Monday, June 20, 2016

Community college offers two-year program for entry-level social services jobs, in high demand

A program at a rural community college hopes to fill the region's high demand for entry level social services jobs in one-third the time students normally take for similar positions. Walla Walla Community College last fall launched its Associate of Applied Science in Human and Social Services program, Sheila Hagar reports for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. "Historically, jobs in children’s services, juvenile or adult corrections, government welfare agencies, and nonprofits that provide support services have been filled by people who have earned master’s degrees, completed an internship, and passed state licensing requirements." (U-B photo by Greg Lehman: Instructor Curtis Phillips)

"Not every piece of human services requires a master’s degree, however," Hagar writes. That includes jobs such as a human services case manager. Curtis Phillips, who heads the college program, told Hagar the position is basically “an organized way of providing care, usually involving some type of review of the case and client. Then you create a plan to get better and achieve self-sufficiency, make some goals. Like what your mom did for you in junior high.”

Phillips said graduates will be able to get jobs at places such as schools and counseling centers, where they will help "with food assistance, mental health, homelessness and crisis," Hagar writes. Cost for the program will run students about $11,000 for tuition and books, with jobs "starting at about $25,000 a year in salary, moving on up to $40,000 with experience." Getting a job shouldn't be difficult. Phillips told Hagar, “We won’t even be able to produce enough graduates just to meet the regional demand, and that doesn’t even count filling retirement vacancies." (Read more)

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