Impact lives and shape the social change you want to see with Walden’s MS in Human Services program.
In this specialization, you will gain a broad understanding of the nature of leadership in human service organizations, including management of nonprofits. Courses explore a variety of topics related to the organization and operation of nonprofits, including legal and ethical issues, board management, marketing, budgeting, and resource development.
Through this program, you will develop skills that will help you establish, lead, or join the staff of a nonprofit, NGO, or agency in the U.S. or abroad.
Note on Licensure: The MS in Human Services program, including its specializations, is not designed to lead to professional licensure, including licensure as a professional therapist, counselor, social worker, or psychologist.
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment specialist at 855-646-5286.
|Course Code||HUMN 6000||Course||Foundation of Graduate Study in Human Services||Credits||(3 cr.)|
|Course Code||HUMN 6160||Course||The Advanced Human Services Professional Practitioner in a Changing World||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HUMN 6161||Course||Assessment and Motivational Interviewing||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HUMN 6162||Course||Cultural Humility and Diversity||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HUMN 6480||Course||Applied Research and Evaluation Methods||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HUMN 6203||Course||Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HUMN 6210||Course||Management and Leadership Development in Human Services||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HUMN 6207||Course||Grant Writing||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HUMN 6651||Course||Board Governance and Volunteer Management||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HUMN 6660||Course||Social Change, Leadership, and Advocacy for Human Services Professionals||Credits||(5 cr.)|
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to Walden University and to the requirements for successful participation in an online curriculum. It provides a foundation for academic and professional success as a scholar-practitioner and as a social change agent. Topics include the relation of the mission and vision to professional goals; development of the program of study and Professional Development Plan; strategies for online success; introduction to the online library; and introduction to critical thinking, professional writing, and academic integrity. Course assignments focus on practical application of writing and critical-thinking skills and the promotion of academic excellence.
As leaders, advanced human services professional practitioners can inhabit many roles: generalist, planner, advanced case manager, advocate, humanitarian, and outreach worker. Throughout this course, students try on these roles in response to authentic human services scenarios in settings within a fictional community. In each scenario, they observe advanced human services professional practitioners applying role-specific strategies, approaches, and theories to help service users. Students also assess their current knowledge, skills, and abilities in relation to each role, as well as the values and experiences they bring to the profession. By the end of the course, students develop and refine a professional identity statement as a leader in the human services profession and examine self-care strategies relevant to the work of an advanced human services professional practitioner.
Advanced human services professional practitioners frequently work with service users who are experiencing crisis and are in need of assessment to determine their level of care and to assist them with establishing and achieving goals. In this course, students develop motivational interviewing skills to help service users identify and self-motivate to achieve the goals they desire. Students apply motivational interviewing skills, such as open-ended questioning, affirming, reflective listening, and summarizing, to authentic human services case studies in the context of assessment. Students also have an opportunity to develop supervisory skills by providing constructive feedback on their peers' motivational interviewing and assessment skills.
Students in this course examine the theory, philosophy, and practice of working with diverse populations, with a focus on the interplay between individual and unique cultures within societies and organizations attempting to move toward equality and cultural humility. They explore cultural issues and ethics related to economic disparity, power, privilege, and social justice. Students also explore the complex social, political, and related ethical challenges advanced human services professional practitioners face as they seek to meet the needs of diverse populations. Applying concepts presented in the course, students engage in in-depth assessments of emerging or persistent ethical or social justice issues, through which they demonstrate their ability to empower, support, and connect service users with community resources. Throughout the course, students engage in readings, case studies, and practical assignments to build skills to work in multicultural environments and participate in an immersive experience with a specific culture to further develop their cultural humility.
Organizational credibility, community trust, and fund-raising are increasingly dependent upon demonstration of program effectiveness and success. Students in this course are introduced to research and evaluation methods in the public and nonprofit sectors. They examine the strengths, limitations, and threats to validity; models, quantitative metrics, and tools used to evaluate programs and policies; and legal and ethical issues associated with research and evaluation methods. Students are asked to critically evaluate sample research using these parameters.
Nonprofit organizations (NPOs) can serve to positively affect people's lives through social change, but they require leaders who have a fundamental understanding of the nonprofit sector, including related ethical, legal, and global perspectives. Students in this course explore these viewpoints as well as the history, foundations, and types of NPOs. They also examine the diverse political, social, and economic contexts within which NPOs exist. Students explore and apply marketing, public relations, and communication concepts and strategies to case studies and contemporary situations. Gaining practical insight, students also apply theories presented in the course to the development of a concept paper guiding the development of a nonprofit organization.
Public and nonprofit leaders in all areas of public administration require a thorough understanding of the expectations of their roles as leaders and managers of diverse and complex organizations. Students use theoretical and applied perspectives from which they study the intricacies of these roles, including the distinction between leadership and management, organizational culture, change management, systems theories, and organizational development. Students gain a practical understanding of these topics through the application of principles and concepts to public and nonprofit organizational settings in different cultures and societies depicted in case studies, a virtual city environment, and through relevant material provided by students themselves. Students will also explore how to promote interprofessional collaboration within and among organizations.
Grant writing is a highly marketable skill that requires many nonprofit, educational, and community organizations to secure external funding to provide needed services to the community. In this course, students will explore the basic skills needed for non-research grant writing, including identifying potential funding sources, creating objectives and a need statement, preparing and justifying a budget, identifying appropriate assessment plans, and writing an executive summary. Through course assignments, students directly apply what they are reading and discussing by writing a full grant proposal based on an actual Request for Proposal (RFP).
Volunteers are the "lifeblood" of many nonprofit organizations. These organizations rely heavily on their volunteer board of directors to govern and guide them toward their mission. The success of nonprofit organizations is largely dependent on the effective management of program volunteers and board members. In this course, students explore the volunteer management process, including volunteer recruitment, orientation, training, supervision, and evaluation, with an emphasis on creating and maintaining an effective board of directors. Students design a board development or volunteer management plan based on the concept paper they developed in the Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector course.
This course is designed to enhance students’ understanding of the responsibility of human service professionals to foster social change; provide leadership and service to the human services professions; and advocate for their community, clients, colleagues, and professions. Students use research to examine the current trends and issues of the profession and identify how community, national, and international issues affect human services professions. Students also gain an understanding of the processes of advocacy and social change. Students continue to enhance their professional development plans by identifying specific goals for professional involvement and service.