Best Online Associate in Human Services Degree Programs

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
1Niagara County Community CollegeSanborn$$$$$3111 Saunders Settlement Rd
Sanborn, NY 14132
(716) 614-6222

Niagara's online human services associate degree program prepares students for careers in social work. While some graduates pursue their bachelor's in the field, many find immediate employment in early childhood centers, elderly care facilities, substance abuse treatment centers or government organizations. While everyone takes the same core classes, Niagara's flexible curriculum allows distance learners to customize their schedule as they complete their online associates degree in human services.

  • Courses are available entirely online, including internship electives, through the Blackboard learning management system.
  • Faculty members emphasize teaching loss and grief from a counseling perspective.
  • Students must complete 64 credits to graduate with an online associate degree in human services.
2Ivy Tech Community CollegeIndianapolis$$$$$50 W. Fall Creek Parkway N. Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46208-5752
(317) 921-4800

The online associate degree in human services program at Ivy Tech caters to students interested in counseling and social service careers. Students are equipped with the skills to manage the psychological, social and environmental needs of people of all ages. Ivy Tech embraces hands-on learning, and all graduates are expected to complete at least two internships during their time in the program. Most coursework is conducted through Blackboard, including online lectures, videos and exams.

  • Internships are arranged through agencies in collaboration with Ivy Tech.
  • Students may specialize in coursework related to children, the elderly or substance abuse.
  • About half of Ivy Tech's graduates pursue a four-year degree.
3Ocean County CollegeToms River$$$$$College Drive
Toms River, NJ 08754-2001
(732) 255-04002804

Ocean County’s public services degree allows students to pursue careers in the rewarding field of human services. Upon completing their general education requirements, students are allowed to specialize in addictions counseling, child care, developmental disabilities, fire science or social work. The school uses Pearson Learning Studio to facilitate their distance learning program. Pearson allows students to register for classes, communicate with faculty and access course materials.

  • Fire science electives cover the basics of fire protection, firefighting, fire prevention and administrative duties in order to prepare students for careers as firefighters.
  • Students must complete an in-person internship relevant to their specialization.
  • Students also have the option to focus on government and public administration roles through political science electives.
4Horry-Georgetown Technical CollegeConway$$$$$2050 Highway 501 East
Conway, SC 29526
(843) 347-3186

HGTC's online associate degree in human services program prepares students for careers in a range of human service positions. The curriculum introduces distance learners to counseling theory, crisis intervention, behavior modification and rehabilitation. Students interested in progressing directly to the field are qualified for work in substance abuse treatment programs, child care, mental health centers, group homes and elderly care facilities. HGTC’s uses Desire2Learn to facilitate their online courses. Here, students can check their grades, access discussion forums and view all course materials.

  • Students must pass a criminal background check by the end of their first semester.
  • Upon completing their degree, students may transfer to baccalaureate programs at Coastal Carolina University and Limestone College.
  • Students participate in a supervised field placement in their fourth semester to gain in-person experience in their elective.
5South Central CollegeNorth Mankato$$$$$1920 Lee Blvd
North Mankato, MN 56003-1920
(507) 389-7200

SCC's program in community social service prepares graduates for work in health, human service and education. The program includes coursework in physical development support, facilitating positive behavior, interventions, basic nursing and social work. SCC’s certificate, diploma and degree offerings provide a solid foundation for students interested in going straight to work or transferring to other institutions. All online materials are hosted on SCC’s own Online Student Lounge, which supports lectures, exams and discussion forums.

  • Graduates receive “Designated Coordinator” status, and can work in supervisory and middle management roles in most human service fields.
  • SCC offers the only social service program in Minnesota with transfer possibilities to most state colleges and universities.
  • Local students can take some courses in-person at the Faribault and North Mankato campuses.
6Bismark State CollegeBismarck$$$$$1603 Edwards Ave.
Bismarck, ND 58506-5587
(701) 224-5400

The human services associate degree online program at BSC prepares students for entry-level employment in most social service industries. Designed with flexibility in mind, students are encouraged to tailor the curriculum to suit their interests and career goals. Upon graduation, distance learners can work in schools, welfare agencies, group home settings, community organizations and geriatric services. All online resources and materials are available through the North Dakota University System's own web platform, which offers 24/7 online tech support for all students.

