The Master of Science Degree in Human Services prepares adults to creatively and incisively lead their communities forward; to be human service practitioners with clear vision, caring hearts and the competency to act; to acknowledge the problems of the past, work in the present and maintain faith in the future. The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to promote social analysis, critical and creative thinking, communications and leadership development. Building on what students already know, the curriculum links classroom learning to workplace and community issues, offering a powerful educational experience of integrating theory and practice. While teaching about the importance of respect for others and valuing the diversity within and among us all, the School reflects these values by acknowledging the wisdom adults bring to education and building a community of leaders.
These principles find voice and form in the foundation curriculum, the concentrations and the graduate action research project.
Three foundation courses are required of all master’s degree students. These courses explore theories related to how people, organizations, and communities behave, grow, develop, and change.
Leadership: A Life-Long Journey offers participants opportunities to explore models of management and leadership in the context of personal development and ongoing struggles for social justice. Participants are expected to reflect upon their own social background, culture, identity and experiences to better understand their own and others’ strengths and approaches to leadership and change.
Economics and Social Change examines the history of and current thinking about the causes and consequences of economic inequities in the United States and across the globe, including an analysis of the ideologies and moral justifications for support of existing economic systems. Particular attention is paid to the increasing importance of globalization. Participants also have the opportunity to formulate their own ideas about what a just economic system might look like and to offer informed opinions about the changes that would be needed to achieve such a system.
Building Multicultural Organizations and Communities explores the many issues faced by organizations and communities as a result of the global nature of work activities and the increasing cultural diversity of people in today’s environments. Students examine the many examples, models, and visions of multiculturalism in the context of personal, organizational and community development.
Graduate students may select one of three SHS concentrations:
- Organizational Management and Leadership
- Community Counseling and Psychology
- Mental Health Counseling
Check with the Assistant Director of Recruitment and Admissions at the campus you wish to attend to learn which concentrations are offered at that campus.
Organizational Management and Leadership Concentration (MOML)
The goal of this concentration is to develop and enhance the leadership and change agent skills of individuals who have the ability to promote multicultural competence, social justice and social change in organizations, non-profit, public and private, with the goals of sustainability and planned growth. Leadership courses provide students with the opportunity to focus their studies on specific skills needed to facilitate organizational and community change within the context of progressive leadership skills.
Community Counseling and Psychology Concentration (MCCP)
The community psychology perspective serves as the framework for this concentration. Born in the wake of the community mental health and war on poverty movements of the 1960s, community psychology stresses the influence of external social forces on the individual. Course content develops an understanding of social and community systems within which people live and work, and builds the skills necessary to intervene at various levels.
One content focus area available within the Community Counseling Psychology Concentration is Youth Development through Sports. Athletes at all levels are faced with increasingly difficult academic, psychosocial, and athletic challenges. The goal of this focus is to provide graduate students with a preparation in counseling, psychology, and the sport sciences that will enable them to provide support services to athletes in a variety of settings. The focus involves taking the following courses within the elective component of the MCCP concentration: MCCP 660, MCCP 662, and MCCP 664.
Degree Requirements for the MOML AND MCCP Concentrations
Upon the recommendation of the Dean of the School of Human Services the College authorizes the awarding of the master’s degree for an approved program of study with a “B” average or better (3.00).
- All students must complete 36 credit hours to graduate.
- No more than 6 of the 36 credit hours may be transferred from another institution.
- Transfer credits may not be used to meet project or foundation course requirements.
Mental Health Counseling Concentration (MMHC)
The goal of this concentration is to develop highly skilled mental health counselors who are prepared to meet the mental health needs of their community.
MMHC meets the current education requirements for state licensure, including practicum. However, this program does not automatically confer status as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. It is the responsibility of the student to keep current with all state requirements to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, including post-graduate supervised experience, and to pass the State Licensing Examination for their state.
Degree Requirements for the MMHC Concentration
Upon the recommendation of the Dean of the School of Human Services, the College authorizes the awarding of the master’s degree for an approved program of study with a “B” average or better (3.00).
- MMHC consists of a total of 60 semester hours that include 17 courses and 4 practicums spread over 6 terms, each term being 4 months for a total of 24 months.
- A maximum of 9 semester hours of credit may be accepted provided it is from an accredited institution, and a final grade of B or above was obtained.
- The College authorizes the awarding of the master’s degree for an approved “B” average or better.
The MMHC concentration is a full-time only program to be completed in 24 months. Daylong classes meet on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays as assigned each term. This is a 60-credit program. All courses are 3 semester hours each, with the exception of the Foundation courses which are 2 semester hours each. These courses are common to all master’s concentrations in the School of Human Services.
Within the MMHC concentration, Foundation courses and the degree offered are the same as for the previously mentioned concentrations. Also, MMHC students will complete a graduate research project. This requirement will be satisfied as part of a number of courses, including practicums, and making a presentation in the final term.
MMHC Practicum Requirement
MMHC students are required to complete 1,000 hours of supervised work (practicum) while enrolled in the master’s program. The practicum experiences are hours that cannot be part of the student’s regular work hours.
There are four practicums that are part of the curriculum, occurring in terms 3 through 6. This means the student will need to accomplish 250 hours of supervised work for each of those four terms. In addition to the site work, each practicum class will meet formally at least once per term as a “process check,” and so that students may share their experiences with each other.
MMHC and Technology
MMHC courses with the exception of the Foundation courses have an on-line component. There will be a mandatory one-hour session with the instructor each week on-line, using the Manhattan Virtual Classroom (MVC) located on the Springfield College website.
The MVC will allow all students and the instructor to meet at the same time in a secure chat room on-line. Each instructor will determine the time and date for each session. The student will receive a MVC Student Guide and training to ensure familiarity with this system.
Due to this requirement, it is highly recommended that each student have his or her own personal computer with Internet access. At a minimum, one must have access to a computer 2 to 3 times per week for one hour each time.
SHS employs full-time faculty who are responsible for teaching, service, and scholarship. The SHS practice-oriented curriculum also includes contributions from part-time faculty who are directly involved in agency and community work. The result is that SHS has a faculty with the flexibility, resources, and expertise required to address academics as well as new developments in human services practice and delivery.