Human Services

Available: Phil Campbell and Shoals Campuses
Advisors: K. Sheppard (5331)
B. Smith (5379)
S. Watson (6253)

The Human Services curriculum is designed for students who wish to pursue a two-year degree and prepare for a paraprofessional career in a mental health/human services related field.

Clinical experience allows the student to gain valuable knowledge in observation and assistance in human services facilities. Students enrolled in clinical education will be assigned hours consistent with day working hours of human services agencies. However, assignments may include second shift hours of 3-11 p.m. Assignment to clinical facilities will be at the discretion of the program director and/or clinical director. Students may be required to travel distances away from their home for their clinical assignment.

The Human Services Program offers three A.A.S. degree options for the student: Mental Health Technician Associate, Alcohol and Drug Associate Counseling Associate, and Social Work Associate. A student may complete one or more of the three options, depending upon which field he/she desires to pursue.

The Mental Health Technician Associate Option is offered every year. The Alcohol and Drug Counseling Associate Option is offered in odd-numbered years and the Social Work Associate Option is offered in even-numbered years.

The Mental Health Associate (sometimes called a Psychiatric Technician, Behavioral Health Technician, Mental Health Technologist, or Counselor Assistant) is trained to work as a paraprofessional in state institutions, mental health centers, psychiatric (behavioral medicine) units of hospitals, domestic violence centers, developmental centers, group homes, halfway houses, and a variety of human services facilities. He/she may work with children, adolescents, and adults who are experiencing mental illness, mental retardation, substance abuse, domestic violence, adjustment disorders (personal loss, stress, and health), various categories of behavior-related pathology, and family issues. Upon completion of the program, a student may voluntarily take the Nationally Certified Psychiatric Technician exam to become a Nationally Certified Psychiatric Technician.

The Alcohol and Drug Counseling Associate option offers special training for students desiring to work with substance abusers and their families. He/she is trained to work in state institutions, mental health centers, profit treatment centers, non-profit treatment centers, 12-step recovery programs, halfway houses, and group homes. With the course work in this program and a minimum of two years of documented work experience in the addictions field, the student may qualify to take the state certification exam to become a “Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor.”

The Social Work Associate Option trains the student to work as an assistant social worker or assistant case manager. Graduates of this option work at mental health centers, domestic violence shelters, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, developmental centers, state institutions, hospitals, service providers of the Alabama Department of Human Resources, addiction recovery programs, various state and federal government programs, Community Action programs, non-profit assistance programs, child advocacy centers, adolescent programs, adolescent and adult detention centers, and literacy programs. Students are trained to work with individuals at all stages of the human lifespan.

General Required Courses to be Completed at Northwest- Shoals Community College.

Entering students are required to complete ORI 107. Transfer students are exempt from this requirement.

Students must complete specialized courses at Wallace State to receive this degree. Wallace State enrolls students in this program every term. See your advisor.

WSCC Program Director: Susan Beck 256.352.8339

Required Courses

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Career Degree (Wallace Linkage)