For those just beginning their journey into the world of social work, an associate’s degree in social work or human services is an excellent first step to gaining meaningful employment in the field. Whether you are looking for training for an entry-level job,  just starting down the path of higher education, or seeking extra training for a budding career in social work, an associate’s degree is an excellent choice. Associate’s degrees are particularly excellent for those looking for a relatively inexpensive yet strong foundation in social work education while planning to transfer into their junior year at a four-year institution. This can lead to a Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) degree, Masters of Social Work (MSW) degree or even a Doctorate in Social Work (PhD or clinical practice doctorate).

All associate’s degrees in social work or human services in the country were considered in our unique ranking, which employs three primary criteria: overall academic quality (40%); tuition cost (40%); and curriculum breadth (20%).  All programs in the ranking take two years to complete. Because most students who earn associate’s degrees do so close to home, tuition was calculated using in-state costs.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for social work is increasing, so we hope our list inspires you to jump-start your career in social work sooner than later!

1)  Diné College (Tsaile, AZ)

Image Source

The Associate of Arts in Social Work degree from Diné College improves skills, knowledge, and predispositions needed for becoming a technician or para-professional in a social welfare program. It enables transferring to a university or a four-year college. Some courses are equivalent to a third year or fourth-year college-level course. Students who plan to transfer to a university or a four-year college should check with that institution when selecting Social Work courses. If students are interested in pursuing a graduate degree (a Master’s degree or a PhD) in Social Work, one option is to complete the Psychology BA program because a Psychology BA degree can serve as a foundation for pursuing graduates studies in Social Work.

The Associate of Applied Science degree prepares students for employment following graduation. They offer practical introductions to the field of work. The courses offered through the Social and Behavioral Sciences division prepares students who are planning to go into a profession related to any social and behavioral science discipline, including Anthropology, History, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, or Social Work. The courses also enhance the applications of Social and Behavioral Science Principles in everyday life. The educational philosophy of Diné College “Sa’ah Naaghai Bik’eh Hozhoo”, the Diné traditional living system, places Diné life in harmony with the natural world and the universe. This unique educational philosophy and mission is grounded in Navajo cultural traditions. The philosophy provides principles both for protection from the imperfections in life and for the development of well-being.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $2,640

2)  Blackfeet Community College (Browning, MT)

Image Source

The Associate of Arts in Human Services degree from Blackfeet Community College prepares students to pursue a career in a variety of helping fields, such as alcohol and drug rehabilitation, behavioral health centers, social service agencies, youth centers, criminal justice facilities, schools, and community outreach programs. The curriculum is composed of courses in Human Services, Psychology, Chemical Dependency and Criminal Justice. In addition to classroom coursework, the program offers hands-on field experience. It is the student’s responsibility to check with their transferring institution to see that, as much as possible, their course work meets their transfer institution’s degree requirements.

For those who have a strong desire to help others, a sincere respect for humankind, and a commitment to your own personal growth, they may find a career in human services very rewarding. The Human Services A.A. degree program provides skills-based training, based on a foundation of theory, to prepare students for an entry-level position within a human services agency or transfer to a 4-year institution. This program provides students with a basic understanding of interviewing and assessment techniques, case management, crisis intervention, group counseling, cultural competencies and hands-on field experience. Students will also examine the Blackfeet worldview as it relates to the Human Service field. A unique component of the school’s program is meant to apply knowledge and skills critically in the context of living and providing services to the Blackfeet Reservation and larger global community with emphases in: chemical dependency; psychology; and criminal justice.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $4,100

3)  Community College of Beaver County (Monaca, PA)

Image Source

The Associate in Arts in Social Work degree from the Community College of Beaver County focuses on four key areas: an introduction to the historical development of the knowledge and values of the social work profession; an introduction to social work practice skills and the generalist social work model; an introduction to cultural diversity and the opportunity to begin to develop cultural competency; and an introduction to a strengths-based perspective of a multiple systems approach to human development across the life span. Students also participate in a final semester seminar which requires each student to participate in the community for observation as well as an orientation to the entry-level social work position.

Graduates are prepared for transfer to a four-year social work program. Social Work is a day program only. Graduates will be able to: Demonstrate knowledge of self-awareness and a personal sense of identity; Utilize a multidimensional systems based bio-psycho-social approach to human development and behavior across the lifespan; Apply the Generalists Intervention Model (GIM); and Exhibit the skills in cultural diversity and cultural competency that are necessary for the effective practice of Social Work. Courses include Contemporary Social Problems; Introduction to Social Work; Narcotics and Drug Abuse; Cultural Diversity in American Society; Human Behavior/Social Environment; and American National Government.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $6,272

4)  South Texas College (McAllen, TX)

Image Source

The Associate of Arts in Social Work degree from South Texas College trains graduates who are devoted to helping people function the best they can in their environment. Social workers act as advocates for children and families in need, victims of domestic violence, people with disabilities, pregnant teenagers, and many other diverse populations. Social workers provide advice, advocacy, and support to those who have personal and social problems and work in the community to promote social justice. The Associate of Arts (A.A.) in Social Work is an excellent transfer program since the core curriculum parallels the first two years of most four-year social science degrees.

After completion of this degree, the student will be prepared to work in a variety of public and private social service settings including programs in schools and hospitals, juvenile detention and residential facilities, crisis centers, information and referral programs, hospices, employee assistance programs, nursing homes, home health agencies and adult day care centers. Social workers work in virtually any organization that strives to meet human needs such as hospitals, substance abuse treatment facilities, prisons, schools and social welfare agencies. Coursework includes Introduction to Social Work; Social Welfare as a Social Institution; General Psychology; Introductory Sociology; Statistical Methods in Psychology; and Social Problems.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $6,000

5)  Austin Community College District (Austin, TX)

Image Source

The Associate of Arts in Social Work degree from Austin Community College District educates social workers to be trained professionals that help individuals and families meet their personal and social needs. This program offers a broad base of classroom instruction and field experiences to prepare students to make a positive impact in people’s lives. Courses cover multiple social perspectives with a focus on the most vulnerable populations. The Associate degree program in Social Work is designed to prepare students for entry into the social service profession as a caseworker. In addition, it provides students with the first two years of college for transfer to a baccalaureate granting institution.

Students are strongly encouraged to select a transfer destination by the time they have completed 30 semester credit hours. Graduates’ Careers include: Social and Community Service Managers; Child, Family, and School Social Workers; Healthcare Social Workers; Social Work Teachers, Postsecondary. The Austin Community College District is a community college system serving the Austin, Texas metropolitan area and surrounding Central Texas communities. The college maintains numerous campuses, centers, and distance learning options to serve about 100,000 students in academic, continuing education and adult education programs. ACC offers associate degree and career/technical certificate programs in about one hundred areas of study.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $5,780

6)  Rogue Community College (Grants Pass, OR)

Image Source

The Associate of Science in Human Services degree from Rogue Community College offers classroom instruction and practical training, including internships that will develop students’ skills in a real-life setting. Students learn about human behavior and social problems and how individuals interface with various systems to address these issues. Human service workers provide a wide range of emotional and practical support to help people get through difficult times. A degree in human services prepares students for entry-level employment in such areas as child and family services, mental health, social services, addictions counseling, aging and rehabilitation, including group and community work at the public and private level.

Starting salaries for graduates may range from $23,000 to $36,000 a year. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, job prospects in this field are increasing. Many human services graduates transfer to four-year universities to further their education to enhance career prospects and earnings. Coursework includes Trauma-informed Care: Theory and Practice; Ethics for Counselors; Family Dynamics; Counseling the Chemically Dependent Client; Group Counseling; Counseling Theories; Crisis Intervention Strategies; Child Abuse and Neglect; Principles of Client Record Management; Stress Management; Motivational Interviewing; and Co-occurring Disorders: Introductory Theory and Counseling.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $7,536

7)  Iowa Central Community College (Fort Dodge, IA)

Image Source

The Associate in Arts in Social Work degree from Iowa Central Community College is designed to provide students with a strong background in the methodologies, theories, and fundamental concepts of Social Work and related social sciences. Students interested in majoring in Social Work can complete their first two years of coursework at Iowa Central and then transfer to a public or private college for the remaining two years. Graduates are prepared to help individuals, groups, and communities function successfully in the social arena, dealing with obstacles ranging from poverty and domestic abuse to disability and mental illness.

Social work is not for everyone: social workers must be compassionate and sensitive to others’ problems, responsible and committed to helping those in need, and well educated in the diverse fields that fall under the social work umbrella. Social work can be highly challenging, but is also very rewarding career path. Because of the great diversity of social work, a social worker’s duties are not set in stone. While some work the traditional 40-hour week in an office environment, others travel to rural communities, meet with clients and service providers, attend or hold meetings, or handle emergency situations. The growing elderly population and the aging baby boom generation will create greater demand for health and social services, resulting in rapid job growth among gerontological social workers. Employment of social workers in private social service agencies also will increase.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $2,702

8)  Chemeketa Community College (Salem, OR)

Image Source

The Associate of Applied Sciences Social Service degree from Chemeketa Community College is a two-year program that combines academic work with twenty-five credits of field experience to prepare graduates to work at entry-level social service jobs. By completing the AAS degree, students will be able to: Describe the nature of human systems: individual, group, organization, community, and society, and their major interactions; Describe the conditions that promote or limit optimal functioning in the major human systems; Identify and select interventions that promote client growth and goal attainment; Plan, implement, and evaluate interventions; and Select interventions that are congruent with the values of one’s self, clients, the employing organization, and the human services progression.

In addition, students will be able to: Use process skills to plan and implement services; Adapt assessment skills and interventions to a variety of settings; and Comprehend and recognize the worth and uniqueness of the individual, including race, culture, ethnicity, gender, religion, learning style, abilities, sexual orientation, age, social class, and other expressions of diversity. Graduates are employed in occupations such as Services to seniors; Department of Human Services; Adult and juvenile corrections; Employment services; Crisis intervention services; and Services to people with physical and/or emotional challenges. Regarding fieldwork, students will have two different practicum sites, or client populations, to work with during their two years of study. Two terms in one agency count as one practicum site.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $6,336

9) Northeast Mississippi Community College (Booneville, MS)

Image Source

The Associate of Arts in Social Work degree from Northeast Mississippi Community College prepares students for entrance into Schools of Social Work as juniors so they can complete requirements for licensure as Social Workers or for graduate studies. A four-year degree in social work can lead to numerous careers in fields such as mental health, education, child welfare, public health care, justice/corrections or policy/planning. Students majoring in Social Work will be working towards an A.A. degree at Northeast Mississippi Community College. As found in the Northeast Mississippi Community College Student Catalog, the Associate of Arts Degree is awarded to students completing university parallel programs.

Candidates for the A.A. degree must complete the following: Earn a minimum of 62 semester hours applicable to a bachelor’s degree of which 3 semester hours (Physical education or other activity courses) may be non-academic credits. Earn a grade point average of 2.0. Complete the 32 semester hours of general education core consisting of English Composition (ENG 1113 and ENG 1123), social and/or behavioral science (6 semester hours from sociology, psychology, political science, geography, economics, or education psychology), humanities (6 semester hours from history, literature, modern foreign language, philosophy, religion, art, speech, or music), laboratory science (8 semester hours), fine arts (3 semester hours selected from art/music/theater appreciation), mathematics (MAT 1313, equivalent or above).

Total Estimated Program Cost: $6,000

10)  Amarillo College (Amarillo, TX)

Image Source

The Associate in Science degree in Social Work from Amarillo College resides in the School of Behavioral Studies and is a two-year degree. The curriculum provides basic courses for the first two years and is designed for the transition to a four-year curriculum leading to a degree of Bachelor of Science in Social Work. Students should plan their program to match the specific requirements of the senior institution of choice. Amarillo College is a two-year community college in Amarillo, Texas with over 10,000 students that was established in 1929 as Amarillo Junior College. Amarillo College has a total of six campuses as of October 2005. Much of higher learning is rooted in the liberal arts, a hotbed of creative and effective thinking that provides a firm and well-rounded foundation for baccalaureate programs of many sorts.

The mission of the school is to enrich the lives of their students and community by helping learners identify and achieve their educational goals. Major course requirements include: Introduction to Sociology; Modern Social Problems: A study of the nature and origin of the problems of modern society; Introduction to Social Work: Development of the philosophy and practice of social work in the United States; survey of the fields and techniques of social work; attention given to requirements for graduate training and social work; and Human Behavior and Personal Adjustment: Applications of basic psychological principles to human adjustment and growth, including psychosocial development, self-concept, stress and coping, social influence, interpersonal relationships, love, intimacy and the prevention of maladjustment.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $6,284

11)  Lorain County Community College (Elyria, OH)

Image Source

The Associate of Applied Science in Human Services degree from Lorain County Community College provides broad, fundamental knowledge in psychology, human behavior, and available social services. It prepares students for many entry-level positions centered around providing services for specific populations. For example, Human Services professionals may work with at-risk children, the elderly, the addicted, people facing poverty, residents of group homes, hospital patients, and more. Jobs may include social services assistant, case management aide, social work assistant, residential counselor, community support worker, alcohol or drug abuse counselor, mental health technician, child care worker, community outreach worker, life skill counselor, or gerontology aide.

While many jobs in psychology require an advanced degree, the Associate of Applied Science in Human Services from LCCC prepares students for an entry-level position in the field and provide credits toward degrees at one of our Partner Universities or another four-year institution. Students may select a human services generalist major or a major in gerontology assisting. With an Associate Degree, students are prepared to work as a case manager, child care worker, program aide, mental health technician, job coach, outreach worker or social service aide. Students work under the direction of professionals from a wide variety of fields, such as nursing, psychiatry, psychology, rehabilitation or social work. For those interested in a job that is different every day, allows them to interact directly with people, and has the potential to make a big impact on at-risk populations, the Human Services program at LCCC offers real-world, targeted training.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $6,450

12)  Community College of Allegheny County (Pittsburgh, PA)

Image Source

The Associate of Science in Social Work Foundations degree from the Community College of Allegheny County prepares students to work in community and social service agencies. Graduates work as paraprofessionals in group homes, drug and alcohol treatment centers and other social service agencies. However, it is highly recommended that CCAC students obtain their associate degree and transfer to an accredited Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program. CCAC has developed partnerships with many accredited BSW programs; therefore students should explore opportunities to continue their education. Upon successful completion of the program, the graduate will: Employ social work terminology appropriately; Identify the core values of the social work profession; and Define the major elements of the social work profession.