  • Graduates learn to provide emotionally stable and flexible help.
  • An in-person internship with a human service provider is required to complete the program.
  • Although the program does not directly prepare students for bachelor's programs, students may work with a counselor to customize their courses to meet prereqs at a four-year school.
7Alexandria Technical & Community CollegeAlexandria$$$$$1601 Jefferson Streeet
Alexandria, MN 56308
(320) 762-0221

The human services practitioner program is designed for working professionals who would like to advance their careers and enhance their skillset. The program is specifically centered around community support for people living with disabilities. Most coursework focuses on facilitating positive behavior, interventions, developmental support, psychology, welfare services and child care. With the exception of an internship, all coursework and exams are available on Distance Minnesota, ATCC’s preferred web platform for distance learning.

  • This is a collaborative program between ATCC and South Central College, with each school offering different courses through Distance Minnesota.
  • Local students may attend some courses on campus.
  • The internship requires students to pass a criminal background check prior to admission.
8Columbia College - MissouriColumbia$$$$$1001 Rogers Street
Columbia, MO 65216
(573) 875-8700

In order to meet the rapidly growing demand for social work professionals, Columbia College offers a human services associate degree online. Though their training at CC, students may pursue careers in public policy, parole offices, advocacy and the federal government. The curriculum values empirical knowledge and a practical curriculum. Online materials are hosted through Desire2Learn. Here, students can find assignments, exams, notes, lectures and much more.

  • All courses are eight weeks long, allowing students to take several classes each semester.
  • Coursework covers humanities, sociology and anthropology as they pertain to human services.
  • Due to increasing demand, CC now offers an online baccalaureate program in human services as well.
9Franklin Pierce UniversityRindge$$$$$40 University Drive
Rindge, NH 03461-0060
(603) 899-4000

Franklin Pierce's human services program introduces students to counseling techniques applicable to people of all ages and backgrounds. The curriculum includes courses in psychology, sociology and social work, and it provides students with a variety of problem solving strategies. Coursework also focus on race and ethnic relations to equip students with the appropriate knowledge for understanding cultural roles in social development. Online coursework is available through FPU’s eCollege.

  • Students living near campus may choose to attend some classes on-campus.
  • Graduates are eligible to pursue a bachelor’s degree in human services through FPU online.
  • FPU also offers a certificate in human resources program.
10Great Basin CollegeElko$$$$$1500 College Parkway
Elko, NV 89801
(775) 738-8493

Graduates of GBC's online human services associate degree programs excel in client interaction and development. The school prepares students for employment in mental health centers, substance abuse treatment clinics and community health organizations. Some courses require students to shadow social work professionals, teaching them to practically apply the skills they learn in class. GBC uses Canvas to host online lectures and other distance learning materials.

  • Entry-level human services courses do not have prerequisites.
  • With the exception of practicum courses, students may enroll in and begin classes at anytime.
  • Students may tailor their curriculum to specialize in substance abuse counseling and training.
11Brescia UniversityOwensboro$$$$$717 Frederica St
Owensboro, KY 42301-3023
(270) 685-3131

Brescia's online human services associate degree program prepares students for entry-level positions in social services, mental health facilities and developmental social institutions. Coursework teaches students how to work with people from diverse cultural backgrounds in counseling and case management situations. Outside of general education requirements, most coursework focuses on social work, sociology, psychology and biology. This degree may be completed entirely online through BU’s Learning House platform.

  • Upon completing their associate, BU allows students to seamlessly apply their credits to an online bachelor’s program in social work, psychology, theology or integrated studies.
  • Students may begin coursework in January, March, May, August or October.
  • Students must complete 63 credits to graduate.
12Elizabethtown College School of Continuing and Professional StudiesElizabethtown$$$$$One Alpha Drive
Elizabethtown, PA 17022
(717) 361-1333

The human services associate degree online at EC provides students with the fundamental skills and concepts needed for employment in various social work positions. Courses range from basic graduation requirements to specializations in marriage counseling, welfare programs, addiction disorders and rehabilitation. Students are encouraged to work with advisors to build a curriculum that matches their career goals and academic interests. Online materials are delivered through Canvas: here, students find lectures, class assignments and other digital materials.

  • Students wanting to specialize in substance abuse treatment may be interested in pursuing the addictions counseling major.
  • Graduates are prepared for work in entry-level positions that do not require licensing.
  • Local students may sign up for evening courses at one of Elizabethtown's four campuses.

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.

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