There are a wealth of opportunities available to Human Services graduates. Below are a few examples of what our graduates are doing:
Head Start Teacher
C.B. is a pre-kindergarten teacher for the Baltimore County YMCA Head Start Program, where she teaches a total of 32 children, 16 in the morning and 16 in the afternoon, ages 3 to 4 1/2. It is her job to prepare them for kindergarten by helping them develop essential learning behaviors such as listening, sitting still, manners, sharing, and helping. She also teaches the children academic skills such as the alphabet, days of the week, how to count, letter and number recognition, adding/subtracting, and spelling.
C.B. reports that "being a human services major helped me tremendously because the YMCA's main focus is to build strong families. We include the family in the children's learning. This program is also geared to low income families, and therefore some of the parents may not have had the opportunity to complete school or are currently trying to balance being a mom and a student at the same time. I just really think that a lot of things I learned during my time at Stevenson about families help me to better relate to the parents and the children as a unit. I enjoy helping and seeing families thrive, improve, and make positive changes, and that is what I get to do and see every day at my job."
Teacher's Assistant and Graduate Student
G.G is a teacher's assistant in the autism program at the Forbush School and is also in her first semester of the M.S.W. Program at the University of Maryland School of Social Work.
Her position at the Forbush School requires her to assist the classroom teacher in developing/reinforcing student skills, organizing materials for instruction, and planning and implementing classroom programs (self help skills, academics, social/recreational activities, behavior plans, IEP goals, etc.).
According to G.G., "Having a degree in human services has helped me be more open minded and effectively interact with a diverse population. I am able to adjust my communication skills in order to best meet the students', parents' and staffs' needs. I feel that I have become a leader in my work environment. I am able to ask key questions to get the information I need to reach a goal in serving the student. Having an education outside of teaching has allowed me to look outside of the educational aspects and include my human theory background and present a different perspective. My ideas combined with educational theory have created some very effective teaching techniques."
Geriatric Social Worker
A.H. is a geriatric social worker for Mariner Health of Bel Air, which is a nursing and rehabilitation facility. She is the case manager for around 125 long term care residents. It is her responsibility to make sure their needs are met and they are receiving the care they need. She deals with many family issues, does monthly assessments required by the state, makes referrals to hospice care of any other resources in the community if needed, helps residents with advance directives and provides resident and family support whenever it's needed. She also does the discharge planning for residents who go back into the community either with their family or to another facility.
According to A.H., "all of the courses I had at SU in some way helped me. Of course you are never truly prepared for the 'real world,' but everything is a great learning experience, and the classes at SU gave me a great basis to build off. The counseling class was great. I still remember theories and other techniques we learned. Although Human Services wasn't 'social work,' it was similar because I learned the theories behind human behaviors and the reasons they 'turn up' in some situations. I see these things on a daily basis, many times not so 'pretty' but real life. I learned a lot about people and the dynamics of the family itself.
"Over the past year I've learned so many things good and bad about life and my field of work. Every day I learn something new, and that's the truth! But I absolutely LOVE what I do!!!"
Information Technology Specialist
E.S. is working at the Social Security Administration headquarters in Woodlawn as an information technology specialist. She is responsible for a client/server application called Paperless which automates various procedures for SSA field offices all over the United States (and a few locations internationally).
She schedules application jobs (individual parts of the application which allow it to run effectively) and runs backups on SSA's many servers. She attends planning meetings and networks with members of other departments in order to help Paperless run as smoothly as possible. She also gathers information about maintenance to the application and sends out electronic memos so that all involved are aware of shutdowns and other disturbances to the server and application schedule.
E.S. believes that "the Human Services Program gave me a lot of understanding about the relationships that exist between people and the influences that cause all of us to act in the way that we do. The internship and the practicum experiences allowed me to experience the human services field hands-on so that I could make intelligent decisions regarding my career path. The practicum at Sheppard Pratt Hospital was especially helpful. I was able to see that there were more 'behind-the-scenes' opportunities in the human services field that I had initally realized. I don't have to work as a therapist, counselor, or social worker to serve people in my occupation. At Sheppard I was involved in gathering statistics for research purposes inside the hospital so that arguments could be made for significant changes. My job now allows me to serve the American public in a much larger way than I could if I was a therapist with a few dozen clients or a social worker with even a large caseload. The work that I do on SSA's client/server network allows millions of Americans to receive monthly checks in an efficient manner.
"The human services curriculum has also helped me in my relationships with my co-workers. There is a lot of diversity at SSA - ethnicity, socioeconomic background - but especially age. Many of my courses at Stevenson gave me theoretical knowledge that I have been able to put into practice since I arrived at SSA. The difficulty of the courses at Stevenson prepared me for the mental and academic challenges that have been presented to me at work. The many group exercises and class discussions during college helped me develop my ability to think on my feet and become a vital team member.
"I am thoroughly pleased with the education I received from Stevenson, and with the human services program in particular."
Educational Case Manager and Graduate Student
M.W. is employed at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, where she is an educational case manager in the high school. She is also enrolled at Loyola College in the master's degree School Counseling Program with a certificate track.
At Kennedy Krieger she works in a program called the SCC (Self-Contained Certificate). Her classroom has ten students with disabilities ranging from emotional disorders to traumatic brain injuries.
Melissa states that her major in human services "prepared me in many ways for my job. First, I learned how to work with families. I spend a lot of time talking and meeting with families. Many of my students are challenged at home with difficult issues that affect them in the classroom. Secondly, my practicum at Sheppard Pratt also prepared me. My practicum gave me the opportunity to get a feel for the special needs population and learn a lot of new skills. Some of the skills I gained from my practicum were crisis management, counseling, data collecting and many more."