The student will also be able to: Define the major elements of the social work profession; Examine the main theoretical perspectives of social work; Assess diversity and its relevance to the social work practice; Utilize technology including web-based resources, for the purpose of education, advocacy, research and practice; and Apply critical thinking skills within the context of professional social work practice. Additionally, CCAC social work faculty is committed to providing students with the opportunity to learn and fundamentally apply the following ten core competencies: Professional identity; Ethical practice; Critical thinking; Diversity in practice; Human rights and justice research-based practice; Research and practice; Human behavior; Policy practice; Practice context; and Encouragement, assessment, intervention and evaluation of social work practices.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $7,040

 

13)  Macomb Community College (Warren, MI)

Image Source

The Associate of Arts degree in Pre-Social Work from Macomb Community College prepares students to advance through a social work program at a four-year college or university. Students are introduced to the social work profession and the factors that produced social welfare services. Students learn about the development and organization of human societies, psychology’s role as a behavioral science and public policy making and its relation to social services. Students also participate in a variety of service learning opportunities on class time that introduce them to local programs serving those who are socially disadvantaged.

With an Associate of Arts Degree in Pre-Social Work, students are qualified for positions that include social & human service assistant. A minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (BSW) is required for a position as a social worker, with a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) required for most. The credits earned in this program will transfer to many colleges and universities in Michigan. If students intend to transfer and pursue a Bachelor of Social Work Degree, they are encouraged to speak with a Macomb counselor or academic advisor as soon as possible after applying to Macomb to plan the best pathway. Pre-Social Work Courses at Macomb include Introduction to Social Work; Introductory Psychology; Introduction to Ethics; and Introduction to American Politics.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $7,360

14)  Camden County College (Camden County, NJ)

Image Source

The Associate in Science in Human Services & Behavioral Science degree from Camden County College encompass a wide spectrum of community work designed to help people. Human services professionals work in mental health organizations, developmental disability services, substance abuse programs and multi-service centers. Employment opportunities include the areas of: Social service; Mental health; Early childhood; Gerontology; Community work; Corrections; Probation; Addictions; and Rehabilitation. Many students go on to earn bachelor’s degrees in human services. Students transferring to Rutgers University and expecting to major in social work will need to also apply separately to the School of Social Work. Students will be required to do a 120-hour internship with a social welfare agency during the second year, second semester.

At the end of the program, the graduate will be able to: Analyze contemporary social welfare issues affecting American society; Behave in a professional and ethical manner; Explain and use elements of effective working relationships encompassing the ideals of empathy, positive communication and active listening; and Differentiate between various types of services within the social welfare system. Goals of the program include: Preparing students to qualify for transfer to various baccalaureate programs in human services or other related social service fields; Providing students with the beginning competencies in the field of human services; Preparing students to work with specific population groups and in different practice situations; and Providing students with the knowledge of available human services delivery systems in the community where the student works and lives.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $4,608

15)  Hopkinsville Community College (Hopkinsville, KY)

Image Source

The Associate in Applied Science in Human Services degree from Hopkinsville Community College prepares students for entry level positions in agencies and institutions which provide social, community, educational, and mental health services. The curriculum gives students the essential knowledge and skills to begin a career in direct service to individuals. Coursework includes Human Services courses, technical electives pertaining to various areas of Human Services, and general education courses. Application of Human Services principles and skills is provided through a clinical experience in an appropriate setting. The clinical course is usually taken in the last semester.

Students can focus their studies by choosing the specific technical courses that best match their interests in such areas as juvenile delinquency, gerontology, corrections, developmental disabilities, and community and family services. The field of Human Services is broadly defined, uniquely approaching the objective of meeting human needs through an interdisciplinary knowledge base, focusing on prevention as well as remediation of problems, and maintaining a commitment to improving the overall quality of life of service populations. The Human Services profession is one which promotes improved service delivery systems by addressing not only the quality of direct services, but also by seeking to improve accessibility, accountability, and coordination among professionals and agencies in service delivery.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $7,248

16)  Bismarck State College (Bismarck, ND)

Image Source

The Associate in Arts in Social Work degree from Bismarck State College is meant for students who seek to help individuals, families, organizations, groups or communities engage resources that will alleviate human problems. Social work is concerned with helping clients to develop capacities and strengths that will enhance their social functioning. The two-year program at BSC prepares students with core courses toward a bachelor’s degree in social work. The suggested curriculum includes courses in psychology, ethics, statistics, government, cultural diversity, social welfare, human services, relationships/ self-esteem and professional writing, plus general education courses required by most four-year institutions. The 120-acre campus, in the vibrant, capital city of Bismarck, is beautifully situated overlooking the Missouri River with easy access to the Interstate as well as Bismarck’s many amenities.

Social workers should be emotionally mature, objective, flexible, creative and sensitive to people and their problems. They must be able to handle responsibility, work independently and maintain good working relationships with clients and coworkers. The typical practice involves diverse groups of people of various ages with different social and cultural backgrounds and life situations. All states have licensing, certification or registration requirements for social work practice.Students who follow the suggested curriculum at BSC earn an Associate in Arts degree after all requirements are completed. BSC and Minot State University (MSU) have a cooperative agreement that allows BSC graduates with the Associate in Arts to pursue a bachelor’s degree in social work from MSU on the BSC campus. BSC’s suggested curriculum prepares students for this option. Courses include Developmental Psychology; Abnormal Psychology; Cultural Diversity; Minority Relations; and Development of Social Welfare.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $7,600

17)  Western Nebraska Community College (Scottsbluff, NE)

Image Source

The Associate of Arts in Social Work degree from Western Nebraska Community College is designed to help individuals, social groups and society to function more effectively. The practice of social work requires knowledge of human behavior, social institutions, and ethnic groups. It is recommended that a student entering this field of study take courses in the Spanish language. A Social Work major may choose to work in such fields as child welfare, aging, alcoholism, family counseling, and corrections. Students are expected to take courses in support areas such as science, mathematics, social science, and language arts.

Objectives of the program include: Fulfill the graduation requirements for the Associate of Arts degree; Facilitate the student’s entry into a baccalaureate program in social work at a four-year college or university; Stimulate students’ interest in their own self-growth as they increase their understanding of others; and Provide students with the knowledge that could make them employable by community agencies in human service areas. The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median pay for Social Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree is $44,200 per year. Growth in jobs in this field for the decade 2012-2022 was projected to be 19%, faster than average.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $7,360

18)  Kellogg Community College (Battle Creek, MI)

Image Source

The Associate in Applied Science in Human Services degree from Kellogg Community College prepares students with the knowledge and skills needed for a variety of roles in the field of human services. Because the foundation of human services is supported by an integration of other service-related disciplines, the program offers the study of information used to work effectively with individual clients, small groups and families, as well as special populations. This program provides students an opportunity to obtain an understanding of various service-related professions, including counseling, human services, psychology and social work.

