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Human Services Major

Do you have a passion for assisting others? Do you want to help individuals reach their full potential? Have you always been concerned about the well-being of others? Then, the Human Services program is an excellent choice for you. A human services degree will give you a well-rounded education and include the skills and experience to successfully work with individuals and communities. You'll learn how to help people with varied backgrounds find services and programs they need to improve their lives and situations - the options are endless for you to make a positive impact.

Students in the human services major are compassionate and concerned about helping others and want to make a difference for the individuals and communities they serve. To enhance your degree you may want to specialize in marriage and family, mental health / substance abuse, elder care and/or human services administration.

Wondering whether you should pursue social work, psychology, or human services?

Explore the differences

Why Grand View?

  • You will gain experience conducting intake interviews and facilitating individual and group counseling.
  • You will learn about yourself while acquiring a good understanding of self as change agent.
  • Committed faculty will help you learn to communicate empathetically while demonstrating ethical and cultural competence.
  • Des Moines provides a wealth of internship opportunities in nonprofit and health and human service agencies.
Career Options

Your coursework will provide you a solid foundation for any career in public and private agencies working in areas of child welfare, youth development, elder care, rehabilitation, substance abuse, mental health and with victims of crime. You may choose to attend graduate school or work as a:

  • Resident Counselor
  • Program Supervisor
  • Child Care Worker
  • Mental Health Specialist
  • Family Development Specialist
  • Youth Development Professional
  • Home Health Aide
  • Hospice Worker
  • Group Home Aide
  • Case Manager
  • School Aide
  • Care Coordinator

What Can I Do With This Major?

Course Requirements

Prerequisites

These courses will not be counted in computing the GPA for the major.

PSYC 101 General Psychology 3 credits
SOCS 101 Introduction to Sociology 3 credits

Requirements (47 credits)

SOCS / PSYC 210 Introduction to Human Services 4 credits
PSYC 212 Human Development 4 credits
PSYC 277 Addictive Behaviors 3 credits
SOCS / PSYC 310 Social Psychology 3 credits
PSYC 315 Psychology of Exceptional Children 3 credits
SOCS 315 Social Problems 3 credits
PSYC 320 Abnormal Psychology 3 credits
PSYC 325 Counseling Theories 3 credits
PSYC 327 Techniques of Individual and Group Counseling 3 credits
PSYC / SOCS 361
or
PSYC / SOCS 362
Family Law
or
Forensic Socio-Psychology
3 credits
PSYC 399 Internship 6 credits
PSYC 445 Program Evaluation 3 credits

Specialty Electives (3 credits)

SOCS 321 Aging in Contemporary America 3 credits
PSYC / SOCS 322 Marriage and Family 3 credits
PSYC 363 Psychology and Health 3 credits
PSYC / SOCS 372 Human Sexuality 3 credits

Services Electives (3 credits)

PSYC 352 Evidenced-based ID/DD services 3 credits
PSYC 353 Evidenced-based MH services 3 credits
PSYC 410 Case Management in Human Services 3 credits
Download Degree Checklist

GV Degree Combinations

You may also be interested in one or more of the following:

Rasmussen Center

Dedicated in 2008, the 42,851 square-foot $8.5 million building houses the departments of art, education, history, criminal justice, political studies, psychology and sociology, as well as general-purpose classrooms, art studios, computer labs, the ALT Center, faculty offices, and various student amenities.

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Awards and Accomplishments

Dr. Jill R. Sudak-Allison • She is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a licensed mental health counselor. She has a number of publications including: Child Access and visitation following divorce: A growth access for marriage and family therapy, in the American Journal of Family Therapy. She has presented at numerous conferences on Behavioral Health Integration in Primary Care Settings; Integrating Neurobiology and EMDR; Increasing Human Services Students' Sense of Employment Worth and Career Negotiation Skills; and Three Majors: Poster Symposium for Engaging All Learns of Psychology, Human Services and Education. She is also the Chair of the Psychology and Human Services Department. 

Dr. Kris Owens • She is a licensed social worker with an expertise in disability services. She has facilitated numerous presentations related to academic support strategies and assistive technology. Most recently, in July 2017 she co-facilitated a presentation titled "Engaging and Supporting English Language Learners" at the Iowa Teaching and Learning Conference. The session highlighted research that identified the needs of ELL and ways to provide a supportive learning environment. She has received several awards including Mercy College Student Spirit Award, which is extended to an individual whose spirit and values are focused on student success. In addition, Kris received a poster presentation award related to the Analysis of English Language Learner Needs and is a Blackboard Exemplary Course nominee.

Jim Hanson • Former Human Services department chair, is working toward his license to become a mental health counselor. He was also the former Social Sciences division head and the 2004 recipient of the Grand View Faculty Award.

Guy Cunningham • Appears on nostalgia in Hallmark Christmas movies, the role of the psychologically uncanny in ghost stories, and on the evolutionary psychology of the popularity of obnoxious celebrities and politicians at the annual conventions of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association. He has also conducted workshops on addictions and working with persons transitioning from incarceration.

Dr. Josh Woods • He is the director of the Psychology research lab where students conduct faculty-driven research and present the lab's findings at professional research conferences. Most recently research students traveled to Chicago, Denver, Boston and Washington, D.C. to present their findings. Dr. Woods is also an expert witness for cases involving eyewitness memory and false confessions. He is the primary cognitive psychologist for the Innocence Project of Iowa.

Why Human Services? 

With a career in the human services field, you help create a stronger future. Those in health and human services professions work to provide just that: they strive to offer the best in health and related services to individuals in their local area, region, state or nation.

In fact, human services is helpful to everyone, but is especially targeted to those in our society who need extra help in one form or another. From the social worker who makes sure a struggling family receives food stamps to the health educator who teaches communities about the importance of good nutrition; from the rehabilitation counselor who helps those who have suffered physical trauma to the counselors who help individuals and families who are struggling with a variety of issues, human services careers are a very important calling.

Is the human services field calling your name? If so, we'd love to have you join our program at Grand View!

Did You Know?

Careers Are On the Rise!

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for social and human services assistants is projected to grow by about 22 percent through 2022. The long-term outlook for job opportunities is excellent, especially for educated applicants as employers are increasingly in search of employees holding degrees in human services.

With constituents putting pressure on legislators to provide broader human services, governments have increased the number of human services staff members. Many human services professionals can expect a higher quality of life at work, with support for caseloads and additional resources to prevent case overload.

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