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Working adults in human services who want to complete their bachelor’s degree usually have a priority, and very often, that priority is speed. The key advantage of an accelerated human services degree is the ability to earn a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in less time and start your career sooner. Some colleges offer an accelerated bachelor’s degree that takes two and a half years to complete instead of four. The same goes for an associate’s degree in that schooling can be completed in 15 months instead of two years.

Online degree programs were once looked down upon by employers due to the perception that students didn’t get an education that was consistent with an on-campus schooling program. Nowadays, most employers have gotten over that stigma due to prestigious universities and colleges developing degree programs that provide a solid educational foundation.

Methodology: Ranking the Best Accelerated Human Services Bachelor’s Degree

When you’re looking for the best accelerated bachelor’s degree online, human services professionals can look to Bachelor’s Degree Center. BDC editors feature only accredited, legitimate programs, and rank them according to their value, student satisfaction, and alumni salary, using data from IPEDS, College Scorecard, and Niche.

1. Florida State College at Jacksonville

Florida State College at Jacksonville offers a BS in Human Services that is one of the most affordable, accelerated bachelors degree online human service programs by College Choice. Degree candidates seeking a BS in human services from FSCJ must complete 120 credit units, in an average time of twenty months. Coursework in FSCJ’s human services undergraduate program includes issues in domestic violence, aging, and family dynamics, drug awareness, and building stronger families, to name a few.

Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) was chartered in 1966 as a junior college. FSCJ is a 4-year member campus of the Florida College System. FSCJ operates with several campuses in and around the Jacksonville area. Nearly 50,000 students attend classes at Florida State College.

What We Like: Tim McGraw, the famous country music star, attended Florida State College at Jacksonville.

Degree: Human Services, BS

Florida State College at Jacksonville BS in Human Services

2. Ohio University

Ohio University offers a Bachelor’s in Human Services that requires the completion of 120 credit units entirely online. OU’s accelerated bachelors degree online human service program offers degree candidates two concentrations within the Human Services degree – Diversity and Communication, or Leadership and Organization. Coursework includes human relations, group dynamics, diversity, global communities, life planning seminar, stress management, plus an internship in a related field. Students graduate to find rewarding careers as intake specialists, social work assistants, probation officers, or community outreach workers, to name a few.

Ohio University was established in 1804. OU holds the distinction of being the oldest institution of higher learning in the state, with more than 33,000 students attending classes across its campuses. The school’s campus overlooks the Hocking River.

What We Like: The Congress of the Confederation chartered Ohio University the same year the state was adopted.

Degree: Human Services Bachelors

Ohio University Bachelor’s in Human Services

3. East Tennessee State University

East Tennessee State University’s Department of Counseling and Human Services offers a Bachelor of Science degree program in Human Services that includes both a practicum and internship to meet program requirements. ETSU’s accelerated bachelors degree online human service program offers students the opportunity to select a minor from the following topics – Family Studies or Human Development and Learning. ETSU’s undergraduate human services degree program has received accreditation from the CSHSE – the Council for Standards in Human Service Education.

East Tennessee State University was chartered in 1911. East Tennessee State University operates several academic facilities in addition to the main campus in Johnson City, in Elizabethton and Kingsport. More than 14,200 students attend classes on ETSU’s campuses.

What We Like: The Quillen College of Medicine, one of the top medical schools in the country, is hosted by East Tennessee State University.

Degree: Human Services, BS

East Tennessee State University Human Services, BS

4. University of Arizona

The University of Arizona offers a Human Services Bachelor of Applied Science degree that can be complete in three years. U of A’s accelerated bachelors degree online human service program includes coursework like human services, cultural humanity, transitional resiliency, plus a culminating capstone project and an internship. Students graduate prepared to enter the workforce for careers in the areas of social work, counseling, nonprofits, community outreach programs, and social services, to name a few. U of A will consider transfer credits from eligible institutions of higher education.

U of A was established in 1885 under the Morrill Land Act. More than 45,600 students attend classes at this land-grant, space-grant, and flagship campus in Tucson.

What We Like: The University of Arizona holds the distinction of being the first institution of higher learning founded in the Arizona territory.

