Human Services is an interdisciplinary field that prepares students for entry level work in the helping professions and transfer opportunities to pursue higher education degrees.
The human services professional assists individuals, groups and families help themselves by support, providing resources and teaching skills. They work with client populations that include: mentally ill, developmentally disabled, elderly, persons living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic health conditions, inmates, adolescents, foster families, people with addictions, veterans, the homeless and adolescents and families.
Students participate in classroom instruction and community-based internship experiences with a local human services provider. Human services professionals work in residential, institutional, community settings and local government providing direct services such as organizing activities, leading a group or providing case management services. Competencies necessary for human service workers include: understanding human systems and their interaction; understanding conditions that promote or limit healthy functioning; identifying and selecting interventions that promote growth and goal attainment; skills in planning, implementation and evaluation; and interpersonal communication, time management and organizational skills.
Student Activities and Volunteer Opportunities
Once students are enrolled in one of the Human Services classes they are required to spend 10 hours (each class) in the community at a variety of human service agencies as volunteers. Among others, students have worked at Safehouse, Meals on Wheels, Aspen Winds, COMEA House, The Red Cross, Behavioral Health, Youth Alternatives, LCCC, and the YMCA. Students choose their own placement in the community. In the last couple of semesters of the students’ program they participate in Field Experience I & II classes, which place them in a community agency to get a better understanding of the field and to boost the likelihood of being accepted UW’s social work program. Students work with youth, geriatric population, substance abuse patients, the hospital, COMEA, the Red Cross, and even the legislative end of human services.