Best Online Certificate in Human Services Programs of 2021

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June 10, 2021

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Human services professionals connect us with the resources we need when we need them, whether they work in social services, community outreach, or healthcare.

Earning an online certificate in human resources can set you on a path toward a career with strong growth rates and ample room for advancement while you make a positive impact in your community. You can also choose to advance your education later on by pursuing an associate orbachelor's degree in human services.

This page explores what you'll learn in an online certificate in human resources program, information on career options and earning potential, and questions about what a career in human services entails.

What Are the Best Online Certificate in Human Services Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top Ten:

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#1 Northcentral Technical College Wausau, WI
#2 Great Basin College Elko, NV
#3 Bismarck State College Bismarck, ND
#4 Clarkson College Omaha, NE
#5 Holyoke Community College Holyoke, MA
#6 Quinsigamond Community College Worcester, MA
#7 Century College White Bear Lake, MN
#8 Allan Hancock College Santa Maria, CA
#9 Davidson County Community College Thomasville, NC
#10 Coastline Community College Fountain Valley, CA

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2021 Best Online Accredited Certificate in Human Services Programs

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Northcentral Technical College View School Profile Wausau, WI

Founded in 1912 as an industrial school, NTC now offers a comprehensive catalog of academic and career training programs. Options include an online certificate in behavioral and social sciences that helps students strengthen communication and interpersonal skills. Graduates can pursue entry-level administrative jobs or pursue degrees in fields like business and psychology.

Unlike conventional certificates in human services, the NTC track allows students to personalize the curriculum with guided electives. They focus their behavioral science education in developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, or psychology of human relations. Candidates can prepare for counseling careers by delving into diversity studies or marriage/family dynamics.

NTC operates a streamlined admissions process that candidates can complete online. High school graduates in the college's service district may access free tuition based on academic merit through the NTC Promise initiative.

NTC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Great Basin College View School Profile Elko, NV

GBC serves approximately 4,000 students annually, many of whom earn their credentials remotely. Its catalog includes an online certificate of achievement in human services. In addition to preparing candidates for careers in mental health centers and correctional institutions, this 15-credit program allows candidates to easily transfer into associate or bachelor's degree-completion tracks.

To earn their online certificates in human services, students take courses like technical mathematics and college-level composition. They also receive an introduction to the counseling profession, learning about ethical client interactions and substance abuse. This program requires each candidate to complete 180 hours of supervised practicum experience.

GBC maintains an open-door admissions policy that welcomes students of all social, economic, and educational backgrounds. The college provides affordable tuition and dedicated career services.

GBC is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Bismarck State College View School Profile Bismarck, ND

BSC powers distance education with the Blackboard platform. Programming consists of an online certificate for human services/eligibility workers that explores the fundamentals of program administration and service delivery. By completing this 30-credit program, graduates become well-equipped to obtain entry-level positions in community aid centers and government agencies.

The curriculum covers the development of U.S. social welfare, child care assistance, and Medicaid. Students also delve into specific programs, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Low Income Home Energy Assistance. They gain practical skills for college composition and interpersonal communications.

To enroll in this certificate in human services program, each applicant completes an online form and submits a $35 processing fee. BSC provides around-the-clock IT support. Students can explore job options, find internships, and prepare for employment through its career services center.

BSC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Clarkson College View School Profile Omaha, NE

Based in Omaha, Nebraska, Clarkson College offers affordable certificates and degrees across eight broad fields of study. Students may pursue an online certificate in human services to prepare for jobs in clinical environments and the nonprofit sector. With courses offered all year through part- and full-time enrollment options, distance learners enjoy added flexibility.

The 21-credit curriculum focuses on the skills needed to support vulnerable populations, including immigrants, people with addictions, and the homeless. Coursework explores community engagement/social change and human development across the lifespan. This certificate in human services program requires each candidate to complete a fieldwork experience or a capstone class in ethics, empathy, and advocacy.

Non-degree applicants only need to submit proof of high school graduation or a GED certificate. Online students access asynchronous courses through the Canvas platform.

Clarkson College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Holyoke Community College View School Profile Holyoke, MA

HCC uses Moodle to deliver 13 remote academic and technical programs. Its offerings include an online human services certificate that provides the foundational knowledge students need to earn degrees in psychology and social work. Alternatively, graduates can pursue entry-level occupations in community organizing and public health settings.

The certificate in human services curriculum totals 24-25 credits. Required coursework includes college composition and introduction to psychology. Each enrollee chooses electives in conflict resolution and mediation; health, safety, and nutrition for young children; and deaf culture to round out their curriculum.

