Human Services

Degrees and Certificates


SER 101 : Introduction to Social Welfare

This course provides an overview of social welfare in the United States from two perspectives — the development of major policies and practices from the colonial period to the present and the network of systems and services that constitute social welfare today. Prerequisite: A passing score on the college's reading and writing placement tests or concurrent enrollment in ENG 091 or ENG 092. Three lecture hours per week. Gen. Ed. Competencies Met: Multicultural and Social Perspectives.


Students who successfully complete this course will be able to: 1. Define social welfare and human services. 2. Analyze historical and contemporary societal forces that shape and influence social policies. 3. Describe the relationships between societal issues and the delivery of social services. 4. Examine personal values, beliefs, prejudices, and experiences regarding the social welfare system. 5. Explain the factors that lead people to need, seek and receive services. 6. Conduct research, acquire sources, and learn APA format. 7. Identify multiple career fields within the field of human resources. 8. Demonstrate oral and written communications skills.

SER 120 : Readings and Research in Human Services

This course guides students through the process of searching for and evaluating source material for papers and other research assignments, and provide a framework for the reading and on-going professional education that students face in future internship/job and education settings. Finding, discussing, and critiquing a variety of research sources constitutes a major portion of the course. One lecture hour per week. Note: There are no prerequisites for this course and SER 120 is open to any student in any program.


Student Learning Outcomes will be developed by the instructor based on the topic and content of the course.

SER 212 : Special Topics in Mental Health

This is an introductory course consisting of a specialized lecture series presented by Human Services practitioners. The course is designed to develop the technical competence and the philosophical perspective needed for successful employment in the mental health and retardation field. It examines the field through a sociological perspective focusing on the history of treatment models and the experience of individuals in society up through contemporary times. Emphasis is based on environmental arrangements and teaching strategies that enhance a person's skills and enable an individual to function to the fullest potential. Pre or co-requisite: PSY 101, SOC 101, SER 291, or permission of the program director. Three lecture hours per week.


  1. Provide participants with a theoretical base of knowledge necessary to work in human services.
  2. Explore one’s own attitudes and beliefs which contribute to understanding individuals with neurological, emotional behavioral, and intellectual disorders.
  3. Provide participants with highly specialized information necessary to function effectively as human service workers.
  4. Provide participants with the technical competencies and/or certifications needed for employment in the human service field.
  5. Foster the principle of normalization as the pervading philosophy in programs for the mentally ill, mentally retarded, or disabled and to educate participants in its implementation.
  6. Increase participant’s awareness, understanding and knowledge of other races, genders, cultures, and people of handicapped status.
  7. Address the sexual and ethnic bias in the social services field in an attempt to reduce this bias in the students.
8. Give participants the tools and skills necessary to find, obtain, and maintain a satisfactory position in the field of human services.

SER 225 : Social Work Issues: Diversity and Oppression

Social Workers promote social justice and social change, are responsive to cultural diversity and address all forms of oppression and discrimination. This course introduces the student to the life-long learning process of (1) addressing issues of power and privilege and (2) developing culturally competent social work practices. We will explore issues related to working with diverse groups of people locally and globally with regard to gender, ethnicity, race, citizenship status, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic level, ability status, age, and faith. Emphasis will be placed on defining and developing skills for culturally competent social work generalist practice through students' self-reflection, experiential learning, and critical analysis of privilege and social inequalities. This course aims to ground students in a strengths-based/ empowerment model and to support students in their work towards a more socially just world. Prerequisite: SER 101. Three lecture hours per week.


Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to: 1. Identify and analyze diversity, and difference in practice 2. Identify and analyze social, economic and environmental justice 3. Evaluate how to advance human rights 4. Evaluate policy practice 5. Analyze and evaluate interaction among individuals and within families, groups, organizations and communities

SER 251 : Principles of Methods of Interviewing

An introduction to the fundamental principles and basic techniques of the interviewing process. The course is conducted in small groups and in the activity-oriented atmosphere of the workshop. Prerequisite: SER 101 and PSY 101 or concurrent enrollment in PSY 101. Students not in Human Services program must have permission of instructor. Three lecture hours per week. Instructional Support Fee applies.


