For folks who are too busy to jump into full-time academic work, but are still interested in pursuing social work education, an online associate’s degree in human services is an excellent first step to gaining meaningful employment in the field. Associate’s degrees are particularly excellent for those looking for a relatively inexpensive yet strong foundation in in their field while planning to transfer into their junior year at a four-year institution. With Human Services programs, 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 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) Cypress College (Cypress, CA)

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The Associate of Arts degree in Human Services at Cypress College is part of the Social Science Division of Cypress College. It is comprised of both vocational and academic programs that can lead to vocational certificates as well as an Associates of Arts degree that is transferable. The Human Services professional is skilled and knowledgeable in a large variety of specialties. Cypress College is proud to offer the basic academic preparation necessary to enter these fields. Their programs provide the foundation for higher level degrees and management positions in a variety of human services agencies. Faculty are specially trained and many work in or have worked in the field of their specialty.

The Human Services Department offers an Associate of Arts degree as well as certificate programs in a large variety of specialties, including: Addiction Studies; Conflict Resolution; Criminal Justice; Family Studies; Gerontology; Human Services Generalist; and Victimology. Distance Learning offers students the flexibility of taking Cypress College courses without coming to campus as often as with a face to face class. These courses provide the same quality of instruction and cover the same material as traditional on campus offerings. They are regular, transferable, credit courses. The only difference is that distance learning students will be learning off campus and will be taught through the use of technology. For some courses, students are never required to attend class on campus. For other courses, students attend on campus class sessions only two to five times a semester.

Tuition Score: 99/100

2) Camden County College (Camden County, NJ)

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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.

Online classes (also known as distance learning classes) allow students the flexibility of learning anywhere and anytime. All instruction, coursework, and testing is done online via the College’s learning management system, WebStudy (unless specified in the professor’s syllabus). Students interact with their professor and classmates in a virtual classroom by participating in assignments, forum discussions, reading materials, viewing videos and taking online exams. 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.

Tuition Score: 99/100

3) Coastline Community College (Fountain Valley, CA)

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The Associate of Arts degree in Human Services from Coastline Community College prepares students to work in the expanding field of human services, a growing profession in response to the human needs and problems in the 21st century. It provides a general background for work with families, children, and adults and offers the student a pathway to pursue an associate or bachelor level degree. Individuals with a major in Human Services can enhance their professional helping skills, offering them greater work opportunities as social-service technicians, case management aides, mental health technicians, gerontology aides, special-education teacher aides, and residential managers.

Additionally, police officers, firefighters, military counselors, and others dealing with the public will benefit from the program training. The major exposes the student to the most current thinking in the field, hands-on experience, and community networking. Upon completion of this program, students will be able to: Utilize human services helping skills and resources to enhance career prospects; and Demonstrate intervention skills within fields of human services. Students will complete all of the following major coursework: Introduction to Human Services; Helping Theories and Intervention Strategies; Introduction to Crisis Intervention; Treatment Issues in Substance Abuse; and Human Services Practicum.

Tuition Score: 97/100

4) Wake Technical Community College (Raleigh, NC)

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The Associate in Applied Science in Human Services Technology degree at Wake Technical Community College prepares students for entry-level positions in institutions and agencies that provide education and social and community services. Emphasis is placed on the development of relevant knowledge, best practice skills, and human services attitudes. Fieldwork experience provides opportunities to apply knowledge gained in the classroom. Wake Tech offers the Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree in Human Services Technology, with concentrations in Human Services or Substance Abuse. Wake Tech’s HST program has been approved by the Council for Standards in Human Services Education. Graduates qualify for positions in mental health, childcare, family services, social services, rehabilitation, corrections, residential services, and educational agencies.

Classes are offered seated, hybrid and online. Some courses are not offered in the online format, thus the degree cannot be accomplished completely online. The Human Services curriculum is designed to train and prepare graduates to meet a wide range of client needs in various service-related settings, to enable them to live more autonomous, satisfying, productive lives. Human Services Technology students range from recent high school graduates to adults seeking new skills or new careers options. Students come from a variety of cultural, religious, educational, and socioeconomic backgrounds; they generally share the desire to give of themselves and have a positive impact on their communities. Most students can complete the program in two years if they attend full time. Many students attend part time and complete the program at their own pace. It may also be possible to complete the program in a shorter time with the hybrid (half classroom, half online) classes available.

Tuition Score: 95/100

5) Lorain County Community College (Elyria, OH)

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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.

LCCC offers approximately 300 fully online courses in many exciting fields. If students are motivated and self-directed these “Distance Learning” classes can be a convenient way to receive their education on their own time. all students need is access to a computer with a full-service connection to an Internet provider. Students should also have strong computer skills, including word processing, Internet, and e-mail.  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.

Tuition Score: 91/100

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

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The Associate of Psychology and Sociology in Human Services degree from Iowa Central Community College prepares the student for a helping career in the human services field. The goal of this program is to prepare the student for their future employment as a human services generalist. Students who study human services typically should enjoy working with people. They are passionate about the potential for human growth and change. The students feel a commitment to improve the overall quality of people’s lives. Their interests may also include advocating for social justice. The Human Services Program provides a core course foundation that expands the student’s basic knowledge and skills. The student will complete additional classes in psychology and sociology that allow them to focus and pursue their own special interests. Additional class work will include studies in substance abuse, victim advocacy, disability services, working with youth, families, and the elderly.

Counseling courses develop the students’ abilities to interview and assist clients in making changes in their lives. A field practicum placement allows the students to explore a human services career with a hands-on experience at a community human services agency setting. A Human Services student can complete two years at Iowa Central and begin their professional career. Students will also have the option to transfer to another institution of higher education as they pursue their four year degree in Human Services or Social Work. The Human Services Program will assist the student in accomplishing the degree of their choice and support the student in their career goals. Iowa Central’s 8 Week Online degree program is done 100% online, and is specifically designed for busy people pursuing a better life. The 8 Week Online courses are taught via the internet using iNET (located in TritonPass). Full-time students will take two 8 week courses at a time.

Tuition Score: 89/100

7) Nassau Community College (Garden City, NY)

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The Associate of Arts degree in Human Services: Community Service & Social Welfare from Nassau Community College is designed to prepare students for transfer to a four year BSW social work program, although they may use the degree to secure human services employment immediately upon graduation. The program takes four semesters to complete, during which students are introduced to the social work profession, areas of practice and generalist practice skills. The course of study includes classes in writing, literature, and communications, fine and performing arts, social sciences, math and science. Additionally, students take a course in alcoholism and addictions. Finally, the core of the program consists of three social-work oriented classes (CSW), including one semester of field placement (internship).

