Americans with addiction and substance problems are looking for professional help with their afflictions more than ever before. That, combined with an aging population, largely explains why positions in human services and social work are expanding rapidly throughout the nation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in social and human services are expected to increase 22% throughout the decade, making it one of the fastest growing fields in the country. As the demand for qualified professionals rises, there has never been a better opportunity to pursue a position in human services.
An associate degree in human services provides graduates with the necessary training and skills to work in the field and to begin a rewarding career. Increasingly, students interested in human services are earning their associate degree online. Studying online allows students to balance their school responsibilities with other obligations, which is particularly useful for working professionals or parents with young children.
Additionally, more and more schools offer online programs in human services with each passing year. This allows students to find a curriculum that matches their academic interests and professional ambitions. A degree in human services prepares students for a variety of career paths ranging from youth counseling to criminal justice administration, and students can train for any of these careers in an online program.
Below, we’ve ranked the top online associate in human services programs. These schools provide a robust curriculum adept at developing compassionate and effective social workers in a variety of fields. If you’re interested in beginning a human services degree, consider starting your research with a look at these premier colleges.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||Cost||Address & Contact Info||School Links||Acclaim for Online Programs||School Description|
|1||Bismark State College||Bismarck||$$$$$||1603 Edwards Ave.|
Bismarck, ND 58506-5587
Based in North Dakota, Bismarck State College offers an associate in applied science in human services degree program for students who wish to pursue careers in helping others. Students must complete at least 60 credits, including 33 that are program-focused, to graduate.
Through BSC Online, the college offers technical and academic assistance for students taking online classes, including a 24/7 help desk and remote support. The human services online degree program is flexible in its approach, emphasizing professional skills, human service theory, and courses dedicated to issues in social welfare. There are also specific courses on Medicaid eligibility, childcare assistance, and minority relations.
Additionally, BSC has a two-semester eligibility worker program that gives students the opportunity to earn a certificate that prepares them for careers helping low-income individuals and families access key public benefits.
|2||Gateway Community and Technical College||Florence||$$$$$||500 Technology Way|
Florence, KY 41042
The human Services associate in applied science degree from Gateway Technical & Community College prepares students for careers in one of the top 25 fastest-growing professional fields in the United States. Students take courses on in developmental psychology, sociology, and medical terminology, among others. The degree requires 65 credits for completion and includes a mix of general education and program-focused classes.
In addition to the human services degree online program, students may select from certificates in aging services, direct support work, psychiatric mental health technician, and substance abuse recovery coaching. Each of these certificates requires two semesters (or about one year) to complete.
Gateway offers fully accredited and transferable courses throughout its online learning program, with flexible class schedules available in five-, eight-, 10-, and 12-week options. Likewise, courses are taught asynchronously, enabling students to complete class requirements around their personal and professional lives.
|3||Columbia College - Missouri||Columbia||$$$$$||1001 Rogers Street|
Columbia, MO 65216
Columbia College, based in Missouri and with campuses located across the United States, offers an associate in science in human services degree that students can complete either fully or partially online. Graduates leave school prepared for a variety of careers that help people.
To graduate from the human services online degree program, students must successfully complete 60 credits, including 21 electives. Coursework covers a range of subjects, such as American social policy, minority cultures and traditions, and working with families and groups.
Columbia College's online campus is based on the school’s unique "six sessions" model, where students take classes in six eight-week sessions in a single academic year. All online undergraduate courses are available at a tuition rate of $290 per credit hour.
|4||Madisonville Community College||Madisonville||$$$$$||2000 College Drive|
Madisonville, KY 42431
The AAS in human services program at Madisonville Community College prepares students for a variety of entry-level career opportunities with businesses, organizations, and agencies who provide important services to people. These may include positions at childcare centers, mental health facilities, hospitals, schools, and social service providers.
The human services degree online program involves 64 total credit hours completed fully online. Required courses cover group dynamics of human services, working with youth, and the importance of human services in modern society. Most full-time students can complete the program in two years.
