Doctoral candidates interested in an online Ed.D. in Educational Counseling know that finding the right program is crucial at this step in the careers. After years of academic study, work experience in the field, earning licensure and becoming a member of professional psychological programs, these professionals are ready to take their place in academic settings, helping young students find their way through the educational system. They are ready to give back to their communities and the country, using their skills to help build up the next generation of professionals.
This is an admirable quest, but one that can be dampened by the fact that online doctoral programs in educational counseling can be difficult to find. This is because this degree is comprehensive and demanding; a lot is expected of these candidates before they ever enter into the program. And this is why this ranking is necessary; students need to have a ranking that discusses the requirements and options in these degrees in order to make an educated decision.
This ranking began with exhaustive research that was conducted on the National Center for Education Statistics' College Navigator search engine, which was created by the United States Government to provide the public with necessary information on different schools and programs. From 50 schools, the final 10 were decided upon based on in-state graduate tuition rates and are listed below in descending order.
Ranking Low-cost Online Educational Counseling EdD Programs
10. University of Georgia
Online Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Psychology
The University of Georgia confers an online Ed.D. in Educational Counseling that comes with four different concentration areas, including school psychology and applied cognition and development. This is a practitioner degree, designed to help graduate-level researchers and academics find the best way to implement their knowledge for the benefit of educational psychology. This is a 100 percent online program that is accredited by the American Psychological Association and holds recognition by the National Association of School Psychologists, making it a great choice for any doctoral candidate. It also provides a pathway for undergraduate students to earn a master's degree while enrolled in the doctoral program. Students will be required to complete at least 60 credit hours of coursework, submit a research paper for publication, successfully complete a comprehensive exam, an internship in their area of residence, and complete and defend a dissertation. Sample courses include Diagnosis of Social and Emotional Behavior in Education, Developmental Psychopathology and Schooling, and Individual Assessment of Development.
9. University of Louisville
Online Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling and Personnel Services (Educational Psychology, Measurement, and Evaluation) (EPME)
Students interested in an academic online Ed.D. in educational counseling will find the EPME program at the University of Louisville to be a great option. This hybrid degree does require some campus residencies, so students are encouraged to speak to an admissions advisor prior to applying for this program. As a research-based degree, students can expect to focus on research methodologies and policy work; these are the major components of the program of study. As with many educational psychology programs, the school does require that a student participates in a sequence of practicums; these can be completed in a student's area of residence with approval from the department. Students can also expect to complete more than 63 credit hours of coursework, assist with research projects, complete a comprehensive exam, and defend their own dissertation. Sample courses include Early Childhood Education and Development, Biological Bases of Behavior, and Development in Context.
8. University of Alabama
Online Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education
Students at the University of Alabama will be pleased to know that an education counseling doctorate online is available. This program could be considered as an umbrella program in that as a recipient of Ph.D. in Counselor Education, a student will have the ability to take on the counselor or administrative roles in a variety of settings, including at colleges, rehabilitation centers, and governmental agencies. This is a robust program and requires a lot of self-discipline on the part of the student, as all coursework and practicums must be completed on a student's own time. Additionally, students will be expected to complete the equivalent of two academic semesters worth of work on campus, meaning that this program is best suited for students who live in the state. Students will also be required to complete 60 hours of coursework, internships, research projects, a comprehensive exam, and a dissertation. Sample courses include Consultation, Administration and Leadership in Counselor Education, Readings in Counseling, and Advanced Theories in Counseling.
7. Oregon State University
Online Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling
Oregon State University offers an alternative to the online Ed.D. in Educational Counseling that is perfect for educators and counselors interested in continuing to work in educational settings. This is a practitioner degree and was designed for students who have a background in educational counseling who wish to become leaders and educators in the field. This is a CACREP accredited program that works in a hybrid format; students will be required to attend two weekend intensives on campus every semester until they begin their dissertation. An internship, research project, and 60 credit hours of coursework are also necessary to earn this degree. Sample courses include Advanced Counselor Supervision, Research Analysis and Interpretation in Education, and Advanced Diversity and Social Justice in Counselor Education.
