MASTER OF ARTS IN HUMAN SERVICES
The Master of Arts in Human Services program develops persons to become knowledgeable, competent, self-reflective, skillful practitioners in the delivery of services. With high ethical standards and cultural sensitivity, graduates will become agents for positive change in people’s lives, relationships, and communities. At the core of the curriculum is an emphasis on experiential learning and field experience.
Cohort Study Curriculum
13 COURSES/ 39 SEMESTER CREDITS
Courses are 3 credits and 6 weeks in length unless noted otherwise
HS 501A: Persons in Context: Systems Thinking Across Society
HS 502A: Spirituality & the Practice of Human Services: An Integrative View
HS 503A: Human Services: Research & Practice
HS 504A: Case Management: Knowledge & Skills for Human Service Professionals
HS 505A: Stewardship & Resources Management for Families & Organizations
HS 506A: Professional Ethics: Character, Quality, & Social Justice
HS 507A: Education & Prevention Strategies: Planning, Creating & Implementing
HS 508A: Public Policy & Advocacy: Legal Issues, Policies, Laws & Well-Being
HS 509A: Lifespan Development: All Persons including Vulnerable & Populations
HS 601A: Human Services Administration: Fiscal Management, Fundraising & Grant Seeking
HS 603A: Sexuality for Human Services Professionals: Value-Respectful Understanding of Self & Others
HS 604A: Parent Education & Guidance: Models, Principles, Strategies
HS 605A: Field Practicum
HS 606A: Thesis
HS 501A/HS 501UA
Persons in Context: Systems Thinking Across Society (3 credits)
Students will discuss theories and themes in human services, including the history of the helping relationship, the human services movement, current influences of technology, managed care, and models of service delivery. Systems thinking across society will also be considered in this course. Content examined will be: systemic concepts, understood in their history and development; contextual considerations; causality; communication; system stability and change; system structures; and social and cultural narratives.
HS 502A/HS 502UA
Spirituality & the Practice of Human Services: An Integrative View (3 credits)
This course examines the roles of religion and spirituality in human services. Explored topics are: introduction to spirituality in human service, competencies regarding spirituality and religion, as well as various faith systems, healthy and toxic faith, spiritual development, the value system and attitude of the human service professional, and spiritual/religious assessment. Throughout the course consideration is given to application in a variety of human service settings as well as personal application of the materials to the student.
HS 503A/ HS 503UA
Human Services: Research & Practice (3 credits)
This course is the precursor to HS 606FA/HA. During the course, there will be an overview of commonly used research methods to prepare students to be critical consumers of scholarly science research. The ways in which social science research can inform daily practice in various social service agencies will be discussed. Students will explore a variety of research traditions and will gather scholarly materials related to human service organizations and the populations 2017-2018 ADP Bulletin 89 frequently served by these systems. At the completion of this course, students will develop a project proposal that integrates research and practice, targeting an issue that can be addressed from an agency setting, preferably one that can be carried out at an internship site.
Case Management: Knowledge & Skills for Human Service Professionals (3 credits)
This course provides concepts and skills for case management. Students preparing for careers in human services gain foundational knowledge about case management, including ecological sensitivity, cultural competence, interpersonal skills, and the change process. Course learning activities include reading, thinking, and writing; working with cases; and practicing and receiving feedback on their use of the interpersonal skills.
Stewardship and Resource Management for Families & Organizations (3 credits)
This course familiarizes the student with an understanding of the decisions individuals, families, and organizations make about developing and allocating resources to meet their goals. Topics include: decision-making, valuing, planning, communication, and management skills for resource work. Organizational resource disposition and reporting will also be discussed.
Professional Ethics: Character, Quality & Social Justice (3 credits)
This course provides an analysis of human services ethics, application of the National Organization of Human Services (NOHS) Code of Ethics, the National Council on Family Relations’ ethics for family life educators, and concepts and dilemmas specific to helping relationships. From a foundation in multicultural values, the course investigates the issues of responsible practice through critical analysis and discussion. Students will make application of knowledge gained to their personal and professional lives. Codes of conduct in relationships with potential clients, customers, students, subordinates, co-workers, and supervisors will be examined.
