Human Services (Partnership Sites)

The Human Services profession is dedicated to providing services to individuals and families in need of assistance. The goal of human services work is to enhance the quality of life for those who are served. The pioneers of human services education programs believed that the answer to workforce needs was not to train another group of specialized professionals, but to develop a new type of worker—the “generalist.”

Generalists receive core educational courses in the liberal arts, social sciences—particularly sociology and psychology—and humanities. They are also learn a wide range of interventions and skills that can be adapted to specific populations in different service settings, such as residential treatment facilities, correctional facilities, group homes, halfway houses, youth services agencies, mental health facilities, and substance abuse treatment programs. The generalist skills include: interviewing, observing and recording pertinent information, implementing treatment plans, advocating for clients, conducting group sessions, and mobilizing community resources.

Some of the roles performed by Human Service workers are: counselor to those who need support, broker to help people access community services, teacher of daily living skills, advocate for those who are unable to advocate for themselves, mediator between clients and agencies, and caregiver to children, elders, and disabled adults.

Working conditions vary considerably. Some human services assistants who work in offices, hospitals, or rehab facilities may be under close supervision. Others may spend considerable time in the field visiting clients, doing trainings in sheltered workshops or day programs, or counseling in group homes.

A major component of human services education is gaining exposure to the variety of disciplines, professionals, and subject matter that students will encounter in the field. Thus, the Human Services program includes elective options in a classroom setting to enhance students’ generalist backgrounds. For example, students have the opportunity to choose selective classes in other disciplines such as Leadership, Early Childhood Education, and Law and Justice. In these classes, students can explore their own interests while interacting with others in different programs. This networking experience also simulates a human services setting in which professionals from numerous disciplines join as a team to advocate for clients. Not all electives are offered each semester. All electives must be approved by the Program Director.

Program Outcomes:
  • Graduates will examine the required roles and responsibilities of the human service worker.
  • Graduates will analyze the specific needs of clients who deviate from optimal functioning in one or more life areas.
  • Graduates will identify appropriate goals and objectives to meet the specific needs of clients.
  • Graduates will construct, implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of service plans for clients.
  • Graduates will examine basic concepts for understanding characteristics of and interactions among diverse groups of people.

Admissions Requirements:
  • Minimum GPA 2.0
  • Completed Harcum College Accelerated Degree Application
  • Evidence of Qualification for College Admission (legible copy of diploma, GED or High School Transcript evidencing graduation)
  • Official College Transcripts (if applicable)
  • Interviews Strongly Recommended
  • Transfer Credits Accepted

Application Deadlines:

  • Fall Enrollment - Harcum College operates on a rolling admissions basis, however priority deadline for applications is May 1st.
  • Spring Enrollment - Harcum College operates on a rolling admissions basis.
Financial Aid Deadlines:
  • FAFSA form priority deadline is APRIL 1st
  • PHEAA Grant deadline is MAY 1st.

Completion of the courses listed below is required for an Associate’s degree. Certificate students will complete the program-specific courses noted below. Please refer to the current Course Catalog for course descriptions as well as course pre-requisites and/or co-requisites.

Prior to placement in College level math and English courses students are required to complete a placement test to determine if the student is adequately prepared or if the student will be required to take college preparation courses. College preparation courses qualify for financial aid but do not count towards degree completion.

ENG 101
English Composition
3 credits
IDS 103
Research Methods & Computer Applications 
3 credits
HSC 101
Introduction to Human Services
3 credits
PSY 111
Introductory Psychology                      
3 credits
SOC 109  Principles of Sociology                                
3 credits
ENG 102  Composition II  3 credits
HSC 102  Intro to Case Management                 
3 credits
PSY 156   Human Development   3 credits
SOC 110
Social Problems
3 credits
HSC 201
Intervention Skills & Strategies                    
3 credits
SOC 275  Marriage and Family   3 credits
General Elective 
3 credits

HUM 201
Ethical Issues in Professional Life                
3 credits
PSY 158
Psychology of Disabilities
3 credits
MTH 113
College Mathematics
3 credits
General Elective
3 credits

HSC 203
Crisis Intervention Skills & Strategies         
3 credits
PSY 253  Abnormal Psychology   3 credits
Soc 203
Geriatric Sociology 
3 credits
SOC  211  Minority Groups   3 credits
Science Elective
3 or 4 credits

Total Credits:
63 - 64

Students must complete at least 30 college-level credit hours at Harcum. Please note that partnership students may take a maximum of 12 credits per semester. 


Ashley Herr-Perrin, LCSW
Program Director
Academic Center, Room 305
Phone: 610-526-6175

Student Activity

Phi Theta Kappa
An honor society where selection for membership is considered one of the highest honors a student can receive. Students are chosen for Phi Theta Kappa for their outstanding qualities of leadership, character, and citizenship within the Harcum community. They must also maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher.


Harcum College Job Board

Home health care services, a key part of human services, were listed in 2008 as one of the “Eight Top Fields with Major Job Growth” by Yahoo! Hotjobs, as projected by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Resources & Links

Library Guide to Citing Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism