Human Services Degree Meets Needs of Profession

Fully Online Program Better Equips Students to Serve Their Communities

Human Services Degree Meets Needs of Profession

Gardner-Webb University’s GOAL—The Degree Completion Program has realigned the Bachelor of Science in Human Services to better equip students who want to serve their communities. Offered fully online, the program’s core curriculum will prepare students to take the Human Services Board Certified Practitioner exam if they choose, and it includes concentration options where students can explore their own areas of interest.

Dr. Erin Cook, program coordinator and assistant professor in Human Services, refined the program after consulting with alumni, current students, national boards and employers to determine the skills that students need to address the problems of today’s clients.

“Many of our students want to make a difference and serve their community,” Cook explained. “Seven new classes have been built as a piece of this realignment. Some of those are how to lead within a helping profession or how to understand non-profits better, from understanding the board and fundraising to serving the mission of the organization.”

Other concentrations are offered in family dynamics, clinical/pre-counseling, substance abuse and generalist. Although the program is online, it is designed to be engaging and interactive. Courses are asynchronous, which allows students to complete assignments within a certain time frame. Instructors offer extra discussion sessions at different times to accommodate work schedules. Additionally, projects in each course require students to interact with professionals in their own communities.

“At the end of the program, students have a strong foundation of professional resources,” Cook noted. “They are going to leave the program with a toolkit of community resources they have developed, networking opportunities, and a professional portfolio, strong resume and cover letter. They will feel confident that they are ready to make a difference.”

For more information about the Human Services Degree in GOAL—The Degree Completion Program, email Cook at or visit