Program Highlights

This major provides you with the cross-disciplinary perspective necessary for launching a career or graduate study in the fields of social work or human services. Work practice in these fields applies values, principles and techniques to:

  • • help people obtain tangible services;
  • • provide counseling and psychotherapy with individuals, families and groups;
  • • help communities or groups provide or improve social and health services; and
  • • participate in legislative processes.

To be effective in the field of social work, you must have knowledge of several distinct domains of study, including:

  • human development and behavior;
  • social, economic and cultural institutions; and
  • the interaction between each of these factors.

Big Blue Backpacks Students at Press Conference

Students earning a degree in human services often are attracted to one of several career tracks:

  1. Personal services, such as counseling, rehabilitation, recreation or religion.
  2. Protection services, such as public health service, courts, law enforcement, consumer protection or firefighting.
  3. Information or advising services, such as financial counseling, hotlines or libraries.
  4. Maintenance services, such as child care, unemployment assistance, public welfare or Social Security programs.

Human services is a broader field of study than social work, largely because it includes other social services such as law enforcement, library services and housing code enforcement, as well as programs traditionally classified as social welfare services.

Plans of Study

Departmental Course Offerings

Courses change each semester, so this list should not be considered a commitment to these individual topics. However, this does represent a list of many of our current and popular courses. The list is provided so that you can begin to imagine your academic career at Millikin in this major.

HM200, Introduction to the Helping Professions

This course will offer a comprehensive look into various helping professions, allowing students the chance to explore professions and gain perspectives as they investigate career opportunities within the helping field. Exploration of topics will include personal and professional values, self-awareness, career paths, salaries, supervision, education and credentialing requirements, and demographic information of various professions. Special focus will be given to confidentiality and documentation within the helping professions. Helping professionals from various training backgrounds currently in practice will be included into course curriculum as guest speakers. Pre-requisites: SO100 or PS130, sophomore standing.
HM214, Social Work Theory and Practice A detailed study of social work practice, including a review of values, ethics and theoretical perspectives supporting intervention strategies and methods of the field. Attention will also be paid to interpersonal, analytical and problem-solving skills required for professional social work. Pre-requisites: departmental major, sophomore standing, SO100 or PS130 or PS140. 
HM215, Human Behavior and the Social Environment This course, Human Behavior in the Social Environment, introduces social systems theories, psychological theories and developmental theories to examine why people behave as they do and to apply this knowledge to generalist social work practice across the life span. The course integrates major concepts from the social and behavioral sciences with micro, mezzo and macro social work practice approaches. The impact of culture and environmental conditions on individuals, families, small groups and communities is examined. Pre-requisites: SO100 or PS130, sophomore standing. 
HM260, Special Topic in Human Service This course presents selected topics in human services and is offered on demand. It may be repeated with a different topic.  Pre-requisite: consent of the instructor.
HM316,  Social Issues in Healthcare The purpose of this course is to introduce the changing role of healthcare in our country. The identification of key issues involving interdisciplinary collaboration and the development of strategic interventions with other healthcare professionals and teams is explored. Roles in social work, discharge planning, case management, home care, hospice care and the historic and current policies that affect healthcare will be studied. An overview of managed care and payment systems will be covered. This course is offered in an immersion format. Pre-requisite: SO100 or PS130 or PS140 or consent of the instructor. 
HM317, Practice with Diverse Populations This course presents concepts for understanding, measuring and evaluating cultural competence for working with persons from cultures other than one's own. Focus is on the impact of discrimination and oppression on the development and delivery of social work services to people of color and other marginalized populations. The course will also explore why cultural competence is important to human service professionals and will identify skills necessary to become culturally competent. Pre-requisites: SO100 or PS130, HM314.
HM318,  Social Gerontology This course provides an introduction to the field of social gerontology and the services available to meet the needs of the geriatric population. The processes and realities of aging in contemporary American society will be examined. Some topics will include healthcare, social roles, community life, personal aging, death and dying, and the community/social programs that support the aging population. Community professionals who provide services to seniors will be included in classroom presentations, and site visits to senior programs will be completed. This course is offered in an immersion format. Pre-requisite: SO100 or PS130 or consent of the instructor. 
HM319,   Intro to Child Welfare This course provides an introduction to child welfare in the United States and examines current child welfare policies and practices. The course explores the rights of children, the rights and responsibilities of parents and society and their points of conflict. It provides relevant content for students considering careers in child welfare, schools, juvenile justice and family services. Pre-requisites: HM314, HM315. 
HM320, Poverty This course is designed to expand students’ awareness and understanding of poverty. This course will particularly examine the nature and extent of poverty that exists within the United States. Particular attention will be given to the views of poverty, characteristics of poverty population and causes of poverty and government policies that address poverty. This course focuses on understanding the impact of poverty related to children and families, women, older adults and the working poor. Pre-requisites: HM214 or consent of the instructor. 
HM321, Mental Health Services This course will focus on past, present and future needs of mental health policy as well as mental health programs, services, funding, system structure and populations service by mental health services. Students will gain first-hand knowledge and experience about the mental health field through Performance Learning through faculty site visits, class guest speakers and a community-based semester project. Pre-requisite: HM214 or consent of the instructor.
HM370, Intervention: Individuals This course provides an introduction to generalist practice. Students begin to learn the skills and ethics required for practice with individuals. Interviewing skills for assessment, planning, intervention, evaluation, termination and follow-up phases of the problem-solving process are developed. Pre-requisites: junior standing, departmental major, HM314. 
HM395, Independent Study Directed reading and study in-depth, individual research and field study in areas of students interest. Pre-requisite: Honors students, majors and consent of department chair and the instructor. 
HM396, Independent Study Directed reading and study in-depth, individual research and field study in areas of students interest. Pre-requisite: Honors students, majors and consent of department chair and the instructor. 
HM397, Independent Study Directed reading and study in-depth, individual research and field study in areas of students interest. Pre-requisite: Honors students, majors and consent of department chair and the instructor. 
HM470, Understand Professional, Public and Personal Ethics This course is designed to develop and expand students' understanding of ethics as they relate to professional, public and personal arenas. Students will learn to identify and mange ethical issues and dilemmas as well as gain an appreciation and understanding of the values and ethics within the human services field. Students will acquire knowledge about professional and ethical standards of practice and their role in competent, ethical practice; increase self-awareness; develop an awareness of how personal values and professional behaviors interact; and increase their ability to recognize ethical issues and apply ethical decision-making models. Students will utilize critical-thinking skills to recognize and accept the impact of diversity and social justice in understanding and addressing ethical dilemmas. 
HM480, Advanced Internship This course provides the opportunity for students who have already completed HM460, Capstone Internship, to take an additional internship. Pre-requisite: HM460 and consent of the instructor.