Human Services | Fitchburg State University
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Human Services

New England's Longest-Standing 4-year fully accredited program through the Council for Standards in Human Services Education (since 1981). 

Overview

The Human Services Program educates you in the skills and competencies necessary to enter and advance your career in a wide variety of social service arenas. The program integrates classroom instruction with a graded series of field-based experiences, including an intensive internship, to foster the application of knowledge and skills in community-based settings. It is founded on a strength-based empowerment perspective which emphasizes the enhancement of clients capabilities to meet the challenges they face. Graduates pursue careers in direct service to clients, public advocacy, and in the administration of human services in agency and government settings.

Program Mission

The human services program educates students in the skills and competencies necessary to enter and advance their careers in a wide variety of human services. It is founded on a strength-based, systemic empowerment perspective that promotes ethical and professional-decision making to address the challenges of an evolving human services field.

In This Program

You will: 

  • Articulate issues related to social justice and how differential treatment has impacted service delivery for marginalized and/or oppressed individuals, families, and communities
  • Assess the quality and accuracy of all forms of information
  • Develop helping and management skills and apply them in both simulated and actual applications
  • Have knowledge of different populations and individual/family/community strengths and needs in order to design appropriate interventions
  • Apply knowledge and skills from class material to field-based experiences
  • Work effectively for organizational change and advocacy from a perspective of empowerment and self-determination
  • Engage in reflective process of one’s skills and future development

Student Testimonial

“There were many factors that drove me toward a major in human services. The main thing that drove me was that I have always wanted to be in the helping profession, but was not sure exactly what I wanted to do. There are many other helping professions such as nursing, teaching, or special education offered at FSU, but all of these majors were too specific to a career. A degree in human services is a very broad and large concept to get a degree in. There are so many possible paths that open up and can be taken with a human services degree. A degree in human services will allow me to be in a helping profession and allows me to work with a variety of populations in my community.” - Stephanie Pichardo-De La Cruz, 2019

“I’ve learned to have patience with not just others, but also with myself. Working in human service is definitely like riding a roller coaster, because it’s full of ups and downs. However, seeing the people I work with get through their struggles and make progress towards their goals, makes it all worth it.”        - Victoria Ryan, 2019

Career Opportunities

Many of our students go on to find employment in a variety of local, non-profit and state agencies and organizations. Others go on to graduate studies in social work and other related fields. Recent graduates are employed at:

  • Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
  • Luk
  • Community HealthLink
  • Public elementary, middle, and high schools
  • Town of Chelmsford
  • TaraVista Behavioral Health

Experiential Opportunities

Experiential education is a core component of the human services program. Several courses, such as Introduction to Human Services and Case Management, have an attached practicum requirement. The Human Services Program also requires a 450-hour (12-credit) internship. You have the option to complete this in one semester or over 2 semesters. Placement is based on your specific interest in human services, and the intern’s role is crafted collaboratively between the site supervisor and student. You participate in an on-campus seminar to process your internship experience. Students have interned at a wide variety of placements, including: Department of Children and Families, Department of Mental Health, The Arc of Opportunity, The Key Program, Seven Hills, United Way, and local schools, probation departments, and elder care facilities.

Requirements and Curriculum

Other Relevant Links

Accreditation

Council for Standards in Human Service Education

Faculty

All full-time faculty are listed in the Faculty Profiles.

Department Home Page

For more information and to apply, go to admissions.