Since the School of Human Services program is based on an accelerated schedule for degree completion, most students enrolled in SHS complete their degrees in 16 to 24 months. The curriculum for the Bachelor of Science in Human Services degree program is interdisciplinary in nature and is recognized for its strengths in social analysis, critical thinking, communication skills, and leadership for social and economic change. Through a transformational learning process, students have opportunities to reflect on and learn from their own experiences while also studying the theories and practices related to various disciplines that inform practices within the field of human services. Faculty, who are leaders in human services, utilize transformative, student-centered approaches to teaching and learning with an emphasis on the need for self-directed activities, leadership initiatives, and lifelong learning skills for all SHS students.
Students who matriculate at SHS generally have a number of transfer credits and/or college-level learning experiences that can be documented through the experiential learning process. In this way, each student’s course of study is specifically tailored to incorporate the student’s existing knowledge, skills and competencies while also meeting the requirements for the SHS major in Human Services. Overall, students must earn a total of 120 credits to graduate, with at least 48 credits taken in residency at Springfield College. In the case of specific concentrations in the bachelor’s degree program, students may be required to complete more than 120 credits to meet concentration requirements. The actual length of time needed to complete the entire bachelor’s degree program varies depending on the number of transfer credits and credit awards that students can earn through the experiential learning process.
Under the College’s charter, the School of Human Services degree program leads to the degree of Bachelor of Science (B.S.). The School of Human Services also offers a graduate program leading to a Master of Science (M.S.) degree. Honorary degrees are granted in limited number by the Board of Trustees to recognize preeminent achievement in the fields for which the College is noted.
In order to complete a baccalaureate degree at the School of Human Services an undergraduate student must complete the following requirements:
- A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000
- Successful completion of 120 credit hours
- Successful completion of the General Education requirements.
- Successful completion of all requirements for the declared major.
- Fulfillment of residency requirement
Even if all requirements for a baccalaureate degree have been met, the sanctioning of a student pursuant to the Student Disciplinary Policy may prevent the awarding of such a degree.
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.
The School of Human Services is a trimester program. Classes generally meet for four months each term with classes held on weekends. Each course meets once each month for a full day. Students are required to complete pre-assignments before a course begins so that they will be ready to engage in the course content and process when the first class is held. Students also receive a syllabus for each course so they can plan ahead and stay abreast of classroom activities and course expectations. In addition, all courses include an online component called Moodle. Moodle allows instructors and class members to remain in contact between class sessions by continuing class discussions and providing additional resources.
At SHS, writing is an important assessment and learning tool across the curriculum because the School values highly both the process and product involved with written communications. The writing-intensive program is designed to enhance students’ ability to write clearly, concisely, and creatively so they can compose reports, correspondence, client notes, grants, and other such materials required in the workplace. Classroom instruction involves lectures, discussions, small group projects, visual presentations, fieldwork, research, reflections, and case studies. Across the curriculum, students have ample opportunities to learn about theory, to practice their skills, and to demonstrate learning outcomes in a variety of ways. Course assignments and learning assessments generally include written papers, research projects, portfolios, and oral presentations. Students receive regular feedback on their classroom assignments to help them improve their performance.
The School’s core curriculum provides a common frame of reference, information, experience, and analysis. It is the heart of a learner’s program of study. The diversity of courses reflects a respect for learning that both fosters the integration of theory and practice and promotes the responsibilities of global citizenship. The courses that make up the core curriculum are listed and described in the Course Descriptions.
Distribution of Undergraduate Credits
The minimum credits required for a baccalaureate degree is generally distributed among the General Education curriculum; the requirements for a major; and electives (inclusive of requirements for a minor), if applicable. Students including certain concentrations as part of their course of study may have additional requirements that decrease the number of electives in their program and/or increase their credit requirements for graduation.