Department of Human Services and Rehabilitation, Woodring College of Education
Introduction/What is the Study of Human Services?
The field of Human Services is broadly defined, uniquely approaching the objective of meeting human needs through an interdisciplinary knowledge base, focusing on prevention as well as remediation of problems, and maintaining a commitment to improving the overall quality of life of service populations. The Human Services profession is one which promotes improved service delivery systems by addressing not only the quality of direct services, but also by seeking to improve accessibility, accountability, and coordination among professionals and agencies in service delivery (NOHS, 2013). Human Services majors at Western Washington University gain knowledge and experience in case management and interventions, human development, applied research, organizational management, program planning and evaluation and diversity and social justice. The program includes four quarters (380 hours) of field studies (practicum and internship) that integrates theory, knowledge, and skills with professional practice. Students also participate in a six-quarter sequence of study that examines the human services profession within the context of self and individuals, small groups, organizations, communities, and global systems. The curriculum is designed to meet National Standards in human services education as outlined by the Council for Standards in Human Service Education, and prior to graduation students are required to develop a capstone portfolio demonstrating that they meet these standards.
Why Consider a Human Services Major?
Are you interested in a career working to support and enhance the well-being of individuals, families, communities and organizations? Are you seeking a major that integrates a liberal arts education with professional practice? Do you learn effectively through student-centered activities that encourage critical thinking, collaborative inquiry and active engagement to address real world problems? If so, you may want to consider a major in Human Services. Since the mid 1970’s, the Human Services major has attracted students with a strong commitment to social and economic justice, human dignity, self-determination, and the desire to support change through direct and indirect service delivery. Thousands of Human Services program graduates are currently working in meaningful positions in nonprofit, government, and community-based services.
Children, Youth, and Family Services | Veterans Services | Mental Health Services | International Relief | Rehabilitation Counseling & Disability Services | Corrections & Law Enforcement | Community Development & Organizing | Faith-Based Services | Human Resources | Non-profit Management | Non-profit Organization Administrator | Community-based Sports and Recreation
How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):
Human services program applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher over the last 45 credits (with some exceptions as noted below) and must submit the following materials to be considered for admission to the major:
- A completed Human Services program application, including written essay
- A completed self-assessment of competency in technology use and integrated software
- A criminal history background check, which may also include fingerprinting
- A signed contract indicating an understanding and intention to comply with the program’s essential functions and expectations for academic and professional performance
Interviews may be required for admission to the program. Prospective students are encouraged to seek information online at http://www.wwu.edu/hs or in Miller Hall 318, 360-650-7759, prior to submitting an application. Please contact the program for application deadlines. Students with a transferable Associate of Arts degree from an accredited institution in Washington State must apply both to Western and the major.
Human Services applicants with a GPA below 2.75 may contact the department to discuss the admissions exceptions policy. A personal interview may be required.
Applicants to the Human Services program must be within 10 credits of completing Western’s GURs or be within 5 credits of completing a direct transfer degree (AA) from a Washington state community college by the start of program classes, or have completed their direct transfer degree (AA) from a Washington state community college.
A minor in Human Services is not available. Non-matriculated students, undeclared majors, and/or students from other majors at Western are able to enroll in some courses on a space available basis, with permission of the department.
Technology Competency and Access
Many courses in the major have an online learning component, or require use of technology. Therefore, students admitted to the Department of Human Services and Rehabilitation are expected to maintain regular internet access and possess competence in the use of word processing and database applications. All applicants are required to complete and submit the Technology Self-Assessment Statement when applying to the program.
A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.