Human Services

The Human Services Department at Mount Wachusett Community College provides students with the opportunity to earn a Human Services Technician Certificate or Associate Degree in Human Services. Upon completion of the program, students are prepared for entry-level positions in a variety of human service settings. During the course of study, students will develop skills and competencies in critical thinking, reasoning and the terminology used in the human services profession. Students will gain knowledge in assessment, advocacy, outreach, referral and counseling and interview techniques.

Human Services Technician Certificate (HSC)

This program is for those who wish to build a rewarding career helping people in need by empowering, enabling, and facilitating them to function more effectively in all aspects of living. Opportunities in this field are excellent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, human services is one of the fastest growing fields. The Human Services Technician Certificate prepares students for immediate employment in entry-level human services positions. It also provides individuals currently working in entry-level positions an opportunity to enhance their skills.

Year 1
FallCredits
ENG 101College Writing I 3
HST 101Introduction To Human Services 3
PSY 101Psychology Of Self 3
PSY 105Introduction To Psychology 3
Spring
HST 140Counseling Methods And Interviewing Techniques 3
Professional Elective (see list below)  3
HST 150Cultural Awareness 3
PSY 240Abnormal Psychology 3
 Total Credits: 24

Professional Electives

Credits
HST 142Counseling Methods and Interviewing Techniques II3
HST 145Introduction To Gerontology3
PSY 244Children With Special Needs3
PSY 246Psychology And The Law3
PSY 280Psychology Of Death And Dying3
SOC 125Gender Issues3
SOC 129Drug Use And Abuse In American Society3
SOC 204Sociology of the African American3
SOC 206Marriage And The Family3
SOC 208Juvenile Delinquency3
SOC 210Child Abuse And Neglect In American Society3
SOC 212Victimology3
 

See Human Services program competencies and technical standards.

Helpful hints

Volunteer opportunities, service learning, and civic engagement components are suggested as ways of enhancing classroom learning.

Special requirements

Technical standards must be met with or without accommodations.

Transfer options

This program is intended for immediate career entry. Courses completed as part of this certificate program can be applied to the Human Services Degree.

Career options/Earning potential

For career options, please click here.

Gainful Employment Program Disclosure Information

For gainful employment information, please click here.

Human Services Degree (HS)

This program is for those who wish to build a rewarding career helping people in need by empowering, enabling, and facilitating them to function more effectively in all aspects of living. Opportunities in this field are excellent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the human services sector is one of the fastest growing fields. The Human Services Degree program will prepare you for entry-level positions in social services or for transfer to four-year colleges or universities to pursue human services, psychology, social work, sociology, or other related majors.

Year 1
FallCredits
ENG 101College Writing I 3
HST 101Introduction To Human Services 3
PSY 105Introduction To Psychology 3
HST 150Cultural Awareness 3
SOC 103Introduction To Sociology 3
Spring
ENG 102College Writing II 3
HST 140Counseling Methods And Interviewing Techniques 3
PER 126 or 130Fitness And Wellness 12-3
PSY 101Psychology Of Self 3
PSY 240Abnormal Psychology 3
Professional Elective (see list below)  3
Year 2
Fall
SPC 113Speech (formerly THE113) 3
PSY 110Human Growth And Development 3
CIS 127Computer Technologies 3
BIO 103Human Health And Disease (or Lab Science Elective) 23-4
MAT 126Topics In Mathematics 4
Spring
POL 211Massachusetts And The Federal System 3
SOC 205Social Problems 3
HST 260Human Services Seminar (Capstone) 3
HST 250Human Services Internship Experience 4
General Elective 3 3
 Total Credits: 64-66
1

PER 130 Health, Fitness, And Wellness is recommended for transfer

2

Lab Science Electives: 4 credit course in AQS, BIO, BTC, CHE, EAS, EGM, NRD, or PHY 
Lab Science recommended for transfer

3

General Electives: See General Electives exceptions.

Professional Electives

Credits
HST 142Counseling Methods and Interviewing Techniques II3
HST 145Introduction To Gerontology3
PSY 244Children With Special Needs3
PSY 246Psychology And The Law3
PSY 280Psychology Of Death And Dying3
SOC 125Gender Issues3
SOC 129Drug Use And Abuse In American Society3
SOC 204Sociology of the African American3
SOC 206Marriage And The Family3
SOC 208Juvenile Delinquency3
SOC 210Child Abuse And Neglect In American Society3
SOC 212Victimology3

See Human Services program competencies and technical standards.

Helpful hints

Volunteer opportunities, service learning, and civic engagement components are suggested as ways of enhancing classroom learning.

Transfer options

For transfer options, please click here. It is recommended that you also consult with your academic advisor.

Special requirements

A Criminal/Sexual Offender Record Information (CORI/SORI) check and liability insurance are required for student interns. Technical standards must be met with or without accommodations.

Career options/Earning potential

For career options, please click here.

