The Human Services Program offers caring individuals the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills to become effective helping professionals. Graduates may choose from a variety of work settings, including children’s services, youth centers, employment readiness programs, domestic violence agencies, group homes, elder services, homeless shelters, and many other areas. Our program combines a strong foundation in the social sciences with specialized human service courses that enable students to develop the practical professional competence that employers value.
7 reasons to study Human Services at Mount Ida:(click on links for details):
Bachelor Degree Completion Option
Mount Ida College offers a bachelor degree completion program in Human Services that is useful for community college graduates, or for people who already have some courses and work experience in this area, or for professionals who are looking to make a career change.
Hands-on experience begins early in our program. Students taking the Introduction to Human Services and Social Justice courses engage in service learning with community agencies. During the past three semesters they have worked in the after-school program at South End House, served meals at Kit Clark Senior Center and at St. Francis House, participated in activities with people with developmental disabilities at the Charles River Center, worked in the day nursery at Children's Services of Roxbury, and did neighborhood canvassing for the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. In addition, students in the Social Justice class participated in a march and lobbying effort for funding for youth jobs, helped make posters for a rally in support of affordable public transportation, and observed a legislative hearing at the State House.
In Practicum I students work six hours per week in a community agency. Recent placements include working with children at South End House, homeless people at St. Francis House, elders at the Rogerson Adult Day Health Program, and people with developmental disabilities at one of the group homes of the Charles River Center.
The Senior Internship involves eighteen hours per week of field experience. By this time students have completed most of their course work and are ready for professional responsibilities.Our interns have worked with the Department of Children and Families, the Italian Home for Children, the Charles River Center, Blackstone Valley ARC, South End House, and Elliot Community Human Services.
Jobs and Graduate Work
During the past three years the rate of professional job placement for students graduating from our program has been nearly 100%. Our graduates are presently working in both private and state-funded agencies in the areas of child welfare, elder services, housing, developmental disabilities, and residential care. Their annual salaries range from $30,000 to $50,000.
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Human Services is one of the fastest-growing professions. The expected rate of job growth during the next ten years is between 24% and 28%.
Our program also provides a good foundation for graduate school. Several of our recent graduates are studying for the Master's Degree in Social Work.
The human services program combines a strong foundation in the social sciences - including several courses in psychology and sociology - with practical professional courses taught by faculty who have many years of experience working in the field. We have developed our curriculum according to the guidelines of the Council for Standards in Human Services Education (CSHSE). For details on the curriculum and specific courses click here.
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Professors who teach in the Human Services program have advanced degrees in Human Services, Social Work, Public Health, and Sociology. The required Psychology courses are taught by well qualified professors from Mount Ida's Psychology program.
Our part-time professors are full-time human service professionals. They bring their professional experience and insights into the classroom, as well as serving as contacts for students seeking internships or employment.
Students in this program feel that their professors really care about them and are supporting them to become the best human service practitioners that they can be.
Certification and Licensing
Because our curriculum is in line with the Council for Standards in Human Services Education, our students are eligible to take the exam to become Human Services Board Certified Practitioners (HS-BCP) during the second semester of the senior year, which will enable them to graduate already certified. In addition, they will be prepared to take the exam for Licensed Social Work Associate (LSWA) right after graduation and for Licensed Social Worker (LSW) after two years of supervised work experience.
Community Partnerships and Internships
We have created partnerships with more than a dozen community service agencies (See the sidebar). These partnerships enable us to arrange site visits, service projects, and guest speakers. Our partner agencies also provide opportunities for students to apply for internships, which enable them to gain valuable work experience, learn about career options, acquire professional contacts, and develop a sense of mastery in their chosen career.
Mount Ida College is a member of the National Organization for Human Services and the Council for Standards in Human Services Education. These professional associations are valuable sources of contacts for faculty and students, and they enable us to keep our program in line with national standards.
In April 2013 we will be hosting the annual meeting of the New England Organization for Human Services (NEOHS). This meeting will provide a great opportunity for our students to connect with a professional association by providing service as greeters, guides, and registration assistants, as well as participating in a panel.