Students learn about and how to work with diverse populations and about various jobs available after completing a human services degree. Careers in the field of human services are diverse and include professionals, paraprofessionals, administrators and managers, as well as other support staff. The education and training focus on prevention as well as remediation of problems and maintaining a commitment to improving the overall quality of life for the various populations served. Some of the popular transfer choices for KCC Human Services graduates seeking to continue their education at a four-year institution include Grand Valley State University, Siena Heights University, Spring Arbor University and Western Michigan University.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $7,808

19)  Salt Lake Community College (Salt Lake City, UT)

Image Source

The Associate of Arts in Social Work degree from Salt Lake Community College trains students to provide professional services for emotionally, economically or socially disadvantaged persons. This introductory level program will acquaint students with the multi-faceted, multi-skilled Social Work profession. Students learn issues in the provision of services to emotionally, economically, mentally or socially disadvantaged persons. The program also requires internships where the student will learn to apply and further understand theoretical frameworks discussed in class. The program is designed to allow students to transfer to a 4-year program. Due to the numerous possibilities, it is suggested that students consult the Social Work Academic Advisor for information on how the higher education institutions accept credits for a given class.

Program learning outcomes include the ability to: Acquire substantive knowledge of fundamental concepts in specific fields of social work such as Human Behavior, Social Welfare Policy, Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Group Therapy and Ethics and be prepared for further study in social work or a related discipline at a four-year college or university; Effectively communicate orally and in writing about case-related issues specific to the social work field; Use and interpret information represented as data, graphs, and tables to analyze and understand human behavior in individuals, groups, families, organizations, communities, globally and/or other topics in social work; Demonstrate orally and in writing understanding of key aspects of critical thinking such as reasoning, problem-solving, strengths identification and case-related issues specific to the social work field; and Develop and demonstrate in class, writing assignments and an internship the knowledge, ethical practice and skills to be civically engaged and to participate within society.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $7,561

20)  Lehigh Carbon Community College (Schnecksville, PA)

Image Source

The Associate in Arts in Social Work degree from Lehigh Carbon Community College is designed for students preparing to enter a baccalaureate program in social work at four-year colleges or universities. Social workers perform work in three major areas: child, family and schools; medical and public health; and mental health and substance abuse. This program offers coursework that addresses the values, knowledge, and skills to help people obtain services; counsel individuals, families and groups; help communities or groups improve social and health services; and pursue social justice by participating in legislative processes. The program emphasizes the development of communication, problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Upon successful completion of this program, graduates will be able to: demonstrate academic and personal preparation for transfer to a four-year college/university offering the B.S.W. degree; demonstrate the ability to use effectively communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills in liberal arts disciplines; demonstrate the knowledge and value of cultural competencies which promotes the strengths and well-being of a diverse society; demonstrate an understanding of social work as a profession by exploring the historical influences and social values impacting current social issues and social policies. Students should consult the catalog of the four-year college or university to which he or she plans to transfer and consult with the institution’s Social Work department to ensure that electives of the degree requirements are properly met.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $7,980

21)  College of Southern Idaho (Twin Falls, ID)

Image Source

The Associate of Arts in Social Work degree from the College of Southern Idaho propels students towards a profession that provides moral, practical and compassionate leadership in helping people confront and resolve their personal dilemmas. Social work’s focus on the “person-in-environment” paradigm uniquely equips Social Workers to work effectively with individuals, families, small groups, communities and organizations. Completion of the program is designed to result in an Associate of Arts degree, and meets the general education requirements at all Idaho public universities. Course selection should be coordinated to meet requirements for students’ intended transfer institution for the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree.

The mission of the Social Science Department is to provide educational, social, and cultural opportunities which encourage enriched, productive and responsible lives primarily by instructing students to understand, interpret, and apply Social Science discipline coursework. Social Work graduates are employed in many different public & private work settings, including Nursing homes, Hospices, Hospitals, Home care agencies, Substance abuse programs, Mental health services, Mental retardation/developmental disabilities services, Vocational rehabilitation services, Public health agencies, Community actions agencies, Family services agencies, Children & youth agencies, Child Welfare agencies, Aging services, Residential treatment programs, Child & adult day care centers, Domestic violence programs, Homeless shelters, Criminal justice agencies, School (elementary & secondary), Income maintenance, Legal service agencies.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $8,320

22)  Athens Technical College (Athens, GA)

Image Source

The Social Work Assistant Associates Degree at Athens Technical College is a two-year, 66-credit hour program for individuals desiring to work with individuals experiencing natural life transitions or unexpected life crises to assist them in obtaining the help needed while also making certain that they can reach their maximum level of independent functioning. Social Work Assistants provide direct and/or indirect services either as leas case managers or through work under the direction of social workers, psychologists, or others who have more education or experience. Social Work Assistants have many social service job titles, such as casework aide, clinical social work aide, family service assistant, addictions counselor assistant, and human service worker.

The populations with which Social Work Assistants provide services are quite varied. They may work with children and families, people with mental illnesses or disabilities, the elderly, the homeless, or the unemployed, to name a few. Social Work Assistants may work in schools, medical facilities, offices, residential facilities, shelters or directly in homes and communities. They also may work for non-profit or private-for-profit social service agencies or state and local governments. Because of the skills, knowledge, ethics and sensitivity to human needs, Social Work Assistants may also work in non-social service agencies. Social Work Assistants play a variety of roles in a community to support their clients. They may assist clients in need of counseling or crisis intervention or facilitate group activities. Often times, they work with other professional care providers to provide emotional support and training so as to empower them to become involved in their own well-being.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $7,870

23)  Northampton Community College (Bethlehem, PA)

Image Source

The Associate in Arts in Social Work degree from Northampton Community College gives students the solid background they need to transfer successfully to a baccalaureate degree in social work. Courses in sociology, psychology, history, and biology compliment the knowledge, values and skills of social work practice in the United States and globally. Social work requires excellent skills in communication, problem solving, observation, and critical thinking. It is a demanding and rewarding profession. Students in our program are expected to take part in hands-on service learning opportunities and are also encouraged to get involved in Social Work Club activities.

Graduates of the program often transfer to many schools of social work in the region, including Cedar Crest College, Alvernia College, Kutztown University, Marywood University, and Misericordia University. If students have a transfer program in mind, they are encouraged to check with that institution to see what its transfer requirements may be. The Social Work program is offered at both the Bethlehem and Monroe campuses, and online. Students in the Social Work program may also use it to work toward a BS in Health Service Administration by starting at Northampton and transferring to East Stroudsburg University. Northampton and ESU have developed a course-for-course agreement so that students may start taking classes for their major while at Northampton, and then seamlessly transfer to ESU to complete the degree.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $8,460

24)  Lake Land College (Mattoon, IL)

Image Source

The Associate of Applied Science in Human Services degree from Lake Land College is designed to prepare students with skills to work in a variety of settings such as homes for the developmentally disabled, activity-psychosocial areas of senior residential homes, special education schools, state agencies, correctional centers, probation offices, social service areas of hospitals and mental health facilities. Classroom training and field experience prepare graduates of the Human Services program to provide greatly needed services to people who require assistance.

The Human Services student has the opportunity to choose from seven areas of concentration: business, dietetics, education, health, criminal justice, psychology and sociology. Fifteen semester hours are required from one of the seven areas to complete the program. To be eligible for the field experience the following must be completed: 30 semester hours of the required curriculum, 2.0 GPA, Foundations of Human Services HSP103 and Social Welfare HSP 122. This program of study can lead to a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer science, sociology, psychology, health studies or social work. Students should consult with an advisor during their first year regarding specific transfer curricula and electives coursework to facilitate a transfer.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $7,980

25)  Madisonville Community College (Madisonville, KY)

Image Source

The Associate in Applied Science in Human Services degree from Madisonville Community College prepares individuals for entry level positions in agencies and institutions which provide social, community, educational and mental health services. Upon completion of the program the graduate is prepared to seek employment in various areas which may include child care facilities, mental health settings, chemical dependency settings, hospitals, educational institutions, correctional facilities, geriatric settings, child and youth centers, and social service agencies. Most students may complete an AAS program in two years, provided students enroll in the recommended number of credit hours per semester. General education classes, with the exception of course prerequisites, may be taken along with curriculum classes.

