Purpose and Goal
The Bachelor of Science in Social Science, Human Services, is an interdisciplinary study, based primarily on the disciplines of psychology, sociology and anthropology, that prepares students to work as generalists in the field of social services. The human services professional is dedicated to the goal of helping clients become self-sufficient through teaching problem-solving, using case management skills, and using client-centered mental health practices.
Human services majors take 30 hours of core courses for the major and select one of three 15 hour concentrations (mental health, social services, or substance abuse services). Each concentration is designed to help the student focus on a career of service delivery in specific kinds of settings.
Human services professionals believe that our primary role is to help individuals function to the best of their ability in the context of their lives. In order to fulfill that role, we must be prepared to assist and serve our clients in a manner that is nonjudgmental, moral and ethical, and competent.
Being nonjudgmental insures that we respect our clients as individuals who are able to participate in planning their own lives and solving their own problems. As human services professionals, we refrain from imposing our own beliefs and cultural values on our clients.
Being moral and ethical means that we work and advocate for our clients’ best interests. We do for our clients what they would do for themselves were they able. We do not gain personally or professionally from decisions made.
Being competent means that we study and use the skills that represent the best practices in the human services field. Although we may develop our own styles, we are always eager to continue to learn from new research and information.
Program Mission Statement
Consistent with the mission of Mercer University and the College of Continuing and Professional Studies, the Human Services Program offers undergraduate learning opportunities for adults who seek service roles in their communities, the skills and knowledge for making a difference, and lives that have meaning and purpose.
The Human Services major
The Human Services major consists of foundations courses taken by all majors, and a concentration called a Course of Study (mental health, social services, or substance abuse services) for a total of 45 credit hours. The Foundations block (30 credit hours) consists of those courses that all Human Services Professionals need in order to function successfully. The Foundations block includes a 6 credit hour internship, to be completed in the senior year.
- The Mental Health Course of Study (15 credit hours) is designed for those who wish to pursue a career/graduate study in counseling, psychology, therapy or a related profession.
- The Social Services Course of Study (15 credit hours) is designed for those who wish to pursue a career in a human services organization and graduate study in a related field.
- The Substances Abuse Services Course of Study (15 credit hours) provides preparation for those who are interested in a future career in addiction counseling.
Although a student may pursue one course of study, any may be used for a broad range of career goals.