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Human Services

The field of human services focuses on meeting human needs by applying methods, practices and technologies from a vast, interdisciplinary knowledge base. Problem prevention and remediation as well as improving quality of life are primary objectives of human services professionals. Accessibility, accountability and coordination are essential components of exemplary service delivery.

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Human Services


Contact Information

Cheryl Redinger
Human Services Instructor

creding@inverhills.edu
651-450-3306
HH305

Thomas Reis
Human Services Instructor

treis@inverhills.edu
651-450-3717
HH305

Admissions Team

admissions@inverhills.edu
651-450-3000
College Center

Human services courses at Inver Hills offer you the opportunity to earn an Associate of Science (A.S.) in Human Services Worker and two key certificates, Human Services Assistant and Child Care Teacher.

You will receive firsthand experience implementing the skills and techniques you need to work in a variety of helping professions. Earning your A.S. degree is a pathway for transfer to a four-year college or university to pursue a bachelor's degree in human services or social work.

Human Services: Educate Your Head and Your Heart

Degrees

A.S., Human Services Worker – 60 credits

The Human Services Worker program provides the educational foundation you need to secure employment in the human services profession. As a student pursuing this A.S. degree, you will confront the realities of a career focused on helping others by exploring the attitudes, thoughts and feelings that directly affect your ability to work effectively as a human services generalist.

Although this program is primarily intended for students seeking a two-year degree, you can transfer coursework to selected four-year institutions. To learn more, visit Human Services Transfer Opportunities above and Transfer from Inver. You should also consult with a representative from your intended transfer school and Inver Hills Human Services faculty as well as a counselor or advisor. *

Coursework   Program Planning Guide

Human Services Curriculum – 25 credits

Course Number Title Credits
1If HSER 1179 is taken a second time the credit may be used as an elective.
2Can be taken as two 3-credit internships or one 6-credit internship. HSER 1100, HSER 1106 & HSER 1107 must be taken prior to HSER 1179 & 1189. HSER 1179 & HSER 1189 must be taken concurrently.
HSER 1100 Introduction to Human Services 3 cr
HSER 1104 Multicultural Awareness in the Helping Profession 3 cr
HSER 1106 Basic Counseling Skills 3 cr
HSER 1107 Group Processes 3 cr
HSER 1112 Crisis Assessment and Intervention 3 cr
HSER 1123 Family Functions and Interactions 3 cr
HSER 1179 Human Services Seminar1 1 cr
HSER 1189 Internship2 6 cr
Total Credits: 25

Human Services Electives – 5 credits

Course Number Title Credits
HSER 1101 Introduction to Social Work 3 cr
HSER/INTS 1103 Adults with Disabilities 2 cr
HSER 1105 Loss and Grief 2 cr
HSER 1117 Mental Disorders through the Lifespan 3 cr
HSER 1121 Adolescent and Youth Work 2 cr
HSER 1125 Action Based Learning Experience 2 cr
HSER 2250 Contemporary Human Services Topics 1-3 cr
EDU 1110 Urban Education: Early Childhood Birth to Grade 3 3 cr
EDU 1128 Guidance/Communication and Development of Young Children 3 cr
EDU 1130 Early Childhood Education 3 cr
EDU 1132 Creative Activities for the Young Child 2 cr
EDU 1133 Children's Health, Nutrition, Physical Development, and the Effects of Drugs 3 cr
EDU 1136 Infant and Toddler Development 3 cr
EDU 1138 Children with Special Needs 3 cr
INTS/HSER 1140 Human Sexuality 3 cr
INTS 1777 The Journey of Love and Relationships 2 cr
CJS 1154 Juvenile Justice 3 cr
HLTH 1130 Drug use and Abuse or
any other HSER course
3 cr