Education and Prevention Strategies: Planning, Creating & Implementing (3 credits)
Developing the knowledge and skills required to identify the needs of diverse client populations, designing targeted programs for varied environments, teaching content with an understanding of the learning process, effectively facilitating groups, and evaluating participants and programs in a positive, constructive, professional manner that promotes growth and development form the basis of this course. Since reflective practice is an essential skill for any educator, this course provides students with the opportunity to reflect on and discuss their own experiences as learners and articulate their beliefs about people and how they learn and change. This course will be another step in preparing students to create human service or family life education projects.
Public Policy & Advocacy: Legal Issues, Policies, Laws, & Well-Being (3 credits)
This course integrates the latest research and cutting-edge practice to make an evidence-based case for family policy. Examples from around the globe will be given to explain how families support society and how policies support families. The course encourages students to move 2017-2018 ADP Bulletin 90 beyond analysis to action with pragmatic processes and procedures for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of policies by viewing them through the lens of human and family impact.
Lifespan Human Development: Typical, Vulnerable & At Risk Populations (3 credits)
This course provides an in-depth look at the science of human development with an emphasis on theories and research that have useful applications for individuals working in the human services. It will provide students with information that can be translated into professional “best practice” applications. Also emphasized will be the contemporary view that life span development is a process deeply embedded within and inseparable from the context of family, social network, and culture. Of special note will be knowledge about those who do not follow a “typical” course of development.
Human Services Administration: Knowledge and Applications (3 credits)
This course introduces students to the theory and practice of managerial and leadership functions, with a practical approach that provides guidelines for working within agencies. Topics discussed will be evidence-based and empirically supported practice, challenges of management, environments of human service agencies, organizational theory and design, human resources, supervisory relationships, information systems, program evaluation, organizational change, leadership, and achieving and maintaining organizational excellence.
Fund Raising and Grant Seeking: Concepts & Skills (3 credits)
The focus of this course is to consider the nature and role of grant writing and fund raising within the context of human service programs and organizations. Special consideration is given to strategic planning, budget preparedness, grant prospects, the letter of inquiry, and grant proposal artisanship, as well as the process of planning and successfully executing a fund raising event or special project. Application will be made to the students’ future work in the nonprofit sector.
Sexuality for Human Service Professionals: Value-Respectful Understanding of Self and Others (3 credits)
This course, geared to the family life educator who will provide sexuality education in a variety of settings, addresses many aspects of sexuality and how to approach it educationally. Some of these are: the historical perspective on sex education; self-awareness of the family life educator; biological, sociological, psychological aspects of sexual education; family life and interpersonal relationships; strategies for sexuality instruction; and the effectiveness of the sex educator and sexual education.
Parent Education & Guidance: Models, Principles, Strategies (3 credits)
This course will investigate how self-understanding and understanding of one’s own experiences with their parents can free one to parent their own children more effectively. Persons do not have to repeat dysfunctional patterns in the lives of their children but can parent in loving, 2017-2018 ADP Bulletin 91 nurturing ways. Students will gain knowledge about parenting skills and learn parent educator tools as well. The reciprocal nature of parent-child interactions will be emphasized as a systems viewpoint will be foundational.
Field Practicum (3 credits)
This field practicum course is designed to provide students with a hands-on, realistic experience in a community-based agency. Students will have an opportunity to apply and evaluate the knowledge and skills learned in the coursework, will become more aware of the skills required to be an effective and successful human services/family life education professional, and will further determine their appropriateness for the profession. The course helps the students to develop an understanding of the human services/family life education delivery systems and their relevance to local, state, and national policy.
Integrative Seminar (3 credits)
This course will require students to integrate theory and practice, applying an action research approach as they connect human service/family life education concepts to real-life challenges. Students continue work on the proposal that they submitted at the end of HS503A, “Human Services: Research and Practice.” The proposal will present a design for a practice-based project, preferably one that can be carried out in their internship settings, and which will result in either a procedure or curriculum that will address the problem. Students will produce a written document in APA style that contains their references, their problem statements, how they will address the chosen issues, and an overview of the procedures or curricula. They will present their projects to their cohorts, as well.