Successful Distance Learning Graduate Education in Human Services
Human services made up of social work, public administration, public health, and health care has several core educational goals. Students studying these disciplines need to understand the scope of these fields and the organizational structures they contain. Other critical areas are how historical developments have impacted the field's current structure. What external pressures, whether economic, political, regulatory, legal, ethical or social, are forcing changes? Another content category represents the theoretical underpinnings of the field. Each human service discipline is based in part upon some psychosocial, social and economic theory. Students have to gain this fundamental knowledge in order to relate to the more application-based information that represents the delivery of services in these fields. Finally, each human services discipline has numerous practice systems and functional areas. The professional development of graduate students requires them to have a working knowledge of the business or operational areas needed to deliver services. These three major content pieces-scope, theory, and practice-are what faculty address in the courses they teach.