Degree: Human Services, BAS

University of Arizona Human Services BAS

5. Troy University

Troy University offers a BS in Human Services that can be completed on an accelerated basis. Troy University’s accelerated bachelors degree online human service program prepares degree candidates for careers as residential counselors, client advocates, case managers, adult daycare workers, or substance abuse counselors, to name a few. Coursework for Troy’s undergraduate human services degree includes human behaviors in social environments, diversity, ethics, professional communication, plus a human services internship. Areas of practice include helping veterans, homeless, immigrants, and disabilities, to name a few.

Troy University was established in 1887 as a normal school for teachers. Troy University operates academic facilities in eleven countries and seventeen states, serving more than 18,000 students – including online learners.

What We Like: Troy University is a merger of several schools now under one direction with a unified mission.

Degree: Human Services, BS

Troy University BS in Human Services

6. National Louis University

National Louis University offers a BA in Human Services that offers a concentration in entrepreneurship, long term care, urban policies, aging studies, and leadership. NLU’s University’s accelerated bachelors degree online human service program includes coursework in crisis intervention, human development, multicultural society, populations with special needs, legal issues, family intervention, plus several human service fieldwork experiences. Students graduate from NLU’s undergraduate human services degree prepared for careers as social workers, community support workers, case management assistants, life counselors, or residential counselors, to name a few.

National Louis University was established in 1886 by Elizabeth Harrison to educate teachers for preschool age children. National Louis University consists of four colleges/schools that serve nearly 5,000 in Chicago and Tampa Bay, Florida.

What We Like: National Louis University holds the distinction of being one of the inaugural universities to promote the PTA – the National Parent Teacher Association.

Degree: Human Services, BA

National Louis University BA in Human Services

7. Alfred State College

Alfred State College of Technology offers a BS in Human Services that is available on-campus and online. ASC’s accelerated bachelor’s degree online human service program is also recognized as one of the most affordable in the country. The curriculum for Alfred State College’s undergraduate human services degree includes contemporary social problems, principles of leadership, business ethics, industrial psychology, social policy, plus a 400-hour human services field practicum. Degree candidates enter the workforce as aftercare coordinators, outreach specialists, program planners, residential managers, or quality assurance specialists, to name a few.

Alfred State College was established in 1908. Alfred State College’s campus covers 250+ rural acres and serves more than 3,500 students.

What We Like: Alfred State College is one of the member campuses that make up the State University of New York (SUNY) and affiliated with the Rochester Area Colleges consortium.

Degree: Human Services, BS

Alfred State College of Technology BS in Human Services

8. University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh offers a BS in Human Service Leadership that requires degree candidates to complete 120 semester credits, of which 42 semester credits must be from the human services curriculum. Coursework for UW Oshkosh’s accelerated bachelors degree online human service program includes strategies for human behavior intervention, interpersonal relationships, solutions in human services, grant writing, and legal & ethical aspects of human services, to name a few. Additionally, each student in the undergraduate human services program must complete an advanced, supervised internship of a minimum of 280 field experience hours.

The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh was established in 1871. UW Oshkosh’s urban campus serves more than 13,800 students and covers more than 165 acres.

What We Like: The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh holds the distinction of being the 3rd largest institution of higher learning in Wisconsin and nearly the largest buyer of renewable energy in the state.

Degree: Human Services Leadership, BS

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh BS in Human Service Leadership

9. Colorado Technical University

Colorado Technical University offers a Human Services BS in Criminal Justice that is available entirely online or on-campus. Colorado Technical University’s accelerated bachelors degree online human service program is recognized by US News among the best in the country. Total credit units required to graduate are 183 and include classes like child abuse, ethics for the CD counselor, individual counseling, grant writing, and human service practice in the criminal justice setting, among others.

Colorado Technical University was established as a for-profit institution of higher education in 1965. CTU operates a large online school, plus three campuses in Colorado, Aurora, Colorado Springs (the main campus), and Denver. More than 23,000 students are enrolled in classes at CTU.

What We Like: Colorado Technical University was originally developed to train former military members in vocational and technical fields.

Degree: Criminal Justice: Human Services, BS

Colorado Technical University Human Services BS in Criminal Justice

10. Antioch University

Antioch University offers a BS in Human Services Administration that requires degree candidates to complete 120 credit units to meet program criteria. Antioch’s accelerated bachelor’s degree online human service program includes classes in adult development, organizational behavior, behavioral physiology, child & adolescent development, plus a culminating senior project. Students graduate from Antioch university’s undergraduate human services program and enter the workforce as nonprofit managers, social workers, career counselors, human resource managers, or substance abuse counselors, to name a few.

