Is Online Learning Right for Me?

This online certificate program allows students to learn in a flexible environment without the hassle of traffic and on-campus parking. In addition to your online flexible class work, you will meet online each week for a 90-minute interactive discussion with the professor, instructors and your classmates, allowing you to stay connected and challenged. Professors have online office hours and are available by email and phone. An online student tutorial is provided before classes begin, and technical support is also available.

What is the mission of the program?

In response to the rising number and complexity of mental health issues in schools and society and the lacking of counseling resources in our country, the Graduate Certificate in Counselor Education (GCCE) program envisions creating diverse counseling teams to become advocates and support all students and clients in schools and society. Program graduates will work with counseling professionals in schools and the local community to support students, families, and other clients in  need.

Why is it important to study counseling?

If you work in schools or educational institutions as teachers, administrators, advisors, tutors and staff or in fields requiring frequent human interactions such as human services or training and development, you may benefit from the GCCE program. The program provides basic counseling skills, specifically communication skills, multicultural skills, and training on advocacy and support, which can be applied in schools, community, and other settings. It is particularly designed for individuals who desire to help students and other clients individually or in groups on their academic, emotional, behavioral, career, and family problems.

What are the different types of graduate degrees?

There are a number of different types of graduate degrees in counseling and counselor education programs. Master’s degree programs require 48 or more credits. Doctoral degree programs require 60 or more credits. Graduate certificate programs typically require 12 to 15 credits. The Graduate Certificate in Counselor Education (GCCE) requires four courses (total 13 credits), students are expected to complete the program in a year.

Can I transfer the course credits?

All program course credits are transferrable.  However, final decisions for transfer credits are determined by individual institutions. For example, if a 48 credit master’s counseling program accepts the GCCE transfer credits, a student needs to complete 35 credits only. Therefore, this reduces the credits required for master’s degrees for the GCCE students who choose to continue to complete a master’s degree program.

What should I think about when applying for online programs?

If you are a working professional who does not want to drive for classes or simply enjoys studying online, online programs may be a good option for you. Research shows that students who are independent, open-minded, disciplined, and who take initiative are a good match for online education. The GCCE program aims to re-create classroom experience through online learning. The program also provides online tutorial orientation and on-going support through hotline, emails, phone and fax for students who need help.

How do I apply for the program?

Students submit a Certificate Contract Application, a resume identifying educational preparation and work experiences,  and official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work (if any). The contract includes a statement of career goals, a rationale for completing the certificate program, and a timeline for certificate completion. When completed, students sign the Contract Application and submit two copies of all materials to the program. Students can always elect to review their application with the program prior to contract preparation.

How do I register for classes?

The GCCE courses are restricted classes, only GCCE students are allowed to enroll in these classes. They may register the classes with their unity IDs. Ms. Pauline Ellefson, our Program Assistant, reachable at pauline_ellefson@ncsu.edu, works with instructors and TAs to handle your enrollment needs.

How do I pay for the program?

Visit the NC State University Cashier’s office and Student Accounts website for detailed information about tuition and fees: https://www.fis.ncsu.edu/cashier/. Students are also encouraged to search for private loans from the states of their residence, foundations, or other sources.

What if my undergraduate GPA is not strong, should I still apply?

We encourage all interested students to apply. Applicants who do not meet the GPA requirements (3.0 out of a 4.0 system) may be admitted provisionally based on past work experiences as a professional in the field of K-12 education, higher education, human services, or training and development and, ultimately, by earning at least a “B” (3.0) average in the first three credit hours of work in the certificate program.

Do I need specific technology to take on-line classes through the program?

You will need a computer connecting to internet. You do not need the latest and fastest computer to study online. The minimum requirements for software and hardware listed below.

  • PC running Windows 2000 or XP or higher
  • MAC running Macintosh OS X
  • Internet Connection via broadband or at least 56Kbps
  • Supported Internet browser (Internet Explorer 6 or Netscape 7.2 for Macintosh or higher)
  • Microsoft Office (or equivalent)
  • Java 1.5.06 and approximately 120MB free hard drive space for Java installation.

How can I fix the most common technical issues?

While using internet, if you are unable to view links to files, poster board, and other windows, then you may need to disable the pop-up blocking feature on your system. Pop-up blocking software may be included in firewalls, browsers, companion bars (such as Yahoo toolbar, MSN toolbar etc) and Internet security applications. If you have more than one pop-up blocking application on your computer, you will need to disable all of them.

If I have technical difficulties, is there support offered through the program or NC State? If so, what type?

The program provides online tutorial orientation before classes start and on-going support through hotline, emails, phone, and fax for students who need help. For distance education questions, click the following link for more: https://distance.ncsu.edu/contact/index.html.  For questions on Moodle, students may contact the NC State Help Desk at (919)515-HELP or help@ncsu.edu or learntech@ncsu.edu.

Do I have an advisor in the program?

Students are assigned to instructors as their advisors.

Can I apply for the GCCE (on-line) program and master’s programs in counseling at the same time?

Students may apply to both programs. However, they will be admitted to only one of the two programs.

What if I have more questions?

We will be glad to answer more questions. Please email us at: ncstategcce@ncsu.eduor call 919-515-2244.