Within the human services department, Madisonville Community College also offers certificates in direct support work, aging services, and substance abuse recovery coaching. Help desk assistance is available 24/7, and the college also makes tutors available for students who need help completing their coursework.
|5||Hazard Community and Technical College||Hazard||$$$$$||One Community College Drive|
Hazard, KY 41701-2402
The associate in applied science in human services degree at Hazard Community & Technical College prepares students for careers in agencies and organizations that provide important education, social, and mental health services. Students may choose from a variety of technical courses, such as those focused on early childhood development, crisis interventions, drug and alcohol abuse, and the juvenile justice system.
In addition to the general associate in human services online degree, Hazard offers certificate programs in aging services, direct support work, psychiatric mental health technician, and substance abuse recovery coaching.
First-time students applying for admission must submit their high school transcripts or GED scores, along with scores from a qualified placement test (such as the ACT or SAT). Transfer students must provide transcripts from any institutions they previously attended.
Hazard is part of the Kentucky Community & Technical College System, which includes 16 colleges and more than 70 campuses throughout the state.
|6||Elizabethtown Community and Technical College||Elizabethtown||$$$$$||600 College Street Rd|
Elizabethtown, KY 42701-3081
The associate in applied science in human services degree from Elizabethtown Community & Technical College (ECTC) gives students a strong foundation they need to be successful in careers helping people. The human services online degree program includes a wide range of course options, such as the development of social welfare, the psychology of the aging process, and the impact of cultural diversity on the human services field.
This associate degree program is well-suited for students who choose to advance to a bachelor's program. All credits earned at ECTC transfer into the bachelor of social work program at nearby Western Kentucky University, as well as the BA in human services and counseling program at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, KY.
Elizabethtown Community & Technical College also provides certificates in the areas of aging services, direct support work, psychiatric mental health technician, and substance abuse recovery coach.
|7||Brescia University||Owensboro||$$$$$||717 Frederica St|
Owensboro, KY 42301-3023
The associate of arts in human services at Brescia University allows individuals to embrace their talents and passion for serving others, and prepares them for careers in human services and social work. Students study case management, information systems, and crisis intervention, along with more general subjects like psychology, biology, and sociology.
A fully accredited institution, Brescia University provides flexible scheduling and affordable tuition rates. Students may transfer as many as 42 credits from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning.
This human services degree online program requires 62 credits to graduate. Upon completion students are prepared to transition into one of the university's bachelor's degree programs, like integrated studies, psychology, social work, or theology.
|8||Coastline Community College||Fountain Valley||$$$$$||11460 Warner Ave.|
Fountain Valley, CA 92708-2597
Coastline Community College, located in Fountain Valley, CA, offers an associate of arts in human services degree program fully online. Students complete assignments based on an instructor-defined schedule, and communication, including most exams, occurs via the college's Canvas system.
Coastline Community College also offers an alternative certificate of achievement program, available completely online. This experience provides students with important 21st century skills, offering a more general perspective on how they may best serve the needs of children, adults, and families. This certificate may be helpful for established professionals in people-centered fields, including police officers, firefighters, mental health technicians, nursing home staff members, and military personnel.
|9||Thomas Edison State University||Trenton||$$$$$||111 W State St|
Trenton, NJ 08608
Based in New Jersey, Thomas Edison State University's associate in arts in human services program emphasizes theories of professional practice in the field, while providing in-depth study on cultural diversity and its impact on human services. Prospective students must have at least six months or 800 hours of work experience in the field and are required to submit a resume with their application.
General coursework develops practical skills and knowledge of cultures, and includes topics on written and oral communication, civic engagement, and cultural diversity. More in-depth classes engage theoretical foundations, client population, and other topics relevant to the field of human services. Students unsure about online learning may enroll in a "test drive" course before applying for admission.
|10||Hopkinsville Community College||Hopkinsville||$$$$$||720 North Dr.|
Hopkinsville, KY 42240
Helping individuals take advantage of one of the fastest-growing career fields in the country, Hopkinsville Community College in Kentucky offers a comprehensive associate in applied science in Human Services degree. The program prepares students for a variety of entry-level positions in mental health care, education, and social work, among others. Students study how issues like the criminal justice system, developmental disabilities, family services, and juvenile delinquency impact individuals, families, and communities.
Most students can graduate from this human services online program in two years by taking 15 to 18 credit hours per semester. Hopkinsville makes it easy for associate degree graduates to continue their education in a four-year program in human services, counseling, or various other majors.
