The Associate in Science (A.S.) degree program in human services is designed for those students who plan to transfer to a four-year institution. The Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program prepares graduates for entry level employment in a variety of settings where the basic concern is helping people. Individuals already employed in the human services field frequently enroll in selected courses to update their skills and knowledge.
Students begin either degree program with required introductory human services and liberal arts courses. Requirements for both the A.S. and A.A.S. degree programs are satisfied with the same course offerings. Students in the A.A.S. program complete more human services courses (an additional field placement and an additional human services elective), and students in the A.S. program complete additional liberal arts requirements needed in their transfer programs.
Human services course electives allow students to specialize in such areas as social work, early childhood education, mental health, gerontology, and youth services. Courses in alcohol and chemical dependency study that are acceptable for meeting a part of Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) education requirements are also offered under JCC’s Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) provider certificate.
An early childhood development certificate program has been added to the human services program for individuals interested in pursuing careers in early childhood education and care. The certificate can be used as part of a career ladder to the 60-credit associate degree and transfer degrees. The 60-credit associate degree with a specialization in early childhood continues to be a strong focus in the human services program.
Field placement courses are designed to allow students to learn and practice helping skills in a variety of agency settings. During this field experience, students work 10-12 hours per week, 120 hours per semester, under the supervision of an experienced employee of a human services agency, along with guidance from a JCC faculty member.
JCC maintains working relationships with approximately 100 different agencies in northwestern Pennsylvania and western New York. Popular areas in which students complete fieldwork experiences are pre-school, child care, special education, elementary education, mental health, alcohol and substance abuse treatment, community programs for the elderly, rehabilitation, recreation, and programs for the developmentally disabled, poor, and disadvantaged.
The human services faculty represents a variety of expertise in social work, early childhood education, clinical counseling, and gerontology. The full-time faculty is supplemented by knowledgeable community professionals who teach courses in their areas of specialization.
Bachelor of Social Work Collaboration
During specific periods, a joint admissions program exists between JCC’s human services program and SUNY Fredonia. Students selected for this program receive, concurrently, a letter of admission from JCC and a letter of admission to SUNY Fredonia. Students are assigned a professional social work advisor from SUNY Fredonia and they meet with SUNY Fredonia staff. At present, students must be full-time to be eligible for consideration of this cooperative degree program.
A.S. Human Services
This degree program prepares students for transfer into baccalaureate programs in social work, human services, counseling, psychology, early care and education, and other related fields. While providing a foundation of knowledge in human services, students will choose electives that match their career goals in fields such as mental health; early care and education; gerontology; alcohol and chemical dependency; and developmental, cognitive, and physical disabilities and rehabilitation services. Students will prepare for transfer and employment by completing a one-semester internship and additional liberal arts and sciences electives.
The associate degree in human services provides a broad base of knowledge that enables students to continue study in such areas as human services, social work, psychology, sociology, elementary education, early childhood education, and gerontology. A student who is considering transferring to a four-year institution should seek advisement early in planning his or her program. Contact the human services coordinator for information on specific transfer agreements.