This pattern of courses imparts a strong foundation in both the liberal arts and the social work profession. Elective courses are available for students in order to satisfy entry requirements for various BSW programs and to allow them to expand their knowledge base in the liberal arts. Social workers and human service workers are found in every area of community support. Schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, substance abuse clinics, senior centers, elected office and corporations are some. Professional social workers can specialize in many different fields, such as adoptions, school violence prevention, HIV/AIDS, gerontology, developmental disabilities and others. If students choose to go on to a Bachelor’s and Master’s program in social work, opportunities in clinical mental health settings and private practice open up to them. Social workers are often found in administrative roles.

Tuition Score: 86/100

8) Hagerstown Community College (Hagerstown, MD)

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The Associate of Arts & Sciences in Human Services degree at Hagerstown Community College is designed for students who plan to transfer to a four-year institution and major in social work. Human Services is broadly defined as the service systems and occupations that concentrate on improving or maintaining the physical and mental health and general well-being of people. Social work is the professional activity of helping individuals, groups, or communities enhance or restore their capacity for social functioning. This may include helping people with tangible services like food and housing, or providing counseling or psychotherapy services to people in need. In recent years, students have transferred successfully to Hood College, Shepherd University, Shippensburg University, Salisbury University, and University System of Maryland at Hagerstown. This program has articulation agreements with Shippensburg University and Salisbury University.

Hagerstown Community College understands that due to busy schedules students find it difficult to attend classes on campus or may need to take a course that may not be offered at a convenient time. Online courses allow students the flexibility of deciding the time and place of course delivery. When taking an online course there are many factors involved to ensure a successful experience. Students must have basic computer skills, access to a computer with an Internet connection, and an e-mail address. Each course will also have a list of system and software requirements. Students may need to come to campus for scheduled meetings and/or exams. Online courses demand that students be able to learn and work independently and be able to meet deadlines. The A.S. degree in Human Services at Hagerstown is offered 100% online.

Tuition Score: 86/100

9) Ivy Tech Community College (Indianapolis, IN)

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The Associate of Applied Science in Human Services degree from Ivy Tech Community College prepares students to listen, interview and provide feedback, and further their education as future social workers and counselors. The program is geared toward helping students develop the skills, attitudes and knowledge needed for the helping professions. Students will spend the majority of their time interacting and doing problem-based activities, case studies and experiences that will prepare them to provide feedback as human services professionals. From the first class, students will participate in job shadowing/volunteer in the community, and all degrees include two internships with direct hands-on learning opportunities.

Throughout the Human Services program (which has a distance education option), students examine their values and attitudes which reflect in their interactions with others. All students are trained in ethical and theoretical principles, practical skills, and experience the profession. In addition to general skills, specialty training allows a student to explore working with a population such as youth, the elderly, those with intellectual disability or those struggling with addiction. Graduates of the Human Services program are currently working in direct service positions, as youth workers in after-school care programs and camps, as social services and activity directors in long-term care facilities, and as behavioral and mental health technicians in substance abuse treatment facilities. Those who graduate with an Associate of Science (AS) degree can seamlessly transfer to a four-year institution through Ivy Tech’s “Transfer as a Junior” program, entering at a junior status.

Tuition Score: 84/100

10) Madison Area Technical College (Madison, WI)

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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.

Hybrid courses at Madison College combine the best of traditional face-to-face teaching with innovative online learning methods. 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.

Tuition Score: 84/100

11) Middlesex Community College (Bedford, MA)

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The Associate in Science degree in Human Services from Middlesex Community College is designed for those seeking continuing education or further enhancement of their skills in human services as well as those planning to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program in human services, social work, psychology, counseling or other areas. In this hands-on educational program, students have the opportunity to explore the attitudes, thoughts and feelings of working in a human services area through MCC’s top-notch clinical courses. Students gain direct experience with human service consumers and agencies through a variety of diverse internships and class experiences. Middlesex trains students to work in the career of their dreams – helping people in need, in areas including social work, education, advocacy, community services, mental health and more.

Graduates get right to work in a field that’s projected to grow by 25 percent over the coming years, with an Associate’s Degree in Science or one of MCC’s sought-after certification programs: Juvenile Justice Certificate; Substance Abuse Education Certificate; Therapeutic Recreation Certificate; Early Childhood Education Certificate; Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential. With classes available online, the degree is suitable for those with careers already in full swing. Whether individuals want to build skills and qualifications for their current position, seek a new and exciting career, or aspire to be a leader in the field of social work – MCC offer a wide range of programs in Human Services specializations with a flexible schedule that fits the busy life. Students learn about the challenges and the rewards of working in Human Services – while gaining practical hands-on experience in their focus area.

Tuition Score: 83/100

12) Monroe Community College (Rochester, NY)

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The Associate in Science degree in Human Services from Monroe Community College prepares students to transfer and earn a Baccalaureate degree in Social Work, Human Services, or a related area, by providing both professional and general education courses that parallel the first two years in a four-year institution. Students will explore the helping professions in the classroom and gain practical experience through internships at area agencies. Human Services/Social Work professionals find employment with various types of social agencies including child protection agencies, senior citizen centers, agencies serving handicapped persons, family counseling centers, hospitals, schools and probation departments.

At Monroe Community College, students learn by serving. The human services associate degree emphasizes hands-on experience. Students start to work with community organizations and clients in their first semester, developing career-building knowledge and skills. In just two years students have a strong foundation of experience and coursework, numerous options to transfer to four-year programs, and a great start toward a human services career. Graduates have continued their education at many other excellent schools, including: SUNY Brockport; Roberts Wesleyan College; Ohio State University; Keuka College; Nazareth College; SUNY Buffalo; and Empire State College. MCC combines on-campus and online coursework to offer students the convenience of studying at home while still providing opportunities to work with professors and other students in person. 50% of the Human Services coursework is available to complete online.

Tuition Score: 83/100

13) Thomas Nelson Community College (Hampton, VA)

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The Associate of Applied Science degree in Human Services from Thomas Nelson Community College is designed for those who desire to help others with prevention and remediation services in a variety of settings, including community, residential care and institutional settings. This program includes courses in basic counseling, problem solving, substance abuse, psychology, sociology and more. The curriculum also offers an internship that provides hands-on training. The employment opportunities in this field are vast and expected to grow as the elderly population grows and the needs of impaired populations continue to increase. Students can explore options in fields such as social work, counseling, mental health care and more.