In addition to the AAS degree, Hopkinsville Community College offers professional certificates in aging services and substance abuse recovery coaching.
|11||Excelsior College||Albany||$$$$$||7 Columbia Cir|
Albany, NY 12203-5159
With an associate in science in liberal arts (human services) degree from Excelsior College, students are prepared for a wide range of career opportunities in the human services field. Graduates serve as case managers, mental health assistants, elder care professionals, life skills counselors, and many other positions which serve the diverse needs of people.
Located in Albany, NY, the college’s online learning programs provide flexibility to accommodate working adults. Students complete coursework on their own schedules, and the school's low tuition and student fees make it an affordable option.
To complete this human services online degree, students must take 60 credits which cover subjects in the arts and sciences, humanities, natural sciences, and human services. Full-time students typically graduate in two years with full-time study.
|12||Niagara County Community College||Sanborn||$$$$$||3111 Saunders Settlement Rd|
Sanborn, NY 14132
Training the next generation of professionals to meet the ever-changing needs of people in society, Niagara County Community College offers a human services associate in arts degree program. Graduates leave with a strong understanding of modern human services systems, the grief process, professional ethics, and social science research.
To graduate from this human services degree online program, students must successfully complete 64 credit hours. Coursework emphasizes topics like the aging process, working with people who have disabilities, poverty and welfare policy, and human services research. There are also electives in subjects like social work, gerontology, and early childhood education, among others.
While the human services AA program may be completed fully online, there are also online/in-person hybrid courses available. Students may access all online course materials 24/7 from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
|13||Big Sandy Community and Technical College||Prestonsburg||$$$$$||1 Bert Combs Dr|
Prestonsburg, KY 41653
The associate in applied science in human services online program at Big Sandy Community & Technical College prepares students for careers in the health care and social services sectors. Students take a total of 64 credits, with coursework in subjects like group dynamics in the field, the impact of human services on modern society, and foundational skills in professional practice.
This human services degree online program takes, on average, four semesters to complete, although students may choose to attend part time. In addition to the AAS degree, certificate programs are available in aging services, direct support work, psychiatric mental health technician and substance abuse recovery coaching.
Big Sandy's distance learning programs require minimal technology, and students may access course materials from anywhere with internet access. All online classes are the equivalent of the on-campus courses, and are suitable for degree completion or transfer.
|14||Alexandria Technical & Community College||Alexandria||$$$$$||1601 Jefferson Streeet|
Alexandria, MN 56308
Based in central Minnesota, Alexandria Technical & Community College offers an applied science degree with courses in medical terminology, psychology, supportive interventions, public speaking, and more. The program is designed for people already working in the human service field, along with those who would like to transition into a more people-focused career.
Applicants to this human services online degree program must take an Accuplacer placement test at a certified testing center, and an online learning assessment. The latter assesses whether students have the time management abilities, study habits, academic integrity, and access to a computer to be successful in an online learning program.
In addition to the AAS degree, Alexandria Technical & Community College offers a direct service practitioner diploma (or certificate) program. Both programs are part of a joint effort between Alexandria and South Central College, located in North Mankato, Minnesota.
|15||Great Basin College||Elko||$$$$$||1500 College Parkway|
Elko, NV 89801
Through the associate of applied science in human services program at Great Basin College, students receive the academic foundations for successful careers in mental health, substance abuse treatment, corrections, social services, community education, and many others. The human services degree online program offers a blend of theoretical concepts and practical skills, providing a holistic educational experience for students who wish to advance in their careers.
Students may complete 100% of this program online, and cover important subjects like human development, counseling, general psychology, sociology, and how humans interact with one another in different environments. Graduates provide client services, including assessments and interventions, and apply their knowledge into real-world settings. Potential careers with this AA degree include caseworkers, residential counselors, life skills instructors, and social work assistants.
|16||Wayland Baptist University||Plainview||$$$$$||1900 W 7th St.|
Plainview, TX 79072
Wayland Baptist University (WBU) offers a fully online associate of applied science in human services degree. The AAS degree prepares students for careers in human services, and earned credits transfer seamlessly into the university's baccalaureate-level programs.
WBU’s main campus resides in Plainview, TX with nearly 50 locations in the United States. However, students may complete the human services degree online without ever attending a single class in person. The university has an affordable and easy-to-understand tuition and fee schedule, and offers financial aid counseling for those needing financial assistance.
