Academics

New changes to the program:

Starting in Fall 2014, the Human Services Program (HMSR) at The George Washington University will be known as the Human Services & Social Justice Program (HSSJ) and will begin offering a revised curriculum. The name change reflects enhancements to the program's strengths and greater foundations in the field of Human Services, including the need for:

  • Professional interpersonal relationships
  • An understanding of the scholarship of community-based work
  • Sociological contextualization of the practice of Human Services
  • Emphasis on leadership and ethics in service
  • Guided opportunities to develop and synthesize theory, research, and practice

The new name more accurately reflects the essence of the program. By adding Social Justice, we make an implicit value and aim in Human Services explicit. Social Justice means the “full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs” (Bell, 2007, p. 1). This vision of Social Justice recognizes the importance of human agency (i.e., self-determination) coupled with a sense of social responsibility (i.e., interdependency), democratic participation in the life and well-being of a society, and the capacity to critically reflect, understand, and intervene in changing oppressive patterns and behaviors in themselves and the organizations to which they belong. Together, Human Services and Social Justice complement and enhance one another by offering an even stronger theoretical base and lens through which to critically analyze the interplay of individuals, organizations, societies, and global systems.

Our courses enable students to:

  • Apply work in the classroom to contemporary social problems
  • Design, analyze, implement, and evaluate social programs and provide service to individuals
  • Work in the community against injustice, discrimination, and poverty, while making a focused impact on the people living here in Washington, DC

Lifelong benefits include:

  • Applied learning, service, and leadership opportunities
  • Development, research and entrepreneurial experience
  • Team building, cross cultural, and interpersonal interaction
  • Enhancement of skill and experience attractive to private sector and non-profit organizations
  • Documented leadership awards
  • Acceptance at top graduate schools
  • A supportive Alumni network

Supervised Experience in Human Services

Course Spotlight: Supervised Experience in Human Services

HSSJ 4133, taught by Professor Morrison offers students an experience-based perspective on human services through fieldwork in a community-based agency or organization, which links independent academic study and experience. Students spend 100 hours at a service site, engage in bi-monthly meetings with Professor Morrison and monthly meeting with their class, and prepare research papers on their topics.

Student Research: Social Inclusion

Student Research: Social Inclusion

Human Services student, Samantha, conducted research to answer the following question: How can social inclusion and an integrated urban community be created and sustained for the future? She found that to create such integration, a combined effort is needed among public education efforts to break down stigmas, community recreational opportunities to create common bonds, and the involvement of a diverse population in the planning process.