Applied Human Services (BHS)

Accredited by CSHSE

(Effective Fall 2017)

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. 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.

Career Opportunities

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.

Recommended High School Subjects

Three years of English, one year of biology, two or more years of algebra, a course in computer science, keyboarding, psychology and health.

Remediation Strategies

Prior to registering for HSR 115, Introduction to Human Services, or any other HSR course, students must remediate any deficiencies in English or reading. Any math deficiency must be remediated by the end of the first year of the program.

Transfer Procedures

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.

Program Goals

In addition to meeting the goals established for the associate degree, graduates of the Applied Human Services program should be able to
  • qualify for CPR and first aid certification.
  • draft reports, case studies, grants, and proposals that include appropriate documentation and that demonstrate mastery of the full range of writing skills.
  • recognize and use professional behaviors in their dealings with clients, peers, supervisors, funding sources, and the public.
  • apply the tenets of effective oral communication: critical listening, adaptation to diverse audiences, varied delivery techniques, and control of non-verbals.
  • understand the funding streams that pervade this profession and be able to apply statistical analysis to the design and administration of budgets.
  • recognize and respect the range of cultural, class, and economic factors that shape values and affect behavior.
  • log site observations that represent the full range of human services and recognize the demands endemic to specific agencies and services.
  • interact effectively in one-to-one and in group settings.
  • choose and apply appropriate-to-the-situation counseling methodologies.
  • develop the means to remain current by identifying, consulting, and citing the appropriate literature; by identifying and assuming the appropriate professional memberships (local, state, national); and by actively participating in appropriate organizations.
  • gain familiarity with the technology available to human services providers and clients, recognizing its uses and limitations, its applications, and its sources.
  • understand the role of Civil Service regulations within the profession and be prepared to qualify for Civil Service positions.

Performance Standards

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.


First Semester Credits
FYE101 First Year Experience 1  
HSR115 Introduction to Human Services 3  
CSC124 Information, Technology, and Society 3  
ENL111 English Composition I 3  
PSY111 General Psychology 3  
SOC111 Introduction to Sociology 3  
Second Semester Credits
HSR120 Introduction to Helping Skills and Process 3  
HSR210 Culturally Sensitive Human Service Practice 3  Cultural Diversity Requirement
HSR Human Services Application Elective 3  
ENL121 English Composition II 3  
ENL201 Technical and Professional Communication 3  
MTH151 Structures of Mathematics 3  
MTH153 Topics in Mathematics 3  
PSY203 Developmental Psychology 3  
Third Semester Credits
HSR223 Assessment, Case Management & Crisis Intervention 3  
HSR240 Management and Administration in Human Services 3  
HSR Human Services Application Elective 3  
FIT Fitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 2  
OEA Open Elective 3  
BIO103 Human Anatomy and Physiology Survey 4  
SCI101 Introduction to Forensic Science 3  Science, Technology and Society Requirement
SCI102 Introduction to Forensic Science Laboratory 1  
Fourth Semester Credits
HSR225 Counseling Theories and Techniques 3  
HSR255 Human Services Internship I 3  
HSR275 Serving and Surviving in Human Services 3  
PSY201 Abnormal Psychology 3  
SPC101 Fundamentals of Speech 3  
Summer Session Credits
WRS Writing Proficiency Exam must be successfully completed prior to taking any 300/400 HSR course except HSR 311.  
Fifth Semester Credits
HSA Human Services Application Elective - 300 Level 3  
HSR311 Community and Organizational Change 3  
MTH160 Elementary Statistics with Computer Applications 4  
PHL210 Ethics 3  
SCI Science Elective 3  
Sixth Semester Credits
HSA Human Services Application Elective - 300 Level 3  
HIS262 Technology and Society 3  Writing Enriched Requirement &
Science, Technology and Society Requirement
HSB Human Services Application Elective - 400 Level 3  
OEA Open Elective 3  
SOC313 Research Methods 3  Writing Enriched Requirement
Seventh Semester Credits
HSB Human Services Application Elective - 400 Level 3  
HSR412 Legal and Ethical Issues in Human Services 3  
ART Art Elective 3  
HUM Humanities Elective 3  
SSE Social Science Elective 3  
ART Art Elective 3  
FOR Foreign Language Elective 3  
AAE Applied Arts Elective 3  
IFE International Field Experience Elective 3  
Eighth Semester Credits
HSR455 Human Services Internship II 9  
HSR495 Human Services Capstone 3  

Note: Students must pass the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE) prior to taking any 300 or 400 level HSR course other than HSR 311. Human Services Application electives, 300-level, include HSR 323, HSR 325, HSR 329, HSR 330, HSR 370 and PSY 320. Human Services Application electives, 400-level, include HSR 410, HSR 420, HSR 421 and SOC 410.


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