Human Services trains students to provide general helping, supportive and preventive services for people with emotional, developmental, social or physical challenges. Students develop skills in counseling, crisis intervention, group work and case management. Students apply these general skills in analyzing specific types of agencies and through internships in the field.
About the curriculum
View the classes you will be attending in the College Catalog.
Entry to mid-level positions in youth and aging programs, senior citizen centers, drug and alcohol counseling programs, child care development agencies, correctional facilities and other agencies.
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.
HSR 255: Human Services Internship I is dedicated to placing students in the field for experiential learning opportunities.
Requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress
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 ENL, HSR, PSY, SPC and SOC) 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 with the program faculty to ensure that they are meeting all criteria for satisfactory progress in the program.
This major is subject to the transfer standards established by the College. Exceptions must be approved by the school dean.
Clubs & Activities
- Human Services Club
Human Services & Restorative Justice 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
- Dr. Nancy L Butts, President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, Lycoming County Government
- Ms. Robin Dadzie, Case Management Supervisor, AIDS Resource Alliance
- The Honorable Marc Lovecchio, Judge, Commonwealth of PA, Lycoming County
- Ms. Kathleen Martinez Collier, Prevention Director, County of Chester
- 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, '99, '03, 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.