Human Services

About the Programs

  • BHCC’s Human Services Pathway provides an integrative educational experience for you, preparing you for a career in social change by providing the theoretical and skills-based background necessary for direct- service practice. Our curriculum, guided by a strong foundation on issues of social justice and human rights, will prepare you to work with diverse populations and address individual needs and community issues through client advocacy, case management, and counseling support.  The Human Services Program emphasizes academic and experiential learning with an emphasis on self-care, social issues, multicultural perspectives, and professional ethics. The Human Services Program provides a variety of professionally-designed internships and career training opportunities that empower you as a student in working with individuals to enhance your professional and personal growth. 
  • By offering both an Associate degree and certificate programs, led by dedicated faculty who are experts in their fields, we prepare you to work within areas that address issues such as youth development, adult development, substance recovery services, immigration, case management, mental health, intellectual and physical disabilities, social work, and domestic violence. Our goal is to prepare you to be an integral part of the change that needs to happen to create a more just and equitable society. Graduates will be prepared to work effectively with people across a variety of settings using strengths-based and culturally relevant approaches. 

Our Programs

Human Services, A.S.
Professional Human Services Work Certificate

Featured Coursework

  • Through coursework in HSV101 (Introduction to Human Services), you will gain an understanding of basic social service structure, both public and private, as they serve families, individuals, and communities.  The nature of how to build professional helping relationships will be examined, along with techniques and strength-based strategies to better serve people.  A 21-hour field service experience is integrated into the course to cultivate active listening skills and empathy.  
  • There are 3 dynamic internship-related courses HSV216 (50 hours); HSV220 (150 hours); HSV221 (150 hours) that offer real world experiences for you. You will share and examine these interactive field experiences to better understand your responsibilities as case managers, client advocates, recovery specialists, and counseling support staff. 
  • Once you have matriculated sufficient credits to enroll in HSV216 (Pre-Practicum in Human Services), we will help you build your professional resume, secure a community agency internship, complete an internship learning contract, and fulfill 50 hours of a supervised internship to expand practical skills for career development.
  • Upon completion of HSV216, you will enroll in HSV220/221, (Practicum in Human Services) as an intensive field experience in human services and community agencies. It is designed as a two-semester sequence. You will be expected to commit to 10-12 hours each week in a specified human services agency, matriculating 150 hours each semester, and meeting weekly for your practicum class. Your field experience is jointly supervised by a designated agency-based supervisor and BHCC faculty. 

Human Services Career Paths

Once you have a Human Services degree, you can build on your internship experiences and align your career with what is meaningful to you. Some options may require graduate work or additional study. Depending on your internship skills, goals, and professional interests, you can choose from many opportunities in human services, including the following:

Community Health Worker: A community health worker is a public health professional who connects community members to health resources and education. They often serve as intermediaries between the community, government, health facilities and social service agencies.

Behavioral Therapist: Behavioral therapists work with patients to help them manage mental health disorders and teach them actionable skills to manage daily life. You must obtain a bachelor’s degree in human services and then complete a master’s degree in psychology or counseling.

Case Manager: Case managers work with diverse clients, such as people across the lifespan including youth, people with disabilities, older adults, families, people in transition, LGBTQ, and immigration. Their job involves assessing clients’ needs, developing a personalized care plan, and connecting clients to health care and other resources necessary for their overall well-being.

Community Outreach Specialist: A community outreach specialist connects communities with physical and mental health resources through education. The job involves identifying their community’s health issues and launching programs to address them.

Child Advocate: Child welfare specialists ensure children are protected from unsafe environments or mistreatment. They visit homes, assess the environment, and determine whether it is a safe space for children. They also investigate abuse allegations and connect families to care as needed.
Geriatric Case Manager: Geriatric case managers ensure that older adults are treated with dignity and have the resources necessary to remain independent in their communities. They visit homes, conduct psychosocial assessments, and provide resources. They also provide Protective Services to investigate, neglect, abuse, and financial exploitation.

Youth Worker: The job of a youth worker is to empower young people to make positive changes in their lives through social services to ensure that they have a positive future. There are many kinds of work including homeless youth, group homes, or counseling at an alternative education program.

Recovery Specialist: A recovery specialist is a mental health professional who treats patients with addictions to help them reduce harm and recover by applying 12-steps and other self-help techniques, community resources, relapse prevention techniques, and assistance in navigating the healthcare system.

Harm Reduction Specialist: Distribute and recover harm reduction supplies, and provide education and support on safer drug use, safer sex, HIV, hepatitis C, and STIs. Conduct street-level outreach activities to people who inject drugs in areas or neighborhoods identified as high-risk.

Family Support Worker: The primary role of the Family Support Worker is to determine eligibility of families for federal and state assistance programs such as SNAP, Housing, and Medicaid benefits. The Family Support Worker maintains ongoing documentation for case decisions and uses state and federal databases to make eligibility decisions for issuing of benefits. 

Crisis Intervention Specialist: A crisis intervention specialist treats individuals who are in a state of acute mental health crisis often brought on by recent trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder. The crisis intervention specialist can take several forms such as: suicide hotline counselor, disaster relief intervention, or sexual assault or domestic abuse. 

School Paraprofessional: A Paraprofessional, or Teaching Assistant, works alongside and under the direction of a certified teacher or counselor and is responsible for providing hands-on academic, emotional, and social support when preparing lessons or teaching students in the classroom. Your duties include helping with behavior management during lessons, tracking a student’s grades and behavior and setting up classroom materials before class. 

Social Worker Assistant: Social workers are responsible for providing support and resources to struggling individuals or families. You will provide support in working with clients facing various challenges, immigration, gender issues, abuse, neglect, homelessness, disability, and addiction.

Skills and Characteristics to Succeed in Human Services

To be successful in this career, Human Services students develop a broad range of skills through education, training, and experience, some of which include the following:

  • A love of helping people
  • Organizational and time management skills
  • Active listening, empathy, and compassion
  • Professional ethics and managing own behavior
  • Effective communication skills
  • Crisis intervention and conflict mediation skills
  • Interpersonal skills, including the ability to listen, make people feel comfortable and connect with people from all walks of life.
  • The ability to set and maintain personal and professional boundaries.
  • Cultural competence
  • Creative problem-solving
  • Awareness of community issues, oppressive practices, and social inequities people face
  • Engagement in self-care practices to enhance well-being.
  • A strong desire to make a difference in your community and to help others improve their lives


Professor Pamela Schmidt, Human Services Program Coordinator
Office: B123-D  |  Telephone: 617-228-3276