Human Services & Restorative Justice

Associate of Applied Science Degree (A.A.S.)

About this program

You want a career that really matters, one that enriches the lives of others and strengthens your community. When you work in the growing field of human services and restorative justice, you’ll have a chance to make that happen. Study theories and methods then apply them through extensive hands-on experiences. From direct care to the administrative side of human services, the options are diverse and far-reaching. Select courses that focus on specific areas of interest such as mental health, criminal justice, or administrative positions. For those who want to keep the momentum going, this program can seamlessly transfer into the bachelor's program.

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Ethical Standards, Background Checks and Clearances

The Human Services and Restorative Justice program abides by the National Organization for Human Services (NOHS) ethical standards, which can be found here. Additionally, field experiences and internship sites may require background checks and clearances. Learn more.

Next steps...

You're on your way to becoming a tomorrow maker.


Hours of Field Exposure


Overall Placement

Seamless Associate-to-Bachelor Degree Pathway


  • Entry-level positions in youth & aging programs
  • Drug & alcohol counseling programs
  • Child care development agencies
  • Correctional facilities

At Penn College, we believe your educational experience should go beyond specialized skills. Real-world ready means taking a broader approach that builds communication skills, inspires collaboration, and encourages exploration of arts, history, and science.

​​Specialization requires in-depth knowledge and high-level proficiency. Students learn and apply major-specific concepts, skills, and methods.

  • Introduction to Human Services & Restorative Justice (HSJ115)
  • General Psychology (PSY111)
  • Introduction to Sociology (SOC111)
  • Introduction to Interviewing Skills & Intake Processes (HSJ120)
  • Diversity & Inclusive Human Service Practice (HSJ210)
  • Human Services & Restorative Justice Application Elective (HSJ)
  • Assessment, Case Management & Crisis Intervention (HSJ223)
  • Criminal Justice (HSJ263)
  • Developmental Psychology (PSY203)
  • Counseling Theories & Techniques (HSJ225)
  • Internship I (HSJ255)
  • Serving & Surviving in Human Services (HSJ275)
  • Families in Crisis (HSJ261)

​Perspectives are points of view, offering a variety of ways of understanding, interacting, and influencing the world. Students identify, explain, and utilize the approaches used by academics and professionals to study, analyze, or understand problems, and offer solutions.

  • Science Elective (SCI)

​​Foundations are the practical, intellectual, and social skills: communication, collaboration, critical and ethical thinking, quantitative thinking, and technological literacy that are crucial to every student at every stage of education and at every stage of life.

  • Information, Technology & Society (CSC124)
  • English Composition I (ENL111)
  • Fundamentals of Speech (SPC101)
  • Mathematics Elective (MTH)
  • Technical & Professional Communication (ENL201)
Maker Profiles
Mentoring Lab

Mentoring Lab

Reserved for Human Services and Restorative Justice students, this lab is the premier location for our mentoring program. All incoming students are paired with current students. Together they design a study plan for their time at Penn College. The lab can also be used for study sessions and peer-to-peer advising.

Counseling Lab

Counseling Lab

Also reserved for Human Services and Restorative Justice students, this applied learning space is used for mock one-on-one and group counseling sessions—all of which are captured for the future review and can be used as part of a resume. Upper division students play the role of the clients while students taking lower level courses act as counselors.

Featured Video

Leadership challenge course 

The challenge course is designed to enhance problem-solving, leadership, teamwork and communication skills for students. 

Immersive Learning

Selfcare is vital to the success of human services professionals. As part of a class activity, student Natalie Schrader, led a guided meditation with a focus and peacefulness and mindfulness. Students participating in the activity shared their take on being a Human Services & Restorative Justice major.

Helping Others

Helping Others

“We need to really make time for ourselves. All of us want to help other people, and that's what this activity is centered around, taking care of ourselves so we can help other people.”

– Natalie Schrader

Impactful Moments

Impactful Moments

“When I first got here, I wasn't too sure what I wanted to do. Dr. Winder sat me down one day and she just said, “tell me your story.” And that was the first time I actually told my story. I believe those were the most impactful moments, just knowing that the faculty cares as much as I do.”

– Jerome Frazier

Experienced Faculty

Experienced Faculty

"One of the real-life scenarios that's really impacted me is crisis intervention. I've really gravitated towards that aspect of this major - learning how to respond to individuals who are in crisis. Some of the professors have had jobs that deal with counseling and they share their experiences with us."

– Skylar Bartholomew

Tour Schedule

Seeing is believing.

Think Penn College might be a good fit for you? Make plans to visit and discover what hands-on learning is all about.

Feb 24

Undergraduate Open House

Saturday, February 24 8:30 AM - 3 PM

Apr 7

Undergraduate Open House

Sunday, April 7 8:30 AM - 3 PM

More tour dates are on the way.

But let's customize a tour for you now. Call, chat, or email for options.

Need a different date?

Let's customize a tour for you now. Call, chat, or email for options.


