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Human Services / Disability Studies

The field of Human Services is an ideal career choice for men and women who are interested in helping clients of all ages understand themselves and reach their goals. The career area of Human Services and Disability Studies prepares students for entry-level employment or for transfer to a four-year college or university.  Students that transfer to a 4-year institution may focus on social work, psychology, counseling or education/special-education. 

The diverseness of career opportunities is a unique feature of the Human Services and Disability Studies Program. Below are just some of the areas that students will be prepared to work:

  • Public and private social service agencies
  • Treatment centers for addictions
  • Group homes for mental illness, domestic violence, residential treatment, developmental disabilities
  • Supported living and vocational work programs
  • State and county Departments of Human Services
  • Hospital-based treatment facilities
  • Correctional facilities

Students will develop skills in planning and case management, assessment and referrals, interviewing and behavioral observations, working with individuals and groups. They will gain knowledge in the area of learning and physical disabilities, mental health, domestic violence and more.. 

Practicum Experience: students in the Human Services and Disability Studies Program must complete a practicum experience. Working at a human services or disability agency/facility will provide an opportunity to work with experts in the field and apply their knowledge and skills in a real-world setting. 

The need for qualified human services workers is anticipated to grow at a much faster than average rate in the next few years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Iowa, most starting salaries range from the upper teens to the mid $20s and show a significant increase based on experience and location. To increase career opportunities, students are encouraged to continue their education at a 4-year college or university.

Helping Careers Certification: This program accommodates high school graduates with learning challenges who wish to pursue jobs where they enjoy interacting with others in helping careers such as nurses aide, child care worker, home health attendant, residential services staff, or teaching aides. This program is located on the Emmetsburg Campus. SAVE Program

Iowa Para-Education Certification: Iowa Lakes Community College offers two courses that meet the requirements for Iowa Para-Educator Certification as designated by the Iowa Department of Education.  The recognized courses are DSV-125 Behavior Management and EDU-215/217 Introduction to Education.  

Please see the link for more information on the Para-Education Certification course and application requirements.

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