Graduates with experience in this field become: drug and alcohol rehabilitation technicians; nursing home aides; community development assistants; counseling or social service assistants; childcare workers; eligibility interviewers for government programs; and mental health counselors, among many others. Students can earn a high quality degree or certificate from Thomas Nelson completely online, including the Human Services degree. Thomas Nelson’s online programs offer students convenience and flexibility, allowing them to fit their educational goals into their busy life. Online classes are taught by the same dedicated faculty who teach on campus. Scholarship Opportunities include: Dr. J. P. Hill Scholarship; Ray Muzia Scholarship; and The Dr. Angela J. Giles & Marie A. Giles Scholarship. In addition to the associate degree, Thomas Nelson offers Benefits Program Specialist, Substance Abuse Counselor Assistant and Youth Development career studies certificates.

Tuition Score: 83/100

14) Montgomery County Community College (Blue Bell, PA)

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The Associate in Applied Science degree in Human Services from Montgomery County Community College is for students committed to working in a helping profession and desiring to aid others in such fields as mental health, developmental disabilities and addiction. The Human Services associate degree program opens doors to such opportunities as intake work, crisis intervention, consumer advocacy, residential counseling and more. Depending upon interests, students may pursue a concentration in Addictions, Gerontology or Children, Youth and Family Services. Human Services courses are offered through accelerated, online, hybrid and traditional classroom formats. The Human Services Program is a career program designed for easy transfer to local colleges and universities for bachelor’s and/or master’s degree programs.

Program outcomes involve expectations for students to: Demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed to work in direct service delivery in human service agencies and programs; Illustrate a clear understanding of human behavior in all age groups; Explain and apply appropriate skills necessary for a micro/macro perspective in human service delivery systems; Assess and summarize concepts of psychological and sociological theories necessary for intervention techniques. Related coursework includes: The Middle Years, Drug Use and Abuse, Assessment Techniques for Child/Youth or Aging in the U.S.; Hospice, Introduction to Adjunctive Therapies, Drug Use and Abuse or Lifespan Development; and Introduction to Adjunctive Therapies, Psychology of Aging or Drug and Alcohol Treatment Process, among others.

Tuition Score: 83/100

15) Hudson Valley Community College (Troy, NY)

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The Associate in Applied Science degree in Human Services from Hudson Valley Community College prepares graduates to move directly into the human service field to assist people with social, behavioral or mental health problems. This A.A.S. program is designed for those who wish to enter the human services field directly after completing their degree or for those who may already possess a college degree and wish to begin a career in the field. Graduates of this program aspire to be case managers, advocates, direct care workers and support aides in the wide variety of human service fields, including youth services, social services, geriatrics, addiction and mental health services. Internships are a critical part of the learning experience and the program offers opportunities as varied as the goals of the students.

The program has an excellent reputation in the Capital Region human services community and many current human service workers are graduates of the Hudson Valley program. This program provides one semester in the first year and two semesters in the second year of field training in settings such as: mental health clinics, social services agencies, homes for the older adult, child care institutions and public schools. All online learning courses here are fully accredited and are taught by Hudson Valley Community College faculty. They are transferable and there is no difference on your transcript between a online learning course and a traditional classroom course. Most online learning students juggle busy schedules, work full- or part-time, have children, or can’t easily get to the Hudson Valley campus. Online learning is for students who are motivated, work well independently and are comfortable using a computer.

Tuition Score: 82/100

16) Niagara County Community College (Sanborn, NY)

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The Associate in Arts in Human Services degree from Niagara County Community College (part of the SUNY network) provides students with a common core of course work plus the opportunity through human services electives to study gerontology, early childhood education, social work, substance abuse or other human services areas. The program is flexible, allowing students to transfer credits, if so desired, to a bachelor’s degree program. The Human Services program is offered as a full-time day program, part-time evening program or as a distance learning program. Students who opt for distance learning may be able to complete all degree requirements online. All core courses including internships are offered on-line as are the majority of elective courses. Because of the sequencing of some courses, it may take students beginning in the spring semester longer to complete the degree.

As human problems and the bureaucracies designated to deal with these problems become increasingly complex, the need for highly trained, skilled human services workers is vital.  Graduates of the Human Services program have transferred to four-year colleges and to universities. They have found employment in early childhood centers, agencies serving the elderly, social services, alcohol and drug rehabilitation facilities, health care agencies, residential care facilities, community and government organizations and a variety of other agencies. Program Goals and Objectives are: To prepare students for successful transfer to upper-level institutions in Human Services; and to assist students in meeting a minimum of seven of the ten SUNY General Education requirements

Tuition Score: 81/100

17) Madisonville Community College (Madisonville, KY)

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The Associate in Applied Science degree in Human Services 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; Morehead State University; Murray State University; Kentucky State University; and University of Pikeville. The AAS is delivered completely online. 30 credits are dedicated to General Education Requirements while the remaining 34 credits are designated towards Technical Core Requirements specific to the degree. The Office of Career Services offers students, alumni, and members of the community free assistance in locating regional and local employment opportunities. MCC staff are available to assist employers by referring qualified candidates for full-time, part-time, temporary, and cooperative education positions. Potential certificates include: Direct Support Work; Aging Services Certificate; Psychiatric Mental Health Technician Certificate; and Substance Abuse Recovery Coach Certificate.

Tuition Score: 80/100

18) Northwest Iowa Community College (Sheldon, IA)

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The Associate of Arts in Human Services degree from Northwest Iowa Community College is a wise path for students who plan to transfer to a four-year college or university or are uncertain about their future academic plans. This degree is an insightful way to begin if a student wants to “try” college, even without having decided on a major area of study. NCC has seamless transfer agreements with many colleges and universities, including the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University, Buena Vista University, Northwestern College, Dordt College and more. NCC has a transfer specialist to help students make an easy transition from earning their Associate’s Degree at NCC to earning a Bachelor’s Degree at their preferred college or university.

Students can complete their AA degree in two years. NCC lets students take on-campus courses one day a week (Tuesday or Thursday) and complete the rest of their coursework online. Required Core courses include: Marriage & Family; Introduction to Social Work; Social Problems; Juvenile Delinquency; and Introduction to Chemical Dependency. Courses offered during a 12-Week, 8-Week or 4-Week Term are accelerated courses. These courses will cover the same amount of material as a 16-week course at a faster pace. Online students can choose from over 750 courses and multiple programs. NCC, as a member of the Iowa Community College Online Consortium (ICCOC), provides an extensive schedule of classes every semester. When students take an online class, they might work with NCC instructors or with an instructor at another participating community college. No matter where the instructor is, students earn their college credits through Northwest Iowa Community College.

