Human Services/Pre-Social Work Degree | Naugatuck Valley Community College

Academic Catalog

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Download the 2019-20 College Catalog in PDF format.

Liberal Arts and Behavioral/Social Sciences Division

Human Services/Pre-Social Work

Program Description

The field of Human Services is a dynamic and growing profession. Human Services provide assistance for people in all walks of life and in all stages of human development. Services focus on the individual as a whole and stress care in relation to the individual’s circumstances and social environment.

The Program at NVCC offers an Associate Degree that allows students the opportunity, through directed electives, to focus on the areas of child and family services, disability & mental health, or gerontology. In addition, Certificate Programs are offered in these three areas of focus. The degree program curriculum prepares students for entry level, generalist Human Services practice. Examples of employment opportunities for graduates include case aide, case worker, youth worker, home visitor, shelter worker, parent advocate, residential counselor, and community educator. The program is also designed to provide ease of transfer for students continuing their education at a four-year institution in human services and social work.


A student may enter the Human Services major by either declaring it upon admission to the College or transferring from another program within the College. As a professional preparation / pre-social work program, successful progress in the major necessitates that the student achieve a minimum grade of “C” in each of the three core Human Services courses before proceeding to the next one (HSE*H101, HSE*H202, HSE*H281). Among the special characteristics of the Program is the coordination of supervised field work experience with academic studies. In the field work experience, students, under professional supervision, engage in hands-on training in the area of their interest at community agencies.

General Education Core course listings and definitions appear on pages 54-57. Placement testing will determine the sequencing of courses. Additional courses may be required. Students are encouraged to meet with a Human Services academic advisor to select the appropriate elective courses based on their career and transfer goals.

Program Requirements

Competency or Program Requirement Course Number and Title Required Credits
Aesthetic Dimensions/Written Communications Choose any Aesthetic Dimensions/Written Communications listed 3
Continuing Learning and Information Literacy/Ethics Choose any Continuing Learning and Information Literacy/Ethics listed 3
Critical Analysis and Logical Thinking/Written Communication ENG*101 Composition 3
Historical Knowledge POL*H111 - American Government 3
Oral Communication Choose any Oral Communication listed 3
Quantitative Reasoning◊ MAT*H135 Topics in Contemporary Math or MAT*H167 Principles of Statistics1 3
Scientific Knowledge◊◊ BIO*H105 – Introduction to Biology or
BIO*H115 – Human Biology w/Lab
Scientific Reasoning◊◊ Choose any Scientific Reasoning listed 3-4
Social Phenomena PSY*H111 – General Psychology 3
Written Communication ENG*H102 Literature & Composition or
ENG*H200 – Advanced Composition
Program Requirements HSE*H101 - Introduction to Human Services 3
HSE*H202 - Introduction to Counseling & Interviewing 3
Human Services Elective (HSE*H115, 133, 170, or 171) 3
HSE*H281 - Human Services Field Work2 3
SOC*H101 - Principles of Sociology 3
SOC*H210 - Sociology of the Family 3
SOC*H201 - Contemporary Social Issues or SOC*H221 Social Inequality 3
PSY* H258 - Behavior Modification 3
Gen Ed Elective 3
Any Psychology, Sociology, History or Anthropology 3

Total Credits: 61-62

Any given course may only be used to satisfy one of the competency areas even if it is listed under more than one.

1MAT*H167 has prerequisite of MAT*H137.

2Placement is required. Students need to contact the program coordinator or the LABSS division office early, prior to the semester they plan to take the course.

◊ MAT*H137 and courses numbered lower than MAT*H137 will not transfer to Connecticut State Universities as Quantitative Reasoning courses.

◊◊ At least one Scientific Knowledge and Understanding OR Scientific Reasoning course must have a lab component.


Upon successful completion of all program requirements, graduates will be able to:

  1. Describe how the events of the political, social, and economic climate have shaped the American response to human needs.
  2. Compare and contrast the ecological, functional, and conflict perspectives to understand and analyze social issues such as inequality, alienation, poverty, crime and health.
  3. State the major theories, processes, and research methods important in psychology.
  4. Describe the relationship between politics, research and the establishment of social policy.
  5. Identify the history of treatment, issues and needs of the primary populations that require human services intervention.
  6. Utilize the critical thinking skills necessary to read and analyze current and future trends as presented in literature related to the field of Human Services.
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of how to use the skills of engagement, assessment, case planning, intervention and termination with a diverse population.
  8. Present a well-organized, comprehensive oral report before a group.
  9. Demonstrate behaviors that comply with the ethical standards of the National Organization of Human Services.
  10. Demonstrate an increased awareness of available community resources and the relationships among community systems.
  11. Demonstrate the ability to document information, and present a well-written report that demonstrates critical thinking skills.

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