Online Master of Science in Human Services program prepares professionals to manage social services agencies.

Saint Leo University is continuing to meet the needs of busy adults looking for flexible graduate programs by offering its successful Master of Science in Human Services degree program online beginning with the Spring I term starting Jan. 9, 2017.

Delivering the high-quality graduate program online offers a flexible way for individuals to pursue advanced education while continuing to meet work and other career and personal responsibilities.

The online M.S. Human Services Administration program is designed for professionals who are already working in the human services field and are looking to obtain the skills and knowledge to advance their careers to the next level. It also meets the needs of individuals looking to transition into a career where they can make a difference in the communities they serve.

Taking one to two courses per eight-week term, students can complete the 36-credit program taking all 12 classes in one year on a full-time basis, or in two years on a part-time basis.

Offered completely online, the program prepares students to administer a human services agency or organization in a variety of fields. Students begin by learning first about the history of human services to fully understand the philosophy of helping people in need and then master practical skills that are needed to succeed in the field. These skills include how to:

  • Obtain grants

  • Organize a private-for-profit or nonprofit organization

  • Develop a 501(c)(3) application

  • Organize and work with a board of trustees

  • Implement a mission statement

  • Develop fundraising and marketing strategies

  • Analyze administrative policies and procedures

  • Coordinate human resource services

  • Understand legal issues

  • Utilize leadership skills

In addition to industry-relevant courses, an optional field placement provides hands-on experience as an administrator with a human service agency.

Applications for Saint Leo's online human services administration program are currently being accepted for the Spring I term. Interested students may apply today or contact a graduate admission counselor at (800) 707-8846 for more information.

In addition to offering the M.S. in Human Services Administration online, Saint Leo also offers the same degree program on-ground at its Savannah center and soon at its Atlanta location. A bachelor's program in human services – considered a generalist degree – is offered on- ground in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia.

Saint Leo's unique teaching approach

According to Dr. Susan Kinsella, dean of the School of Education and Social Services, several features of Saint Leo's online human services administration program set it apart from others offered around the nation.

"Saint Leo has a tradition of teaching students how to become excellent servant leaders," she says, "and this extends from our education, social work and criminal justice programs to our human services administration programs."

For example, students in the M.S. Human Services Administration program learn relevant skills that will enable them to make a real impact in their communities. This includes how to conduct a community needs assessment, identify service-based gaps, develop a for-profit or nonprofit agency, or become a social entrepreneur.

According to Dr. Kinsella, one of the unique features of Saint Leo University's program is the significant real-world expertise and experience human services faculty members bring to the online classroom.

"Our faculty have served as agency directors, supervised professional workers, and managed large and small programs. So they fully understand the day-to-day responsibilities of operating a nonprofit or public agency, be it one serving children, seniors, the homeless, those in poverty or those with mental illness."

Prepared to be social problem-solvers

According to Dr. Kinsella, Saint Leo's unique approach to teaching students how to apply administrative skills to human services agencies will allow graduates to return to their commujnities to offer new solutions to existing social issues.

"Students considering Saint Leo's M.S. in Human Services Administration program can be confident that upon completing the program, they will be well prepared with the skills and knowledge for administration positions in any helping-type agency," she says.

"Whether students intend to work in child welfare and advocacy services or in programs that help with adolescents or seniors – whether they choose public services agencies operated by the government or private organizations such as the Red Cross, United Way or Salvation Army – students will leave this program ready to start making a difference in the world right away."

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