Distance learning has been used by governments and schools for over twenty years. Online degrees are everywhere. As the needs of our market have changed, our interests in a global economy have increased, as well as the desire for a more flexible, cost-effective education. In 2006, a survey by the Instructional Technology Council (ITC) showed that the demand for online learning outpaced supply. In 2008, ITC distributed a survey that showed enrollment in distance-learning programs at community colleges had increased by twenty-two percent. This upward trend in enrollment continued through 2010. The Sloan Consortium, a group of organizations dedicated to monitoring the quality of online education, noted that over 4.6 million students were taking at least one online course. Due to the popularity of the psychology profession, Sloan reported that one in every four psychology teaching schools offer a full-time online program. For the student who aspires to be a psychologist, it is good to know that online programs are offered in the form of certificate, associates, bachelor, master’s, and doctoral degrees.
One of the most popular online psychology education programs is offered by Fielding Graduate University. This clinical study program is offered in a blended approach, meaning that some work may be taken online while other requirements must be fulfilled face to face. As a result of the structure of the program, the Fielding program has received accreditation from the American Psychology Association (APA). One can imagine that other institutions will soon follow suit. A 2009 U.S. Department of Education study showed that effective learning can be achieved through a combination of online and face-to-face education. As the demand for online education has increased, so has its quality.
Online psychology degrees can be obtained in many specialties, including the recently emerging field of educational psychology. In this profession, the psychologist conducts research to develop new curriculum and technology. On the other hand, school psychology programs help students, parents, and teachers develop vocational plans, especially when learning disabilities or emotional and behavioral problems are involved. Other online programs include clinical psychology and forensic psychology. Below are some of the best resources to use to find online psychology degrees:
Of course, the most convenient way to search for information is on the web. Internet sites such as onlinepsychologydegrees.com (http://www.onlinepsychologydegrees.com/), is a helpful way to learn about online degrees. If you are not familiar with online learning, the site includes articles to help you determine if online learning is right for you, choosing an online psychology program, the history of online learning, and other relevant information you need to know about pursuing an online degree. This site also features interviews with specialists in the field who offer much needed advice. You can also learn about the different career paths a degree will present, certificate and associate degrees, bachelor programs, as well as masters’ and doctoral degrees. You will also find information on projected salaries for psychologists, courses, and licensure requirements. In addition, you will learn a little bit about choosing a specialty and necessary information to understand different mental health professions. Information about psychology specialties, such as psychoanalysis, neuropsychology, experimental, and educational psychology is provided. Topics on counseling specialties, such as substance abuse, rehabilitation, mental health, and career counseling are discussed. This site has information on psychology schools by state, for those students who are interested in the actual geographic location of a school. This is especially important, since some online schools do require in person to meet residency and internship requirements. You can search for listings of specific degree programs or use a wizard to search using a combination of degree type, specialty, and location. The site also contains an assortment of interview and articles in which prospective online students may be interested.
Another great website to help students find online psychology degrees is the Guide to Online Schools (http://www.guidetoonlineschools.com/degrees/psychology). This website helps students connect with over 6,000 psychology programs by offering information on different degree programs with actual student reviews. Students can search by degree level, subject, and/or specialty. This website provides information about available online schools by state, if the geographic location is an important consideration to the student. Information is also available about the top online degrees, choosing the right program, and understanding online education. You can also learn about the fastest growing careers in the psychology field. Many people like this site’s student review section because actual students are able to post their own comments about a school or program. Online school rankings are provided which is extremely helpful to students. All schools posted on this site are accredited, so additional information, such as cost of tuition and books, profit versus nonprofit status, graduation and retention rates, student feedback and repayment rates, is accurate. All data is gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics, the primary governmental agency for collecting education-related data. Information on psychologist graduation rate and student to faculty ratio is also provided. Many articles explain the process of accreditation and the different types of accreditation that exist. Online college reviews, student testimonials, and professor interviews are provided, as well as useful articles on how student loans, financial aid, and scholarships can reduce educational costs. In addition, you will find some tips on choosing the right online degree, advice on how to succeed in online schooling, and the various online education degrees being offered. Lastly, this site publishes available scholarship opportunities.