WVNCC | West Virginia Northern Community College

WVNCC | West Virginia Northern Community College

Human Services
Associate in Applied Science Degree

This program is designed for students who want to prepare for careers in human service agencies. It also is for employees of such agencies who wish to obtain new knowledge or skills. Students will use the knowledge and skills of the social sciences to learn more about human behavior, especially as it relates to assessing and designing interventions for maladaptive or problem behaviors in children, adolescents, adults and the elderly.

Students successfully completing and receiving a Human Services A.A.S. degree should be
able to:

• Demonstrate knowledge of the history of the human services profession and the evolution of its various delivery systems
• Demonstrate knowledge of the basic concepts, theories and strategies used in human services delivery systems
• Demonstrate knowledge of the issues related to the needs and problems of different types
of clients
• Demonstrate knowledge of the issues related to the ethical standards of the human services profession and the ability to follow its ethical guidelines
• Demonstrate knowledge of how cultural, family, and individual factors influence needs and affect the delivery of human services
• Apply the skills, techniques, strategies, and abilities needed for therapeutic communication and relationships with clients
• Apply the skills and abilities needed to be objective, understanding, and empathetic toward people of diverse backgrounds and ability levels
• Demonstrate adequate knowledge and skills related to general education curriculum requirements for the Human Services A.A.S. program
• Demonstrate the ability to be productive and effective in a human services delivery
system and an understanding of their role, abilities, and limitations as an entry-level human services worker
• Utilize critical thinking skills

Graduates of this program can expect to be employed in human services agencies in positions which do not require bachelor’s degrees as occupational, social skills or basic living skills trainers or assistants, as behavior specialists, as case aides or caseworkers, or as mental health or crisis intervention technicians. To become licensed social workers, certified addictions counselors or similar professionals, students with the associate degree will need to continue their education by earning more advanced degrees at other colleges or universities. Students who plan to complete a bachelor’s degree before seeking employment should consider earning an Associate in Arts degree with a concentration in Human Services rather than an Associate in Applied Science degree in Human Services in order to obtain credits in more courses that will easily transfer to four-year institutions.

The employment outlook for these jobs currently is average to above average but is dependent upon changing needs within the local region, other regions and the nation.

Salaries are moderately low compared to other fields. Pay depends on the location and type of agency and on the prospective employee’s level of education and work experience.