Explore our MS in Human Services Studies in Aging specialization
Aging populations with special needs are creating a greater demand for professionals who can facilitate the integration of services for the older adult, including health and home care, financial and lifestyle, and issues of daily living. The Studies in Aging specialization prepares you to meet this growing need. In this program, you will explore the impact of societal expectations on the elderly and demographic trends, including global cross-cultural issues in aging. You will develop a broad understanding of factors that affect the quality of life for the geriatric population, from the physiological changes of aging, to the effects of chronic disease, to the challenges of independent living.
With this specialization, you could pursue a number of roles, including elder residence administrator, activities and activation coordinator, housing placement advisor, community care coordinator, capacity assessor, policy advisor, financial advisor, elder program developer, manager for elderly and elder mediation, elder care case manager, hoarding specialist, or an Elder Services Coordinator designation under Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR).
- 48 quarter credits
- Foundation course (3 cr.)
- Core courses (25 cr.)
- Elective/specialization courses (15 cr.)
(Includes Grant Writing course with final project targeted to specialization)
- Capstone (5 cr.)
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 the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.
Foundation of Graduate Study in Human Services
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.
The Advanced Human Services Professional Practitioner in a Changing World
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.
Assessment and Motivational Interviewing
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.
Cultural Humility and Diversity
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.
Evidence-Based Evaluation Methods
Nonprofit and public/government organizations need to be able to show positive evidence related to their mission and ability to effect social change to remain viable. By developing performance improvement evaluation plans that are structured with metrics, leaders can disseminate an organization's progress to build stakeholder engagement and collaboration. Students in this course will be introduced to a critical appraisal of levels of evidence, performance improvement and evaluation methods, and the importance of dissemination of organizational outcomes to help contribute to a positive future for social change.
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).
Changing Health Behavior: Theory and Practice
Students in this course will review past and current models of health behavior change, disease prevention, disease management, and relapse prevention. Coverage of health-related issues includes dietary needs, tobacco and drug use, safer sexual practices, and stress management. In addition, students will examine the analysis of behavior change within specific populations (young, elderly, cognitively impaired, etc.) and factors that predict or serve as obstacles to lifestyle change and adherence.
Introduction to Dimensions of Contemporary Aging
Great improvements in medicine, public health, science, and technology enable today's older adults to live healthier, longer lives. In this course, students explore theories and practices for providing services to older adults who remain independent and vibrant members of their families and communities. Students delve into models of aging in place, including ways of assessing health, social and economic needs, and identifying and prioritizing options in physical, mental, emotional, and intellectual health promotion activities and programs.
Social Change, Leadership, and Advocacy for Human Services Professional Practitioners
This capstone course is the culmination of the MS in Human Services program. In this course, students have the opportunity to demonstrate senior case management skills and their understanding of the responsibility and leadership of the advanced human services professional practitioner to advocate for social change with service users, organizations, communities, and the human services profession. Students also demonstrate methods of advanced human services practice within local, national, and international organizations. Students continue to enhance their professional development plans by preparing for professional opportunities.
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Tuition and Fees
|Tuition||48 quarter credit hours||$507 per quarter hour||$24,336|
|Technology Fee||Per quarter||$165||$825|
*Tuition reflects the minimum time to completion. Time to completion varies by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. Tuition and time to complete may be reduced if transfer credits are accepted, or if you receive grants, scholarships or other tuition reductions. Walden may accept up to 20 transfer credits. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.
Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included and may cost between $1,000 and $1,400.
It was difficult going back to school when I was close to my 50s, but it was worth it.
Monique Allen MS in Human and Social Services Graduate
I chose to continue my education and pursue my MS in Human Services to open more doors for my career.
Robin Worthington MS in Human and Social Services Graduate
Walden’s advisors made me feel comfortable in choosing to attend Walden over other online programs.
Kimberly Dean MS in Human Services Graduate
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