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The field of human services includes career paths in many of the "helping" professions. Jobs are varied, including child welfare worker, crime victim advocate, case manager, residential youth counselor, addictions counselor, mental health technician, community outreach worker, family services advocate, disability services specialist, probation/parole officer, abuse prevention educator and elder care specialist. Students may often work with professionals from a wide variety of fields, such as social work, health care, welfare, courts, schools and private and public agencies.
Human services workers provide direct client and indirect support services. They assess clients' needs, help clients find appropriate benefits and services and assist clients obtain these and other resources. They may assist individuals with daily living skills, including providing emotional support. Human service professionals can also organize and lead group activities or assist with community organization and development.
This degree provides professional preparation for helping careers, understanding human behavior and policy/program development, with internship opportunities that provide real work experience. Through this program, students learn how to help people overcome obstacles in their lives by developing interpersonal and intercultural communication skills.
Human Services Frequently Asked Questions
What about experience? Can I gain experience while attending classes at SCC?
Yes. An essential component of the human services degree is the practicum. In the third and fourth semesters of the program, you will be required to spend 9-11 hours per week working in a social agency to gain practical experience. You will receive formal training and supervision from the agency while earning three credit hours toward your degree in human services.
What kind of skills will support my success for a career as a human services worker?
Persons interested in this program enjoy working with people and have a strong desire to help others.They are interested in developing verbal and written communication skills. If you find yourself watching people and trying to figure out what makes them behave the way they do, this is the career field for you. People interested in this program are self-described “people persons.”
What will I learn in Human Service classes?
Students acquire knowledge of best-practice helping strategies to serve individuals, groups and communities experiencing problems related to poverty, abuse, mental and physical illness, disability, crime, unemployment, discrimination, aging and family dysfunction. With this degree, students have the educational foundation to successfully work in human services positions in both the private and public sectors.
Where can I get a job with a degree in Human Services?
The Missouri Department of Mental Health allows SCC to award the Community Behavior Support Specialist credential to students who earn their Associate of Applied Science in Human Services. That means our two-year graduates can be hired for the same positions and get the same pay as those with a four-year degree!
I like the fact that I can get a job with an Associate of Science degree, but I may want to continue my education and earn a bachelor's degree. Will my courses transfer?
Earning an Associate of Applied Science helps students enter the work force with the degree. If you wish to transfer to a four-year institution, there are agreements in place between SCC and universities throughout Missouri that will allow you to transfer all of your credits seamlessly and continue to work on your next degree.