The associate in applied science degree in Human Services is transferable to bachelor of science programs at: Western Kentucky University (Bachelor of Social Work); Morehead State University (Bachelor of Social Work); Murray State University (AAS into Bachelor of Integrated Studies or AA w/Human Services Framework into Bachelor of Social Work); Kentucky State University (Bachelor of Arts in Psychology); and University of Pikeville ( Bachelor of Social Work). Job growth is expected to be 27% for human services assistants in Kentucky with 280 job openings annually, as reported by the Kentucky Department for Workforce Investment, Office of Employment and Training. The annual mean salary is $23,900.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $8,461

26)  Georgia Northwestern Technical College (Rome, GA)

Image Source

The Social Work Assistant (Associate of Applied Science) degree from Georgia Northwestern Technical College is designed to prepare individuals to obtain entry-level employment in public and private social service agencies. The social worker assistant is equipped with the skills, knowledge, values, and sensitivity to effectively serve human needs in a variety of community settings. Students have the option to select courses that will prepare them to provide client services, as well as support for families in a variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, and social work. They may assist clients in identifying social and community services that will best assist them.

They may assist the social worker in developing, organizing, and conducting programs to resolve problems relevant to human relations, substance abuse, adult day care, and rehabilitation. The length of the program is approximately six semesters. Courses include: Introduction to Social Work; Introduction to Case Management; Human Behavior and the Social Environment; Group Work Intervention; Child & Adolescent Behaviors & Interventions; Social Policies and Programs for the Aging; Leadership and Community Service; Case Management with Families; Social Welfare and Community Service; Addictions, Theories, and Treatments; Domestic and Family Violence; Multicultural Issues; Social Policies and Programs for the Aging; and two Social Work Field Practicums.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $8,010

27)  Haskell Indian Nations University (Lawrence, KS)

Image Source

The Associate of Arts in Social Work degree from Haskell Indian Nations University uses a strengths based empowerment approach when instructing and advising social work students to become scholars and leaders to their tribal nations. Students are encouraged to learn basic research methods and begin critically reflecting upon their writing and framework. By the time a student has completed the required social work courses, he or she will be able to: Describe the profession of social work, including its history and value base and the impact of this history on communities of culture and color; Describe the role of a generalist social worker within the social welfare system.

Students will also be able to identify the importance of diversity and research-based practice; identify professional social work education requirements; discuss the theories of causality, the addiction process, and prevention and treatment efforts. Students who are working towards their Associate of Arts degree or who wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree can elect social work as their emphasis area. There are no admission requirements to get into the social work program, however, students do need to meet continuation standards as set forth by the university to maintain enrollment, i.e., satisfactory academic and social standing. To be awarded an AA in social work students must take the following area-specific courses: Intro to Social Work; Chemical Dependency; and Social Welfare.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $9,030

28)  Capital Community College (Hartford, CT)

Image Source

The Associate in Science in Social Services degree from Capital Community College prepares students for employment as mental health aides, group residence workers, neighborhood outreach workers, social casework assistants and other similar positions. In many instances, social service workers are employed under the supervision of a social worker, or in some cases a psychologist. Employment opportunities exist in such areas as day care, nursery school education, mental health, group and community work at the public and private levels. The Capital Community College A.S. degree in Social Services articulates with the Central Connecticut State University Bachelor of Social Work, the University of Saint Joseph B.A. Social Work program, and the University of Connecticut Urban and Communities Studies.

Students have the option of declaring a major in Social Services, Social Services with a Community Change Studies Option, Social Services with a Gerontology Option, Social Services with a Library Technical Assistant Option, or Social Services with a Mental Health Option. Graduates are prepared to pursue further education at colleges leading to a baccalaureate degree in several professional areas including social work, criminal justice, psychology, sociology, education and counseling. Service learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience of students. At Capital Community College, service learning is incorporated into four courses by offering students individual service opportunities or by creating project-based service activities for a group of students or for the entire class.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $8,712

29)  Madison Area Technical College (Madison, WI)

Image Source

The Associate in Applied Science in Human Services degree from Madison Area Technical College trains students to provide information, support, care and advocacy in a human service agency. Students acquire the skills needed to work with individuals, groups and communities as well as learning to work with people of diverse racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. General education courses included in the program teach students to better understand social problems. During the second year of the program, students start a fieldwork placement in a human service agency. Travel to fieldwork sites is necessary and is students’ responsibility. A Caregiver Background Check is required for fieldwork placements.

Some of the aptitudes and interests that are essential for human service students include emotional stability and maturity, an interest in working with people, and an appreciation of cultural competence and diversity. The Human Services Associate program is recognized by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services as a training program for substance abuse counselors. The program is also accredited by the Council for Standards in Human Service Education preparing students for the Human Services – Board Certified Professional Credential. Students in the Human Services Associate program can attend full or part-time. Some of the courses for this program may be available online. With additional education and/or work experience, graduates may find employment as Substance Abuse Counselor; Program Director; or Social Worker.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $8,461

30)  Oakton Community College (Des Plaines, IL)

Image Source

The Associate in Applied Science in Human Services degree from Oakton Community College offers students the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills in counseling and interviewing; leading and facilitating groups; psychosocial theories for various work settings; discussing client behavior; documentation and understanding professional ethics and legal issues. The Human Services curriculum is designed for students who are: Working in human resources, sales or other job areas, and seeking to enhance their skills and ability to work with people; Preparing for a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the social services field; Interested in related paraprofessional and entry level jobs; and starting a new career or changing careers.

The curriculum’s learning goals include being able to: Analyze the historical development of human services over the past 150 years; Evaluate the theory of the interaction of human systems including: individual, interpersonal, group, family, organizational, community, and societal; Evaluate the scope of conditions that promote or inhibit human functioning; Evaluate skills utilized in human services information management; Create systemic analysis of service needs, appropriate strategies, and services and evaluate the associated implementation and outcomes; Develop the skills for direct service delivery and appropriate interventions; Develop appropriate interpersonal communication skills; Analyze human services values, attitudes and ethics and promote their application in practice; Analyze the impact of own individual values, personalities, reaction patterns, interpersonal styles, and limitations.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $8,720

31)  North Idaho College (Couer d’Alene, ID)

Image Source

The Associate of Arts in Social Work degree from North Idaho College is for students planning to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program in social (BSW). Career opportunities in social work include social services at federal, state, and local levels; health care social work in nursing homes, hospitals, and outpatient care facilities; mental health facilities; children and youth services; aging services casework; rehabilitation counseling; juvenile detention; family services; pre-adoption investigation; drug and alcohol counseling; group home casework and counseling; and employee assistance counseling.

