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Social and Human Service Assistant Proficiency Certificate


This certificate introduces students to the values, concepts, vocabulary, knowledge base and practice skills of time-sensitive approaches to helping relationships. It addresses how people change, extra-therapeutic factors and specific relationship variables that predict successful outcomes in helping individuals in need. Students learn to work with individuals of varying ages and abilities in a variety of human service settings and with groups using skills sets such as assessing readiness, identifying key challenges, establishing goals and taking specific action steps. Through this certificate students become familiar with community resources, the role of crisis intervention strategies and how to formulate and write specific goals which emphasize a continuum of care planning model.

This certificate is designed for individuals interested in employment as casework assistants, case managers, residential support staff, youth advocates, mental health assistants, peer counselor support staff, youth ministries. When completed, the courses may be applied to the associate degree program in Behavioral Health/Human Services or related Academic Certificates.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the Social and Human Service Assistant Proficiency Certificate students will be able to:

  • demonstrate a fundamental understanding of intentional interviewing, levels of intervention, case conceptualization and models of care that are specific to working within a time-sensitive framework.
  • demonstrate understanding of specific assessment instruments and use these in practice.
  • select intervention techniques appropriate to desired goals and incorporate these in practice.
  • demonstrate basic competency in basic motivational interviewing skills (MI) and beginning helping skills that are fundamental to briefer models of working clients.
  • describe what constitutes a crisis and explain several theories of crisis and models of intervention.
  • describe characteristics of effective crisis workers and how to apply crisis intervention models to a variety of situations.
  • demonstrate use of techniques that foster a continuum of care model of support services.
  • discuss ethical practices of crisis counselors when working with clients or networking with other agencies.

Entrance Requirements:

This certificate is open to interested students. New students are normally required to take the College's placement test at their time of entry. Students who are identified as needing developmental course work must satisfactorily complete the appropriate English and mathematics courses as part of the certificate.

Social and Human Service Assistant Proficiency Certificate Program Course Sequence

Course Number Course Title Prerequisites Credits
BHHS 101 Introduction to Behavioral Health and Human Services   3
BHHS 111 Introduction to Helping Skills BHHS 101, which may be taken concurrently 3
Select one of the following:
BHHS 121
BHHS 151
BHHS 171
BHHS 161

Foundations of Addiction Studies
Family Violence, Abuse and Trauma
Intro to Social Gerontology
Intro to Disability Studies
BHHS 241 Crisis Intervention   3
Total Credits: 12


Successful Completion:

Successful completion of the program requires a "C" grade or better in each of the courses listed above. In order to achieve a "C" or better and thus demonstrate competency students must complete exams, writing assignments, and participate in class activities.

For More Information Contact:

The Division of Liberal Studies, Room BR-21, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19130. Telephone (215) 751-8450; or call the College Information Center (215) 751-8010.

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