ACM logo
ACM logo
Human Service Associate

Annette Clark, Program Director
Allied Heath 239

The Human Service Associate curriculum is designed to prepare students with the education, skills, and experience necessary for employment in entry-level human service positions. Graduates are employed by community mental health centers; programs for the developmentally disabled; nursing homes and older adult programs; agencies serving women, children, and families; substance abuse programs; and a wide variety of other agencies. The Human Service Associate degree, in combination with the Addictions Certificate, prepares students for the Maryland State Certification Examination for Addictions Counselors. Specialized areas of study are available in Integrative Health, Integrative Wellness, Leadership Development, and Addictions. (See catalog description of these programs for more information.)

The Human Service Associate curriculum at Allegany College of Maryland has been designated as a Health Manpower Shortage Program. The Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has determined certain health occupations in the state to be in short supply. The Maryland Higher Education Commission has designated educational programs that correspond to these health occupations to be eligible for the Health Manpower Shortage Program. Maryland residents from counties other than Allegany County who register in this eligible program will be charged the out-of-county tuition rate. However, these students may be eligible to receive reimbursement for a portion of the cost difference between the in-county and out-of-county tuition rates. Funding availability for this program is based on funding from the State of Maryland and is thus subject to change each semester. Some restrictions apply. More information can be obtained by contacting the Admissions Office.

Although most graduates of the curriculum seek immediate employment in the human service field, over 60% enroll in advanced degree programs such as social work or counseling within three years after graduation. Students planning to transfer should consult their advisor or the Advising Center staff. To be considered as a candidate for admission to the clinical phase of the program, students must meet all College admissions requirements, have completed any necessary developmental coursework in reading and English, and have a minimum overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0. The last entering class had an average GPA of 3.4.

Students can complete this program within four college semesters and a minimum of one summer session if they attend full-time. Students are accepted into the clinical phase each year on a selective basis. Applications are reviewed beginning February 1 and continue until the class is filled. Early application is essential.

Successful completion of this program qualifies a student to apply for an Associate of Applied Science degree in Human Service Associate.


Fast Track is intended for the academically strong student who has missed the May deadline to enroll in the required pre-requisite course offered in the summer session but who wants to be considered for acceptance into the Fall Clinical program. Students who are accepted for Fast Track must demonstrate excellent organizational skills, a strong work ethic, and the time availability to successfully enroll concurrently in 6 credits of clinical classes and the required 3 credit pre-requisite (Sociology 104) during the first semester (Fall) of the Clinical Phase. (Students would have the option to enroll in additional General Education classes, if needed to be full-time.)

Criteria for Application to Fast Track:

  1. Overall GPA of 2.5
  2. Core Mix GPA of 3.4 (all sociology, psychology, English writing, and Speech classes)
  3. Minimum completion of 12 credits required by the degree
  4. References from two Core Mix faculty who can document an above average level of skill in time management, organization, work ethic, written communication, teamwork, and interpersonal relationships (areas all screened in the Traditional Application process student performance in Sociology 104)

Application and interviews for Fast Track may begin after the deadline for enrollment in Summer Sociology 104, but the final review and conditional acceptance into the Clinical Phase occurs at the end of July when the traditional student admission process is completed and it has been determined that there are available seats in the class. For more information on the application process, please contact the Program Director, Annette Clark, at 301-784-5558.

The process for application includes three parts; submission of the required written materials, four individual interviews with the members of the Human Service Admissions Committee, and completion of Sociology 104, Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Society, with a “B” or better. This course may be taken prior to making application to the Clinical Phase of the program or concurrently with the Admission process. If taken concurrently, a student will be reviewed as a candidate for admission, but acceptance will be conditional upon a final review, which is made at the completion of the course.

The Admissions Committee consists of Human Service faculty, second year Clinical Students or recent graduates, and a representative of the Admissions Office. The Committee considers four primary factors in determining admission to the clinical phase:

  1. Academic performances as measured by a minimum of six credits in the Core Mix category (English, Psychology, Sociology, and Speech) and a computed Core Mix GPA of 2.5 or better. All courses in this category must be passed with a “C” or better, with the exception of Sociology 104 which must have a “B” or better.
  2. Career goals.
  3. Assessment of the areas, which contribute to successful performance in classroom, fieldwork, and employment settings. These areas include interpersonal skills, oral and written communication, maturity, motivation, flexibility, access to a support system, realistic career goals, potential to work as a team member, and the ability to balance current work, school, family, and personal responsibilities.
  4. Related work, volunteer, or life experience.

Students who are accepted enroll in the required clinical coursework for the fall semester. Three agency-based clinical training experiences (field work) are included in the four semesters of the program. Students participate in the selection of these training sites and a wide variety of settings are available, including agencies accessible to students from Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The college carries a blanket professional liability insurance policy which covers Human Service students in the field.

A satisfactory health record must be on file prior to clinical experience. In addition to maintaining the College’s scholastic standards, Human Service Associate students must achieve a “C” grade in each Human Service course. Failure to achieve a “C” grade or better in any Human Service course will result in dismissal from the program since the courses (Human Service) are sequential and prerequisite for continuance.

Required Human Service Courses

Group Process
Introduction to Counseling and Interviewing
Helping Techniques I
Human Service Practicum I
Helping Techniques II
Human Service Practicum II
Human Service Practicum III
Human Service Clinical Skills Capstone

Required General Courses

Human Biology or Biological Science Elective
English Composition I
English Composition II or
Business and Technical Communication
Mind/Body Skills for Health and Healing
American National Government
General Psychology
Introduction to Abnormal Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Interdisciplinary Studies In Human Society
Speech Communication

Required Elective Courses

Please consult with your advisor or the Advising Center staff for selecting appropriate elective courses for graduation.


Mathematic Elective - 3 credits

Physical Activity Elective - 1 credit

Sociology Elective - 3 credits


Summer or Previous Semester Credit Hours
Sociology 104 (Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Society) 3
Total: 3
English 101 (English Composition I)  3
Human Service 103 (Group Processes) 3
Human Service 123 (Introduction to Counseling and Interviewing) 3
Mathematics Elective 1 3
Psychology 101 (General Psychology) 3
Total: 15
English 102 or 112 (English Composition II or Business and Technical Communication) 2 3
Human Service 170 (Helping Techniques I) 3
Human Service 190 (Human Service Practicum I) 4
Political Science 101 (American National Government) 3
Speech 101 (Speech Communication) 3
Total: 16
Human Service 201 (Helping Techniques II) 3
Human Service 207 (Human Service Practicum II) 5
Integrative Health 101 (Mind/Body Skills for Health and Healing) 1
Psychology 205 (Introduction to Abnormal Psychology) 3
Sociology 101 (Introduction to Sociology) 3
Total: 15
Biological Science 116 (Human Biology) or Biological Science Elective 3
Human Service 210 (Human Service Practicum III) 5
Physical Activity 1
Human Service 230 (HS Clinical Skills Capstone) 3
Sociology Elective 3 3
Total: 15
Total Credit Hours: 64

Mathematics 109 is recommended for students planning to transfer to Social Work or Psychology programs at a four-year school.
 English 112 is recommended for career preparation.
Sociology 203 or Sociology 250 is recommend for students planning to transfer to Social Work programs at four-year schools.


NOTE: All courses specifically identified by course number are graduation requirements for this program.


The Human Service Associate curriculum is designed to prepare students with the education, skills, and experience necessary for employment in entry-level human service positions. The Human Service Associate curriculum is accredited by the Council for Standards in Human Service Education, 3337 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-5219; 571-257-3959.