Liberal Arts Curriculum – 30 credits

Course Number Title Credits
1BIOL 1107 and BIOL 1110 recommended for Social Work Students
ENG 1108 Writing and Research Skills 4 cr
COMM 1100 Interpersonal Communication 3 cr
Math or Lab Science1 (See Goal 3 or 4 of MnTC) 3 cr
PSYC 1101 or
PSYC 1201
General Psychology or
General Psychology with Laboratory
4 cr
SOC 1100 Introduction to Sociology 4 cr
Humanities/Fine Arts/Literature (See Goal 6 of MnTC) 3 cr
Liberal Arts electives (Restricted to MnTC courses) 9 cr
Total Credits: 30

Certificates

Human Services Assistant Certificate – 30 Credits

The Human Services Assistant certificate program gives you the theory, knowledge, skills and techniques you need to obtain entry-level employment in the human services profession.

As a student in this program, you will confront the realities of a career focused on helping others by exploring the attitudes, thoughts and feelings that directly affect your ability to work effectively as a human services generalist. *

Coursework   Program Planning Guide Gainful Employment Disclosure

Human Services Curriculum – 30 credits

Course Number Title Credits
HSER 1100 Introduction to Human Services 3 cr
HSER 1104 Multicultural Awareness in the Helping Profession 3 cr
HSER 1106 Basic Counseling Skills 3 cr
HSER 1107 Group Processes 3 cr
HSER 1112 Crisis Assessment and Intervention 3 cr
HSER 1123 Family Functions and Interactions 3 cr
HSER 1179 Human Services Seminar 1 cr
HSER 1189 Internship 3 cr
Electives (8cr)
Select from any HSER elective course (see Human Services degree electives listing) or from the following:
EDU 1110 Urban Education: Early Childhood Birth to Grade 3 3 cr
EDU 1128 Guidance/Communication and Development of Young Children 3 cr
EDU 1130 Early Childhood Education 3 cr
EDU 1132 Creative Activities for the Young Child 2 cr
EDU 1133 Children's Health, Nutrition, Physical Development, and the Effects of Drugs 3 cr
EDU 1136 Infant and Toddler Development 3 cr
EDU 1138 Children with Special Needs 3 cr
EDU 2008 Children's Mental Health 3 cr
EDU 2020 Foundations of Early Literacy 3 cr
EDU 2805 Introduction to Children's Literature 3 cr
CJS 1154 Juvenile Justice 3 cr
PSYC 1215 Child and Adolescent Psychology 3 cr
PSYC 1220 Adult and Aging Psychology 3 cr
EDU 1130 Early Childhood Education 3 cr
Total Credits: 30

Note *: If you have been arrested, charged or convicted of any criminal offense, you should investigate the impact that the arrest, charge or conviction may have on your chances of employment in the field you intend to study or on your chances to obtain federal, state and other higher education financial aid. Some courses within this program require a criminal background study to successfully complete. Please see the course description section of the catalog for more details. Please refer to the Criminal Background section of the catalog for more information on the criminal background study.

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Course Descriptions

HSER 1100  Introduction to Human Services   3.0 cr

Provides an introduction to the field of Human Services. Course describes history, worker roles, and current career trends in the field. Students are required to participate in hands-on experience through service learning. This course is appropriate for anyone who might be interested in the helping profession. To complete the requirements of the course students will need to receive a criminal background clearance. Please refer to the Criminal Background section of the catalog for more information on the criminal background study.

HSER 1101  Introduction to Social Work   3.0 cr

Presents an overview of the field of social work looking at its history and social welfare policy in this country. This course is intended for students interested in transferring to a four-year degree in Social Work; it satisfies an elective credit for the Human Services Degree.

HSER 1103  Adults with Disabilities   2.0 cr

Explores the various types of disabilities and how they impact the individual, the family unit, and society. A particular emphasis will be placed on understanding the unique behavioral, physical, cultural and psychological issues associated with each type of disability. NOTE: HSER1103 and INTS 1103 are co-listed; department should be selected at registration. Credit will be given in only one department. Students wanting to fulfill Goal 7 of the MTC must enroll in INTS 1103.

