To provide context for the area of study guidelines for area of study Community and Services.
Area of Study Guidelines: This set of guidelines helps students plan their degree plans by spelling out what the academic world and many employers understand a particular concentration to mean. The guidelines are found in many academic publications.
Disciplinary — A program of study guided by the existing framework of a discipline.
Interdisciplinary — The simultaneous and interrelated study of two or more disciplines. Professional/Vocational — A study which focuses on acquiring knowledge and skills needed for specific career performance and applications. It also entails inquiry into the conceptual foundations of the profession, the role of the professional in that career, and the relations between the profession and society at large.
Interdisciplinary — The simultaneous and interrelated study of two or more disciplines. Problem Oriented — A program of study organized around a problem. Thematic — A program of study focusing on a particular theme or set of ideas.
The area of study called Community and Human Services explores the relationship of human beings needs and values to social conditions in community living and prepares students for a wide array of helping professions and community service roles. Through study in Community and Human Services, students obtain and enhance values, knowledge and skills necessary to understand and contribute to the development and maintenance of healthy communities, groups and individuals. They analyze, develop, carry out and evaluate methods of prevention and resolution of social and individual problems and barriers.The objectives of studies in Community and Human Services are to prepare students for:
Study in this area emphasizes the understanding and integration of four essential foundations each with its own set of unique competencies:
Knowledge -- understanding of the interdisciplinary, conceptual base of practice, historical contexts and the nature of people who live in communities. Studies will include the history of social institutions and social change; human beings and their behavior individually and in groups; the evolution of human service systems and public policy; the impact of social, economic, political, biological and environmental factors on individuals and communities, and the relationship of social policy to human service practice.
Skills -- understanding of the collaborative, helping and problem-solving relationships between the human service worker and the client. Studies will include: interpersonal skills; prevention and intervention skills; administrative skills; information management skills; research skills; advocating, community organizing and policy management skills.
Attitudes and values -- understanding of the ethical basis for human service practices with individuals, groups and communities. Studies will include developing understanding, respect of, and commitment to autonomy, confidentiality, self-determination, and the basic rights of individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds.
Experience, application and practice -- understanding of the settings, dimensions, systems and mechanics of human service delivery. Studies will include the experience of delivering effective services to individuals, groups and communities; contributing to the development and maintenance of healthy individuals, groups and communities through prevention, intervention, organizing and policy-making activities. Application can focus on individual, group, community and/or systems activities.
Students should explicitly discuss in their rationale essay how each of these four foundations are incorporated and demonstrated in their degree program. It is not necessary that these foundations appear in specific degree titles.
The potential concentrations are numerous and may be focused or broadly conceptualized depending upon the student’s specific interests and goals, the student’s prior learning and experience, the organizing framework, and the general expectations of recognized helping professions. The organizing framework will typically be professional/vocational; however, problem oriented, thematic or interdisciplinary frameworks may also be appropriate.
Because degrees in Community and Human Services may take many forms, students must support their designs with clear and articulate rationales. Even in a broadly conceptualized concentration in Community and Human Services, it is not expected that all of the areas listed previously will be reflected in specific study titles; however, the student should discuss in the degree program rationale how they have been explored. In more narrowly conceptualized concentrations, students are encouraged to consider and discuss in their degree program rationales whether and/or how the areas listed above may be relevant to their specific concentrations.
Sample concentrations: titles are meant to be illustrative, not exhaustive nor comprehensive.
Health care related
Health Care AdministrationHealth and Human Services Case Management
Human services related
Advocacy in Human ServicesHuman Service ManagementDisability Studies in Human ServicesStudies in Diversity and Human ServicesEducation and Training in Human ServicesPublic SafetyEconomic Security
Human ResourcesPersonnel Issues for Employee Assistance ProfessionalsManaged Care
Mental health related
Intervention StrategiesAlcohol and Substance AbuseChild and Adolescent DevelopmentCounseling SkillsAdult Development
Social agency related
Social Welfare InstitutionsAgencies, Systems and Organization BehaviorProgram DevelopmentAdministration in Human ServicesCriminal Justice ServicesRehabilitation Services
Social science related
The Child and Family in SocietyHistory of the FamilyHistory of Social InstitutionsSocial IssuesCriminal JusticeStudies in Social ChangeCommunity StudiesPublic Policy
Introduction to the Area of Study Guidelines