6. University of North Texas
Online Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling
The University of North Texas offers a hybrid education counseling online EdD program. While the doctoral program is general in nature, students can create a custom concentration in educational counseling through the use of their specialty and elective course choices. This is a practical degree, designed for professionals who are ready to become leaders in the field and requires a great deal of commitment and passion from all students. Along with the coursework requirements, students will be expected to complete their campus residency by attending campus lectures for their first year of the program. After that, they must complete 72 semester hours of coursework, a research project, a comprehensive exam, and a dissertation; practicums are not required but highly encouraged by the department. Sample courses include Counselor Supervision, Advanced Multicultural Counseling, and Statistics for Educational Research.
5. Georgia State University
Online Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Practice
Earning an online Ed.D. in Educational Counseling is straightforward at Georgia State University. This school confers a CACREP-accredited doctoral degree in counselor education and practice, which offers the chance to specialize in school counseling and counselor education, both of which will be important to students wishing to work in this field. It is important to note that while most courses can be completed online through the school's virtual portals, there are campus residency requirements that require a student attend some courses for the full academic semester. Students can also expect to complete 92 semester hours of coursework, research work, complete a university teaching internship, submit a research paper to a publication, apply for a grant or fellowship, successfully complete a comprehensive exam, and defend a dissertation. Sample courses include Leadership in Counselor Education: Professional and Social Advocacy, Understanding and Facilitating Adult Education, and The Psychology of Instruction.
4. University of Arkansas
Online Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education
The University of Arkansas confers an online educational counseling EdD degree that is a good fit for students interested in pursuing a career in educational counseling. This program is accredited by CACREP and offers a pathway to licensure or certification in the state of Arkansas; students who live out-of-state are encouraged to see if their home state will also be accepted this accredited hybrid program for licensure or certification. Students will focus on the relationship between education and counseling and may find it possible to create their own cognate based on electives provided to them during the course of their degree plan. Students will be expected to complete 98 semester hours of coursework, practicums and research projects; a comprehensive exam and a dissertation are also required. Sample courses include Advanced Psychosocial Aspects of Disability, Cultural Foundations and Counseling, and Foundations of Counselor Education and Supervision.
3. University of New Orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana
Online Doctor of Philosophy, Counselor Education
Students interested in pursuing an education counseling EdD online degree will find that the Ph.D. in Counselor Education at the University of New Orleans may be a good fit for them. This is an academic-based degree that comes with a chance to specialize the program for counselor education, school counseling, and more. Students who take on this degree will graduate ready to become a researcher or academic in the educational counseling field. Students will be expected to complete a comprehensive set of requirements, including two residencies, 114 semester hours of coursework, research projects, practicums, a comprehensive exam, and a dissertation. Sample courses include Advanced Counseling Interventions, Diagnosis and Treatment Planning in Counseling, and Ethical and Professional Issues in Counselor Education.
2. Iowa State University
Online Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology
Students at Iowa State University are offered an alternative to the online Ed.D. in Educational Counseling. The Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association and provides students with an exceptional hybrid education that sees them work online and face-to-face with instructors during intensives on campus. This is a professional degree, meaning students will be expected to complete both practica and internship experiences during their course of study; the practica must include 1000 hours of experience while the internship is full-time work in an APA-approved setting. Along with the work experience, students will also be required to complete 60 credit hours of coursework, a research project, a comprehensive exam, and a dissertation. Sample courses include History and Philosophy of Psychology, Theories of Human and Family Development, and Regression for Social and Behavioral Research.
1. University of Mississippi
Online Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision
The University of Mississippi confers an EdD in Education Counseling online that is the perfect professional degree for students interested in becoming academics or researchers in an educational setting. This is a professional hybrid degree that will prepare professionals to become faculty at universities and colleges with counseling departments. Students will learn about research, theories, and concepts in educational counseling, and will develop their leadership skills. Students will learn from professionals who are already in the field and will gain an advantage from completing this CACREP-accredited program. Students can expect to complete 72 credit hours of coursework, a research project, two practicums, an internship, a comprehensive exam, and a dissertation. Sample courses include College Teaching, Advanced Career Theory and Practice, and Leadership, Program Evaluation and Accreditation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Career Options for an Online Doctorate in Educational Counseling?
