Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree Behavioral Health & Human Services


Program Description


This curriculum is designed for students interested in working with people in need. Students will have the opportunity to study human behavior and human development within the context of the psychological, social and biophysical environments in which people live. They will develop skills needed to work with others both one-on-one and in groups. They will develop the value base from which they will practice and learn the ethical standards of the helping professions. They will learn to appreciate and work in a multicultural environment. As a major part of their study, they will also have the opportunity to work directly with people in need by being assigned two field placements with agencies and institutions in the community.

The curriculum is designed to help students interested in working in a wide variety of helping settings, including: alcohol and drug rehabilitation facilities, behavioral health agencies, geriatric centers and life care facilities, youth centers, criminal justice facilities, schools serving special needs children and youth, and community outreach programs.

Students will be prepared to work as substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, caseworkers, case managers, mental health counselors, health educators, social and human service assistants, and community and social service specialists.

Students in the curriculum are expected to challenge their own values and personal biases as they relate to working with people. This is a personal experience that requires students to engage in activities aimed at raising self-awareness and often requires self-disclosure. Students can expect to encounter a variety of experiences during their course of study that will be personally challenging and require a willingness to be introspective. Above all, students must be open to change.

Special arrangements for students currently employed in behavioral health/human services facilities can be made to enable them to use their place of employment for their two field placement experiences. Final approval for such an arrangement rests with the faculty member(s) in charge of field placements.

The curriculum is designed to prepare students to enter employment after completing the associate’s degree. However, the curriculum is also useful for students who may want to continue their education at a baccalaureate institution. To this end, a number of articulation agreements with four-year colleges and universities exist.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this program graduates will be able to:

  • Discover a stronger professional identity through personal growth experience
  • Develop self within the ethical and culturally sensitive standards of helping
  • Distinguish the major theories that inform multidimensional practice
  • Demonstrate the ability to use common helping skills, critical thinking and communications

Program Entry Requirements:

Students are typically required to take the College’s placement tests at their time of entry. Students identified as needing developmental course work must satisfactorily complete the appropriate English and mathematics courses as a part of their degree program.

Program Of Study And Graduation Requirements:

The BHHS curriculum is a coherent program of study for students. The mix of curriculum-specific and general education courses is designed to give students both academic and practical experience for understanding and working with people in need in our contemporary multicultural society. Students will become familiar with the use of the computer as a tool of their profession. Students must complete two practice placements in a BHHS approved agency. Many agencies will require a criminal background check and child abuse clearance. Students are to complete these forms before signing up for the practicum courses ( BHHS 195 or BHHS 213). Students who do not meet this requirement are limited to agencies not having this requirement, and must meet with the Field Placement Coordinator before signing up for the practicum courses. Students who do not meet these requirements cannot enroll in the practicum courses.

To qualify for the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Behavioral Health/Human Services, students must complete the appropriate 63 credit hours with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (“C” average). All BHHS students must earn a “C” or better in all required BHHS courses. While enrolled in the curriculum, students are to be guided by the values and ethical standards of the helping professions. They are also challenged to participate in a process of self-discovery and growth. Students whose behavior is viewed as inconsistent with professional standards may be dropped from the curriculum pending the results of a departmental hearing.

Behavioral Health/Human Services Course Sequence

First Semester

  • ENGL 101 - English Composition I
  • BHHS 101 - Introduction to Behavioral Health and Human Services
  • CIS 103 - Applied Computer Technology*
  • BHHS 105 - Introduction to Group Dynamics
  • BHHS 111 - Introduction to Helping Skills

Second Semester

  • ENGL 102 - The Research Paper
  • BHHS 103 - Human Development and Behavior in the Social Environment
  • BHHS 194 - Case Management Practice
  • BHHS 195 - Practicum in Behavioral Health and Human Services I**
  • Social Science Elective
  • Humanities Elective

Third Semester

  • BHHS 212 - Resolution-Focused Helping Skills
  • Social Science Elective
  • General Elective***
  • BHHS 213 - Practicum in Behavioral Health and Human Services II**
  • BHHS 106 - Analysis of Group Participation

Fourth Semester

  • BHHS 293 - Family and Relationship Counseling
  • Mathematics Elective (MATH 118 or higher)
  • Science Elective
  • General Elective***
  • General Elective***

*Students with computer skills may apply for credit by exam through the Computer Technologies Dept.

***Students should choose General Electives in consultation with an advisor. Students who wish to earn one of the Certificates listed below are advised to use their General Electives to take courses required for that Certificate.

General Education Requirements:

All General Education requirements are met through required courses (as indicated above) except for the Writing Intensive requirement and Interpretive Studies requirement. Therefore, in order to graduate, students in this program must choose one course that is designated Writing Intensive and one course that is designated Interpretive Studies. The same course may be used to fulfill both requirements.

Last updated Jan 2018

About the School

Welcome to Community College of Philadelphia, where more than 685,000 individuals have embarked on their path to possibilities since 1965. We serve a diverse population of students, from recent high s ... Read More

Welcome to Community College of Philadelphia, where more than 685,000 individuals have embarked on their path to possibilities since 1965. We serve a diverse population of students, from recent high school graduates starting here on their path to a bachelor's degree, to adults looking to change careers. Read less