I need some direction.  I am very interested in dispute resolution and feel that it would be a good match for me and very rewarding.  I have planned but haven’t registered yet to take the Basic Mediation in August.  I work full time but I am trying to look to the future.  I love what I do, but I need a change.  The majority of the various organizations designed to promote private mediator practices (state and national) require a degree.  I don’t have a degree.  I enjoy volunteering and would exceed your requirements.  Realistically could I at some point turn this into a career without a degree?

Thank you for your help!

Kris Responds:


There are several posts in past VoiceBox entries that address much of what you are asking.  It might be beneficial to look back through and glean the pertinent responses for your situation.

I see this course as a life skills course with valuable tools to handle the conflict that arises in everyone’s life regardless of their station.  Some participants apply these tools to current work choices and find that it enhances their performance and opportunities for advancement.  Others, use it as an adjunct private practice to an already existing practice and, in alternative dispute resolution practices.  The latter are the most challenged in attaining their goals and, the field apperas to be the most competitive in this arena.  However, by far, the majority of participants seem to find applicability in a number of ways that enhances their job growth and expansion.  For instance, I was in hospital administration with a background in the social sciences.  I took the course and decided to embark on a career in Mediation.  I started here at the DRC as an Executive Director and through my efforts in Community Mediation non-profit management, have fulfilled my interests in the mediation field.  There are nineteen of these centers throughout Texas and many more in other states.  Many o fmy colleagues have chosen to work in a DRC and have been there for many years in various positions.  In for profit arenas, Customer Service departments are relying more on front line staff to have the skills to manage customer disputes.  These communication and problem solving skills within a conflict resolution framework are invaluable to the employer.

As far as volunteering, we always appreciate interested and skillful volunteers.  We tend to recruit from our own Forty Hour Basic Mediation Courses.  We also tend to recruit sporadically as many of our volunteers have been with us for twenty plus years.  It is a good opportunity to practice skills and different DRC’s throughout Texas require different criteria for volunteering… i.e. some require credentialing with the TMCA organization.

I hope to see you in the August class!