Admissions Office

Industry Partners

Work with experts to become an expert

Penn College's strong corporate partnerships impact every step of your journey – from your first day in the classroom and labs, to career placement (oftentimes before graduation) and beyond.

PATH logo
AIDS Resource
Lycoming County Children & Youth Services Logo
Student Life

Lead and put your skills to the test

National Human Services Organization

National Human Services Organization

The National Human Services Organization has established a code of ethics, which is designed to protect the rights and dignity of human service professionals and their clients. Students are introduced to this early in their coursework and it is reinforced through the internship experience.

Student Organizations at Penn College

Student Organizations at Penn College

Your college experience is about more than the classroom. Join one of 65+ clubs and organizations, or create your own.

Penn College News

College teams ignore rain, shun 'Darkness'

Penn College comprised the largest showing at Sunday's Out of the Darkness Community Walk, helping to save lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. Two teams – PCT Hope, organized by Mary R. Shuma Rudberg, director of counseling, and Katie L. Mackey, assistant director of disability and access resources; and the Wildcat men's basketball team – paid no heed to rain and joined other local residents in Montoursville's Indian Park.


Getting the job done

Students are finishing the fifth week of classes already, and Career Services has marked each of those weeks on a calendar overflowing with networking opportunities for students and alumni. Activities from Sept. 10-14 included a daylong Human Services & Restorative Justice Expo on Tuesday and several more Recruitment Days, including an architecture-related one on Thursday.


Student volunteers on hand as survivor shares message of hope

As another testament to Penn College students' willingness to be of hands-on service to the community, nine members of the Human Services and Restorative Justice Club volunteered to help with Tuesday night's appearance of Kevin Hines at the Community Arts Center.

Gain global experience
Study Abroad

Gain global experience

See the world via Williamsport. Take your education abroad and get hands-on experience learning about your industry on a global scale.

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Your knowledge in practice

Internships are key for career preparation. As part of this curriculum, you’ll participate in two in-depth practical learning internships including 30 hours of observation in the community and a 175-hour internship.

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Student Experience

The community as their classroom

Human service students see firsthand example of civic impact

Human service students see firsthand example of civic impact

At Penn College, learning often goes beyond textbooks and into the real world.

Read more

More Information

Admission to the major does not guarantee permission to take the internship courses or to graduate from the program. Continuation in the program to graduation and permission to take internship courses are predicated not only upon satisfactory academic performance, but also upon satisfactory demonstration of professional and ethical responsibility, personal responsibility, and satisfactory demonstration of skills and abilities prerequisite to the ethical delivery of services in the field. For more specific information about the criteria used to evaluate students' progress, a copy of the program manual can be obtained from the School of Business, Arts & Sciences.

Students must complete all HSJ-designated courses and ENL-designated courses with a grade of 'C' or above. Failure to achieve a grade of 'C' or above in a course after the maximum attempts allowed by College policy, results in withdrawal from the major. Students should work closely with their advisers and program faculty to ensure that they are meeting all criteria for satisfactory progress in the program.

The following grading system applies to all HSJ-designated courses for students in the
Human Services & Restorative Justice major:

A= 90-100%
B= 80-89.99%
C= 70 –79.99%
F= Below 70%

Alternative Credit refers to academic credits earned through means other than traditional college course completion, including: credit by exam, articulation, proof of competency gained in high school, work/life experience, and advanced placement.

Visit the Alternative Credit Options page in our Course Catalog for general requirements and procedures and for information on credit through Advanced Placement.

The Human Services and Restorative Justice program abides by the National Organization for Human Services (NOHS) ethical standards, which can be found here. Students in this program are required to complete a 30-hour supervised field experience and a 175-hour internship. Depending on work site requirements, some of the placements may require some or all of the following background checks: completion of standard basic health appraisal form and receipt of Children's Services Protection Act 33 clearance, State Police clearance, and FBI clearances. Please note that we do not assume responsibility for the requirements of any external organization, and we cannot guarantee placements if the necessary clearances are mandated but cannot be secured by the student.

  • Ms. Susan Alberti, Executive Director, Clear Vision Residential, Inc.
  • Ms. Robin Dadzie, Case Management Supervisor, AIDS Resource Alliance
  • Mr. Christopher T Kriner, Detective Sergeant - Criminal Investigations, Old Lycoming Township Police Department
  • Ms. Amber B Morningstar, YWCA Program Director, YMCA Northcentral PA
  • Mr. Zane R Pardoe, Supervisor of Education, USP Lewisburg
  • Ms. Jennifer Reigel, Reentry Affairs Coordinator, FCC Allenwood/NE Region Office
  • Ms. Penny L Sines, Social Worker II, DOC SCI-Muncy
  • Nicole J Spring, Esquire, Chief Public Defender, Lycoming County Public Defender
  • Ms. Susan R Swartz, District Administrator, Dept. of Labor & Industry, OVR
  • Mr. Joseph J Weber, Permanency Services, Unit Supervisor, Lycoming Children & Youth Services