Human Services Degree and Certificate Where Theory Meets Practice:
- Deeply rooted within the communities and surrounding areas where the program is offered
- Students move beyond the classroom by participating in internships available in many of the community-based agencies.
Why study Human Services here?
- Small class size
- Internships, Affordable
- Diverse career opportunities in Autism
- Substance Misuse and Behavioral Health,
- Real-world Professors
- Ease of Transfer
Graduates of the Human Services program may be employed in;
- Human services agencies that deal with developmental disabilities
- Mental health
- Residential treatment
- Hospice care
- Abuse prevention, and substance abuse
Graduates will be prepared for employment in positions such as;
- Service coordinator
- Group home manager
- Job coach
- Vocational instructor, and trainer
- Residential living counselor
- Community living instructor
- Program manager
- Site supervisor,
- Supported or independent living specialist coordinator
- Family support coordinator
- Addiction Recovery Support
- Worker Certificate
- Psychology Degree
“With the 240 hours internship combined with my coursework, I had the confidence, skills and networking ability to find a job in my field of interest.”
“ The cornerstone of the human service program are internships, where students can explore different career options utilizing the real-world practical application of academic studies.”
– Professor Jayne Barnes
A State Police criminal check is the responsibility of students and may be required for clinical fieldwork and/or employment upon request of an agency.
Applicants who have had difficulty with the law depending on the nature of the problem may not be employable or even eligible for fieldwork. Applicants need to discuss these matters in an interview with the Department Chair to determine future direction.
- Prepare students for direct service occupations in human service agencies.
- Prepare students for further studies through transfer leading to advanced academic degrees and special certifications.
- Provide educational opportunities for personal and professional growth to current human services employees.
Upon the completion of the degree in Human Services, graduates will be able to:
- Communicate effectively, including speaking, writing, and listening to express, transmit and interpret knowledge and ideas.
- Research and plan to search for specific knowledge and the ability to conceptualize future needs and solutions for meeting those needs.
- Use interpersonal skills for resolving, conflict, relating to and helping people, such as empathy, genuineness, self-awareness, patience, etc.
- Be competent in formal/informal assessment practices to understand the needs and interests of the participant.
- Be competent in defining, discussing, and performing the five basic case management functions: assessment, planning, linking, monitoring, and advocacy.
- Identify both personal and professional strengths and weaknesses and engage in appropriate self-development activities.
- Describe the roles of the various human service professionals in providing services.
- Summarize the history of human services in America and identify important persons and movements.
- Conduct both directed and non-directed interviews to obtain personal historical information, determine eligibility for services, and conduct a mental status evaluation.
- Be able to demonstrate an understanding of ethical principles and apply them to professional practice.
- Knowledgeable of the requirements for documentation in the organization and be able to manage these requirements efficiently.
- Understand theoretical bases for different interventions as well as initiate, develop and terminate interventions in a manner that enables continuous client growth.
In addition, the graduate will be able to demonstrate competency in the general education outcomes.
- Granite State College
- New England College
- Rivier University
- Southern New Hampshire University
- Springfield College
Amy Mendez enrolled at Nashua Community College in spring 2021, inspired by her experience with the network of nonprofit organizations that helped support her son through cancer treatment.
“My middle child went through cancer treatment from 2016 to 2020, and during that time, it really opened my eyes to all the working components in the healthcare system,” said Amy. Her son has now been in remission for three years. “I worked as a nurse previously, and when I thought of healthcare, I thought of nurses and doctors. But being on the receiving end, it opened my eyes to a lot of new areas, especially nonprofit work.”
She got in touch with staff at NCC, and asked how to create a pathway toward that type of work, and they recommended the Human Services program.
So far, Amy said she’s had a great experience. “The professors have been amazing. They know that we have families and jobs, and a lot going on besides school; it’s been really nice fitting it.”
Having started at NCC during the pandemic, Amy’s had a chance to try classes in person and online – but said the flexibility has been a perk. “I’ve done some hybrid, online, and in-person. That’s the best part of it, I can pick and choose and fit it into my life.”