Depending on their academic records, an applicant may need to take a placement test. All students benefit from the one-on-one support of an advisor, who helps them select classes and seek professional development opportunities.

HCC is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Quinsigamond Community College View School Profile Worcester, MA

QCC enrolls 13,000 students in more than 120 academic and career-training programs each year. The school provides an online human services certificate that allows candidates to transfer into an associate degree-completion track or pursue entry-level employment. Distance learners access their courses through Blackboard.

Coursework comprises 30 credits and covers gerontology, psychology and human development, and sociology principles. Students also delve into the major theoretical approaches to counseling and psychotherapy. To obtain an online certificate in human services, each candidate must complete either a direct support practicum or fieldwork with an agency in the Greater Worcester area.

QCC requires each applicant to possess a high school diploma, GED certificate, or a passing score on the HiSET. Candidates with five or more years of professional experience in the human services field can earn credit for prior learning.

QCC is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Century College View School Profile White Bear Lake, MN

Located in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, Century College serves about 20,000 credit and non-credit students every year. The school delivers remote learning opportunities through the Desire2Learn platform, including an online diploma in individualized studies. This customizable program allows candidates to work with counselors and faculty to design a course of study that supports their distinct academic interests and career goals.

Students take one communication course, with options for public speaking and intercultural communication. To align the 42-credit curriculum with conventional certificate in human services programs, candidates should choose electives like helping clients with disabilities, crisis assessment and intervention, and techniques of working with groups. They can also gain hands-on skills by completing an internship.

Applicants must either submit ACT/SAT/MCA scores or complete the ACCUPLACER entrance exam. Depending on the classes they choose, candidates may also need to fulfill prerequisite requirements.

Century College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Allan Hancock College View School Profile Santa Maria, CA

As one of the top five community colleges in California, AHC provides career-focused certificates and degrees in over 100 areas of study. Options include an online certificate in family services that prepares students for entry-level positions as community program administrators and government service aides. Graduates can also pursue degrees in human services and early childhood studies.

Candidates fulfill curricular requirements by taking three classes from prescribed offerings. These options include basic nutrition for health, serving culturally diverse clients, and consumer and family science. Enrollees pursuing online certificates in human services also develop counseling and crisis intervention skills.

Each applicant completes a free online admissions process that requires them to submit high school transcripts. Based on their academic history, prospective learners may need to take math and English placement tests.

AHC is regionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

Davidson County Community College View School Profile Thomasville, NC

DCCC offers 17 remote academic and technical programs with Moodle. Its catalog includes an online human services certificate with a substance abuse emphasis. Through an 18-credit curriculum, students gain the program delivery and communication skills to work in community centers, addiction recovery programs, and educational settings.

Core coursework consists of general psychology and conflict resolution. Students also delve into the history of drug use/abuse and its effects on societal members. Additionally, this certificate in human services program covers the emotional, cultural, physical, and psychological aspects of addiction, along with treatment methods.

The admissions process requires candidates to submit official school transcripts and determine residency status. DCCC students can explore professional opportunities and access job search tools through the school's career development office.

Davidson County Community College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Coastline Community College View School Profile Fountain Valley, CA

Coastline, headquartered in Fountain Valley, California, enrolls about 11,000 students annually. Distance learners can pursue over 70 academic options, including an online certificate of accomplishment in human services. By completing this 15-credit program, graduates can pursue work as mental health technicians, residential managers, and special education teacher aides.

Required courses explore helping theories and crisis intervention strategies. Candidates personalize their education with electives, choosing from options like child growth and development, care of frail elderly, and treatment issues in substance abuse. This certificate in human services program culminates with a practicum experience.

Applicants complete an online admissions process that includes residency determination. Candidates receive confirmation within 48 hours of applying and may enroll in classes five business days later.

Coastline Community College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

What Can I Expect From an Online Certificate in Human Services Program?

The deeper understanding of people that you'll gain, paired with the strong communication skills you'll develop, will work to your advantage, regardless of which specific career you choose.

Although every online certificate in human services features its own unique curriculum, these programs generally focus on human development, psychology, sociology, and social work. Coursework centers around a variety of social science subjects, including child development, marriage and family studies, and death and grief. The deeper understanding of people that you'll gain, paired with the strong communication skills you'll develop, can work to your advantage, regardless of which specific career you choose.

Earning your online certificate in human services typically takes 12 months. However, some schools offer accelerated options for motivated students with room in their schedules. A certificate can be a great option for those who want to quickly enter the workforce without spending years on an associate or bachelor's degree. A certificate can also serve as a stepping stone for a more advanced degree in human services or other related fields.

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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Certificate in Human Services Program?

Online certificate in human services programs prepare students for entry-level employment by introducing them to topics related to social work and human development. While programs vary, students are likely to encounter the courses listed below.

Introduction to Communication

This course introduces students to the different communication styles humans use. Students learn how to identify their own communication strengths and weaknesses and work with groups to hone their skills. Learners practice nonverbal communication, gain an understanding of how to assess language, and explore communication theory.

General Psychology

These introductory courses help students understand the fundamentals of psychology. Coursework examines research methods in psychology, the foundations of human behavior, developmental psychology, social behavior, and other core concepts. Students also learn how to read and analyze psychology studies using the scientific method.

Introduction to Social Work

Introductory social work courses give students insight into the roles and responsibilities of professional social workers. Students learn about social structures, patterns of behavior, and professional application of key lessons. They also learn how the social services system works and become acquainted with the social work code of ethics.

Case Management in Human Services

These courses give students the skills to work as case managers within human service agencies. Students explore imbalances in helping relationships, strength-based assessments, goal setting, empathy and relationships, confidentiality, and other issues that come into play in the human services and social work fields.

Child Development

Child development courses provide students with an understanding of the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of humans from birth through adolescence. Students learn to recognize the signs of atypical development and analyze childhood development through social, cultural, and biological lenses.

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What Can I Do With an Online Certificate in Human Services?

Luckily for graduates of online human services certificate programs, the field features many career paths with competitive salaries and solid growth rates. With options in healthcare, mental health, social services, and human resources, graduates can choose to immediately enter the workforce or further advance their education with an associate or bachelor's degree.

Some career paths for professionals with an online certificate in human services boast excellent room for growth and advancement. For instance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 17% job growth rate for social and human service assistants and a 34% job growth rate for home health and personal care aides from 2019-2029.

true Home Health Aide

Home health aides provide healthcare services within a patient's home. Responsibilities include helping patients with medications, updating medical records, monitoring vital signs, assisting with physical therapy exercises, and general household tasks. These professionals may also put together care plans and schedule outside activities for their patients.

Behavioral Management Aide

Working under the supervision of advanced behavioral therapy specialists, these professionals create behavior intervention plans for clients with behavioral issues. Oftentimes, they work in schools to help students who are struggling with their behavior. These aides help identify dysfunctional behaviors and find the root cause so they can develop an action plan for improvement.

Social Service Assistants

Social service assistants work with social workers and other professionals to match community members with the resources they need. They often work with clients who are suffering from issues, such as substance abuse, mental health struggles, domestic violence, and familial conflict. After connecting clients with the resources they need, social service assistants conduct follow-ups to see whether the situation is improving.

Personal Care Aide

Similar to home health aides, these professionals provide in-home care to patients struggling with disabilities, mobility issues, cognitive impairments, and other illnesses. They monitor the health and vitals of their patients while performing daily tasks, such bathing and dressing, keeping laundry and dishes tidy, and arranging transportation to medical visits.

Psychiatric Aide

These healthcare professionals work under the supervision of psychiatrists, nurses, and other medical staff to assist mentally or emotionally impaired patients. They may complete physical exams of patients and provide emotional support. These aides also help keep patients safe, serve meals to patients, and help clean and disinfect patient rooms.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Certificate in Human Services Programs

What is human services?

Human services is an interdisciplinary field that centers around providing communities and individuals with the resources they need to meet a number of challenges. These professionals help connect clients to resources, such as mental health counseling, food and nutrition programs, healthcare, and behavioral services.

Should I get a degree or a certificate in human services?

A certificate in human services offers different benefits compared to a degree in human services. Those who want to get into the workforce as quickly as possible can benefit from earning a certificate, while those who are in no rush to begin working and want to qualify for a specific role may be better off opting for a degree.

Is a human services certificate worth it?

If you want to break into the workforce relatively quickly and have a passion for helping to connect others with the resources they need to thrive, earning an online certificate in human services can be very worth it. Depending on the field you enter and the amount of work experience you gain, this certificate can lead to significant career growth.

How long does it take to get a human services certificate?

Typically, a human services certificate takes 12 months of full-time study. Students who attend school on a part-time basis can expect to spend longer earning their certificate, while those who enroll in accelerated certificate programs may be able to graduate in less than 12 months.

What's the highest-paying job I can get with a human services certificate?

Social and human service assistants make a median salary of $35,960 per year, and psychiatric technicians and aides make a median salary of $33,140 per year. Professionals with more work experience and education can expect to earn more as they climb the career ladder.

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