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College of Public Affairs

HSER Course Descriptions

View the schedule of classes to determine course offerings by semester.

  • HSER 100 Introduction to Human Services (3)

    The social basis for human service needs is examined with special consideration given to how societies respond to these needs through the formation of service delivery systems. Case studies of contemporary human service delivery systems are emphasized.

  • HSER 200 Models of Effective Helping (3)

    Provides students with an overview of contemporary theories and techniques of helping relationships. Basic communication skills (such as active listening, responding and interviewing skills) for building helping relationships are developed. Professional and ethical issues in the helping profession, as it relates to human services, will all be investigated.
  • HSER 300 Grass Roots Strategies of Social Changes in Human Services (3)

    Exploration of various frameworks concerned with strategies and techniques for planned social change relevant to community education, empowerment, organization and development at the grass roots level.
  • HSER 310 Family System Dynamics (3)

    Examines the components of family structure, interactions and reinforcing aspects of family dynamics on the maintenance of roles, types of families, life-span changes, function and dysfunction in the context of the greater society.
  • HSER 320 Gender and the Work Environment (3)

    Examines work environment and profession-related gender issues from legal, sociological, psychological and economic viewpoints. Topics may include gender stereotyping, career development, sexual harassment and work-life balance. Explores practices and processes that embed gender into institutional structures.
  • HSER 330 Human Services Delivery Systems and Diversity (3)

    Examines various issues in the context of human services delivery systems within organizational environments possessing many levels of diversity including gender, race, religion/spirituality, types of professions/credentials, levels of education, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation and physical ability. Explores how one's own limitations, values, reaction patterns and culture may impact policies, practices, processes and interventions. Investigates perspectives of leadership, employees and service recipients.

  • HSER 340 Case Management and Documentation (3)

    Serves as an introduction to the concept of case management in the delivery of human services. The course is presented in the logical sequence, from intake interview to termination of service, focusing on assessment, planning and implementation of case management services. The course explores the case management process as it relates to organizational, legal and ethical issues and emphasizes the skills and knowledge base required to be an effective case manager.
  • HSER 350 Social Research Methods for Human Services (3)

    An analysis of principal research methods employed in the applied social sciences with particular emphasis on applications for human services. Topics include research design, data collection and data analysis. Practical applications are required through student projects.
  • HSER 360 Social Policy and the American Policy Process (3)

    Offers an examination of social policy issues (such as poverty, homelessness and mental illness) as well as of the American policy process and the significance of social, economic and political factors that influence policy-making and implementation related to human services. Also considers policies at all levels of local and national interest, including agency policies, local ordinances, state and federal legislation and global treaties, etc. Students gain an understanding of social policy formation, the realities of current social policy and administration, and their role in human service delivery in effecting social policy change in their agencies, communities and the world. Provides the necessary contextual background to understand the foundational social policies that guide and define human services as well as how those policies come to be.
  • HSER 400 Field Practicum (3)

    Provides students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge gained in the classroom to experience in a human services-based organizational setting. Students will be exposed to and/or engage in activities, such as supervision, special projects, case management, budgeting and public relations. Students must complete a minimum of 100 hours. Both the faculty practicum coordinator and the agency site supervisor will guide and evaluate students throughout the practicum. prerequisites: HSER 100, HSER 200, HSER 340 and permission of the program director
  • HSER 410 Ethics and Empathy for Public Servants (3)

    Explores the role of ethics and empathy in the work of public servants, with a goal of preparing students for careers in public service. Relying on novels, short stories, films, television and other stories, this course provides students case examples of scenarios where ethics and empathy are relevant and/or missing. Through the course, students have the opportunity to explore the challenges, benefits and opportunities associated with ethical and empathetic service delivery.
  • HSER 420 Program Design and Proposal Writing (3)

    Builds on the ecological systems perspective that views program development as an arena for social change. The course illuminates how values, needs and resources influence program design and decision-making. Employing a major practice strategy used in community development, the course offers a contingency framework that teaches students about the choices, decisions and situations for planning new programs or adapting others within the context of diverse communities. It sharpens the skill set necessary for program development within the context of quality improvement and management. prerequisites: HSER 100 and HSER 200
  • HSER 430 Fundraising and Grant Writing (3)

    Provides students with a thorough grounding in the principles and practices of fundraising and grant proposal development. The course is structured to mirror the process of fundraising management and by the course's conclusion, students will have developed a fundraising plan or a grant proposal for their own nonprofit organization or a case study of the organization. The course considers planning frameworks and a variety of conceptual tools exploring donor behaviors (the underlying psychology and sociology) and each major form of fundraising. The course concludes with an examination of the critical managerial and sectoral issues impacting fundraising functions, such as campaign integration, benchmarking of performance, and public trust and confidence. prerequisites: HSER 100 and 200
  • HSER 440 Evaluation of Human Services Programs (3)

    Provides students with a conceptual framework, sets of practical skills and related understandings about planning and evaluating human services programs in a range of settings. Programs are considered in a broad sense as a set of resources organized for a purpose, while a human service is considered as work or activity intended to benefit others. prerequisites: HSER 100 and 200
  • HSER 450 Human Services Management (3)

    Designed to assist students with exploring management and administrative roles in human service organizations. Students are introduced to relevant theories, concepts and practices that compose the foundation for understanding management. Students examine common concerns, problems and effective strategies of contemporary management of human services organizations at the nonprofit, local, state and federal levels. prerequisites: HSER 100 and HSER 200
  • HSER 470 Senior Seminar in Human Services (3)

    A senior-level seminar consisting of an extensive exploration of current topics in human services of mutual interest to faculty and students. Examples of the content may include welfare reform, political and social legislation as well as policy and program issues. prerequisite: senior-level standing