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Human Services

People employed in human services agencies are there to help improve the lives of the people they serve. A minor in human services was developed to meet the increasing need of public and private sector employers for paraprofessionals. Students who complete a minor in human services may be employed through public agencies, hospitals, government-sponsored housing or clinics, and some criminal justice offices. These jobs can be both personally and professionally rewarding. There are many opportunities for people to gain experience that can lead to graduate education and certification and licensure in counseling and other helping professionals.

The program of study will focus on an overview of the human service profession, multiculturalism and diversity, communication skills, career preparation and introductory helping skills. Graduates will be prepared to work in social services, mental health and substance abuse agencies as entry level counselor aides or in other related paraprofessional positions under the guidance of counselors, psychologists, nurses and social workers.

The minor is designed to develop better interpersonal and intergroup adjustments. While primarily regarded as a study of organizational, workplace behaviors, the human services field is emerging as a broader study of sociological and emotional motivation.

Course Requirements

The human services minor requires five courses, 15 credit hours.

COUN 303 Introduction to Helping Professions
To assist in evaluating students potential for a career in the helping professions. Exposure is provided to client populations served by helping professionals, along with a selection of intervention strategies used in those professions.

COUN 400 Diversity and Human Relations
Overview of diversity and relationships. Examination of genetic/cultural diversity. Attention to problems related to diversity in a changing world.

COUN 405 Career/Lifespan Development
Overview of lifespan career development theories, including impact of personal growth and life stages. Emphasis on understanding job choices and personal strategies for career decision making.

COUN 410 Interpersonal Communication Skills
Overview of interpersonal communication skills. Emphasis on personal and interpersonal strategies for understanding, appreciating, and managing communication skills in personal and career relationships.

COUN 415 Human Services Capstone Experience
Field experience in Human Services designed to expose students to the work involved in the human services field(s).

Prerequisites: COUN 303, COUN 400, COUN 405 and COUN 410

Minimum Performance Standards

To qualify for a minor in human services, a student must have earned a minimum grade of "C" or better in each of the above required.

For additional information contact Regina Burgess at To register for online courses, contact WVU Online at (800) 253-2762 or email

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