HSER 1104  Multicultural Awareness in the Helping Profession   3.0 cr

Examines attitudes and enhances knowledge and skills that are necessary to work effectively with culturally diverse populations in the human services field. Students will explore their own and others' cultural indentities, values, attitudes, and behaviors. Emphasis is placed on how to adjust services to the multicultural needs of individuals who are served.

HSER 1105  Loss and Grief   2.0 cr

Looks at dynamics of loss and grief across the lifespan. We will look at how grief impacts families and children, as well as exploring gender differences. We will incorporate journal assignments and experiential activities designed in the healing of each person's grief journey. Students will learn to identify, assess, and intervene in grief situations.

HSER 1106  Basic Counseling Skills   3.0 cr

Introduces basic counseling and interviewing skills. Students will learn and apply skills that range from basic attending and listening skills to chart documentation and treatment planning. Prerequisite: Recommended concurrent enrollment with HSER 1100.

HSER 1107  Group Processes   3.0 cr

Focuses on the development of communication skills and self-awareness important in the roles of group membership and leadership. Provides an understanding of the evolution and function of therapeutic groups. Emphasizes the development of knowledge and skills. Prereq: HSER 1100 and HSER 1106.

HSER 1112  Crisis Assessment and Intervention   3.0 cr

Presents basic concepts of crisis assessment, intervention, and referral. The application of strategies and techniques with a discussion of intervention, assessment, and referral models is included. An overview of interventions for specific crisis will be reviewed. An assessment model for making appropriate referrals is presented. Pre-requisite: HSER 1106.

HSER 1117  Mental Disorders Through the Life Span   3.0 cr

Introduces an overview of the range of mental disorders throughout the lifespan. Disorders covered include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, substance disorders, personality disorders, and disorders in children and the elderly. Students will learn to identify signs and symptoms of each disorder. They also will learn basic skills and therapeutic treatments that effectively help individuals who have mental disorders.

HSER 1121  Adolescent and Youth Work   2.0 cr

Focuses on learning about adolescents, identifying their developmental stage, tasks and goals, and how to work with them concerning their mental and physical health needs. Common adolescent crisis problems and cases will be explored, including assessment and intervention strategies. This course is for Human Service Students, counselors, other helping professionals, law enforcement personnel, teachers and parents.

HSER 1123  Family Functions and Interactions   3.0 cr

Studies the family with attention to its organization, function and dynamics. Emphasis is placed on the impact and effects of family on individual development. The course offers an introduction to family systems theory, normal and problematic family systems, and family functioning concepts. It also examines family violence including, social and psychological roots of violence. Chemical dependency and how it affects the family will also be discussed.

HSER 1125  Action Based Learning Experience   2.0 cr

Introduces students to an experientially based course that will be service learning oriented. Students will immerse themselves in the local community/culture partnering with local agencies in serving those individuals and families in need. Students will be traveling to out state or out of region localities.

HSER 1126  Ethical Issues in Human Services   2.0 cr

Presents an overview of ethical issues specific to Human Services including models for ethical decision making, legal and professional issues, professional codes of ethics, core values and personal issues.

HSER 1140  Human Sexuality   3.0 cr

Presents an interdisciplinary study of human sexuality in a pluralistic society. NOTE: HSER 1140 and INTS 1140 are co-listed; department should be selected at registration. Credit will be given in only one department. Students wishing to earn MnTC credits must enroll as INTS 1140.

HSER 1179  Human Services Seminar   1.0 cr

Provides an opportunity for human services students to create and implement projects for the development of personal knowledge and skill. Provides students the opportunity to receive support on internship progress. To complete the requirements of the course students will need to receive a criminal background clearance. Please refer to the Criminal Background section of the catalog for more information on the criminal background study. This course must be taken concurrently with HSER 1189, Internship. The course may be repeated once. Prereq: Must take currently with HSER 1189, Internship.

