The Applied Human Services baccalaureate is designed to prepare women and men for careers in a variety of human services fields: services for persons with developmental disabilities or mental illness, services for individuals who have been adjudicated in the criminal justice system, services for individuals and families in crisis, services for older individuals, and services for individuals with a chemical dependency. The major provides students with a solid grounding in the general theories and principles of assessing human needs and responding to those needs in the least restrictive environment. Upon this generalist foundation, students may build a curriculum that emphasizes human service theory and practice targeted for specific populations or may emphasize the administration of human services, as opposed to direct care. Students will complete a general core of math, science, humanities, computer science and communications. This liberal arts core and the human services specialization reflect a recognition that strong written and oral communication skills are critical to ethical human service practice and successful tenure in the field, that practical experience is equally as important as theoretical knowledge to serve others competently, and that an understanding of how technology can assist human service recipients often equips providers with useful and marketable tools.
About the curriculum
View the classes you will be attending in the College Catalog.
Accreditation & Industry Connections
Social services caseworker, child protective services worker, drug and alcohol counselor, probation officer, residential services worker, youth development counselor, corrections officer, crisis-line worker, and shelter worker, among others.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for social and human service assistants was $33,120 in May 2017. The top 10 percent earned more than $53,380.
Industries with the highest published employment for this occupation are:
|Industry||Employment||Hourly mean wage||Annual mean wage|
|Individual and Family Services||114,140||$16.81||$34,960|
|Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OES Designation)||45,930||$20.14||$41,880|
|Residential Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Facilities||34,080||$14.45||$30,050|
|State Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OES Designation)||30,170||$19.02||$39,550|
|Community Food and Housing, and Emergency and Other Relief Services||21,960||$15.19||$31,600|
Statistics reported in May 2017
The "field" is a term used to both reference work in a specific human service organization and to describe the dynamic interaction of factors and people that come together in the delivery of human services. For the human services students at Penn College, a field experience is a supervised placement, outside of the Program and typically off campus, in a human service agency, wherein the students have the opportunity to observe and to participate in agency operations, client-staff interactions and interagency/agency-community networks. This experience in the field enables students to integrate their perceptions, beliefs and academic understanding with the experience of functioning as an adjunct to the community service agency that serves as the field placement site. Field placement is consistent with the College values statement:
- Hands-on Education: We believe the best preparation for a successful career is a learning environment emphasizing applied, real-world instruction. We provide experiential learning in small classes and labs with state of the art equipment, mentored by skilled faculty with business and industry experience.
- Student-Centered Environment: Our students' best interest is the priority influencing our decision making. As an open enrollment college, believing in the dignity and worth of every individual, we strive to provide a holistic experience that fosters educational, physical, personal, and social development.
- Business and Industry Partnerships: As an entrepreneurial institution, we develop cooperative relationships with business and industry to ensure our curriculum remains current, encourages lifelong learning, and prepares our graduates to compete successfully in the global marketplace. This provides opportunities for faculty to enhance their skills, students to acquire work-based experiences, the College to receive technology and scholarship support, and the community to benefit from a highly qualified workforce.
- Community of Respect: Each member of the Penn College community is entitled to and expected to contribute to a collegial and mutually supportive environment. As stewards of this campus environment, we promote collaboration and communication, cultivate an appreciation of our differences, and treat each other with respect.
Field placement challenges human services students to:
- blend theory with practice,
- expand their awareness of human diversity and complexity,
- monitor their own behavior, attitudes and beliefs,
- contribute to the effort to help others,
- develop professional skills,
- interact with professional helpers, human services clients, community stakeholders, fellow students and faculty.
Admission to the major does not guarantee permission to take the internship courses and 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 Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications.) Students must complete all courses in the major (those courses with the alpha-designators HSR) 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 in which the course is required. Students should work closely with their advisers and with the program faculty to ensure that they are meeting all criteria for satisfactory progress in the program. Baccalaureate degree students who have accumulated more than 45 credits, but fewer than 65 credits and students transferring into the BHS program with over 45 accumulated credits, must submit an upper class candidacy plan of study. Students must meet with their advisers to discuss the requirements of the plan of study.
Graduates of Penn College's Human Services associate degree will transfer into the baccalaureate all major courses (defined as those with HSR, ENL, PSY, SOC, SPC designators) when those courses have been completed with grades of 'C' or better. Graduate-transfers must meet the SPC 101 and the computer requirement. Internal and external transfers may carry parallel major courses into the baccalaureate when the grades are 'C' or better. Transcripts should be submitted with the application for admission and will be evaluated by Registrar staff and by Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications staff. Courses completed 10 or more years before students enroll in the program will receive individual attention, as they are not automatically accepted; work experience will affect the acceptance of such courses.
Clubs & Activities
- Human Services Club
Human Services Advisory Committee
- Ms. Susan Alberti, Executive Director, Clear Vision Residential, Inc.
- Ms. Mandy Ball, Reentry Affairs Coordinator, Bureau of Prisons
- Ms. Yvonne R Bennage, Reentry Affairs Coordinator, FCC Allenwood/NE Region Office
- Ms. Robin Dadzie, Case Management Supervisor, AIDS Resource Alliance
- The Honorable Marc Lovecchio, Judge, Commonwealth of PA, Lycoming County
- Ms. Jennifer Reigel, Reentry Affairs Coordinator, FCC Allenwood/NE Region Office
- Ms. Penny L Sines, Social Worker II, DOC SCI-Muncy
- Ms. Susan R Swartz, District Administrator, Dept. of Labor & Industry, OVR
- Mr. Robert J Thompson, Adult Probation/Parole Officer, Lycoming County Adult Probation Office
- Mr. Stephen G Wagner, Associate Warden, Federal Correctional Institution
- Mr. Joseph J Weber, Permanency Services, Unit Supervisor, Lycoming Children & Youth Services
Advisory committees, which act as recommending bodies to the faculty and administration, consist of in-field professionals who act as partners in the development of curriculum. Their curricular and equipment advice as well as their industry connections and internship opportunities are invaluable to our students and to the growth of our institution.