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Program Description

The Human Services A.S. offers three specializations, Social Work, Early Childhood Education, or Inclusive Special Education. Upon completion of your A.S. degree, you will be prepared for an entry-level position in a setting related to your specialization, or you may choose to transfer to a four-year institution.

All students complete two introductory courses specific to the specialization they select.  Students planning to transfer after graduation will take four 3-credit courses and one 3-credit fieldwork course.  Students planning to obtain an entry-level job following graduation may take three 3-credit courses and two 3-credit fieldwork courses in their chosen specialization.

A personal interview may be required before being admitted to the Human Services program. Your academic and professional competence will be periodically reviewed by the faculty. Enrollment and continuation in the Human Services program are subject to faculty approval.  You must earn a grade of C or better in EDU or HUM courses and have a GPA of 2.0 to take fieldwork courses or to graduate from the program.

Special program costs include bus or car expenses for transportation to and from the field work sites. A medical examination, a tuberculin test, a background check, and fingerprinting may be required before beginning field work placements.

Specialization: Social Work

If you choose to focus on social work, you will be prepared for initial level professional employment as a social work assistant, case manager, counselor, or other position in a human service or social service agency.

You may also choose to transfer to a four-year college to earn a bachelor’s degree in Social Work, Human Services, Psychology, Sociology, Vocational Rehabilitation or similar program.

Specialization: Inclusive Special Education

Completing this specialization will prepare you for employment as a teaching assistant in private, parochial, or public schools, and to work with students with special needs in an inclusive or special education setting. Completing courses within this area meets the New York State requirement for teaching assistant certification.

You may also choose to transfer to a four-year teacher preparation program to pursue teacher certification in Special Education.

Specialization: Early Childhood Education

Completing this specialization will prepare you for employment as an assistant or head teacher in a program serving children from birth to Grade 2, as a teaching assistant in a public school, pre-kindergarten or Head Start program, family child care provider or nanny.

Completing 9-12 credits in Early Childhood Education meets the qualifications for a head teacher required by the New York State Department of Social Services Day Care Licensing Regulations. The required EDU courses in this specialization also meet the formal training requirement for the Child Development Associate (C.D.A.) credential awarded by the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition in Washington, D. C.

You may also choose to transfer to a four-year teacher preparation program to pursue Early Childhood teacher certification, or a bachelor’s degree program in Child Development or Early Care and Education Leadership.

Onondaga also offers a certificate program in Early Child Care.  All of the credits earned in the Early Child Care Certificate can be applied to the Human Services A.S. degree. The Human Services A.S., Early Childhood Education specialization is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). 

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Graduation Requirement:

Students must earn a grade of C or better in each HUM or EDU course in order to graduate.