Human Services

Human Services (HSER)

HSER 300 Introduction to Human Services

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:Eligible for ENGRD 310 or ENGRD 312 AND ENGWR 300; OR ESLR 340 AND ESLW 340.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2019

This course is a comprehensive overview of the field of human services and an introduction to attitudes and methods that enhance communication skills in human relations and enable effective intervention in problem situations. It emphasizes the roles and skills of associate professionals, such as but not limited to drug and alcohol counselors, mental health workers, and activity directors with the elderly, and adolescent and child welfare assistants. It also emphasizes group techniques. An off-campus site visit is required.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • distinguish between the different client populations most commonly served by human services workers
  • compare and contrast the different functions of human service agencies in both the private and public sector
  • compare and contrast the duties and responsibilities of workers in a variety of human services positions
  • understand diverse client populations served by human services workers
  • analyze public policy issues, controversies, and complexities affecting human service agencies or their clients
  • compare different theoretical approaches for working with clients
  • describe career opportunities in the field of human services
  • demonstrate increased self-awareness (e.g., verbal fluency, voice tone, body language, feelings, attitudes, strengths)
  • demonstrate clarity (concreteness), brevity, and objectivity in verbal communication
  • demonstrate an awareness of others' feelings, concerns, and ideas as expressed verbally and through body and tonal messages

HSER 310 Ethical Issues and Client's Rights

  • Same As:GERON 304
  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Corequisite:HSER 300
  • Advisory:ENGWR 102 or 103, and ENGRD 116 with a grade of “C” or better; OR ESLR 320 and ESLW 320 with a grade of “C” or better; OR placement through assessment process.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2019

This course is a comprehensive exploration of the basic ethical issues involving human services delivery. Topics include professional ethics, confidentiality, counselor and clients' rights, and other areas involving ethical controversies. This course is not open to students who have completed GERON 304.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • evaluate the state and federal laws most often violated in human services delivery
  • analyze existing California Professional Codes of Ethics
  • describe the application of clients' rights in human services agencies and institutions
  • describe appropriate professional behavior in human services agencies and institutions
  • examine one's own values and attitudes as they apply to ethical decision making

HSER 330 Issues of Diverse Populations

  • Same As:PSYC 365
  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:Eligible for ENGRD 310 or ENGRD 312 AND ENGWR 300; OR ESLR 340 AND ESLW 340.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • General Education:AA/AS Area V(b); AA/AS Area VI; CSU Area E1
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2019

This course is a study of the values, problems, issues, concerns and counseling needs of diverse populations by race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical/cognitive/emotional/developmental ability, and age. It also explores the cognitive and emotional aspects of prejudice as it relates to institutional and individual discrimination. This course is not open to students who have completed PSYC 365.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • identify and examine specific values, beliefs, and practices of diverse populations by race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability/disability, age, and socioeconomic class
  • evaluate the impact of bias, stereotyped thinking, prejudice, and discrimination in working with diverse populations
  • analyze the issues of racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, ageism, and classism as they relate to working with diverse populations
  • develop culturally responsive prevention, intervention, and/or resolution to identified issues and problems affecting diverse populations
  • assess one's personal attitudes regarding diverse populations

HSER 340 Introduction to Chemical Dependency

  • Same As:PSYC 400
  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:Eligible for ENGRD 310 or ENGRD 312 AND ENGWR 300; OR ESLR 340 AND ESLW 340.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • General Education:AA/AS Area III(b); CSU Area E1
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2019

This course examines the biopsychosociocultural effects of chemical dependency on the individual and the family. It includes an analysis of drug use; misuse and abuse across age, gender, race, ethnicity, and economic conditions contributing to substance abuse; and a description of community efforts at prevention and treatment. This course is not open to students who have completed PSYC 400.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • analyze the psychological, physiological, and sociocultural issues related to substance use, misuse, and abuse
  • describe the psychological and physiological progression of substance abuse
  • examine the dynamics of race, ethnicity, age, and gender inherent in substance use, misuse, and abuse situations including drug preferences and codependency
  • compare and contrast the key components of assessment and recovery programs for alcoholism and drug abuse including Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Al-Anon, American Counseling Association (ACA), private and public, inpatient and outpatient

HSER 341 Physiology and Pharmacology: Alcohol & Other Drugs

  • Same As:PSYC 401
  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:ENGWR 102 or ESLW 320 and HSER 340 or PSYC 400 with a grade of "C" or better.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2019

This course is a study of the chemical composition of alcohol and the mechanism of action of alcohol and other psychoactive drugs, including opiates, stimulants, depressants, psychotherapeutics, and psychedelics. It also includes the social and psychological implications of tolerance, habituation, and substance abuse of the user and abuser. This course is not open to students who have completed PSYC 401.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • compare the effects of each class of psychoactive drugs upon the human body.
  • define the biological, social, and psychological implications of psychoactive drug use, misuse, and abuse.
  • describe the effects of psychoactive drugs on behavior.
  • analyze treatment issues and challenges.
  • compare intervention and treatment approaches.
  • examine alternatives to drug use.

