Human Services Program

studentsThe Human Services Program, with concentrations in Human Services or Gerontology, utilizes a strength- based approach to working with people in the community. At the core of the program is the understanding that in order to successfully help others one must be able to build and support healthy relationships. In order to accomplish this, students develop skills in the areas of supportive counseling, written and oral communication, assessment, planning, asset identification, and community organization.

The Program provides a sound theoretical understanding of the traditional models used to understand and assist people with differences including the sociology of deviance, disability, and service systems, while recognizing that methods for understanding and helping others are constantly evolving. Opportunities to apply the skills and knowledge acquired in the classroom to real work situations is provided in Practicum courses that require students to work in community settings under the supervision of professionals in the field.

The field of Human Services is broad and diverse. It offers opportunities to work with community members who may be disadvantaged, disabled, and/or socially devalued. Assisting such individuals to acquire skills and relationships necessary to become valued members of community life is an honor and a privilege. Regardless of the type or extent of disability; recipients of human services not only have the same needs as everyone else, but also have untapped capacities that can benefit the community and society. The effective human services worker uses professional interventions to identify and enhance competencies, and strengthen the connections between individuals and their communities.

Human service occupations demand that prospective employees have more than just a strong desire to help. Therefore, to ensure that the candidate chooses the appropriate career, the applicant will be required to meet with the Department Chair and the College Counselor to discuss the specific professional standards and competencies (behaviors) necessary for satisfactory human service work.

Human service students must demonstrate capacities for systematic analysis, skilled communication, imaginative problem-solving, empathic insight, and a strong sense of accountability to the persons on whose behalf they work.

The Human Services Program prepares students to:

  • enter occupations in public and private human services agencies;
  • acquire skills and knowledge related to the student's current human services employment;
  • pursue further studies leading to advanced academic degrees and special certifications.


Students benefit from an agreement between Springfield College School of Human Services and Lakes Region Community College which allows graduates to transfer directly into Springfield's Bachelor program as third year students. Depending on the employment setting, job titles and duties vary a great deal.

The Certificate in Human Services provides students with knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for humane and effective work in entry level positions. Download a scholarship application.

The Associate Degree in Human Services prepares students for more advanced positions requiring greater autonomy and a broader range of knowledge and skills. Many students completing the Human Services Program continue their education and obtain bachelor and master level degrees in Human Services and allied professions.

The college must ensure that students do not place clients in jeopardy during learning experiences. Therefore, students in practical and service learning must demonstrate sufficient emotional stability to withstand stresses, uncertainties, and changing circumstances that characterize client care responsibilities. Furthermore, the student is expected to have the emotional stability required to exercise sound judgment, and accept direction and guidance from a supervisor or faculty coordinator; and establish rapport and maintain sensitive interpersonal relationships with employees, customers, and/or clients and their families.

Character Expectations

It is important for perspective students to keep in mind that failure to complete the required practical will result in the student being ineligible to successfully complete the Human Services Certificate or Degree Program.

  • Human Services students work closely in the field with individuals of all ages. Many practicum sites and potential employers perform background checks through the New Hampshire Department of Safety as well as through the Police and possibly the FBI. A student's driving record will also be examined and considered prior to acceptance by some practicum sites and potential employers. The student may be called upon to pay for such background checks.
  • Applicants who have been in difficulty with the law, depending upon the nature of the problem, may not be employable or even eligible for practical. Applicants need to discuss these issues in an interview with the Department Chairperson prior to admission to the program so that future goals will not be compromised.

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