Department of Human Services & Counseling
The Human Services department at MSU is accredited by the Council for Standards in Human Services Education. For details relevant to the accreditation of the program, please contact the department through our website.
All Human Services students, in their senior capstone course (Professional Internship), fill out a departmental graduate survey. The results from the 2016 survey showed that 51% of our students had a paid position in field of human services by the time they finished their internship. Additionally, 97% of 2016 graduates stated that they were considering continuing on to a master's program.
The Graduate Survey asks each student this question:
How have you transformed as a student or a person as a result of your experience in the Human Services Department at MSU Denver?
The two most common themes in the responses are increased self-awareness and increased confidence. The other recurring themes are increased cultural awareness, critical thinking, and self-care.
Here are three particularly powerful transformation responses:
“At some time during the program (probably during Multicultural Issues in Human Services) I realized that being uncomfortable leads to growth. This realization has completely altered the way I approach life. I embrace discomfort knowing that I will be a better person/professional as a result of the process.”
“The biggest transformation that has occurred for me has been allowing others to make their own decisions and not imposing my will upon them. I learned to ask questions and lead people toward self-discovery instead of giving solutions. This has been a powerful tool. It not only has assisted in creating humility within myself, but also has really empowered those around me.”
“As a person, I have become much more assertive, much more comfortable with self-care, and more comfortable with setting boundaries in the field (and in my personal life). Over time, I have become truly insistent on my self-care in every way, particularly from an emotional/psychological standpoint. Even more crucially, I have learned to insist on my self-care and set boundaries without feeling guilty or ashamed for doing so!! That was HUGE for me.”
Feedback about student performance from agency supervisors in the field:
Students in Practicum and Professional Internship are evaluated by their agency supervisors on 17 competency areas. Using a 0-5 scale with 5 being the highest rating, our students earned an average rating 4.46 during the academic year 2014-2015. The ratings were based on the following 17 statements:
Attitude: The student is enthusiastic about the field of Human Services and is able and willing to cooperate with field supervisors, co-workers, other interns, and the public.
Agency Analysis: The student is able to understand the context of the agency, i.e. the infrastructure, organization, and the contributions to community life.
Ethical Knowledge: The student demonstrates an understanding of ethical issues and a knowledge of all ethics codes that may apply in the setting.
Ethical Dilemmas: The student does not engage in activities that are contrary to the ethical standards and is able to use ethical decision-making when situations are not clear-cut.
Cultural Knowledge: The student is aware of: the impact of cultural diversity (in the broadest sense of the term); their own personal culture; the various ways in which an individual’s multiple aspects of identity interact.
Cultural Sensitivity: The student is able to interact with individuals in meaningful ways that demonstrates an understanding of the impact of culture on personal style, values, perspectives and experiences.
Professional Writing Skills: The student produces clear professional writing as appropriate to the placement such as grants, reports, case notes, evaluations and assessments, marketing materials, etc.
Interpersonal Communication Skills: The student communicates clearly and appropriately with field supervisors, clients, co-workers, and the public.
Accepts Feedback: The student is receptive to feedback.
Utilizes Feedback: The student responds to feedback in a professional manner by adapting the feedback into future performance.
Assertiveness: The student is able to initiate and communicate appropriately in individual and group settings.
Manages Conflict: The student utilizes communication to effectively manage conflict.
Appropriate Intervention Skills: The student is able to provide the service that is appropriate to the field placement site (for example: intake interviews, group facilitation, customer service, case management, mentoring, treatment planning, events coordination, educational presentations, fund-raising, grant writing, etc.).
Problem Solves: The student uses critical thinking skills and applies knowledge to solve problems.
Self-Awareness: The student is willing to examine his/her own feelings, values, and behaviors and is aware of his/her own strengths and challenges.
Self-Care: The student actively practiced self-care by establishing boundaries, seeking support when necessary, and taking steps to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Professionalism: The student presents him/herself in a professional manner through appropriate attire and personal grooming.
Between May 2010 and May 2015, 419 students graduated with a degree in Human Services.
Demographic profile of graduates:
• 71% transfer students and 29% native students
• 80% female and 20% male
• 53% White or Caucasian
• 17% Latino/a or Hispanic
• 9% African American
• 1% Asian American
• 1% Native American
• 19% Other or Undisclosed
Age at graduation:
• 21-29 years of age: 45%
• 30-39 years of age: 27%
• 40-49 years of age: 16%
• 50-59 years of age: 9%
• 60 or over: 3%