Antioch University was established as a nonprofit institution of higher education in 1852. Antioch University operates many campuses across the country, including distance learning programs. A few locations of campuses include California, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Washington.

What We Like: The first president of Antioch University was Horace Mann – the renowned US educator who is informally considered the father of the American Public School.

Degree: Human Services Administration, BA

Antioch University BS in Human Services Administration

What are the Advantages of an Accelerated Human Services Degree?

An accelerated program is well-suited for someone who wants to get through their schooling as fast as possible while learning the same material as a traditional 2- or 4-year student. Someone who wants to earn their degree quickly is someone who’s not interested in the campus experience and prefers to focus solely on learning.

Another advantage to the accelerated human services degree is the fact that there are no shortcuts provided by the school in terms of the quality of education. A student on an accelerated degree path is going to receive the same materials and access to classes and teachers the same as a student on a non-accelerated path. A student who earns their degree in under three years is going to have the same educational foundation as a four year student.

There’s no denying that the accelerated human services degree program is high pressure and requires a student to be diligent at all times. For people who enjoy this type of environment and pace, an accelerated degree is an excellent option. Some people prefer to get their work done and over with quickly and aren’t interested in taking the summer off from school.

Going to school year round and getting a degree in less than three years results in employment sooner than the rest of the peers and gives an advantage when it comes to advancing quickly through the career ladder. Plus, less financial aid to pay back means your degree starts paying off quicker.

You can get credit for prior learning, including general education and electives, to finish your online human services degree faster. Your real-world work experience may also earn you some credit. Full-time study and college credits open up your degree options and career opportunities. Find the admission requirements for enrollment in the program of your choice.

What Kinds of Jobs Can I Get with an Accelerated Human Services Degree?

The human services sector is a multifaceted field that has a seemingly endless range of jobs for a human services degree. It should be noted that the sector has a strong preference for hiring people that have a human services degree. Someone without a degree will find it difficult to find employment as this is a field that requires candidates to obtain their skills through education. You might find more jobs for a human services degree than you find ones that don’t have an educational requirement.

Some of the human services degree jobs include positions such as:

  • Case manager
  • Case Worker
  • Child development specialist
  • Nonprofit program coordinator
  • Nonprofit executive director
  • Family court advocate
  • Gerontology
  • Social work
  • Healthcare
  • Mental health services
  • Child Advocacy
  • Community health
  • Community service managers
  • Public administration

These are just some of the jobs for a human services degree. Many job sectors desire a candidate with a human services degree, and will post jobs with a human services degree as a requirement. You’ll find that there’s no lack of human services degree jobs in both the private and public sectors. Oftentimes, these roles can lead to employment in other fields and even working in the political field due to the type of education and skills inferred by the earning of a human services degree.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) human services professionals with a master’s degree make more than those from a bachelor’s program. A doctoral degree is not usually expected.

What if I Don’t Need a Bachelor’s?

If you don’t need or want a bachelor’s degree in human services, you can always opt to earn a human services certificate instead. Earning a certificate in human services is similar to that of earning an associate’s, but requires far fewer hours in school. The amount of time it takes to earn a certificate in human services depends on the school and the requirements of an accrediting body. However, most certificates in human services require successfully completing 18 to 24 credit hours and many certificate programs are time flexible. You can earn a certificate in human services at your own pace or follow the path that’s laid out by the school.

In the event you’re already employed and you don’t have a lot of spare time attend classes on campus, you can earn a human services certificate online. Online human services certificate programs offer the same education as the classroom, although it’s adapted for the online format. Most online human services certificates allow you to learn at your own pace and give you access to the teacher when you need their assistance. You can earn your human service certificate online provided you submit your work by given deadlines and pass your classes to the satisfaction of the educators and the school.

The act of getting a human service certificate online carries the same weight as if the student attended a physical campus location. Employers accept employees who earned a human services certificate online provided that the program is accredited, covers the expected topics and areas of study for the degree, and offers the necessary amount of credit hours for the degree.

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