As a Human Services student, Amy participated in an internship with a community partner, and chose the New Hampshire Division of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) where she worked as a mentor for 14-17-year-old teens.
“I got a lot out of it. It’s a lot of one-on-one work and listening, and being a positive example for the girl I’m working with. The internship for class was only 3 months, but when I signed up with DCYF I had to make a year commitment with them. I’m still mentoring now through January for my one-year commitment, and I can continue on after that if I want.”
Head of the Human Services program, Prof. Jayne Barnes said, “Amy’s creativity in helping develop her unique first internship with DCYF allowed her to spread her wings in the community and positively impact those involved with her work.”
“My goal is to work within the pediatric oncology world, whether in a nonprofit to assist families, or being a child life specialist working with families – hopefully on an oncology floor,” said Amy.
She’s currently researching exactly what her educational path would look like for each option, beyond earning her associate degree in Human Services. “I am taking an informational session on ‘child life’ in October. And for my Capstone, I’m going to Christopher’s Haven in Boston; they provide housing for children in treatment. So, between the two I can figure out what to do from there.”
While returning to college later in life is common, Amy said it was still a challenge finding the resolve to return. “Being older, I was really hesitant going back to school, I thought I was going to be surrounded by students right out of high school. Instead, it’s really a blended community, and supportive. There are so many different ages here, and people on their second and third careers.”
Prof. Barnes said Amy is a role model for many Human Services students, while continuing to learn from all of her experiences. “Amy is an exceptional woman who continues to demonstrate resilience and courage in both her personal as well as academic areas.”
She noted Amy is also a gifted writer, and “An essential part of our hybrid course learning community where she demonstrates her compassion and empathy as well as her knowledge of the weekly theme.” Barnes said the Human Services community at NCC continues to learn from Amy.
“It’s such a welcoming environment, that is the best part. No matter where you are in your life, you can fit. There’s a girl who’s in the same major as me, and she’s right out of high school, and that doesn’t even matter. Everyone feels like they’re exactly where they need to be, and it fits. It’s a wonderful little community here.”
Being an experienced student had its benefits too, she said, “Honestly, I’m better at school now than when I was younger. I’m better at multitasking, and time management – that has been the biggest asset.”
Returning to college as an adult learner, Lanh jumped into human services, completing her first internship over the summer with the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter.
“I really liked my internship; I liked helping people in need, especially as it hit close to home, because things weren’t always easy for us,” she said.
Now, Lanh has a family and works part-time in Nashua while she heads toward graduation in May 2019. She said one thing that helped her get ahead was NCC’s acceptance of college credits from her first time in college nearly a decade ago in Nevada.
“What I like about this school is they accept credits from 5 to 10 years ago, so that did help,” she said. Lanh moved to New Hampshire seven years ago, and eventually decided it was time to return to school. “I do find I am a better student in my 30s than in my 20s,” she said.
Working alongside traditional-aged students in their late teens and early 20s hasn’t been an issue, she said. “I enjoy working with the younger students – I don’t feel old or out of place,” she said.
Regarding her choice of human services, Lanh said she “stumbled into it.”
“I wanted to be a social worker, and they said ‘this would be a good fit for you,’” she said, “I didn’t know there was a program out there for this, but this is everything I thought it would be. It’s a natural fit for me.” On joining the program, Lanh met Professor Jayne Barnes, department chair of Social, Educational, and Behavioral Sciences and human services program coordinator.
“Her lectures are awesome, she asks for feedback on how we learn and listens to us,” she said. As part her internship this summer, Lanh set up a donation table at Walgreens on Amherst Street in Nashua to encourage shoppers to purchase sunscreen and bug repellent and donate it to the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter for their patrons. “It went really well; they were very welcoming and put me right in front of the register. Of course I had a few noes from customers, but a lot of yeses,” she said. Lanh’s 10-year-old daughter Makaila joined her for the day, and helped build enthusiasm with customers. “She had a good time, and she helped people too,” Lanh said.