HSER 1189  Internship   cr

Offers work experience in a human service agency, providing an opportunity to further develop skills. Through work experience, students will gain additional knowledge of human services practices and concepts. May be taken as two 3-credit courses or one 6-credit course. To complete the requirements of the course students will need to receive a criminal background clearance. Please refer to the Criminal Background section of the catalog for more information on the criminal background study. Prereq: Permission of human service faculty and previous human service coursework. Must take concurrently with HSER 1179, Human Services Seminar.

HSER 2250  Contemporary Human Services Topics   cr

Presents special topics in Human Services. Coursework explores current issues and challenges in human services. May be repeated under different topics.

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Transfer Information

The A.S. in Human Services Worker at Inver Hills has articulation agreements with the following four-year institutions:

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Meet the Faculty

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Clubs & Organizations

Student club

VIBE: Volunteering Individuals Brings Empowerment

Purpose: Empower individuals, families, and communities through volunteer work.

To learn more, contact:

Cheryl Redinger
Human Services Instructor
VIBE Faculty Advisor
651-450-3374

Professional organizations

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Employment Information

Human services professionals typically work in social service agencies, community-based environments as well as institutional and residential settings. Levels of responsibility vary; some workers direct their own duties while others perform with direct supervision.

Due to the nature of the work, which involves direct contact with vulnerable individuals, job applicants are carefully screened for professional and personal qualifications. Employers seek applicants with relevant academic credentials, work experience and a history of volunteerism.

Traits and skills of human services professionals

  • Critical thinking
  • Decision-making
  • Clear understanding of fieldwork duties and responsibilities
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Emotional stability
  • Psychological health
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Behavioral self-regulation
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Caring
  • Empathy

Potential job titles in human services

  • Adult day care worker
  • Alcohol counselor
  • Assistant case manager
  • Behavioral management aide
  • Case management aide
  • Case monitor
  • Caseworker
  • Child abuse worker
  • Child advocate
  • Client advocate
  • Community action worker
  • Community organizer
  • Community outreach worker
  • Crisis intervention counselor
  • Drug abuse counselor
  • Eligibility counselor
  • Family support worker
  • Gerontology aide
  • Group activities aide
  • Group home worker
  • Halfway house counselor
  • Home health aide
  • Intake interviewer
  • Juvenile court liaison
  • Life skills instructor
  • Mental health aide
  • Neighborhood worker
  • Parole officer
  • Probation officer
  • Psychological aide
  • Rehabilitation caseworker
  • Residential counselor
  • Residential manager
  • Social service aide
  • Social services liaison
  • Social services technician
  • Social work assistant
  • Therapeutic assistant
  • Youth worker

Below are just a few examples of possible career paths that can start with earning an A.S. in Human Services Worker at Inver Hills.

Additional resources

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Why Inver Hills?

Completing your A.S. in Human Services Worker degree obligations at Inver Hills is smart on several key levels:

  1. Make a difference in someone’s life by applying effective counseling skills in a variety of social and community service roles
  2. Investigate complex social problems and understand the effects on individuals, communities, and society
  3. Conduct advocacy and outreach alongside human services professionals
  4. Receive an excellent education with one-on-one interactions with human services faculty
  5. Get firsthand human services experience helping solve real-world problems
  6. Save money and continue your academic and professional careers with less student debt *

* On a national scale, student loan debt has mushroomed to $1.2 trillion, which is greater than credit card debt and auto loan debt combined. In Minnesota, the average debt for four-year grads tops $30,000; 70 percent carry a student debt load.

Tuition and fees for one year at Inver Hills costs a little less than $5,300. Compare that to $15,000 to $20,000 at a for-profit college, or $40,000 to $50,000 at a private college or university. You can complete your first two years at Inver getting a topflight education firsthand from Ph.D. instructors and then transfer to a four-year as a junior all while saving thousands of dollars. It's a no-brainer.

Are you thinking of a major in Human Services: Student Success Stories


Check out Sarah Green's The Helping Profession.

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