Tuition Score: 79/100

19) Gateway Community & Technical College (Florence, KY)

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The Associate in Applied Science degree in Human Services from Gateway Technical & Community College provides students with the knowledge and skills to qualify for entry-level positions in agencies that provide social, educational, advocacy, substance abuse and mental health services. Human services is a broad term often synonymous with the terms social welfare and social work. Gateway’s transfer opportunities allow students to start their coursework at Gateway and complete their Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, Human Services, Addiction Counseling and related fields. In December of 2017, 13 Gateway alumni graduated from the Bachelor of Social Work program at Northern Kentucky University: 54% graduated with the Summa Cum Laude Distinction (3.9-4.0 GPA), while 23% graduated with the Magna Cum Laude Distinction (3.75-3.899 GPA).

Over 95% of HMS students have expressed an interest in earning a Bachelor’s degree after graduating from Gateway in order to reach their employment goals. HMS faculty and advisers are present to support students’ goals for life after Gateway. They challenge students to research and take action now in their intended college/university. There are HMS students transferring or already enrolled at six colleges and universities. Students are encouraged to identify a bachelor’s program as soon as possible to take required courses, save money and save time in the transfer process. The Human Services program provides students with the knowledge and skills to qualify for entry level positions in agencies and institutions that provide social, community, educational and mental health services. Students learn to apply human services principles and skills through a clinical experience in an appropriate setting.

Tuition Score: 79/100

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

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The Associate in Applied Science degree in Human Services from Hazard Community & 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.

HCTC Online Learning offers convenient, learner-programmed education online 24/7/365. Online courses are offered in a variety of HCTC’s programs and are designed to ensure that students receive the same scope and quality of instruction as courses taught through traditional in-person classroom settings. Certificates are available for the following: Aging Services; Direct Support Work; Psychiatric Mental Health Technician; and Substance Abuse Recovery Coach. Online students need a computer with internet access and an e-mail account. Students should know basic word processing, how to use e-mail, how to attach documents, understand netiquette, how to download files, and how to search for information on the internet. Students will communicate with faculty and other students by e-mail, chat, or in online discussion groups.

Tuition Score: 79/100

21) Tompkins Cortland Community College (Dryden, NY)

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The Associate of Applied Science degree in Human Services from Tompkins Cortland Community College (part of the SUNY network) is meant for students who desire to work in, among others, the fields of education, child care, social services, mental health, home health, or recreation. Helping people to help themselves is the common thread in Human Services, and the field is diverse and extensive. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “The number of social and human service assistants is expected to grow by nearly 23 percent between 2008-2018, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This is due in large part to the aging population and increased demand for mental health and substance abuse treatment.” As part of the six-credit internship students will work in a Human Service agency. This field work course enables students to work for 224 hours in direct care helping people to help themselves.

Graduates work as teachers in child development programs, child care workers in group homes, caregivers, examiners in social service agencies, recreation specialists in geriatric settings, and caregivers in centers for children who are developmentally disabled, among other positions. Recent graduates have been employed by Catholic Charities, Cortland County Community Action Program, Cortland Migrant Outreach Program, Family and Children’s Services of Ithaca, Franziska Racker Centers, Mental Health Association, Tompkins County, J.M. Murray Center, Tioga Opportunities, Inc., Tompkins Community Action/Headstart, Tompkins County Youth Advocate Program, Inc. Recent transfer institutions include: Binghamton University; SUNY College at Brockport; SUNY College at Canton; SUNY College at Cortland; Elmira College; Empire State College; SUNY College at Fredonia; Hunter College, City University of New York; Ithaca College; Keuka College; Syracuse University; and Wells College.

Tuition Score: 78/100

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

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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 graduates from OCTC go directly into the work force, while others transfer to work toward bachelors degrees.

Owensboro Community and Technical College offers students options to fit education into their busy work and family lives. The Kentucky Virtual Campus (KYVC) statewide network and online courses provide education choices for students. 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.  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.

Tuition Score: 77/100

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

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The Associates of Applied Science degree in Human Services 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 program at BSCT 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.

Big Sandy Community and Technical College’s Distance Learning program provides students with alternatives to the traditional on-campus or extended campus classroom settings. These courses are equivalent to their classroom components in credit hours, transferability to other institutions, and fulfilling many program degree requirements. 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. 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.

Tuition Score: 76/100

24) Herkimer College (Herkimer, NY)

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The Associate of Applied Science in Human Services degree from Herkimer College (part of the State University of New York system) is designed to prepare students for a career in a variety of human service agencies. Graduates are prepared to: Identify normal development trends throughout the life span and recognize deviations from normal development; Identify the social systems that impact the individual’s behavior; Communicate effectively with a variety of populations; Assist in the preparation and implementation of appropriate service plans; Demonstrate the ability to accurately document case records; and Identify community services available to assist clients.

The Human Services A.A.S. degree program is internet accessible and may be completed entirely online. Students may find employment as case managers, social work assistants, family advocates, residential counselors or classroom assistants. Students may work with a variety of populations, such as the physically or developmentally disabled, elderly, youth at risk or individuals in crisis. In order to provide a seamless transfer of credits, Herkimer has established transfer agreements with a number of four-year colleges & universities, including: (programs also offered online are denoted by asterisk*) Bellevue University*; Buffalo State College; Cazenovia College; Empire State College*; Russell Sage College; and SUNY Canton.

Tuition Score: 76/100

25) Northcentral Technical College (Wausau, WI)

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The Associate degree in Human Services from Northcentral Technical College trains people to provide education, support, care, advocacy and/or crisis intervention in a human service agency. Learners acquire the skills needed to work with individuals, groups and communities. Key components of this degree include: cultural awareness and an understanding of diverse cultural groups, a responsible attitude, commitment to serve others and effective communication skills. Learners will gain occupational experience through Internship 1 and Internship 2 or will engage in the community through Service Learning. The average annual starting salary for human services graduates is $32,513, based on the 2016 NTC Graduate Employment Report.

Locally located internship sites cannot be guaranteed. Students may have to move or drive a distance in order to complete internship courses. Scheduled internship attendance days and times for which students must be available vary by agency. Program faculty select, assign, and maintain college contracts with internship sites. Human Services program outcomes include: Model a commitment to cultural competence; Uphold the Ethical Standards and Values for Human Service Professionals; Demonstrate professionalism; Utilize community resources; Apply human services interventions and best practices; and Cultivate professional relationships. The program consists of 70 credits spread over two years. Formats offered include: virtual classroom, on-campus, and mostly online.

Tuition Score: 75/100

26) Blue Ridge Community College (Weyers Cave, VA)

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The Associate of Applied Science degree in Human Services at Blue Ridge Community College allows graduates to transfer to a 4-year school to work on a bachelor’s degree in social work (B.S.W.) or go to work as paraprofessionals in service agencies for mental health, substance abuse, aging, corrections, etc. For students deciding between majoring in social work or psychology, a degree in Human Services allows them to work in the field as soon as they graduate, whereas psychology practices generally require further studies beyond the 4-year degree. A series of internships with local agencies and institutions gives students practical field experience before they graduate.