The suggested coursework normally fulfills the first half of baccalaureate degree requirements in social work. Course selection should be tailored to match requirements defined by intended transfer institutions. Coursework includes Humanistic and Artistic Ways of Knowing; Social and Behavioral Ways of Knowing; Introduction to Psychology; Introduction to Social Work; Social Work Generalist Practice; Native People of North America; Race and Ethnic Relations; Intercultural Communication; Developmental Psychology; Abnormal Psychology; Introduction to Sociology; and Marriage and Family. Completion of coursework results in an associate’s degree and meets the general core requirements at Idaho public universities.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $8,960

32)  Hudson County Community College (Jersey City, NJ)

Image Source

The Associate in Arts in Human Services degree from Hudson Community College combines coursework in the social sciences, primarily sociology and psychology, with courses in human services to prepare students to work with clientele to cope with and/or prevent social and personal problems. Human Service professionals perform in a wide range of occupations and in a variety of settings including schools, group homes, community mental health facilities, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, halfway houses and substance abuse program facilities.

They help individuals, families, or groups cope with social problems such as inadequate housing, unemployment, disabilities, financial mismanagement, family disruptions, unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, serious illness and substance abuse. Students who complete the Human Services degree program will qualify for employment as Human Service assistants in many agencies. They will also meet the prerequisites for admission to the Bachelor of Social Work at senior institutions. Coursework includes American Government; Intro to Human Services; Helping Strategies & Relationships; Social Research Methods; and Service Learning in Human Services. The Social Sciences division at HCCC promotes self-discovery and empowerment through the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills that can be applied to academic and vocational careers.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $8,640

33)  Edison State Community College (Piqua, OH)

Image Source

The Associate of Applied Science in Social Services degree from Edison State Community College prepares students for entry-level work assisting professionals in social service agencies. A demanding yet rewarding field, social services exists to help people of all ages deal with a variety of challenges, traumas, concerns and dilemmas. Students interested in this program should possess the desire to help others and the inner strength to effectively intervene in crisis situations, make as­sessments, problem-solve, and effectively manage time, documentation and stress. Students will receive a solid foundation in the social behavioral sciences and complete 420 clock hours of internship experience.

Graduates with a “C” or better in all coursework will be qualified to seek application with the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board to become a state registered Social Work Assistant, which provides a legal scope of practice and may expand job opportunities. Graduates will not perform the same functions as professional social workers, counselors or therapists, but can expect to provide valuable and meaningful service in a diverse social service setting, empowering individuals, families and communities. Some possible careers include advocate, case manager, chemical dependency technician, job coach, social work assistant, family service worker, residential assistant, mental health technician, outreach worker and case aid.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $9,344

34)  Big Sandy Community & Technical College (Prestonsburg, KY)

Image Source

The Associates of Applied Science in Human Services degree from Big Sandy Community and Technical College is designed for individuals who have great listening skills and enjoy helping people with issues or problems. The Human Services Program provides an opportunity for students to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for entry-level positions in agencies and institutions that provide basic needs, social, community, educational and mental health services. Social and human service assistants are employed in the healthcare and social assistance industries as well as state and local governments, primarily in public welfare agencies and facilities for mentally disabled and developmentally challenged individuals. This program usually takes 4 semesters to complete, encompassing 64 total credit hours.

Courses include Values of Human Services in a Contemporary Society; Theories and Techniques in Human Services; Group Dynamics for Human Services; Clinical Practice in Human Services; and Foundational Skills in Professional Practice. Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) is committed to quality educational opportunities for student success, promotes economic growth and enhances the quality of life of its constituents. Celebrating more than 75 years of educational excellence, BSCTC features multiple career pathways for students. The Go2Work program allows for accelerated training that leads to rewarding, high-demand and high-wage careers in two years or less. For those seeking to continue their education at a four-year school, the Go2Transfer program allows students to get the basics close to home and transfer with ease for a fraction of the cost of other colleges.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $10,368

35)  Butler County Community College (El Dorado, KS)

Image Source

The Associate of Arts in Social Work degree from Butler County Community College enables students to learn to help people cope with problems in their everyday lives then transfer to a four-year institution to complete their knowledge and degree. The curriculum is designed to meet the requirements for a BSW transfer as per the Council on Social Work Education. Each four-year institution determines which BC3 courses are acceptable in transfer. The student/graduate will be able to: Identify specific professional characteristics associated with employment as a social worker; Practice personal reflection and self-correction to assure continual professional development; and Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.

The Social Work program is for students intending to transfer to a four-year institution to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (BSW). Courses include Introduction to Social Work; Human Diversity; Social Welfare History; and Human Behavior and the Social Environment. The program is made up of 62 credit hours and takes four semesters to complete. Butler County Community College (BC3), chartered in 1965, was the first community college in Western Pennsylvania. On September 26, 1966, the College opened its doors to 242 day and 190 evening students. Today, 5,300 students are enrolled in credit programs. Another 15,000 people take part annually in the many other educational opportunities available. Campus locations include Brockway; Butler; Cranberry; Lawrence Crossing; and Linden Pointe.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $9,540

36)  Passaic County Community College (Paterson, NJ)

Image Source

The Associate in Science in Human Services degree from Passaic County Community College is meant for individuals who have a desire to help others and who show patience, understanding, and caring in their work with others are highly valued by employers. Individuals who enter this field need strong verbal and written communication skills, a sense of responsibility, and the ability to work with diverse populations. As practitioners, they need to have respect for the rights and dignity of individuals in their care and empower individuals to make their own choices toward a better quality of living. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, human services is one of the top ten careers with the largest growth potential in the country.

The field of Human Services exemplifies our national commitment to building a society based on respect for people’s rights and needs. Each individual in our society is entitled to services designed to enhance development and well-being, including economic and social assistance for those unable to provide for their own needs. Human services workers act as agents to help individuals, families and communities cope better with crisis, change, or stress and function more effectively. Human services professionals find employment as social workers, mental health counselors, drug and alcohol abuse counselors, physical therapy aides, activity aides, and much more. The Human Services courses emphasize an introduction to human services as a profession, as well as to counseling techniques, counseling theories, multicultural counseling, group leadership and many others.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $9,728

37)  New River Community College (Dublin, VA)

Image Source

The Associate of Applied Science in Human Services degree from New River Community College is about people working with people. The program is designed to provide about one-third of its requirements in general education and the remainder in human services technical and support courses. The student will spend a minimum of 450 hours in supervised work experience in a social service agency. Students will be required to go through an oral interview after internship for assessment purposes. To get the most benefit from the program, students should work closely with their faculty advisor in planning their curriculum and their field experience. Application for internship should be made the semester prior to doing internship. Upon satisfactory completion of the four-semester program, the student will be awarded the Associate in Applied Science degree in Human Services.

The two-year associate degree in Human Services gives the student a foundation of knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for entry into a wide variety of human service occupations, including: Child Care Worker; Counselor in a Residential Facility; Developmental Disabilities; Aide; Eligibility Worker; Group Work Aide; Recreation Aide; Rehabilitation Aide; School Community Representative; Social Service Aide; Social Services in Geriatric Facility; and Social Work Technician. The student must meet the entrance requirements established by the college. A personal interview with the program head is recommended to discuss both program and occupational requirements. As a prerequisite to beginning the internship experience, the student will be required to purchase student professional liability insurance, which is available through the college at a reasonable rate.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $9,780

38)  Hazard Community & Technical College (Hazard, KY)

Image Source

The Associate in Applied Science in Human Services degree from Hazard Community and Technical College prepares students for entry level positions in agencies and institutions which provide social, community, educational and mental health services. The curriculum provides an opportunity for students to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for entry level employment. Application of human services principles and skills is provided through a clinical experience in an appropriate setting. Upon completion of the program, graduates are prepared to seek employment in various areas which may include child care facilities, mental health settings, chemical dependency settings, hospitals, educational institutions, correctional facilities, geriatric settings, child and youth centers, and social service agencies.

