Associate of Arts (AA): Human Services Degree Overview
Programs with a focus in human services teach students to assist individuals with emotional and physical needs. Associate of Arts in Human Services programs provide students the entry-level knowledge to qualify for positions as social work assistants, client advocates, case management aides and human service workers.
Associate of Arts in Human Services
Associate of Arts in Human Services programs offer curricular studies in social, political, economic and learning systems, as well as information on group behavior, social and cognitive development, service delivery and human development. Students learn how to work with families and communities in educational and work-related settings. Students may gain skills in communication, critical thinking and writing. Applicants to an associate's degree program should submit high school transcripts.
Throughout a 2-year human services program, students investigate sociology principles, developmental psychology and crisis intervention. They also delve into professional development, learning theories and group values. Students in an associate's degree program may study topics such as:
- Human biology
- Casework methods
- Marriage topics
- Family topics
- Community health
- Personal health
- Speech principles
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Associate of Arts in Human Services programs are typically designed for transfer into a 4-year program; however, students may be able to find entry-level positions as a social service assistant or human service assistant. Human service assistants can find career opportunities offered through health care and social assistance industries or government organizations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job prospects for social and human service assistants is supposed to be excellent with a faster than average growth of 23% from 2008-2018 (www.bls.gov). Additionally, the BLS reported that social and human service assistants had median annual wages of $28,200 in May 2010.
Continuing Education Information
After obtaining an associate's degree in human services, graduates can continue their education by pursuing a bachelor's degree in human services or a related field, such as social work. Bachelor's degrees programs provide further education in social justice and applied research, as well as hands-on practical experience through internships.
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