BA in Human Services
BA in Human Services
Executive Summary for Bachelor of Arts Degree Proposal in Human Services
Through an interdisciplinary collaboration, the Department of Counseling & Human Services (DCHS) and
the Department of Leadership, Research and Foundations (LRF) have obtained approval to offer a Bachelor of
Arts degree in Human Services. This program anticipates more than 200 majors by year five
made up of ½ to ¾ new students drawn from Colorado Springs and southern Colorado.
The proposed Bachelor of Arts Degree in Human Services will have four distinct emphasis areas:
1. Human Services with a Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC) Emphasis
2. Human Services with a Military & Veteran Support Specialist (MVSS) Emphasis
3. Human Services with a Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP) Emphasis
4. Human Services with a Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) Emphasis
Goals, Competencies & Certifications: The Human Services major will provide both the academic and
professional skills background for the student seeking a career working with people in the varied and
expanding field of Human Services. A skills-based oriented major, it is structured around a synthesis of
knowledge from several social sciences, together with methodologies of intervention at the individual,
group, and community levels. Human Services graduates will be prepared to respond in an informed way to
identifiable human service needs in a wide variety of settings.
Students obtaining a Human Service major will receive the academic preparation and hands-on training for
employment in careers that seek to bring about a positive change to individuals, families, organizations,
communities, and society. Graduates may go on to graduate programs in social sciences, counseling, student
affairs, psychology, public administration, business, education, or allied health.
The Human Services major will be structured around four interrelated components:
1. Modern theoretical foundations for interpersonal effectiveness
2. Culturally responsive and effective strategies for intervention
3. Research and evaluation methods
4. Skill development/demonstration of specific human services intervention strategies/field experience.
Human Services-Board Certified Practitioner (HS-BCP) Certification: Students who complete a degree
in Human Services will be eligible to earn the Human Services-Board Certified Practitioner (HS-BCP)
certification offered by the Center for Credentialing & Education, Inc. (CCE). The National Organization
for Human Services (NOHS), in consultation with the Council for Standards in Human Service Education
(CSHSE), worked with CCE to develop this certification. The HS-BCP is for qualifying human services
practitioners, including those holding associate, bachelor’s and advanced degrees.
Student Retention: The Human Services major can contribute to overall campus retention efforts. Adding a
major in human services can increase options for students who want to work in a helping profession. The
major was designed to provide high flexibility for transfer of lower division credits within and outside
UCCS. Additionally, extensive recruitment with local colleges such as Pikes Peak Community College,
Pueblo Community College, and Colorado State University Pueblo was incorporated in the planning
process. By maximizing the number of initial transfer credits, the degree can support students in a quick and
“Second Look Students:” The Human Services major can contribute to student retention at UCCS as many
students may seek options different than their original plan for study. For example, students may enter
college as pre-nursing majors and later determine the medical field is not a fit but want an occupation that
provides care and service to others. The BA in Human Services can give students an option that does not
necessitate leaving UCCS to meet their professional needs.
The BA in Human Services will initially draw from the pool of students identified as minoring in human
services and SAHE at UCCS. UCCS would be the only higher education institution to offer an addiction
studies degree program to Southern Colorado at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Supporting Student Needs: The undergraduate program in Human Services will place a high priority on
meeting the needs of working students. Coursework will be balanced between face to face, hybrid, and fully
online course offerings. Additionally, courses will be offered in both day and evening formats. The program
will place a high emphasis on creating a diverse and inclusive learning environment. Efforts to recruit a
diverse student body will be ongoing and a priority and point of continuous improvement. The program
anticipates a high number of military connected students which will help support a crucial demographic in
the Pikes Peak region.
Workforce Demand: The emphasis areas of the human services degree that result in professional
certifications (Human Services-Board Certified Practitioner, Certified Addiction Counselor, Certified
Career Services Provider) can allow greater marketability and job placement opportunities at the
undergraduate level. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (bls.gov) anticipates the growth, between 2016 and
2026, in social and human service assistants to be 16%, calling it much faster than average (29% in
Colorado, CareerOnestop.org). In 2017, wages ranged between $33,120 and $53,380. Many states require a
certificate and/or degree for these positions.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (bls.gov) anticipates the growth, between 2016 and 2026, in substance
abuse counselors to be 23%, calling it much faster than average (33% in Colorado, CareerOnestop.org). The
substance abuse and co-morbid mental health risk and use of substances are above the state average. The
needs in our community are high and resources within our community are low. With a 33% shortage in this
field, at a time of an epidemic in substance and opioid use and abuse, UCCS can play a critical role to
developing the workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median salary for
substance abuse counselors (requires a bachelor’s degree) is $46,540. Substance Abuse Counselors are
currently listed as the 39th fastest growing career in the United States. According to data provided by the
Bureau of Labor and Statistics, many of the regions found in southern Colorado have above average
employment opportunities for Substance Abuse Counselors.
There are no undergraduate programs in Human Services in Colorado Springs. The Metropolitan State
University of Denver is the only institution to offer an addiction program at the undergraduate level with a
bachelor’s degree at completion and has begun a graduate program in addiction studies. Although Metro is
serving the Denver area, the proposed program intends to serve the Southern region of Colorado. With
Colorado Springs and UCCS projected growth, the proposed program is positioned well to support these
There is great demand in Southern Colorado for specialization in working with military families and
addictions. The southern region of Colorado holds a significant military presence due to the military
Research, and Community Outreach: In concert with the Human Services proposal, DCHS is beginning a
community support and engagement program called Campus Connections, modeled after a successful
program at Colorado State University (CSU). While having the same name, UCCS Campus Connections is
noncompetitive with CSU Campus Connections and is stand-alone operated by DCHS. Faculty at CSU
function as colleagues and research collaborators. Through Campus Connections, undergraduate students
will mentor at risk youth and graduate students will provide supervised individual and family counseling
services. This program can provide an on-campus field work experience for human service majors while
supporting the needs of the community. CSU found that students who participate in the Campus
Connections program have 63% lower odds of dropping out of the institution and 127% higher odds of
The major will also contribute to goals related to increasing diversity. Human Services major students will
work with at risk youth, many of whom are from underrepresented groups.
Furthermore, the human services major and Campus Connections program align with the campus strategic
plan to: “Build mutually beneficial cultural, civic, economic and system-wide collaborations with external
partners and organizations to advance UCCS and the southern Colorado region.”
Ultimately, The Human Services major will emphasize self-awareness, an integration of theories and
practice, and applied learning through experience in fieldwork placements in community agency and
university settings. Students obtaining a Human Services major will receive the academic preparation and
hands-on training required for lifelong careers in many fulfilling jobs that seek to bring about positive
changes in individuals, families and society.
Our departments look forward to continued service to our students and the CU System as a whole.