The Human Services (HSERV) program prepares students for employment in a broad range of social service agencies. Typical job titles include substance abuse treatment professionals, residential treatment workers, case managers, outreach and community workers. The program has a core of courses that all students must complete for the ATA degree with either a Generalist or Substance Use Disorder Counseling emphasis. By their second quarter, students determine which HSERV emphasis they will pursue. Students must enroll in HSERV 198 - Pre-Practicum Seminar which prepares students for practicum (work-based experience) in an agency. After a student’s first quarter, the HSERV full-time faculty will serve as the students’ advisors.
The Human Services program includes classroom training in interpersonal communications, counseling, ethics, case management, substance abuse treatment, crisis intervention, and chemical dependency. An agency-based practicum experience is also required. Many courses are offered sequentially and students are expected to take courses in sequence.
Students interested in transferring to a four-year college should see a counselor or their Human Services advisor for assistance in program planning. Please note this is a Professional/Technical program and does not offer a standard transfer degree. For information on articulation agreements with university programs, see the Associate in Technical Arts degree information below. The department chair’s phone number is 360.416.7704. Returning students who have already earned college degrees and who are interested in taking coursework necessary to become a Chemical Dependency Professional (CDP), please contact the department chair at: 360.416.7704
Program Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Human Services Generalist emphasis program will be able to:
- Assess client needs, plan strategies, implement services, and document relevant information in styles and formats consistent with agency requirements and best practices models.
- Establish a respectful, nonjudgmental, and professional therapeutic or supportive relationship with clients of Human Services and colleagues in a variety of settings.
- Provide quality client care by integrating interpersonal communications skills, relationship building skills, teamwork skills and problem solving skills in various social service and addiction treatment settings.
- In conjunction with other professionals, implement treatment plans that recognize and maximize individual and family strengths, respect ethno-cultural values, and address the needs and challenges of the individual and/or family.
- Work collaboratively with others (family members, program staff, representatives from other programs) to solve problems and resolve conflicts.
- Integrate cross-cultural competencies with sensitivity toward uniqueness to better meet the needs of the clients served.
- Effectively communicate orally and in writing in ways that minimize conflict and maximize clarity with diverse people.
- Resolve conflict and crisis situations in a professional manner.
Substance Use Disorder Counseling Emphasis
Graduates of the Human Services Substance Use Disorder Counseling emphasis program will be able to:
- Understand the pharmacological actions of alcohol and other drugs.
- Develop an understanding of effective drug and alcohol prevention and relapse prevention programs as well as local client, family and community drug prevention education opportunities.
- Successfully complete Washington State’s HIV/AIDS brief risk intervention (8 hours) training for those with addictive disorders.
- Demonstrate familiarity with substance abuse and addiction treatment methods, addiction placement, continuing care, and discharge criteria (including American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) criteria).
- Learn and practice professional and ethical behavior which includes being respectful, reliable, culturally sensitive, respecting of each client’s personal boundaries, knowing the rules of confidentiality, and adhering to mandatory reporting laws.
- Apply key principles in developmental and abnormal psychology to the experiences of drug abusing and drug addicted patients (both youth and adult).
- Learn and practice current assessment and case management techniques.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the 26 focus areas that the Washington State Department of Health has mandated as essential knowledge for those entering the substance abuse treatment field. Upon completion of the coursework, be prepared to become a Chemical Dependency Professional (CDP).
Entry into the Program
Please apply at Enrollment Services. Students may enter the program at the beginning of any quarter, and advanced standing may be requested for some courses. All students entering the Human Services program must take the college placement test. This can be arranged by contacting Enrollment Services.
Students will integrate their classroom learning with work-based learning by completing a total of 12 credits (360 work hours) of supervised practicum work. Students enrolled in Practicum (HSERV 199 ) must enroll concurrently in the Practicum Seminar (HSERV 200 ). Each practicum requires permission of the Department Chairs. Credits and grades in HSERV 199 are based on job hours worked, work experience, a site visit, completion of learning objectives, meeting time lines for all paperwork, satisfactory completion of a work journal, and quality of all grading criteria.
Students enrolling in Practicum (HSERV 199 ) may be required by agencies to apply for registration with the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) as counselor trainees. Such registration includes filling out a disclosure statement and may include a criminal background check. Students may submit this application while enrolled in HSERV 198 . Passing HSERV 101 and HSERV 198 with grades of C or better is a prerequisite for enrollment in Practicum.
Associate in Technical Arts Degree
An Associate in Technical Arts degree (ATA) is awarded upon completion of a minimum of 90 credits of specified technical and related education coursework above 100-level with both an overall 2.0 grade point average and a 2.0 grade point average in the technical major. The Human Services Generalist emphasis currently requires completion of 94 credits and the Chemical Dependency Counseling emphasis requires completion of 99 credits for an ATA degree. For those students who wish to pursue a Bachelor’s degree after completion of an ATA degree, the Human Services program has transfer agreements with Fairhaven College and Trinity Western University in Bellingham and Evergreen State College in Olympia.
Individual Technical Certificate
An Individual Technical Certificate may be developed in conjunction with other programs to meet marketable objectives and goals with Department Chair approval.
Human Services Degrees and Courses