Western Washington University · Bellingham, Washington
Human Services, BA
What is the study of Human 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 (NOHS, 2013). Human Services majors at Western Washington University gain knowledge and experience in case management and interventions, human development, applied research, organizational management, program planning and evaluation and diversity and social justice. The program includes four quarters (380 hours) of field studies (practicum and internship) that integrates theory, knowledge, and skills with professional practice. Students also participate in a six-quarter sequence of study that examines the human services profession within the context of self and individuals, small groups, organizations, communities, and global systems. The curriculum is designed to meet National Standards in human services education as outlined by the Council for Standards in Human Service Education, and prior to graduation students are required to develop a capstone portfolio demonstrating that they meet these standards.
Why Should I Consider this Major?
Are you interested in a career working to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, communities and organizations? Are you seeking a major that integrates a liberal arts education with professional practice? Do you learn effectively through student-centered activities that encourage
collaborative inquiry and active engagement to address real world problems? If so, you may want to consider a major in Human Services. Since the mid 1970’s, the Human Services major has attracted students with a strong commitment to social and economic justice, human dignity, self-determination, and the desire to support change through direct and indirect service delivery. Thousands of Human Services program graduates are currently working in meaningful positions in nonprofit, government, and community-based services.
We live in a diverse culture and if you are somebody passionate about social justice issues, which a lot of our student are, then you have to get out there and engage with a variety of populations and a variety of issues and gain some experiences that are different from your particular background where you grew up.
- Dr. Diana Jones, Faculty
I’m inspired pretty much every time I have class or intereact with my fellow students or teachers [at Western] because they do amazing things in the community…I’m inspired on a daily basis by all the great things they do. They work with all sorts of different types of populations. Human Services is really broad…you work with people with disabilities. You work with people suffering from poverty; domestic violence. There is just a really broad range of populations. Diversity really comes in.
- Carly Schmidt, Student
- Children, Youth, and Family Services
- Veterans Services
- Mental Health
- International Relief
- Rehabilitation Counseling & Disability Services
- Corrections & Law Enforcement
- Community Development & Organizing
- Faith-Based Services
- Human Resources
- Nonprofit Management
- Non-Profit Organization Administrator