Human Services students can provide information and referral services to other BRCC students through the Beyond the Blue student organization. Major coursework includes: Mental Health Skill Training; Sociology of the Family; Abnormal Psychology; Social Problems; Group Dynamics; Counseling Therapy; Introduction to Behavior Modification; and Race and Ethnicity. Classes in which 50% or more of the instruction occurs when students and instructors are not in the same place is considered distance learning. Succeeding in a distance learning course requires a high degree of motivation, excellent time management and computer skills, as well as an independent learning style. BRCC students may also take shared distance learning courses through Northern Virginia Community College’s Extended Learning Institute (ELI).

Tuition Score: 73/100

27) Hopkinsville Community College (Hopkinsville, KY)

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The Associate in Applied Science degree in Human Services Technology prepares graduates 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. Students study 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 may 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.

When students graduate they are prepared to seek employment in various areas of Human Services. These settings may include hospitals, youth care facilities, mental health settings, chemical dependency settings, correctional facilities, geriatric settings, and social services agencies. 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. Graduates can transfer their two years at HCC into a four-year program in counseling, Human Services, and other areas. To accomplish this, students work with the Program Coordinator and an advisor at the university of their choice. 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.

Tuition Score: 72/100

28) Eastern Florida State College (Cocoa, FL)

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The Associate in Science in Social and Human Services degree from Eastern Florida State College prepares students for a field field that focuses on improving the lives of others. Under the supervision of social workers, psychologists, sociologists, and other professionals, human services providers work to ease and prevent problems caused by poverty, inadequate housing, unemployment, domestic violence, and illness. These professionals work with people in family settings, group settings, and as individuals, primarily providing counseling and life skills lessons. EFSC offers online learning through its Elearning platform, administering the same quality instruction and service found on any of their campuses.

Graduates of this program may choose to work in staff positions at hospitals, mental health clinics, residential facilities, and community service agencies, or continue on to a human services bachelor degree program or related field such as social work, psychology, gerontology, etc. Students who wish to transfer to a university should work with an advisor to choose the appropriate technical electives for transfer. The Aging specialization places special emphasis on the elderly while the Domestic Violence specialization is designed to prepare students to work with domestic violence, child abuse, and those that have suffered trauma. Full time students who follow the prescribed plan of study below should complete the program within two years. This plan does not include any required developmental education or prerequisite courses.

Tuition Score: 71/100

29) Bluegrass Community & Technical College (Lexington, KY)

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The Associate of Applied Science degree in Human Services at Bluegrass Community & Technical College is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in agencies and institutions that provide social, community, educational and mental health services. Students who are interested in the helping professions can prepare for employment in mental health settings, chemical dependency settings, hospitals, educational institutions, correctional facilities, geriatric settings, child/youth centers, family support offices, and/or social service agencies. This program is designed for the person that likes helping others. Total credit hours for the program are between 62 and 65.

Major coursework includes: Introduction to Human Services; Introduction to Social Services; Values of Human Services in a Contemporary Society; Theories and Techniques in Human Resources; Group Dynamics for Human Services; and Practicum in Human Services; Basic Public Speaking; Introduction to Interpersonal Communication; Developmental Psychology; Introduction to Sociology; Modern Social Problems; Bluegrass Community & Technical College’s online programs allow students to earn credentials without ever having to step foot on campus. While online learning offers students the flexibility to complete coursework in the comfort of their own homes, distance learning students do need to be comfortable using computer technology and working independently.

Tuition Score: 70/100

30) University of the Cumberlands (Williamsburg, KY)

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The Associate of Science degree in Human Services at University of the Cumberlands gives students the opportunity to develop the foundation of knowledge and skills required to work within the helping profession. The program’s curriculum focuses on the areas of professional helping skills, behavioral theory, and current social issues. Students are equipped to conduct ethical practice, establish appropriate boundaries, and apply their skills within professional environments that offer services to people. Courses are designed to give the student a deep view of the applicable areas an online Human Services Degree can be used. Courses include, but are not limited to, Intro to Sociology, Basic Helping Skills, Human Behavior, Group Dynamics, Individual and Family Assessment, Case Management and Human Diversity and Ethics.

University of the Cumberlands’ accredited online programs are designed to accommodate adult learners who want to advance their education without compromising quality. Their online programs offer the same curriculum as on-campus equivalents, but are flexible enough to fit into a busy schedule. The program strives to: facilitate an appreciation of self-awareness and the diversity of humanity; provide a core knowledge base in human behavior theory, research methods, and social welfare policy in preparation for a career and/or further study; integrate healthy professional boundaries and best ethical practices within a human services capacity; demonstrate professional helping skills within the classroom and apply the skills within a professional environment.

Tuition Score: 69/100

31) Holyoke Community College (Holyoke, MA)

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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.

Depending on course selection, 80% of the Human Services program can be completed online. Online classes are asynchronous, which means students aren’t required to be in a class or online at a specific time. However, students are required to meet deadlines for submitting coursework or taking tests. Professors don’t tell students when to study or do their work, only when it’s due. 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.

Tuition Score: 69/100

32) Bismarck State College (Bismarck, ND)

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The Associate in Applied Science in Human Services/Eligibility Worker degree from Bismarck State College provides training in basic helping skills and the overview of service delivery and program administration needed for entry-level employment in public, private and volunteer human service agencies. This program is designed to be flexible to meet current and future market demands so that the students may choose courses most appropriate to their interests and career goals. Courses are offered on campus or online for maximum flexibility and accessibility. Content emphasizes human service theory and professional skills, as well as prescribed courses in social welfare. Practical experience is gained during the internship with a human services provider. At graduation students are job ready.

People seeking a career in human services should recognize that to be successful they must be emotionally stable, creative and flexible. Human service workers will work with diverse groups of people and individuals with a wide variety of ages, social and cultural backgrounds and life situations. This program prepares students for employment in agencies, schools, businesses and centers that value paraprofessionals who bring to the job a combination of college course work and human services field experience. The human service worker may provide case management, needs assessment, advocacy, service delivery, crisis intervention, as well as program planning and continuation. BSC has cooperative agreements with Dickinson State University and Minot State University and several other four-year institutions that allow students to continue with a bachelor’s degree on the BSC campus.

Tuition Score: 68/100

33) Great Basin College (Elko, NV)

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The Associate of Applied Science in Human Services program at Great Basin College prepares students for employment in social service agencies, mental health centers, correctional institutions, substance abuse treatment facilities, community health education organizations, and many other settings in helping professions where ethical and effective client interactions are essential. Human Services Practicum courses offer opportunities for “real life” applications of theoretical concepts and for skills development through job shadowing and community field experiences. Coursework may be used as electives, or for continuing education by students or professionals in areas such as education, social work, substance abuse treatment, counseling, nursing, radiology, emergency medical care, and business.

