows the salary potential for a range of jobs that can be filled by someone with a graduate degree in assessment and measurement.
|JOB TITLE||JOB DESCRIPTION||MEDIAN SALARY||PROJECTED GROWTH RATE|
|School Counselor||School counselors typically work in elementary, middle or high schools to provide services to students and families involved in school-related problems and family issues that interfere with academic success. Sometimes they may work in a psychologist’s office under a licensed psychologist or counselor.||$55,410 per year||13%|
|Academic Coach||Academic coaches can be found in public and private sectors. They typically work in classes to help teachers learn new programs and techniques to help students meet current core standards. Academic coaches also work as tutors or as recruiters to help students get into prestigious private schools.||$63,750 per year||11%|
|Teacher||When paired with the teacher’s certification, a master’s in educational psychology can lead to a teaching position. Some individuals with a master’s degree in education choose to add the educational psychology specialization to increase their earning potential.||$56,900 per year||7%|
Professional organizations for those with a masters in educational psychology help bring like-minded individuals together to share knowledge. Most organizations provide outside support, educational opportunities and information on new career standards. The following are some of the most popular and top organizations in educational psychology.
American Psychological Association (APA): One of the world’s largest organizations for those in psychology careers. The APA focuses on communication and research to benefit its members.
Association of Educational Therapists (AET): The AET sets the standards for educational therapists and provides leadership, training and certification for educational therapy professionals.
National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME): The NCME is a professional association that works to create new standardized tests, assessment methods and evaluates current and upcoming programs in education.
American School Counseling Association: Provides advice, resources, publication and advocacy for school counselors. The organization also helps upcoming counselors who are still in school to help them become successful in their careers.
Association for Psychological Science (APS): This non-profit organization is devoted to scientific psychology studies. It is the largest organization that focuses solely on psychology research.
Financing Your Online Master’s in Educational Psychology
Online degrees can cost considerably less than on-campus programs. Both in-state and out-of-state students usually pay the same amount per quarter hour, which can save tens of thousands for those in out-of-state locations. Even though costs are lower, most students still need assistance in paying for their education. The first place to start is by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. This provides you with a list of federal funding that is available for your use. There are also many different private and public grants, loans, scholarships and funding types to help you cover costs. Consider some of the following options.
The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Financial Aid Scholarship Fund
Deadline: April 15
Eligibility: Available to undergraduate and graduate students in good academic standing who have lived through a hardship to accomplish their educational goals and have a minimum GPA of 2.5. This is a one-time award.
American Psychological Foundation Graduate Student Scholarships
Deadline: June 30
Eligibility: Must be a graduate student in their final year.
Jewish Community Centers of North American Graduate Scholarship Programs
Award: Up to $10,000 annually
Deadline: February 1
Eligibility: Applicants must be pursuing a master’s degree, must attend full-time, agree to work for the Jewish community center and be willing to relocate after graduation for employment.
Eligibility: The scholarship program is designed to help improve the quality of life in Indian communities across the United States through higher education.