HSER 342 Alcoholism: Intervention, Treatment & Recovery

  • Same As:PSYC 402
  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:HSER 341 or PSYC 401 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2019

This course is a study and evaluation of techniques used in the treatment of chemical dependency. Topics include intervention, individual and group counseling, detoxification, twelve-step program, therapeutic communities, and aftercare programs. This course is not open to students who have completed PSYC 402.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • analyze drug and alcohol use, misuse, abuse, and addiction
  • compare various theories of drug and alcohol addiction
  • differentiate treatment issues of drug and alcohol use, misuse, abuse, and addiction
  • describe treatment methods and counseling approaches of drug and alcohol use, misuse, abuse, and addiction

HSER 360 Techniques of Interviewing and Counseling

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:HSER 300 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Corequisite:GERON 304 or HSER 310
  • Advisory:ENGWR 102 and ENGRD 116 with a grade of “C” or better; OR ESLR 320 and ESLW 320 with a grade of “C” or better; AND ESLL 310 or ESLL 320 with a grade of “C” or better.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2019

This course is a survey of interview and counseling techniques appropriate for paraprofessionals in mental health, corrections, and substance abuse counseling. It includes theories of family co-dependency and techniques for counseling the family and significant others of substance abusers.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • evaluate techniques for interviewing and counseling
  • analyze and apply appropriate approaches in dealing with a variety of human problems
  • demonstrate an awareness of one's own reactions to clients, based on one's own past experiences
  • demonstrate the techniques of interviewing and counseling appropriate for associate level helpers in social service agency settings

HSER 362 Practices in Human Services

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Corequisite:HSER 365 and 498
  • Enrollment Limitation:Completion of the American River College Human Services Agency Placement Process.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2019

This course provides advanced study and applied integration of human services theory to prepare students for field experience. Techniques applying concepts, values, and skills acquired in other core courses to the process of helping others are covered.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • apply the principles of the twelve core functions of counseling for successful employment in the fields of human services and/or chemical dependency
  • evaluate ethical and legal issues related to interventions with individuals, groups, organizations and communities in generalist practices and chemical dependency
  • demonstrate accurate client charting and documentation
  • demonstrate cultural sensitivity in working with diverse client populations
  • differentiate among the community resources used for referring clients.
  • integrate personal growth and development goals with professional growth and development goals

HSER 365 Techniques of Group Counseling

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:HSER 360 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2019

This course covers the basic elements of group counseling. Ethical issues are compared and analyzed. Emphasis is on the use of facilitating skills and group dynamics.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • evaluate the general goals of the group counseling experience
  • analyze ethical and professional issues in group experiences
  • describe rights of group participants and/or obligations of group leaders
  • demonstrate multiple group techniques of counseling
  • analyze the theoretical and practical approaches used by successful group leaders
  • demonstrate growth in self-understanding and in communicating with others

HSER 495 Independent Studies in Human Services

  • Units:1 - 3
  • Hours:54 - 162 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2019

Independent Study is an opportunity for the student to extend classroom experience in this subject, while working independently of a formal classroom situation. Independent study is an extension of work offered in a specific class in the college catalog. To be eligible for independent study, students must have completed the basic regular catalog course at American River College. They must also discuss the study with a professor in this subject and secure approval. Only one independent study for each catalog course will be allowed.


HSER 498 Work Experience in Human Services

  • Units:1 - 4
  • Hours:60 - 300 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Enrollment Limitation:Students must be in a paid or unpaid internship, volunteer position, or job related to human services with a cooperating site supervisor. Students are advised to consult with the Human Services Department faculty to review specific certificate and degree work experience requirements.
  • Advisory:Eligible for ENGRD 310 or ENGRD 312 AND ENGWR 300; OR ESLR 340 AND ESLW 340.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • General Education:AA/AS Area III(b)
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2019

This course provides students with opportunities to develop marketable skills in preparation for employment or advancement within the field of human services. It is designed for students interested in work experience and/or internships in transfer-level degree occupational programs. Course content includes understanding the application of education to the workforce, completion of Title 5 required forms which document the student's progress and hours spent at the work site, and developing workplace skills and competencies.

During the semester, the student is required to complete 75 hours of related paid work experience, or 60 hours of related unpaid work experience for one unit. An additional 75 or 60 hours of related work experience is required for each additional unit. All students are required to attend the first class meeting, a mid-semester meeting, and a final meeting. Additionally, students who have not already successfully completed a Work Experience course will be required to attend weekly orientations while returning participants may meet individually with the instructor as needed. Students may take up to 16 units total across all Work Experience course offerings. This course may be taken up to four times when there are new or expanded learning objectives. Only one Work Experience course may be taken per semester.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • demonstrate application of industry knowledge and theoretical concepts in the field of human services related to a transfer degree level career as written in the minimum three (3) learning objectives created by the student and his/her employer or work site supervisor at the start of the course
  • make effective decisions, use workforce information, and manage his/her personal career plans.
  • behave professionally, ethically, and legally at work, consistent with applicable laws, regulations, and organizational norms.
  • behave responsibly at work, exhibiting initiative and self-management in situations where it is needed.
  • apply effective leadership styles at work, with consideration to group dynamics, team and individual decision making, and workforce diversity.
  • communicate in oral, written, and other formats, as needed, in a variety of contexts at work.
  • locate, organize, evaluate, and reference information at work.
  • demonstrate originality and inventiveness at work by combining ideas or information in new ways, making connections between seemingly unrelated ideas, and reshaping goals in ways that reveal new possibilities using critical and creative thinking skills such as logical reasoning, analytical thinking, and problem-solving.