A Certificate of Achievement in Substance Abuse Counselor Training and a Certificate of Achievement in Human Services may also be earned while completing requirements for the AAS degree in human services, as these three programs share a common core of courses. Entry-level human services courses have no prerequisites or program entry requirements. Students choose to begin at any time by registering for classes. Much of the coursework may be completed online, through interactive video, and/or by independent study on a case-by-case basis. The Human Services AAS degree and certificate of achievement programs share a common core, so that students may easily complete course requirements for certificate and degree pathways. Human services programs offer a generalist overview of human services work, an opportunity for personal enrichment, and practical opportunities for human relationship skills development.

Tuition Score: 68/100

34) Alexandria Technical & Community College (Alexandria, MN)

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The Associate of Applied Science Human Services Practitioner degree from Alexandria Technical & Community College is designed for people already working within the field. It is also for people who are interested in pursuing direct service as a career and for people who want to learn more about supports for people with disabilities. This educational experience will provide students with practical knowledge and experiences in the community supports field. The program is a collaboration of Alexandria Technical & Community College offering general education courses and South Central College, Mankato, offering seven core online courses. Characteristics of self-motivation and persistence will be especially important for taking online courses.

The Human Services Practitioner program is designed to educate direct service workers to provide community based supports to people with disabilities. It offers a two year AAS degree along with a diploma program (Direct Service Professional) option. The program can be completed entirely online or in a blended format. Blended format would include both online and on campus courses. Core coursework includes: Community Social Welfare Services; Facilitating Positive Behavior; Supportive Interventions; Person-Centered Planning; Direct Service Professionalism; Job Seeking/Keeping Skills; Public Speaking; and Physical/Developmental Supports. Minnesota law requires a background check before working in any licensed facility. Students must have a clear criminal background to participate in internship and therefore eligible for graduation.

Tuition Score: 68/100

35) Nashua Community College (Nashua, NH)

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The Associate in Science degree in Human Services from Nashua Community College prepares students to work with individuals who are consumers of the human services delivery system, providing them with direct services and linking them with other community services and resources. Graduates of the Human Services program may be employed in human services agencies which deal with developmental disabilities, mental health, residential treatment, hospice care, abuse prevention and substance abuse. Graduates will be prepared for employment in positions such as service coordinator, group home manager, job coach, vocational instructor and trainer, residential living counselor, community living instructor, program manager, site supervisor, supported or independent living specialist coordinator, and family support coordinator.

Graduates wishing to pursue their bachelor’s degree can benefit from Nashua’s transfer agreements with Granite State College, Rivier College, and Springfield College of Human Services. Students may enroll into one of these programs after transferring credits earned at Nashua Community College. The NH Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Developmental Services through a cooperative agreement with the Community College System of NH (CCSNH), offers grants to students as tuition reimbursement towards a Community Social Services/Human Services Certificate at some of NH’s community colleges. The grants are available to any employee, family member or individual affiliated with one of ten area agencies and their vendors. Applications are available at any of the community colleges, and the students must have the support of an area agency representative.

Tuition Score: 68/100

36) Northern Essex Community College (Haverhill, MA)

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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.

Online courses are similar to traditional face-to-face as in they both cover the same course content. Online courses are only taught through the Internet with interactive chats, frequent bulletin board postings and emails. Students are in contact on a regular basis with the instructor and their classmates. All course work is emailed or posted to the course web site and testing is also done online. 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.

Tuition Score: 66/100

37) Minot State University (Minot, ND)

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The Associate of Science in Human Services degree (with a major in Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities) from Minot State University provides Human Services Professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to provide effective services and supports that enable individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to lead self-determined and personally satisfying lives. Minot State University is a leader in the preparation of Human Services Professionals and has been for over thirty years. Through a contract with the Developmental Disabilities Division of the Department of Human Services, MSU delivers training for direct support and other professionals statewide. University faculty collaborate with service providers to ensure that the coursework and field experiences have direct application to the challenges faced by human service professionals.

To meet the national demand for human service professionals, MSU now offers this established program completely online for individuals looking for careers in leadership, program planning, and service coordination for children and adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities in programs throughout the nation. Agencies often seek to promote direct support professionals who have proven their commitment and skills to these positions, but an associate or bachelor’s degree is required to fulfill funding agency requirements. MSU’s online career ladder is the perfect solution for employers, direct support and other professionals. Service providers are able to retain their valued employees while they earn their degree. The Associate of Science Degree in Human Services with a major in Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities is awarded upon satisfactory completion of the designated 30 credits of Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities coursework and the 38 credits of General Education coursework.

Tuition Score: 64/100

38) Quinsigamond Community College (Worcester, MA)

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The Associate in Science degree in Human Services at Quinsigamond Community College prepares students for a career as an entry-level human service practitioner. It also serves as a pathway for career development and advancement for non-degree workers in the field of human services. Graduates are prepared to transfer to a four-year program. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to: Understand the past, present and future of human services; Demonstrate the ability to effectively perform empathic listening, observation and interactional skills with individuals, groups, families and community; Conduct intake interviews and provide a basic assessment of human needs; and Apply core interpersonal skills within the helping relationship.

This program may be completed 50% or more online. Additionally, this program may be completed face-to-face at QCC Worcester (Main Campus) or at QCC Southbridge. The following certificates can be completed along with this associate degree: Direct Support Certificate and Human Services Certificate. Graduates will also be able to: Be prepared for group facilitation and participation; Utilize knowledge of formal and informal networks in the human services delivery system; Apply fundamental legal and ethical standards in providing client services and maintaining participant records; Advocate for participants needs utilizing a strength-based culturally competent dynamic; Identify, explain and apply the 12 National Community Support Skill Standards for human service delivery; and Be eligible to sit for the Human Services-Board Certified Practitioner (HS-BCP) Exam.

Tuition Score: 63/100

39) Western New Mexico University (Silver City, NM)

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The Associate of Arts in Human Services degree from Western New Mexico University is a flexible 60-credit hour program that can lead to a career in the human services professions, which focuses on prevention and remediation of problems related to quality of life. The Associate of Arts in Human Services degree can advance students’ career in a variety of human service settings. The entire program can be accessed by students from a distance. Courses are delivered via an asynchronous online platform. Human services professionals promote improved service delivery systems by addressing not only the quality of direct services, but also by improving accessibility, accountability and coordination among professionals and agencies in service delivery.