The human services curriculum has made an impact on her, especially with regards to interpersonal relationships, “I’m different now than when I started school here. It’s taught me not to be so verbal sometimes, not to be on the defensive.”
NCC has been a supportive environment so far, she said, “They really work with you here.”
Her favorite class? “So far, it’s this psychology class I’m taking now in counseling with Professor Barnes. It’s more about the approach in counseling – how to approach things in the beginning and learning about their values. I’m learning a lot, it’s teaching me so much about human nature and behaviors, and how to keep your composure.”
Professor Barnes praised Lanh for her hard work and enthusiasm, “Lanh has been a joy to have in the Human Services degree program. She is like sponge in absorbing the information and determined to learn more and more about this field. Her summer fieldwork supervisor wrote in her final evaluation that she was ‘an exceptional intern who demonstrated initiative and a wonderful sense of compassion.’ When I connect with her it is synergistic – she triggers even more excitement about what I wish to share with her about the subject!”
Next, Lanh is working on selecting a second internship experience for spring to round out her degree, but has not chosen a specific agency to approach yet.
Career-wise, she’s weighing her options now too, “I would love to get into immigration work somehow, but I’m not picky. If I can’t get into that work, I’m thinking about being a youth probation officer, or going into mental health.”
With graduation on the horizon next spring, Lanh said her human services degree has been worth the effort, “It is so rewarding and interesting. You can take it with you for the rest of your life.”
The college’s flexibility was also a big help, she said. “I think NCC is awesome for new students, and older students like myself. It’s been a great experience – and convenient.”
Carly Powers completed Fieldwork I this spring and her Capstone Fieldwork this summer working with Reality Check, an agency promoting drug prevention in the Monadnock Region.
Mary Drew, the CEO ran the company out of her home for several years until receiving a federal grant to help deliver the program to the community. “She received a grant to implement prevention in the community, but it’s harder to sell than intervention and treatment, since schools are already seeing drug use,” she said.
The two internships totaling 240 hours included computer work such as creating newsletters, and managing spreadsheets. But it also meant working with at-risk youth and developing support systems for families of at-risk individuals.
“The community work was easily the most engaging,” Carly said, “I worked in a group setting in resource centers and with school faculties.”
Working with students was the highlight, she said. “There’s a program called ‘Horse Power’ in Temple. One person who used to board their horse left money in a trust for horseback riding lessons for drug prevention.” Students spent three hours out of the school to ride horses, then talk with Reality Check staff about drugs, what addiction looks like, and coping mechanisms.
“The kids are easy to talk to, it’s a lot more facilitating on my part to get them to talk to each other,” she said. “The kids who received this are considered high risk.” To be considered high risk, students may have an incarcerated parent, their parents may have overdosed, or they might be living with relatives due to their parents’ involvement with drugs.
“I’m going to stay involved and volunteer after I leave, and part of my volunteer with Mary, is I’m going to start a grandparent support group,” Carly said. Her first group already met in Keene July 28, attended by grandparents who are raising their grandchildren due to the parents’ drug use. “This is a common problem in this area,” she said.
The opioid epidemic in New Hampshire has impacted thousands in the state over the past several years with the death toll among the worst in the nation. In December 2017, the Centers for Disease Control reported that on a per-capita basis, New Hampshire had the third-highest rate of drug overdose deaths in 2016 totaling 39 out of every 100,000 people in the state.
Agencies like Reality Check are now more important than ever. Although Carly’s internship has ended, she’s committed to staying involved as a volunteer throughout her second year at NCC and beyond.
“I have had more experience in the last month that has made my heart feel so fulfilled, I couldn’t imagine doing something else,” she said. After NCC, Carly hopes to go to New England College to major in Human Services with a concentration in Social Work.
“I think everyone that wants to serve humans is driven to do it for a reason – just give it all you’ve got. There’s a need for good people in the world,” she said.
