Department of Human Services & Counseling
At Metropolitan State University of Denver, you can pursue The Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services—which really means you’re committed to helping others.
Our department is committed to helping you do just that. After all, the Human Services profession is the art and science of helping people. To be effective, you must be armed with specific knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors. Our dedicated faculty and talented instructors do everything they can to help you prepare for a career in human services, and to help those who are challenged or less fortunate, heal, survive and thrive in our society.
Our Philosophy and Mission Statement
We believe that people have the capacity for change and growth. Faculty and staff support students in the classroom and during their field placement to ensure skilled, self-reflective, professional workers in the Human Services arena. Our theoretical orientation emphasizes Strengths Based approaches, Systemic work, and Cognitive-Behavioral strategies. Courses emphasize ethical decision making, self-care, cultural awareness, professional writing, critical thinking, and conflict resolution. Students develop their knowledge and skills through a combination of rigorous academic preparation and in depth field placement experience.
The Department of Human Services at Metropolitan State University of Denver prepares students to become competent, self-reflective practitioners in the delivery of human services. At the core of the curriculum is an emphasis on experiential learning both in the classroom and through intensive field experience. The department is committed to supporting students to develop high ethical standards and cultural sensitivity while becoming agents for positive change in people's lives and in their communities.
A Brief History of Human Services
The late 1950s was fraught with civil unrest in the U.S. There was a spotlight on a variety of issues, including poverty, racism, unemployment, aging, developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance abuse. In 1956 Purdue University offered the first associate’s degree in mental health.
During the civil rights movement of the 1960s, people who had experienced these issues first hand began helping others in their own communities. The mental health paraprofessional was born.
In 1963, President John F. Kennedy (whose sister was developmentally challenged) was instrumental in passing the Community Mental Health Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act. This legislation helped formalize educational preparation for mental health practice.
In 1968 MSU Denver began offering an associate’s degree in Helping Services. It was one of the first such offerings in the state of Colorado. In 1972, a Bachelor of Science degree was introduced.
In 1975, the National Organization for Human Services Education (NOHSE; later NOHS) was founded. In 1976, it established standards for human service education programs and practice, including training, program review and ethics.
Since May 2010, more than 450 students have graduated from this program at MSU Denver, pursuing a wide variety of careers in the human service industry—most in the state of Colorado. On average, 75 to 100 students graduate with this respected degree each year. We hope you’ll choose to be one of them.