Online College Psychology as a Career Path

Many students are drawn to the field of psychology because they are interested in clinical psychology motivated by a desire to support others. Others may wish to focus on the psychology of learning, while a large group is taking a biochemical approach to mental illness. Freud and Rogers, though giving up two distinct world views, gave us the commonality of talk therapy. Counselors nowadays often work with a psychiatrist who writes scripts for the patients. So, here we have two forms of therapy combined. The curriculum of an online college psychology class mirrors these two approaches.

As a student in a psychology curriculum, you would be privy to much of the traditional curriculum, only it would be presented to you in online form. At some point in your study, you would have to decide if you were going to go into psychiatric research or you were going to specialize in clinical psychology. If you were to choose research, then your curriculum would probably include anatomy and physiology, physiological psychology, organic chemistry, hematology, physical chemistry, pharmacology, a good dose of statistics and research design, brain research and neurology. If you were to take the clinical route, your focus would probably be on clinical diagnosis, various approaches to talk therapy such as Freudian, Jungian, Gestalt, Social psychology, methods of dialogue with the client; for example, and use of Skype. It would not be necessary for you to ever change your location or enter a traditional classroom. Your computer monitor is your classroom. Each course in your curriculum is mapped in terms of lectures, dialogue with fellow students, the instructor, and library research on line. The interesting point is that some of your classmates may live in a different country and most certainly in different states. This way you get a cultural mix of students and an enriched curriculum. Such is the thrust of online college psychology.

Schematic Organization of Your Curriculum: Online Psychology

As you enter the classroom on line, you will see a listing of steps you must complete listed on the left side of your monitor. The list includes the readings you must complete and when, an announcement of quizzes and exams, and lectures you must attend. As your line of vision moves up to the top of the monitor, you will see a large division labeled Announcements. Here you will read information on the instructor's office hours, policies on plagiarism, library use, documentation, and tutorials. There will be a link which takes you to each of these domains.

If you want to contact your instructor, you must go to the Ask the Professor link. Here you will post your question and read what other students have posted. If you want complete privacy in your interaction with your instructor, you must use the email key. Notice that you are not physically changing your location. The entire class takes place on your monitor.

The essence of online instruction is interaction and feedback. You must respond to the instructor's questions and follow up your fellow student's responses. You may respectfully disagree with a response. At its best, this classroom structure creates a class environment that is dynamic and open to discovery. You will be able to access your grades at any time. You can see a running average from week to week and a breakdown on the factors summarizing your grades. The instructor also has at hand information on contacting you. Make sure that if you provide a phone number or address, it is current. This is requested to support you.

Simulated Online Labs for Online Psychology Courses

One often asks how labs are structured in an online course. They are carried out in graphic presentation and the use of challenging choices the student must make. For example, suppose you are required to mix an acid and base. You will actually see the reaction and a close up will show you a picture of the precipitate that is formed. So, both text and graphics are used to simulate lab experiences. The key point is that the student makes choices, sees the consequences and acts accordingly. If, for example, you were taking a course in qualitative analysis, you could follow each step of compound identification by following a flow chart and the result of your choices would be both graphically shown and textually shown. Color, shape, movement, configuration are all part and parcel of the online experience. Three dimensional models can be shown on screen to simulate the structure of a compound. Representations of reactions can be symbolized and shown on line...all done in slow motion so that the student gets a visual model of what is happening in a reaction. The same technology can be used in biological changes. The graphic can be slowed down or speeded up, so that we see what is happening over time.

Private Conferences: Online College Psychology

From time to time it may become necessary to request a private conference with your instructor. In some cases, the instructor will call the meeting. These are often cases of a disciplinary nature. It is important in going into these meetings to have proper documentation with you. You will not physically meet; you will see one another on a screen and you may respond as usual. But if the issue is about your grades, you should access your ongoing performance record that is already online. Online programs strive for complete transparency. As a student, you should know your class standing at any time. Usually, academic issues can be resolved amicably and are often a case of misunderstanding...and this can be cleared up. However, there are some very few cases where the issues are so contentious that legal counsel may be sought on either side. In this sort of meeting legal counsel for the student will be offset by the school's attorney and perhaps a dean. These complexities are to be avoided if at all possible. This is good reason to check with your instructor in process and do not let conflicts build up. Clear misunderstandings as they arise.

New and returning college students are ready now to enroll in accredited online college degree programs leading to an online bachelor of nursing degree, and online social work degree or an online special education degree. As a result of swelling enrollments, the need for qualified online adjunct instructors to apply for the online adjunct faculty employment is growing by leaps and bounds. The reality is that there are more online adjunct jobs with online bachelor degree programs and online master's degree programs than there are technically qualified faculty members to fill them. The individual that is willing to enroll in an online master's degree programs and earn a graduate degree can easily acquire a full time online teaching schedule.