Professor Barnes, the Human Services program advisor and fieldwork instructor, said she was very impressed with Carly’s maturity, insight and ability to handle the many demands of working, going to school and completing her fieldwork competencies.
“Carly continues to participate in various professional development opportunities in the field of drug and alcohol prevention and recovery that will lead in the future toward receiving her CRSW credential,” Barnes said, referring to the Certified Recovery Support Worker credential.
Professor Barnes remembers clearly agreeing with Carly’s supervisor’s comments on her final evaluation “That the world needs more Carlys.”
Anyone interested in getting involved by volunteering their time at Reality Check can visit the webpage at realitychecknow.org.
Internships -Fieldwork I and Capstone Experience
Students can explore career options working with children, seniors, people with physical, intellectual, and mental disabilities, homeless, domestic abuse, and other populations in need of services.
Total Credits: 3 Students are advised to meet with their advisor to make appropriate elective selections based on their career goals and to facilitate the broadest range of transferability. Total Credits: 4 MATH106N, MATH110N or MATH115N is recommended. MATH106N or MATH115N is recommended for Certificates in Accounting and Spreadsheets MATH103N recommended for Associate in Arts Degree in Communications Includes CSCN, ELET MATH or BCPT courses for Associate in Science Degree in Computer Networking. ECON201N/202N will satisfy the Quantitative Literacy elective for Associate in Arts Degree in English. MATH106N or ECON202N is recommended for Associate in Arts Degree in Humanities. MATH106N recommended for Associate in Science Degree in Nursing. MATH106N, MATH110N, or MATH115N are recommended. HUMA230N, or HUMA109N recommended for Associate in Science Degree in Paralegal Studies. Total Credits: 3 Students are advised to meet with their advisor to make appropriate elective selections based on their career goals and to facilitate the broadest range of transferability. Total Credits: 3 Total Credits: 4 Science elective must be 4 credits PHYS101N or PHYS130N recommended Lab Science recommended for Associate in Science Degree in Human Services Recommended Lab Science courses are Calculus-Based Calculus-Based Physics I and Physics II for Associate in Science Degree in Mathematics Total Credits: 3 HUMAXXXN or PHIL109N HUMA140N is recommended for Associate in Arts Degree in Communications Any language recommended for Associate in Science Degree in Paralegal Studies. Students are advised to meet with their advisor to make appropriate elective selections based on their career goals and to facilitate the broadest range of transferability. Total Credits: 3 Total Credits: 3
First Year – Fall Semester
Behavioral Social Science Core Requirement
First Year – Spring Semester
Behavioral Social Science Core Requirement
Second Year – Fall Semester
ENGL102N or ENGL103N
Science Core Requirement
Humanities/Fine Arts or Global Awareness
Second Year – Spring Semester
Total Credits: 3
Total Credits: 4
MATH106N, MATH110N or MATH115N is recommended.
MATH106N or MATH115N is recommended for Certificates in Accounting and Spreadsheets
MATH103N recommended for Associate in Arts Degree in Communications
Includes CSCN, ELET MATH or BCPT courses for Associate in Science Degree in Computer Networking.
ECON201N/202N will satisfy the Quantitative Literacy elective for Associate in Arts Degree in English.
MATH106N or ECON202N is recommended for Associate in Arts Degree in Humanities.
MATH106N recommended for Associate in Science Degree in Nursing.
MATH106N, MATH110N, or MATH115N are recommended. HUMA230N, or HUMA109N recommended for Associate in Science Degree in Paralegal Studies.
Total Credits: 3
Total Credits: 3
Total Credits: 4
Science elective must be 4 credits
PHYS101N or PHYS130N recommended
Lab Science recommended for Associate in Science Degree in Human Services
Recommended Lab Science courses are Calculus-Based Calculus-Based Physics I and Physics II for Associate in Science Degree in Mathematics
Total Credits: 3
HUMAXXXN or PHIL109N
HUMA140N is recommended for Associate in Arts Degree in Communications
Any language recommended for Associate in Science Degree in Paralegal Studies.
Total Credits: 3
Total Credits: 3