Classes are offered every semester on four Hazard Community & Technical College sites and online to accommodate both day and evening students. Graduates can work at Kentucky River Community Care, Children’s Centers, Foster Care Programs, Nursing Homes, Community Ministries, Head Start, Family Resource Centers/Youth Service Centers, Office of Employment and Training, Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Public Housing Alliance, Public Health Department Services, Human Resources Personnel Offices, Corrections, Supportive Community Living and numerous other agencies available in this region. Currently, admission to the Human Services program is open to any student who is interested in helping people.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $10,880

39)  Clark State Community College (Springfield, OH)

Image Source

The Associate in Applied Science in Social Services degree from Clark State Community College is devoted to helping people function as well as they can within their environments. Areas of employment include alcohol and drug treatment, children’s services, juvenile services, mental health, mental retardation and developmental disabilities, and public assistance. The field placement portion of the curriculum provides 420 hours of supervised learning experiences in local social services agencies. Upon completion of an Associate of Applied Science degree in Social Services, a graduate will be able to: Develop skills in screening, assessing, and developing treatment plans for client populations in the social services and/or addictions field; and Demonstrate the ability to integrate social work and/or addictions theory with practical applications.

Additionally, graduates will be able to: Adhere to a professional code of ethics and policy/procedural standards in working with clients and coworkers; and Complete professional documentation reports, including progress notes, psycho/social histories, and mental status evaluations, as well as other professional documentation. Graduates of this program who have achieved a grade of C or better in all Social Services courses are eligible to be registered as Social Work Assistants by the Ohio Counselor and Social Worker Board. Students enrolled in the Social Services Technology Associate of Applied Science degree are preparing for employment upon graduation from the program. However, many of these students are also interested in completing a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Some colleges and universities have designed bachelor’s completion programs for students who have completed their associate degree in social work.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $8,917

40)  Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College (Hayward, WI)

Image Source

The Associate in Human Services degree from Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College is designed to educate and prepare graduates to fulfill a wide range of family and individual needs in a variety of human service settings, especially in and around tribal communities. The program combines liberal arts education, human services and mental health care courses, and practicum courses. Information is presented in the classroom setting and through field placements in supervised program experiences. Human Services students should: Enjoy supporting individuals an families; Exhibit compassion, empathy, and acceptance; Use good judgment; Be dependable and flexible; Communicate effectively; and Demonstrate awareness of diverse cultures.

Students who complete the Associate in Human Services should be able to: Support individuals and families with issues that potentially cause people to experience problems in life, in tribal, and non-tribal life; Develop plans to address the impact of social policies on Human Services client systems and in particular in tribal systems; and Guide people through systems (tribal and non-tribal) that are in place to help with a variety of problems. Graduates may work in a wide variety of settings such as Social service agencies; Children’s service agencies; Employment Services; Rehabilitation/ Aftercare; Probation and Parole; Domestic abuse shelters; Victim’s service program; Mental health facilities; and Substance abuse programs.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $12,160

41)  Rhodes State College (Lima, OH)

Image Source

The Associate of Applied Science in Human Services degree from Rhodes State College prepares students for human service and social work assistant practice through applied learning strategies, developing meaningful and relevant knowledge, skills, and abilities. For students who have a desire to make a positive impact by helping those who require assistance, a career in Human Services is a good fit. Human Service Professionals and Social Work Assistants have specialized training to help individuals and communities facing challenges. Graduates are employed in a wide variety of settings such as community service centers, mental health agencies, addiction centers, correctional facilities, domestic violence shelters, group homes, government agencies, halfway homes, homeless shelters, and activities departments.

The curriculum is designed so students will practice and apply what they learn and includes practicum (internship) experiences for entering the profession. Graduates of the program receive an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Human Service Technology and meet the educational requirements to pursue a Certificate of Registration as a Social Work Assistant (SWA) with the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, & Marriage and Family Therapist Board and the credential of Human Services-Board Certified Professional (HS-BCP) with the National Organization for Human Services (NOHS). Social and human service assistants provide direct and indirect client services to ensure that individuals in their care reach their maximum level of functioning. Assistants assess clients’ needs, establish their eligibility for benefits and services such as food stamps, Medicaid, or welfare, and help to obtain them.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $10,252

42)  Jefferson Community & Technical College (Louisville, KY)

Image Source

The Associate in Applied Science in Human Services degree from Jefferson Community and Technical College prepares individuals for entry level positions in agencies and institutions which provide social, community, educational and/or mental health services. The curriculum provides an opportunity for the student to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for entry level employment. Included in the curriculum are core Human Services courses, general education courses, and technical electives with specific human service emphases. Application of Human Service principles and skills is provided through an internship (HMS 250) at an appropriate agency or institution which will agree to supervise interns for 180 hours of voluntary service and evaluate them at the conclusion.

Upon completion of the Human Services Program, graduates are prepared to seek employment in various areas which may include mental health settings, chemical dependency settings, hospitals, educational institutions, and others. The Program also prepares students for transfer to other institutions offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in either Social Work or Human Services and Counseling. Job opportunities for social and human services assistants are expected to be excellent, particularly for applicants with sufficient post-secondary education. The Core Human Services courses required are Human Services Survey; Values of Human Services in a Contemporary Society; Theories and Techniques in Human Services; Group Dynamics in Human Services; and Clinical Practice in Human Services (180 hour internship).

Total Estimated Program Cost: $10,368

43)  North Central State College (Mansfield, OH)

Image Source

The Associate in Applied Science in Human Services degree from North Central State College situates graduates for entry into a profession that focuses on helping children, adolescents, and adults with a variety of needs, such as mental health, substance abuse, physical disabilities, and more. Depending on the student’s interest, there is a wide range of agencies serving the needs of different populations. Graduates with an Associate of Applied Science degree can be certified as an Assistant Social Worker through the state of Ohio. If you complete NC State’s Associate of Arts degree in Social Work or Associate of Human Services and go on to a four-year program to earn a bachelor’s degree, you could become a Licensed Social Worker or Chemical Dependency Counselor (after passing the licensure exam).

NC State has over 40 agreements with four-year colleges and universities, to provide a smooth transition for students who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Through university partnerships, some four-year courses are also offered on the NC State campus or online.There are many career choices for human services graduates. The field is stable and generally offers good job security, along with advancement opportunities with further training and education. Occupations related to this degree include: Eligibility Interviewer for Government Programs; Health Educator; Healthcare Social Worker; Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker; and Psychiatric Aide. This is a very rewarding field requiring good communication and organizational skills.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $10,688

44)  Bristol Community College (Fall River, MA)

Image Source

The Associate In Science in Human Services degree from Bristol Community College prepares students for entry-level positions in social services by combining academics with a practical, 300-hour internship. Developing and practicing using helping relationships are emphasized. The curriculum also prepares students to transfer to four-year degree programs in social work, psychology, counseling, human services, or other related majors. The most popular transfer choices include Bachelor of Social Work programs at Bridgewater State College or Rhode Island College, and sociology or psychology at UMass Dartmouth. Work with the program director early to select courses to maximize transfer possibilities.