Human service graduates hold professional and paraprofessional jobs in diverse settings including elder care facilities; health care settings; government agencies; domestic violence shelters; substance treatment centers; family, child and youth agencies; community health centers; correctional facilities; halfway houses, and group homes. Many human service graduates choose to go beyond their associate’s degree to earn a bachelor’s in Chemical Dependency, Criminal Justice, Social Work, Nursing, Rehabilitation Services or Education. Core classes include: Ethics in Social Work and Human Services; Principles of Diversity; Resource and Information Literacy for Human Services; Introduction to Group Dynamics; and Case Management, Planning and Evaluation, among others.

Tuition Score: 56/100

40) Thomas Edison State University (Trenton, NJ)

best online human services associates

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The Associate in Arts in Human Services degree from Thomas Edison State University is a 60-credit program designed for adults working in the human services field. To be admitted to the program and to complete the Capstone course, students must have current work experience in the field of human services. Students must have a minimum of 6 months/800 hours of current work experience. Students must submit a current resume at the time of application. The degree is designed to provide seamless transfer to the Bachelor of Science in Human Services degree. Thomas Edison State University offers a wide variety of degree and certificate programs that may be completed entirely through the University’s online and distance learning courses, including the Human Services degree.

Graduates of the Associate in Arts in Human Services degree will have the ability to: Define key concepts in the area of study; Identify theories of professional practice; Explain the specific skills, techniques, and agencies necessary to serve client populations; and Explain cultural diversity as it relates to the field of Human Services. Theoretical Foundation courses include those pertaining to theory, knowledge and skills of the human services profession. Intervention courses include those which emphasize theory and knowledge bases for interventions and criteria for selection of appropriate interventions. Finally, Client Population courses include those which emphasize the range of populations served and needs addressed by human services professionals.

Tuition Score: 52/100

41) Columbia College (Columbia, MO)

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The Associate in Science in Human Services degree from Columbia College is designed to assist students in developing empirically based knowledge and practice skills fundamental for responsible and effective application within the Human Service field. The Associate in Science in Human Services degree is available online, allowing students to earn their degree on their own schedule and at their own pace. Columbia College gives online students the freedom to access their courses when it is convenient for them, no matter what time of day or night it may be. Students will meet weekly assignment deadlines, but are not required to meet the instructor or other students at a certain time online or in person. When and how often students study is entirely up to each individual. Online courses at Columbia College are held in six sessions per year.

Columbia College online courses have the same rigor as traditional courses. The difference is in the delivery design. Online courses use the Internet and a learning management system, Desire2Learn (D2L), to create an online learning environment. Columbia College courses cover the same subject matter and award the same credit, regardless of delivery design. The online courses take the same amount of time and effort as an in-seat course. Each course is on an accelerated eight-week schedule and has a set start and end date. Testing for Columbia College’s online degree programs happens in a variety of ways. Some course instructors have their tests proctored by an approved person while other instructors use less structured evaluation methods. Assignments, quality discussion postings and research papers are a large part of most online coursework at Columbia College and will most directly affect a student’s final grade in any given course.

Tuition Score: 45/100

42) St. Joseph’s College (Standish, ME)

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The Associate of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies degree with a minor in Human Services from St. Joseph’s College is for those interested in working with underrepresented populations from diverse backgrounds. The Human Services minor will help students expand their awareness of the multifaceted roles in Human Services and offer a strong foundation in the field of social Sciences. It will also provide students with opportunities to enhance their professional helping skills, increase awareness of multicultural perspectives, and prepare for work in the rewarding career of making a difference in the lives of others. The industry-specific curriculum prepares students for more responsible positions in a variety of occupations.

Courses blend content with professional experience, allowing for immediate application in the work setting. A generous credit-transfer policy is designed to award maximum credit for both traditional and non-traditional learning experiences. Faculty with practical experience work one-on-one with students to ensure their success. The program boasts a flexible online format that allows students to study at their own schedule, at their own pace and at their own location. No on-campus residency required. Work in this field may include providing support to individuals and/or families who receive services in residential, community, and a variety of other settings. The Human Services minor begins to prepare individuals for the rewarding career of making a difference in the lives of others.

Tuition Score: 36/100

43) Cornerstone University (Grand Rapids, MI)

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The Associate of Science in Human Services degree from Cornerstone University is designed to develop the professional skills of individuals working in either secular or faith-based human services organizations. Program course work provides students with a framework focused on the prevention and remediation of human services issues, preparing them to demonstrate communication and problem-solving skills as an effective leader and facilitator. Through field-based experiences, students learn how to meet human needs through an interdisciplinary knowledge base and support the overall quality of life for diverse populations. Graduates add value to their career, integrating theory and practice from subject areas such as sociology, counseling and intercultural relations.

As a non-profit, Christ-centered university, Cornerstone strives to provide an accessible education that fits students’ needs. Students take courses in a way that’s easy for them with classes offered 100% online or in a blended format. Onsite courses meet once a week from 6-10 p.m. The program duration is 28 months. Career opportunities include: Entry-level positions in counseling; social work; ministry; career services; customer service; non-profit organizations; K-12 paraprofessional and youth worker services. Earning a subsequent degree is attainable. Upon completion of the Associate of Science in Human Services degree, students may apply to join a bachelor’s program cohort to conclude their undergraduate education: Business Administration and Leadership; Organizational Management; Ministry Leadership; and Psychology are all relevant bachelor’s programs at Cornerstone University.

Tuition Score: 34/100

44) Purdue University Global (West Lafayette, IN)

best online human services associates degree

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The Associate of Applied Science in Human Services program at Purdue University Global (formerly Kaplan University) is a program that draws from multiple disciplines, such as health services, psychology, sociology, law, and criminal justice, to help prepare students to meet the complex challenges of the twenty-first century in the growing field of human services. The online program is designed to help students gain the introductory skills, knowledge, and attitudes to assess the situations of the most vulnerable in society in order to provide services that respond to the needs of clients. Upon successful completion of the program, students are awarded an associate of applied science degree.

Blending theory and practice, the curriculum teaches students how to critically evaluate their social world as they explore the public and private policies that drive the day-to-day operations of human service agencies in this country, and how they can best intervene on behalf of the clients they will serve. The program is designed to provide a solid foundation in human services principles that can be applied in areas such as mental health, social services, education, rehabilitation, and group and community work, and workplaces including nursing homes, hospitals, and clinics. The Associate of Applied Science in Human Services program consists of a minimum of 90 quarter credit hours.

