Course Offerings in Human Services (HMSR)

Brief descriptions of our course offerings for students who have declared a major or minor in Human Services (HMSR) are listed below. The new Human Services & Social Justice (HSSJ) equivalents can be found on the requirements pages for HMSR majors and HMSR minors. These courses take effect for Fall 2014. Meeting times and locations for these courses, and for courses in other department, can be found on the GW Schedule of Classes. See also the GW Course Bulletin for more information.


HMSR 1177: Human Services/Community: Empowerment for Social Change (3)
Konwerski, Peter

Intended for 1st and 2nd year. Human Services and Community: Empowerment for Social Change is an introductory course to the principles of community engagement and social change. The community offers a laboratory for the study of contemporary issues in philanthropy aimed toward social change. Through readings, observations, and group internships, students participate in various aspects of community service.

HMSR 2133: Supervised Experience in Human Services (3 to 6)
Morrison, Emily

Intended for 3rd and 4th year. This independent study course is modeled after the Issues in Human Services course (HMSR 3152). The intent of this course is to provide students with an opportunity to deepen their involvement in a non-profit or governmental organization that provides either direct or indirect human services work. Students develop, manage, and evaluate learning goals; complete 100 hours of service-learning; conduct a research project; meet bimonthly with professor; and, meet monthly with other students in the course. Students must have taken at least one human service course before engaging in independent work. Admission by permission of program director and supervising instructor.

HMSR 2171: Human Development I (Child Development) (3)
Roberts, Jared

Intended for 1st and 2nd year; open to all. Introduction to Human Development I focuses on child development from infancy to young adulthood. Students will examine dominant psychosocial, cognitive, and physical competencies; motivational changes; coping styles; normative and non-normative behaviors. Three hours weekly field experience in appropriate agency setting.

HMSR 2172: Human Development II (Adult Development) (3)
Roberts, Jared

Intended for 1st and 2nd year; open to all. Introduction to Human Development II focuses on adult development from young adulthood to old age. Students will examine dominant psychosocial, cognitive, and physical competencies; motivational changes; coping styles; normative and non-normative behaviors.

HMSR 2176: Program Development in the Human Services (3)
Kelso, Michelle

Intended for 3rd and 4th year. This course focuses on the program planning and development activities that are essential to human service agencies. Through case studies and on-site field experiences, students analyze processes by which agency needs are assessed and programs planned. The course involves community-based research.

HMSR 2182W: Organization and Administration in the Human Services (WID) (3)
Shrader, Elizabeth

Intended for 3rd and 4th year. This course provides an overview of trends in the U.S. nonprofit sector and, through the lens of grant writing, cultivates students’ ability to analyze the size, impact, flexibility, structure, characteristics, needs and assets of nonprofit organizations. Students will develop and apply management tools such as SWOT analysis, MacMillan matrix analysis, and logical frameworks to understand key nonprofit management concepts and their applicability to nonprofit partner agencies. As part of its service-learning component, students work with DC-area human service organizations to research and write a grant proposal based on the Washington Area Regional Grant makers template.

HMSR 3152: Issues in Human Services (6)
Morrison, Emily

Intended for 3rd and 4th year. This six-credit course is an opportunity for students to develop breadth through research, readings, and class assignments, as well as depth by completing a significant service-learning experience at a professor approved non-profit or governmental organization. The course uses fiction and nonfiction to explore the human condition and human service’s role in effectively addressing inequities and social justice. Students are expected to connect the classroom readings and dialogues with their service work. Students are responsible for securing a site placement (assistance and suggestions are provided by the professor) and completing a total of 192 hours (approx. 16 hrs/wk). In addition, students complete a research paper and work on the BRIDGE Project.

HMSR 4193: Research and Independent Study (variable)
Morrison, Emily

Elective; intended for 4th year. This course is organized into several components and may include the following: monthly meetings (time determined by all in the class), individual meetings with professor, case study, research, independent assignments, and presentations. Seniors seeking Honors, take this course BOTH in the fall and spring. During the Fall semester, students conduct the literature review, design study, and collect data. During the Spring, students analyze the data, draw conclusions, write, present, and lead a dialogue on research with outside readers.

HMSR 4195: Seminar in Human Services: Current Issues (3)
Konwerski, Peter

Intended for 4th year. Analysis of selected issues in human services. Each student conducts an investigation of an identified problem in human services and completes a skill assessment project. This class is only offered in the spring and should be taken the very last spring you are enrolled as a major or minor at GW.

HMSR 4198: Intro to Human Services (3)
Kelso, Michelle

Elective; open to all. This course provides an overview to the issues in human services, ranging from the historical construction of the field through area concentrations such as health, inequality, race and gender with a particular focus on social justice. There is a service-learning component to this class, which assist students in deepening their understandings of organizations working in the field.

HMSR 4198: NGOs in Humanitarian Assistance (3)
Kelso, Michelle

Elective; open to all. The role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in providing service and care for vulnerable individuals and communities in need has been and continues to increase. When natural disasters occur, such as floods or earthquakes, or when armed conflicts break out, NGOs often offer humanitarian assistance to populations at risk. In this class we will look at NGOs as actors in the international humanitarian community by focusing on the development of the NGOs, the place they hold in international interventions, and the types of services they provide. Readings, films, and case studies will allow for an exploration of various forms of intervention from larger to smaller scale NGOs. This course has a service learning requirement, which will allow students to gain experience with a NGO working in these areas.

HMSR 4198: Non-Profit Management (3)
Kelso, Michelle

Elective; open to all. The field of non-profit organizations continues to expand in the United States and elsewhere, making the management of NGOs crucial for their continued development, especially given the current fiscal crisis. We will begin the class by reviewing the structure of organizations and their culture, before delving into how NGOs are managed, case studies and on-site field experiences.

HMSR 4198: The Principles of Ethical Leadership (3)
Whitaker, Roger

Elective; open to all. The Principles of Ethical Leadership course examines the practices and commitments that underlie effective leadership in times of turmoil and uncertainty. We will examine the attributes and behaviors of ethical leaders who successfully increase organizational effectiveness, respectfully engage in multiple perspectives, clarify mission, and enhance shared commitment to organizational purposes. Among specific topics considered: leading teams; leading across generations; leading organizational performance improvements; and, leading a change-ready culture for innovation. With a series of structured exercises and application projects, students will use course materials and discussions to better understand and analyze the leadership of dynamics where they are working during the semester.