Introduction to Human Services

This course introduces high school students to the possibilities for careers in the human services professions. Through anecdotes, lessons, and a variety of assignments and projects, students will learn about the broad variety of jobs available in the human services. These begin with entry-level positions, such as associate social workers, that require only a two-year Associate of Arts degree. At the apex of the profession, being a psychiatrist brings the most prestige and the biggest salary, but only after many years of school and training.

Students will learn exactly what the human services are and the ethics and philosophies of the helping professions. The history of the profession will be covered, as well as the impact of the cultural, social, and economic environment on individual people, especially those who are in need of social services assistance.

By the conclusion of this course, students will have a firm introductory understanding of the social services professions. Employment at all levels of social work and related jobs is projected to grow rapidly over the next decade. Students will have a better idea of whether this is a career course they would like to explore further.


  • to provide students with information about the history and development of the human services field
  • to offer insight into the practical as well as theoretical functions of the human services profession in society
  • to offer students opportunities to identify and strengthen problem-solving abilities
  • to develop or increase interpersonal communications skills, which are critical in human services or helping professions
  • to help develop students' self-awareness while they explore whether the field of human services is a viable career path that fits with their values and personal characteristics

As an introduction to the human services professions, this course requires no specific academic prerequisites. Any student willing to do the assigned work will be able to complete this course successfully. The only real requirements are a desire to help others and a curiosity about human services as a possible career choice.

State: National, California, Florida, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington
Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Category: Human Services
Course Length: Semester