Tuition Score: 29/100

45) Franklin Pierce University (Rindge, NH)

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The Associates Degree in Human Services at Franklin Pierce University assists students as they explore psychology, sociology, social work, criminology, and business in preparation for a career aimed at enhancing the greater public good. Students work closely with professors who are experts in their fields and understand the unique needs of adult students in small classes. Graduates complete 60 credits to earn their associate’s degree. After coursework, students will enter the job market with the knowledge needed to enter the competitive workforce. Additionally, students can continue their education and earn their bachelor’s degree in Human Services at Franklin Pierce. Students develop their range of talents as they learn to serve the public with an Associate’s degree.

Whether students are just starting their college career or getting ready to enroll in a program in mid-career, Franklin Pierce University offers learning options that fit many students’ life and their goals. Students can enroll at FPU’s College at Rindge campus or attend classes at one of three satellite centers throughout southern New Hampshire or the campus in Goodyear, Arizona. Or if they are too busy to study on campus, students can attend online and earn a degree on their own time. How students choose to succeed is up to them. Franklin Pierce is ready to support students every step of the way. Internships and hands-on experience for certain courses are available across the curriculum. Students completing internships are awarded academic credits under the supervision of their academic advisor or another faculty member within the Human Services program.

Tuition Score: 26/100

46) Westmoreland County Community College (Youngwood, PA)

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The Associate in Applied Science in Human Services/Social Work degree from Westmoreland County Community College is designed to provide students with the knowledge base for the profession and general skills to enter into the workforce and/or transfer to a bachelor’s program. Students who want to pursue a career in human services/social work have a sincere concern for others, ability to motivate others and desire to make a change in the world. The program allows for classroom instruction about the field including networking with agency workers in the area and learning about available programs.

The program includes the opportunity to spend one semester in an agency where the skills and knowledge acquired in the classroom will be applied. The student will also earn general education credits that will apply to a bachelor’s program. Nine of the required 60 credits must be completed in person (HMS 160, HMS 162, HMS 258) and the rest may be completed online. The associate in applied science degree requires the completion of at least 60 credit hours. Students take 15 hours of general education, one computer technology course, and specific program courses. Many courses completed for the associate in applied science degree may transfer to a four-year college. However, some credits may not transfer. The transfer of credits earned in an AAS degree depends on the senior institution’s requirements.

Tuition Score: 23/100

47) Brescia University (Owensboro, KY)

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The Associate of Arts in Human Services online degree from Brescia University helps students reshape their careers and enter the field of human services and social work while putting their talents, compassion and dedication to good work, making a difference in the lives of others. Students will acquire skills needed to work with individuals, groups, and communities and will learn to work with people of diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. The Associate degree in Human Services online program focuses on crisis counseling and intervention, theory, case management, information systems and other human services areas. Major subject requirements are in the fields of sociology, psychology, biology and social work.

The Human Services associate degree prepares students for entry-level positions in a variety of human service agencies. Brescia strives to provide students with a great education and helps them build a solid career path. Students can complete the Associate of Arts in Human Services degree and apply their credits to Brescia University’s online bachelor’s degree programs in Social Work, Psychology, Theology, or Integrated Studies. It’s a seamless process to help students get ahead faster. Courses are designed with the adult student in mind, enabling qualified students to complete a degree in as little as two years. Additionally, students can transfer up to 42 credit hours to Brescia’s Associate of Arts in Human Services degree from a regionally accredited school.

Tuition Score: 17/100

48) Penn State World Campus (University Park, PA)

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The Associate in Science in Human Development and Family Studies program at Penn State World Campus integrates practical and academic experiences to provide you with entry-level, professional competencies in the human service fields. The course work can help you gain a foundational understanding of life span and family development, and a core of professional skills that you can apply in program planning and service delivery. Many graduates go on to earn an HDFS bachelor’s degree; some eventually enroll in graduate school. The online HDFS program can help you get a degree without ever setting foot on campus.

The university has created two specializations to give students a choice so they can focus on an aspect of human development and family studies that best meets their career goals: The Adult Development and Aging Services option prepares students for a wide variety of service roles in mental health facilities, or nursing homes and other institutions for the aged. It focuses on the biological, psychological, and social development of adults and elderly persons, with special emphasis on the various contexts of adult development, including work and the family. The Children, Youth, and Family Services option is an ideal choice for those who want to work with various age groups in centers, institutions, and agencies. The program’s ultimate goal is to improve the quality of planned services for families from varied backgrounds and community settings.

Tuition Score: 12/100

49) Excelsior College (Albany, NY)

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The Associate in Science in Liberal Arts degree (Human Services concentration) from Excelsior College helps students break into growing industries such as health services, elder care, and family services. Designed for working adults who need to balance college with work and family commitments, Excelsior’s online format enables students to complete their degree, build skills, and advance their career. A national innovator in distance education, Excelsior has been helping working adults get college degrees since 1971. Students work with outstanding faculty while interacting with classmates via Excelsior’s advanced online portal. Students also get personalized support from Excelsior’s nationally recognized team of academic advisors.

Students are able to earn an associate’s degree quickly, affordably, and conveniently by: Taking online classes from their own computer, at the time and place that works best with their schedule; Getting maximum transfer credit for their college work at other accredited institutions; Receiving academic credit for certain forms of military education, professional training, and work experience; and Paying low tuition and student fees that keep the cost of an online associate’s degree within almost any budget. Additionally, if students want to build on their associate’s degree and work toward a bachelor’s degree, Excelsior makes it easy. All the credits from the associate degree will count toward a bachelor’s degree from Excelsior.

Tuition Score: 2/100

50) Elizabethtown College (Elizabethtown, PA)

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The Associate of Science in Human Services degree from Elizabethtown College, residing in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, allows students to start or grow in their career of helping others. Students will gain an understanding of the underlying issues that influence individuals—and society as a whole. Graduates leave with the knowledge and skills needed to administer or manage services for others or to advocate on their behalf. More than ever before, people of all ages and backgrounds are facing mounting challenges, from health and well-being to family stresses and financial burdens. This means there’s a growing demand for compassionate, community-minded professionals to help others improve their everyday life. Earning an associate degree gives graduates personal fulfillment and can lead directly to a better paying position, one that requires college-level education. Or it can also be a stepping stone to earning a bachelor’s degree.

Elizabethtown College’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers accelerated associate degree programs designed for adult learners. Elizabethtown’s adult-friendly programs allow students to focus on one class at a time in five-week sessions, with evening classes in Elizabethtown, Harrisburg, York or Lancaster, or online. This rewarding field presents opportunities in many different avenues that help people and serve the community. Types of positions include: Family Support Worker; Youth Worker; Case Management Aid; Child Advocate; and Social Work Assistant. The associate degree from Elizabethtown College requires 64 credit hours of academic work. Degree candidates must take at least 15 of their last 30 credits from Elizabethtown College. Credits from Elizabethtown must include at least 9 credits in the major.

Tuition Score: 1/100