The online Doctorate in Educational Counseling often leads to a small selection of careers. This is because the degree itself is specific and does not offer students the option to go into another field of counseling; that's because different positions require a different subset of skills and education as well as licensure.
Most students who take on this degree find work as school or guidance counselors within the education system. This includes working in K-12, community colleges, and universities. It is also possible for these professionals to work as counselors for professional organizations, helping professionals move through their licensure and credential pathways.
Some professionals go to work for themselves as college recruiters, admission specialists, and specialists in early childhood development and education. They often build their own consulting firms or work freelance for a variety of educational systems.
Again, because of the specificity of the education, students in this field will not be able to jump to another counseling field without first going back to school to earn a graduate degree in that discipline. It is important for doctoral candidates to understand the specificity of the field because there are many career options that will be closed to them if they choose to undertake this career.
How Much Can You Earn in this Field?
The median salary for professionals in the field of educational counseling is around $54,000. This includes counselors working K-12 educational institutions; professors and academics at the college and university level generally begin their careers making close to $75,000, which can increase once they earn tenure.
Most educational counselors can find jobs working for the government, community services, in the corrections system, and more. These jobs all have varying salary potential, but most students with this degree tend to earn between $54,000 and $100,000 a year, depending on their work experience, position, and area of residency.
There is currently a growing need for educational counselors; however, these jobs may not be in a student's home state or region. For professionals in this field, changing states is par for the course, especially at the beginning of their careers. The move will require them to be re-certified in their new state, which may take time. If they do end up moving, however, these jobs will often compensate them with a comprehensive benefits package, paid time off, and more.
What are the Various Disciplines of Educational Counseling?
Educational counseling is a broad subfield of counseling, and therefore there are a variety of disciplines that play a role. Many students also take on a cognate while in their doctoral program, which may change the focus of the disciplines that are available to them during their program of study.
Education and counseling, and psychology to a general degree, are the major disciplines of this field. This will come as no surprise to students already familiar with the field. Policy, ethics, law, and development are also major disciplines.
Students who attend an academic or research-based school will also find that history, philosophy, research, and theory are all disciplines that must be mastered prior to completing the degree. Because research is a large part of this program, students can also find statistics, economics, mathematics, and science disciplines regularly represented in the curriculum.
Does Accreditation Matter?
To put it bluntly, accreditation is a requirement for this field. That's because this is a terminal counseling degree, and in order to work in the field, every professional must receive licensure from their home state. And while accreditation doesn't automatically lead to licensure, it is a pathway towards licensure that should not be ignored by any student.
The most recognizable accreditation comes from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs; it is also known as CACREP. Quality programs, even cheap online educational counseling Ed.D. programs, carry this accreditation without exception. Students should not entertain the idea of attending a school without this recognition because it will make the pathway to licensure longer and more difficult.
It is also possible to find programs that also hold recognition by the American Psychological Association; programs that are approved by the National Association of School Psychologists are also available. While not as necessary as CACREP accreditation, it can make earning certification as an educational counselor that much easier.
Does This Degree Lead to Licensure?
An online Ed.D. in Educational Counseling can lead to licensure but doctoral students will have to do some research to ensure that the school they choose can offer them licensure. This is because licensure is delivered based on both a student's career ambition and their area of residency.
Generally speaking, online doctoral degrees in the field of educational counseling can lead to licensure, provided a student resides in the same state as the school's campus. This is because educational counseling jobs require state, not national, licensure and certification. It is possible that some states will regulate credentials through national examinations, but most require state examinations.
What this means is this: if a student chooses to attend an online school that is not in their own state, they will have to research whether or not their state will accept that degree as part of the requirements for sitting for licensure. This can be done through the department's admissions office, by checking the American Psychological Association, or by contacting state regulators for more information.
It is also important to note that many states will require additional certification in the field of educational counseling. This can be obtained by sitting for certification. All states have different requirements, so students are advised to research the needs of their state prior to applying for any program.
Educational counseling is an important part of any student's journey towards finding the career that is right for them. Counseling in an academic setting, then, is an integral career, one that should be filled by passionate psychologists determined to help their students work through intellectual and behavioral issues in order to become capable and ethical leaders in their community. Students will find that this ranking is the best place to start when searching for an online EdD in Educational Counseling degree.