Human Services Major

Why study Human Services?

The primary purpose of a Human Services professional is to assist individuals, families, and communities to function as effectively as possible. Because people or communities may experience a need they can’t meet under a variety of different circumstances or at multiple points in time, the need for trained workers who can provide assistance to a diverse and ever-changing population is great. As a result, Human Services is currently one of the fastest growing fields in the United States and abroad.  The purpose of the Human Services major is to prepare a student to understand the socioeconomic, psychological and political foundations of a multicultural society and to utilize that knowledge to identify needs and to coordinate and provide appropriate social services to help populations in need.

Human Services Curriculum

The Human Services major is designed to provide a broad interdisciplinary knowledge base focusing on both prevention and intervention, while maintaining a commitment to strengthening and improving the quality of life of all populations served. Courses will educate students about the various populations they may serve, how these populations interact with one another and the larger community in which they reside, as well as the impact of local, state, and national policies. Students will also develop and enhance their interpersonal skills to allow them to effectively select and implement appropriate strategies and interventions designed to improve functioning. Emphasis is also placed throughout the curriculum on the importance of ethical practice when working with diverse populations.

Career Opportunities

There are a wide variety of job settings and duties available to Human Services professionals. Workers may find employment opportunities within for-profit or nonprofit social services agencies, corrections, mental health or substance abuse treatment facilities, hospitals or community health centers, group homes, shelters, DHS, independent living or long-term care centers, among countless others. Currently, Upper Iowa Human Services graduates occupy or have recently occupied the following professional positions across the country:

Chemical Dependency Counselor                              Reproductive Health Educator

Rehabilitation Case Manager                                     School Support Specialist

Life Skills Instructor                                                    Youth Worker

Child Life Specialist                                                     Domestic Violence Shelter Advocate

Family Support Worker                                               Child Advocate

Homeless Outreach Coordinator                                Early Childhood Intervention Specialist

Juvenile Court Liaison                                                 Health Care Patient Support Coordinator

Nonprofit Organization Executive Director                Behavioral Health Aide

Adult Day Care Worker                                              Income Maintenance Worker

Child Protection Services Worker                               Veteran’s Peer Support Specialist

Further Education

The Human Services bachelor’s degree also prepares students for a variety of graduate programs. Graduates of Upper Iowa’s program have gone on to successfully pursue graduate degrees in psychology, social work, public administration, human development and family studies, mental health counseling, rehabilitative counseling, health services administration, marriage and family therapy, as well as business administration and leadership development.

Upper Iowa is also an approved location by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services to offer the Social Work Training Certificate (SWTC).

Human Services is offered at the following Upper Iowa University locations:

  • Residential Fayette campus
  • Select education centers
  • Online Program