BCC participates in the statewide MassTransfer program and has developed many program-to-program transfer articulation agreements which guarantee admission and credit transfer. The agency internship places special time demands on students and is ideally taken in the last year of study. The program’s learning outcomes enable students to: Describe the current state of the American social welfare system and its significant historical antecedents; Critically examine and explain their personal values and perceptions of various disadvantaged and/or underserved populations; Practice and critique effective helping skills that form the foundation of a successful helping relationship; Integrate classroom-based academic knowledge with practical, real-world applications in a supervised agency internship; and Continually build and improve students’ oral and written communication skills as they relate to developing successful helping relationships.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $10,944

45)  Northeast Iowa Community College (Calmar, IA)

Image Source

The Associate of Applied Science in Human Services degree from Northeast Iowa Community College prepares students to enter the workplace in a variety of human service agencies, services and delivery systems. This two-year degree will provide a strong foundation for a professional career in the human service arena. There is a wide choice of major electives in combination with a strong human services core curriculum. Actual field experience in community human service settings is also included under the guidance of working professionals. With an annual income range of $28,216 – $48,523 and a projected growth of 6.8%, the career outlook for Human Services Generalist graduates is growing.

This program also prepares students for transfer to a four-year college or university to obtain a baccalaureate degree in an area of interest such as social work, psychology, sociology, special education or substance abuse. NICC encourages students to consider this the smart path to a bachelor’s degree. The Human Services Generalist program currently has transfer agreements in place with Upper Iowa University. Students are encouraged to speak with their transfer college or university to verify that their planned courses at NICC will meet necessary requirements. First Aid/CPR certification may be required by the Human Service agency where students complete their Human Services Field Experience. First Aid/CPR courses are offered through NICC Business and Community Solutions.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $10,432

46)  Holyoke Community College (Holyoke, MA)

Image Source

The Associate in Human Services degree at Holyoke Community College gives students an opportunity to acquire a solid academic preparation in human services that will allow them to enter the work force upon completion, or transfer into a baccalaureate program. The Human Services Program provides the academic work and field experience for successful careers in human services, as well as a strong foundation for transfer to four-year colleges and universities for programs in social work, psychology, counseling, human services, or other related majors. The program combines course work in the social sciences, primarily psychology and sociology, with human services courses. Students gain knowledge of the field and develop professional skills such as communication, observation, listening, report writing, behavior modification and human relations.

Students are encouraged to build upon their unique abilities to work collaboratively with individuals, families, and agencies. The program fosters the development of the skills necessary for practitioners in human services through active learning strategies, clinical field placements, community research projects, and case studies. Students have the opportunity to explore career options working with children, elders, people with physical and mental disabilities, minority and refugee populations, homeless individuals and families, and other groups in need. Upon graduation, students are qualified for entry level positions such as residential case manager, outreach worker, gerontology assistant, crisis intervention worker, family advocate, job developer, and community organizer.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $12,252

47)  Owensboro Community & Technical College (Owensboro, KY)

Image Source

The Associate in Applied Science in Human Services degree from Owensboro Community and Technical College is for caring people with a heart for people in need. Many graduates work in social services, community agencies and mental health facilities. Others work in educational or clinical settings. Students gain essential skills with a combination of classroom instruction and clinical experience. Students may focus their studies to match their interests in areas such as gerontology, developmental disabilities and family services. Some of our graduates go directly into the work force, while others transfer to work toward bachelors degrees.

The program can be completed in two years if students take 15 to 18 credit hours per semester. General education classes should be taken along with curriculum classes. The Human Services program prepares students for entry level positions in agencies and institutions which provide social, community, educational and mental health services. Students may focus their studies by choosing the technical courses that match their interests such as juvenile delinquency, gerontology, corrections, developmental disabilities, and family services. Application of classroom principles and skills are provided through clinical experiences, usually during the last semester. Graduates are prepared for employment in a variety of social services agencies. Students should always choose classes in cooperation with their faculty advisor to ensure that they meet all degree requirements.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $10,880

48)  Northern Essex Community College (Haverhill, MA)

Image Source

The Assocate in Science in Human Services degree from Northern Essex Community College prepares students for a career helping individuals and families to improve their lives. This Human Services Associate Degree gives students skills to work with people with emotional and social problems, developmental disabilities, mental illness, or substance abuse problems. At NECC students train as generalists, learning how to work with people of all ages and backgrounds. This ensures a wide range of career paths after graduation. Graduates pursue a wide variety of entry-level positions, or continue their education at a four-year school. Growth opportunities in the field are projected to be strong.

Upon completion of the Human Services Associate Degree program, graduates can: Pursue career paths as a case manager, outreach worker, advocate, mental health worker, or a counselor (crisis, residential, addiction); Work in a variety of public or private settings including hospitals, clinics, residential facilities, or human services agencies; Be able to take advantage of MassTransfer Pathways and other transfer agreements to save thousands of dollars while earning a bachelor’s degree in human services or a related field. With this program students will: Benefit from supervised clinical experiences in social services settings; Earn a degree in a program that contains the National Community Support Skill Standards, and is accredited by the Council for Standard in Human Service Education; and be well-prepared to transfer to a four-year program to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $12,928

49)  Northwest State Community College (Archbold, OH)

Image Source

The Associate of Applied Science in Human Services degree from Northwest State Community College is a 2-year, associate degree program that includes both classroom and hands-on learning experiences. Graduates who successfully complete the program are qualified to apply for the Registered Social Work Assistant credential, which prepares them for entry-level employment in the human services field. Graduates may also choose to transfer their credits into a bachelor’s degree program. Students in NSCC’s human services program gain a strong foundation in social and behavioral sciences in the classroom before heading into the field for supervised practical experiences at local social service agencies.

Because graduates will work with fragile populations such as children and the elderly, students must meet all program requirements outlined in the human service student handbook. Employment in the human services field is expected to grow faster than average through 2022 due to an increase in the elderly population and an increased demand for social, mental health and substance abuse treatment. Graduates of the human services program may seek work as social workers, social and community service managers or substance abuse/behavioral counselors. Those who continue their education to earn a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree will find more opportunities within the human services field. NSCC’s program meets the standards for the State of Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage & Family Therapist Board Certification as a social work assistant.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $12,672

50)  Lake Superior State University (Sault Ste. Marie, MI)

Image Source

The Associate in Social Work degree from Lake Superior State University trains students to help people improve their lives and work to alleviate human suffering and promote social justice. In direct service delivery programs, students work with people who are caught in the grips of social problems and/or struggling with personal adjustment issues. This program provides beginning level skills and knowledge to enable graduates to help people in these circumstances. Students learn about the field of social work, current issues in social work, introductory level clinical diagnosis and practice and will acquire skills in one-on-one counseling. Behavioral and social science perspectives on human behavior as well as basic human biology are included in this program.

An extensive internship experience in one or more agency settings provides students with an opportunity to apply, in a supervised setting, knowledge and skills gained in the classroom. The internship may be completed in the local area or outside the local area. Those seeking the Associate Degree in Social Work are strongly encouraged to continue their studies to complete a Bachelor’s degree to be successful in today’s competitive labor market. Students may find the expanded understanding of human behavior provided by the Sociology major or Psychology major to be particularly useful for work in social work programs. Both of these majors also help develop critical thinking ability, improve writing skills and learn about research through first-hand experience developing and conducting a research project. These abilities are valued by employers in social work and human service agencies.

Total Estimated Program Cost: $22,464