Program Competencies for HS

Upon graduation from this program, students shall have demonstrated the ability to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the historical development of human services as a profession and the implications of social policy.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the major models of causation of normal and abnormal development and the conditions which promote or limit optimal functioning.
  • Develop and demonstrate effective intervention strategies that include counseling and interviewing skills, assessment, advocacy, outreach, and referral.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the formal and informal supports, resources available in the community, and skill in gaining access to them.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of one’s individual strengths, attitudes, values, and belief systems on both a personal and professional level.
  • Develop and demonstrate the oral and written skills required for an effective communicator.
  • Develop an awareness of cultural diversity and a working knowledge of, and respect for, peoples’ history, traditions, values, and social organizations such as family, community, and political structures.
  • Exercise professional ethics in all matters related to the helping relationship and the workplace.

Technical Standards1 for HS and HSC

1

For general information about technical standards and accommodation, see Technical Standards.

Students entering these programs must be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Comprehend textbook material at the 11th grade level.
  • Communicate information either in spoken, printed, signed, or computer voice format.
  • Gather, analyze, and draw conclusions from data.
  • Comprehend the spoken word. Perceive and differentiate individual behaviors.
  • Perceive and differentiate individual behaviors.
  • Maintain cleanliness and personal grooming consistent with close personal contact.
  • Exhibit social skills appropriate to professional interactions.

Courses

HST 101. Introduction To Human Services. 3 Credits.

Students are introduced to the organization and function of human service agencies as well as the ways in which the human services worker can deal effectively with the resources of the community. This course also acquaints the student with occupational information in the area of human services. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement.

HST 140. Counseling Methods And Interviewing Techniques. 3 Credits.

This course acquaints the student with current views of counseling principles and methods. Interviewing techniques are introduced and developed through a workshop approach that includes videotaping. Prerequisite: PSY 105 strongly recommended, may be taken concurrently.

HST 142. Counseling Methods and Interviewing Techniques II. 3 Credits.

This course builds on the foundation of HST 140 Counseling Methods and Interviewing Techniques. Course content includes therapeutic structures, issues that face the beginning counselor, models of therapy, and practical aspects of the work. The class will use a comprehensive approach that focuses on theoretical perspectives and case studies to enhance the understanding of counseling and interviewing. Prerequisite: HST 140.

HST 145. Introduction To Gerontology. 3 Credits.

Students are introduced to the field of gerontology, the multidisciplinary study of the biological, psychological, and social aspects of aging. This course explores the human aging process from these perspectives. A primary focus of this course is to replace myths with facts about aging and gain an understanding about what happens to older adults’ bodies, minds, status in society, and social lives as they age. Attention is also given to programs and services for the elderly. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement.

HST 147. Topics In Mental Health/Mental Retardation. 3 Credits.

This course prepares students in the practical aspects of their work in the field. Topics and issues addressed include the philosophy and history of the field of mental health/mental retardation, deinstitutionalization, utilization of community systems and resources, legal and ethical aspects for the mental health/mental retardation worker, and assessment and evaluation. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement.

HST 148. Topics For Human Service Providers. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to develop the core competencies needed by direct support staff in a variety of settings. The instructor integrates the course materials and provides materials and exercises that will help students to assess concepts from lectures and to relate these concepts to their other coursework and to their own experiences. Topics focus on how to balance the health and safety of individuals receiving services and support, while at the same time recognizing their needs and rights for choice, self-determination, and psychological development. Prerequisite: HST 101. Fall.

HST 150. Cultural Awareness. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on understanding cultural differences. Students will examine their own culture and others. Issues regarding how culture affects people and the world they live in will be discussed. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement. Fall.

HST 245. Introduction To Learning Disabilities. 3 Credits.

This course deals with the identification and remediation of learning disabilities. Students are introduced to learning theory, educational and psychological testing, and teaching methods. Evaluation of the child in the school system, the role of parent counseling, and administration of a school learning disabilities program are major topics. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement.

HST 250. Human Services Internship Experience. 4 Credits.

During their last semester, students in this internship work directly with clients under the supervision of a professional worker in a human services setting. Students are expected to gain an understanding of the dynamics and appropriate treatment for clients and their families. Placements have included, but are not limited to, settings involving mental health, developmental disabilities, and community service projects. Students must complete 150 hours in addition to one class meeting per week. A consideration for placement includes an assessment of the student's readiness and faculty recommendations. The college also requires Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) and liability insurance for all interns. Prerequisites: QPA 2.0, 45 credits earned toward the Human Services degree including ENG 102, HST 101, HST 140, PSY 110, PSY 240, SOC 103, and permission of department chairperson.

HST 260. Human Services Seminar (Capstone). 3 Credits.

In this capstone course, students synthesize and apply concepts and skills learned in the Human Services (HS) program. This course requires students to show mastery of the material covered in the HS program through several required avenues including the following: seminar meetings and discussions; portfolio work; and a research paper. This course is designed to help students apply the knowledge and skills learned in the program and to explore self-perceptions related to their career choice in the human services field. Students must complete this course with a minimum grade of C to graduate. Prerequisites: 45 credits earned toward the Human Services degree including ENG 102, HST 101, HST 140, PSY 105, PSY 110, PSY 240, SOC 103, or permission of division dean. Spring.