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Human Services

If you are interested in working with people to help improve their life circumstances, the Human Services major may be an excellent choice for you. Students in this major are concerned about today's individuals and families and want to help them find solutions to challenging circumstances.

Human Services students are trained for a variety of careers in community-based programs, home-based programs, health-related social services and mental health organizations. The Human Services option is designed to provide students with basic knowledge in human development and family studies, skills for working with people in service agencies, and program evaluation skills. Throughout the academic program, students develop knowledge and skills to work with children, adults and families.

With the help of their academic advisors, students select courses to meet the requirements of the major and their individual interests and needs. Students are prepared to serve their communities through internships, application of coursework and development of professional skills in the work force.

Career Options

As a Human Services graduate, you could work with children, adolescents, families, single mothers, victims of abuse, adults, the elderly, or multigenerational families. You could be a direct provider of those services or you could develop educational materials for others to use. Some alternatives are outlined below:

Serving people directly:

  • case manager 
  • agency worker 
  • parent educator 
  • recreation leader 
  • group home staff
  • probation officer

Organizing services:

  • parent-aid coordinator
  • family services program coordinator
  • service coordinator
  • in-take coordinator

A career assessment and professional development course is offered in the senior year to help students examine career opportunities. Possible careers upon completion of a degree in Human Services:

  • family case manager 
  • juvenile probation officer 
  • in-take coordinator 
  • independent living coordinator 
  • social services director 
  • foster care case manager 
  • family support worker 
  • drug prevention case manager

Some graduates also pursue graduate degrees in areas such as:

  • Social Work 
  • Marriage and Family Therapy 
  • Family Studies 
  • Child Development 
  • Educational Counseling

Capstone Experience

The Capstone Experience (CDFS 45500) is built into the Human Services major to provide students with “hands-on” experience in the human services field. Students majoring in Human Services will complete either a 12 credit (full-time) or 6 credit (half-time) internship in a human services agency or program. Students will work with the HDFS department’s Internship Placement Coordinator to set up the internship as part of the requirement of CDFS 45400, which is taken the semester before the actual internship (CDFS 45500). The 6-credit internships are generally local placements; the CDFS 45500 internship may be completed in other locations as long as requirements are met as defined by the Internship Placement Coordinator.

Typical placements for internships may include:

  • caseworker in a variety of agencies 
  • agencies with focus on family violence 
  • residential treatment centers 
  • juvenile probation casework 
  • youth services and intervention in a variety of agencies 
  • educational programs 
  • advocacy, administrative, and other positions 
  • programs working with the elderly 
  • health-related internships

Coursework

Human Services majors take the following types of HDFS courses. (Not a complete list of all required or available courses.)

  • Introduction to Family Processes 
  • Introduction to Human Development 
  • Diversity in Family Life
  • Research Design and Program Evaluation
  • Families and Health
  • Child Development
  • Adult Development
  • Adolescent Development
  • Stresspoints in Contemporary Families
  • Sexuality and Family Life
  • Skills for Helping Professionals
  • Working with Parents
  • Assessment and Case Management
  • Administration of Non-Profit Organizations
  • Career Assessment and Professional Development
  • Field Experience in Human Development and Family Studies