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Why Human Services

  • Discipline at the University of Minnesota, Morris
  • Discipline at the University of Minnesota, Morris
  • Discipline at the University of Minnesota, Morris
  • Discipline at the University of Minnesota, Morris

The Human Services major provides students with an understanding of the individual, the family, the community, institutions, and the systems that are set up to serve these individuals and groups. Students will learn how individuals are in constant interaction with their environments, communities and institutions. They also will learn how socioeconomic and political environments influence individuals, families and communities. Human service workers carry out many different roles, from case management and intervention to program administration and development. Students in Human Services build professional experience for their resumes through our applied service-learning classes and/or capstone internships.

The Human Services curriculum is focused on helping students reach their goals as human services professionals. Morris Human Services graduates have moved into careers across the spectrum of social and human services, in the public and private sectors.

To aid in pursuing these varied careers, the Human Services major offers four tracks that students may pursue: General Human Services (see description above), Social Justice, Criminal Justice and Human Development.

Criminal Justice

The Criminal Justice Human Services sub plan provides students with knowledge of the criminal justice system, theories of criminal behavior, law, administration, and policy. Students will also learn about the reciprocal relationship between sociocultural contexts and the criminal justice system. This knowledge will prepare students interested in pursuing careers related to the criminal justice system. Students in Human Services build professional experience for their resumes through our applied service-learning classes and/or capstone internship.

General Human Services

The General Human Services sub-plan provides students with an understanding of the individual, the family, and the community; and the systems that are set up to serve them. Students will learn how individuals are in constant interaction with their environments, affecting and affected by institutions, the communities in which these institutions exist, and the institutions’ socioeconomic and political environments. Within these areas, human service workers carry out many different roles, from case management and intervention to program administration and development. Students in Human Services build professional experience for their resumes through our applied service-learning classes and/or capstone internship.

Human Development

The Human Development Human Services sub plan provides students with an understanding of psychological, social, and biological development and facilitates understanding of sociocultural contexts that influence development. The focus is on normative development, individual variations of development and abnormal development. This knowledge will prepare students interested in providing services to children and older adults. Students in Human Services build professional experience for their resumes through our applied service-learning classes and/or capstone internship.

Social Justice

The Social Justice Human Services sub plan provides students with an understanding of how to create societies or institutions based on the principles of equality and solidarity, the value of human rights, and the importance of recognizing that every human being deserves dignity. Social justice is the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political and social rights and opportunities. This major will prepare students for jobs related to community activism, human rights advocacy or non-profit administration. Students in Human Services build professional experience for their resumes through our applied service-learning classes and/or capstone internship.

Students take classes from a wide range of disciplines in order to complete the major, including Anthropology, Sociology, Statistics, Communications, Psychology, Economics, Management and Political Science.

In addition, students engage in community opportunities, such as service learning, that provide valuable hands-on experience. Recent projects include life-history interviews with farmers, assisting with domestic violence/sexual assault prevention, mentoring girls in the juvenile justice system, and working on language acquisition and community integration in adults and children for whom English is a second language.

The final capstone course at Morris is a chance for students to put all their academic experience together into a comprehensive, independent project. The Human Services capstone is an individually arranged internship or field experience that provides the student with an opportunity to apply their theoretical classroom learning experiences into the helping professions, such as social work, counseling, casework, child protection services, educational settings, human resource counseling, and the like.