WBU is a private Christian nonprofit institution, and offers a robust academic program emphasizing the development of the whole person. Online students are held to the same high academic expectations as those who attend class on campus.
|17||Owensboro Community and Technical College||Owensboro||$$$$$||4800 New Hartford Rd|
Owensboro, KY 42303
The associate in applied science in human services degree from Owensboro Community & Technical College (OCTC) is designed for those who would like to make a difference in the lives of others. The program combines traditional coursework with clinical experiences, giving students opportunities to apply their skills in a real-world setting.
While some of the graduates of this human services online degree program enter the workforce, others choose to transition into various bachelor's degree programs. In addition to the AAS degree, OCTC offers a direct support work certificate for established professionals looking to take the next step in their human service careers.
Full-time students can complete all online human services associate degree requirements in two years. Most coursework can be completed online, but students may need to attend clinical experiences in person.
|18||Bluegrass Community and Technical College||Lexington||$$$$$||470 Cooper Drive|
Lexington, KY 40506
Located in Lexington, KY, Bluegrass Community & Technical College (BCTC) prepares students to secure entry-level positions at social service agencies and organizations delivering key services to their communities. The human services degree online program offers coursework in fields like gerontology, juvenile delinquency, corrections, family services, and services for people with developmental disabilities.
The AAS degree from BCTC requires 64 credits to graduate, with 16 of those credits devoted to human services courses, such as human resource techniques, group dynamics in the world of human services, and the impact of human services on today's society.
BCTC's Distance Learning program allows students to take courses either by the term or on demand. With the on-demand model, classes are self-paced and allow students the flexibility to complete coursework on their own schedules.
|19||Ivy Tech Community College||Indianapolis||$$$$$||50 W. Fall Creek Parkway N. Drive|
Indianapolis, IN 46208-5752
Ivy Tech Community College offers a comprehensive associate of applied science in human services degree online, which prepares students for careers serving others. Typically completed in four semesters (or two years), the 60 credit program covers a range of subjects, including public speaking, psychology, public service, interviewing and assessment, and ethical issues in human services.
Coursework in this associate degree in human services may be completed mostly online, although some on-campus classes may be required. The college encourages prospective students to speak with an academic advisor to learn more about these requirements before applying for admission. All online and video-based courses are conducted via Blackboard, which students may access 24/7.
|20||Elizabethtown College School of Continuing and Professional Studies||Elizabethtown||$$$$$||One Alpha Drive|
Elizabethtown, PA 17022
Elizabethtown College School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers an accelerated associate of science in human services degree online that enables students to quickly complete all program requirements. Designed for adult learners, students take one five-week course at a time as they work their way through the program. Those with personal and professional obligations will find this program particularly convenient.
Coursework in this online human services associate degree program provides students with a holistic educational experience. Individuals take classes in the power of language, cultural heritage, international studies, and race and ethnic relations.
This degree program prepares graduates to advance in their service careers, while the college makes it easy for AA graduates to continue into a bachelor's degree program.
A strong human services program develops empathetic and disciplined social workers capable of using a variety of strategies to improve the quality of life of the people they work with. These schools provide more than just career preparation: they teach students how to get along with people from all walks of life and how to help those in need.
Human services graduates can work in a number of different jobs. Many go on to be family counselors, substance abuse counselors, probation officers, child advocates, crisis intervention counselors, social work assistants, juvenile court liaisons, elderly care assistants and rehabilitation caseworkers. Professionals in the field report earning an average salary of roughly $30,000 per year. More importantly, they consistently report a high degree of job satisfaction, a feeling that stems from challenging and rewarding work.
In order to make a quick transition into the field, students should get as much hands-on supervised training as possible while they’re still in school. Many programs arrange individual internships and shadowing opportunities for distance learners, and you can take this time to assess how you’ll use your skills once you graduate. These internships can also help you decide whether you’re ready to enter the field, or if you’d be more comfortable continuing your education in a bachelor’s program.
Ultimately, a human services degree offers you an opportunity to enhance the lives of others in a professional capacity. If you’ve always wanted to help people for a living, consider pursuing an associate degree. A quality program thoroughly prepares students for the field, and studying online will help you get certified as quickly as possible, without requiring you to drop other obligations.