We believe that students should be able to test whether or not it is realistic for them to pursue a career in Human Services. To do that we believe that they must have:
- an opportunity for client contact
- supervision by a professional human service worker, and
- a setting in which to integrate all of their ongoing learning and experience.
The opportunities for client contact and supervision by a professional are provided in fieldwork courses. Each semester our students must commit themselves to a fieldwork experience in a human services agency for the duration of the semester. In cooperation with their Human Services instructor and the on-site agency supervisor, the student establishes a set of learning objectives and corresponding responsibilities. These are incorporated into a fieldwork Learning Contract, which becomes an evaluation instrument at the end of the semester.
In order for students to integrate their human service learning and experience, we believe that our teaching must follow an experiential learning model. Our seminars—the students’ on-campus classes—provide the setting for such learning. Sharing experiences, discussing relevant principles and issues, a variety of audio-visual presentations, guest speakers, role-playing, reading and writing, and conventional instruction are among the diverse techniques we use to effect this experiential learning.
In addition to Human Services courses our students take a Liberal Arts curriculum, which includes a variety of courses appropriate to their chosen careers.
A wide range of social science courses—including psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, and economics—are drawn upon. A variety of humanities courses—literature, art, music, philosophy, and foreign languages—are available. A diversity of mathematics and natural science courses with special emphasis upon life science, are also presented for the students’ choice. Close, personal advisement ensures a well-rounded Liberal Arts background for our graduates.
Housed within the Human Services department are the Addictions Counseling degree and certificate programs. The Addictions Counseling A.S. degree program has two tracks: one that requires a field placement/seminar class and one that requires specialized coursework in working with people who are re-entering the community after incarceration. The Addictions Counseling certificate program is available for students who have already completed a Bachelor’s or Master's degree. All three provide the coursework necessary to apply to the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services for the Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor–T credential.