The RHS major prepares students for entry-level positions in a variety of human service settings including agencies serving people with physical, mental, alcohol and other drug, and cognitive disabilities. Students enter employment in a variety of settings such as:
- Programs for children and youth
- Drug and alcohol programs
- Programs for older people
- Community mental health programs
- Programs for people with autism
- Rehabilitation centers
- Corrections programs, including prisons
Graduates will receive a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Rehabilitation and Human Services. All RHS students take a core set of courses that provide the foundation for working in a variety of human service settings including: introduction to rehabilitation and human services, case management, client assessment, group work, counseling skills, community mental health, children and family interventions, medical aspects of disability and courses related to working with people from different cultural backgrounds. RHS students also develop core skills in writing, communication, and critical thinking.
Recent trends in RHS have directed efforts and attention to expanding resources and its amendments for a variety of clients, including people with disabilities. As the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 continues to be implemented, there will be increased emphasis on services to persons with severe disabilities, as well as on independent living, supported employment, and transitional services.
Students in RHS receive a solid foundation of specialized education in the rehabilitation and human services field. As a Bachelor of Science degree, students engage in coursework that focuses on biological functioning. Additional coursework will allow students to learn more about culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, and diversity.
Rehabilitation and Human Services majors are reminded that the degree does not lead to certification for employment in public schools. Neither is it a program for any rehabilitation or human service specialty requiring certification.
The goal of the Rehabilitation and Human Services program is to produce graduates who, during their first few years of professional practice, will be able to perform the following functions or activities at a level appropriate to their baccalaureate degree:
- Demonstrate broad knowledge of disabilities, helping systems, and professional services for disabled individuals and best practices in community inclusion and integration.
- Become an advocate for individuals with disabilities and model self-advocacy practices.
- Demonstrate competences in interpersonal and professional oral and written communication.
- Work effectively as an individual and as a member of a multidisciplinary team.
- Demonstrate awareness of and adhesion to ethics and professional practices.
- Show awareness of social concerns and professional responsibilities in the workplace.
- Continue their professional training and adapt to changes in the workplace through additional formal or informal education.
The learning outcomes describe the units of knowledge and skills that students will have at the time of graduation. Students graduating from the Rehabilitation and Human Services will be able to:
- Accomplish mastery in theoretical models of disability, definitions of disability, barriers present to people with disabilities, systemic challenges and economic disadvantages caused by disability, effects on employment on disabled individuals, and the effects of trauma.
- Demonstrate working knowledge of vocational rehabilitation systems, centers for independent living, transition programs, substance abuse and addiction treatment programs, and other community-based support programs.
- Apply the appropriate principles for community inclusion and integration including, but not limited to, rehabilitation philosophy, client exploration on resources, and collaboration with agencies and related professionals.
- Produce lucid documents, deliver effective presentations, communicate effectively in a professional manner, and possess effective group-facilitation skills.
- Build and use effective teamwork skills and understand cultural diversity within professional ranks.
- Understand the professional, ethical, and social responsibilities of their professional actions, and produce evidence of valuing diversity.
- Demonstrate knowledge of discrimination against disabled individuals, legislative efforts to curtail such discrimination and an understanding of advocacy techniques and resources.
- Demonstrate a working knowledge of ethical codes, malpractice, and the appropriate federal and state regulations.
- Possess the adequate field experience and provide evidence of professional growth during this experience.
- Have a respect for diversity and knowledge of contemporary, professional, societal, and global issues.
- Appreciate the value and necessity for sustained learning within and beyond their discipline.