  1. Apply and demonstrate the foundations of a successful helping relationship.
  2. Utilize knowledge about cultural differences and variations within potential client populations.
  3. Recognize and employ effective verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
  4. Conduct a basic helping interview.
  5. Work effectively with a variety of client populations.
6. Demonstrate and apply critical thinking, listening, reading, and writing skills.

SER 260 : Supervision and Leadership in Human Services

This course is designed for current and potential supervisors, specifically in human services settings. Students gain a deeper understanding of self, strengthen time management and conflict management skills, assess different forms of leadership and supervision in human services settings, develop a strong knowledge base of how each human services supervisor fits into the organization, learn how to supervise within a team to better meet responsibilities to the agency, and understand the team process as an integral part of agency dynamics. Pre or co-requisite: SER 291 or permission of the program director. Three lecture hours per week.


Students will exhibit the necessary skills and knowledge to be in an effective supervisor position in human services. SER 60 is intended to supplement and enhance the existing human service experience.

SER 261 : Developmental Disabilities

This course is an introduction to the broad range of developmental disabilities, including mental retardation, autism, Down and Fetal Alcohol Syndromes, neurological and sensory impairments, and other emotional and behavioral disorders. Effective helping and intervention strategies for working with individuals with developmental disabilities is presented as well as the barriers to community integration and the impact on these individuals, their families, and support networks. Special attention is given to the exploration of societal attitudes toward people with developmental disabilities. Students examine their own biases and beliefs toward this population and the possible roles they may play as change agents in society. Pre or co-requisite: PSY 101 or permission of the program director. Three lecture hours per week.


Learning outcomes include: • Participant empowerment • Community service and networking • Advocacy • Vocational, Educational, and Career Support • Communication • Facilitation of Services • Community Living Skills and Supports

SER 290 : Pre-Internship Planning Workshop

In this interactive workshop, students research and select an appropriate agency site for their required Human Services internship. Considerable attention is paid to examining one's own values and motivations, determining preferred work style and setting, and selecting desired client population(s). Actual agency visits and in-person interviews with prospective internship supervisors are required. A significant amount of out-of-class time is needed for interviews, tours, orientations, and/or screening that are an important part of most agency's intern selection process. Pre or co-requisite: SER 251 or SER 261 or permission of the program director. One lecture hour per week.


Students will refine their own self-awareness and values clarification skills in the preliminary part of this experience, as well as later skills in job-seeking, informational interviewing, time management, paperwork compliance and deadlines, and other career related competencies.

SER 291 : Field Experience and Seminar I

Fieldwork placement allows students to gain direct and supervised on-the-job experience in the human services field. Theories relevant to social services are tested in the reality of actual agency practice and are further analyzed in a classroom-based and/or Web-based discussion seminar. All fieldwork placements are arranged with and approved by the program director. Prerequisite: SER 290 or permission of the program director. A minimum of 12 and a maximum of 16 contact hours per week (total of 125 supervised agency hours) in an approved fieldwork agency and up to 2 hours of seminar/discussion each week. Instructional Support Fee applies.


In general, students will learn to successfully function as an entry-level professional human services worker in an agency setting chosen according to their future career and/or educational interests.

SER 292 : Field Experience and Seminar II

This course is a continuation of SER 291 and continues the student's agency-based Human Services internship placement and the accompanying classroom-based and/or Web-based discussion seminar. Prerequisite: SER 291 or permission of the program director. A minimum of 12 and a maximum of 16 contact hours per week (total - 175 supervised agency hours) in an approved fieldwork agency and up to 2 hours of seminar/discussion each week. Instructional Support Fee applies. 6 credits Spring


Students will continue to learn to successfully function as an entry-level professional human services worker in an agency setting chosen according to their future career and/or educational interests. Both their agency internship duties and responsibilities and the concurrent seminar discussion activities are presumed to reflect higher levels of competency than in SER 91 first seminar of this 2-semester sequence (for degree students).