Human Services/Pre-Social Work

In Connecticut, the population is changing and so is the make-up of the traditional family. Single parent families are becoming more and more prevalent. Family income is commonly below poverty level and parents lack steady, full-time employment. Increasing numbers of mothers are employed outside of the home, the economy is in indefinite despair, class and educational divisions are growing more significant and we are dealing with an aging population.

Human service professionals assist with these issues and other common problems that affect people from birth to death. In H.S., you can help improve the quality of life for all people, especially the most needy, by promoting a higher level of independent functioning.

As a professional, you will work directly with your clients to help them solve, reduce or limit behaviors that are causing problems in their daily living. Understanding the strengths as well as limitations of your education and training, you will deal with client concerns including self-discipline, family dysfunction, sexuality, self-worth and self-concept, loneliness, violence, displacement, motivation, employment, daily living skills, substance abuse, parenting, anger and abuse.

Earn an Associate Degree, Certificate or take a Course or two

Degree Programs

Certificate Programs


Introduction to Human Services
3 Credits

This course offers an introduction to the Human Services field, including the history of the various service professions, an overview of the primary populations that receive services, information about a variety of mental health and social service agencies, and a discussion of successful treatment methods. This is the foundation course of the three core program courses. (fall/spring)

Child Advocacy in Human Services
3 Credits

The course presents concepts, policies, and practice in the broad field of child and family services and advocacy. Among the topics to be examined are the needs of children and families, the major policies and programs of social services designed for children and families, and the policy issues that emerge for planning for children and families. The intent of the course is to provide the student with a substantive base of knowledge about policies and practice in family and child services. Students will be helped to develop an overall orientation to family - as a unit of attention, as well as to the emerging service concerns of family support, family preservation, the need for continuity of family relationships, and to the various culturally competent approaches. (spring)

Disabilities and Mental Health
3 Credits

This is a required course for all Human Services students wishing to pursue the Disabilities Specialist/Mental Health Option. This is an introductory course in disabilities and mental health. Its primary purpose is to familiarize students with both developmental and mental disabilities from childhood to adulthood. It examines the impact of physical and mental disabilities, major legislation, ethics, advocacy, medical and psychological concerns, rehabilitation, employment, social planning, and living and working in society for children and adults with disabilities and mental health issues. The physical and psychosocial aspects of developmental disability and mental health also are studied through a focus on education, family life, community, and values. (fall)

Introduction to Gerontology
3 Credits

The course examines the biological, social, and psychological aspects of aging and the problems that are experienced by the aged in America. It explores the local, state, and federal programs and services available to the elderly and the caregiver. Topics covered include Alzheimer’s Disease, Medicare, Social Security, living wills, and Hospice vs. home care issues. (fall)

Death and Dying (also listed as SOC*H225)
3 Credits

An exploration of the stages of death and dying. Special emphasis will be placed on understanding grief and loss. The course will focus on the following: the dying person, sudden death and the effect on the family, cultural and economic issues, the broad moral aspects of death, and other related problems. (spring)

Introduction to Counseling and Interviewing
3 Credits

Prerequisite: HSE*H101 with a grade of “C” or better. This is a systematic study of the basic principles, methods, and current techniques employed in assessment, planning, interviewing, counseling, contracting, and interventions. The course develops student self-awareness of personal values and professional ethics. Students are expected to learn through theory, examination of their own values, and classroom application of interactional skills. (fall/spring)

Human Services Field Work I
3 Credits

Prerequisites: HSE*H101, 202,with a grade of “C” or better. Successful completion of 6 credit hours in Behavioral Sciences, ENG*H101, or permission of the Human Services Coordinator or Division Director. Work experience in a human service agency is a major component of this required course. The student will have the opportunity to apply the values, concepts, and skills acquired in the introductory and other HS courses. This activity will be conducted under the supervision of the faculty coordinator and the professionals in the agencies in which the students are placed. (fall/spring) The course consists of 1.160-hour Field Work Experience 2.Weekly Field Work Seminar that links field practice to issues related to working within a wide variety of community agencies. (fall, spring)