College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Human Services (HSV)

HSV 490   Portfolio and Synthesis 2 credits

This final course is designed to help learners reflect on all they have done in the BA program. Through guest speakers, research study, and reflection on practice, students will synthesize all they have learned. Preparation of a professional portfolio will cap the learning experience.

HSV 500   Human Services 3 credits

This course explores the roles and responsibilities that human service professionals perform in delivering services to clients with behavioral health issues in criminal justice and forensic behavioral health settings. This initial course will provide an interdisciplinary view of human services across numerous settings, including social work, case management, child protective services, domestic violence and homeless shelters, substance use and behavioral health treatment centers, first responders, courts, and community supervision. Students will (a) become acquainted with evidence-based non-clinical assessment and intervention techniques, (b) match common community-based resources to client needs, and (c) enhance communication, problem solving, and advocacy skills to employ on behalf of clients.

HSV 510   Family Violence, PTSD & Trauma 3 credits

This course will provide an in-depth look at the relationship between family violence, child maltreatment, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and various forms of trauma and their impacts on global functioning. It will explore risk factors and warning signs associated with family violence and other forms of maltreatment. Students will analyze the direct and indirect impacts of violence and abuse on the victims and other family members. Students will identify victim-offender typologies and explore the impact of substance use and behavioral health in cases involving family violence. Current intervention strategies and available community resources for those affected by family violence and other traumatic events will be included.

HSV 515   Research Methods in Human Services 3 credits

This course will provide students with the skills to critically evaluate research on issues in the field of human services. Students will learn how to apply empirical research to their decision-making with clients, including the dynamics of problem solving and the development of creative and efficient solutions. Students will build quantitative and qualitative analysis skills in the application and critique of research methodology (i.e., design, data collection, analysis, and interpretation) in the field of human services.

HSV 525   Ethical and Legal Considerations in HumanServices 3 credits

This course focuses on the ethical and legal considerations that human service professionals encounter in their daily job duties. Topics include ethical and legal issues such as confidentiality, mandated reporting, consent and release of information, duty to warn, domestic violence, orders for protection, and harassment, especially how such issues come into play for clients with histories of self-harm, family violence, and other forms of violence. Students will learn the use of ethical decision-making frameworks and discuss the dangers faced while working in human service settings and ways to minimize potential liability. Students will explore the potential roles of human service professionals as witnesses in court cases. Students will be equipped to make ethical decisions and properly document practices in the field of human services.

HSV 535   Psychopathology in Human Services 3 credits

This course will examine the most common behavioral health conditions observed in human services populations, and their assessment and treatment. Topics include Serious and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI) conditions, personality disorders, substance-use disorders, and childhood disorders. Students will learn the risk factors and key clinical features associated with each disorder and explore the impact of substance use, traumatic brain injuries, and pre-natal substance exposure on mental health symptoms. Evidence-based intervention and treatment strategies deemed most effective with human services and forensic behavioral health populations will be included.

HSV 543   Foundations in Trauma and Stressor Related Disorders 3 credits

Trauma- and stressor-related disorders (e.g., reactive attachment disorder, disinhibited social engagement disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder, and adjustment disorders) are a collection of serious and complex psychiatric conditions that develop in some individuals following traumatic or stressful life event exposure (e.g., adverse childhood experiences, complex and developmental traumas, manmade and natural disasters, interpersonal and community violence, car accidents, painful medical procedures, etc.). This course is designed to increase understanding of the causes, characteristics and symptoms, consequences, comorbid disorders, and differential diagnostic issues of trauma-and stressor-related disorders in order to promote trauma-informed approaches and practices within human service, criminal justice, forensic behavioral health, telehealth direct support, and other allied field settings. This course will emphasize communication, screening, and intervention strategies appropriate for client-based populations living with these disorders. A section of this course will also examine the impact these disorders have on special needs populations (e.g., autism, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, traumatic brain injury, and serious and persistent mental health disorders). Empirically-based research findings and case study examples will be discussed throughout this course.

HSV 543`   Found Trauma Stressor Disorder 3 credits

HSV 548   Neurobiology of Trauma and its Impact on the Developing Brain 3 credits

Early-life exposure to trauma (e.g., adverse childhood experiences and complex trauma) and toxic stress can significantly alter structural and functional brain development and contribute to lifelong cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and physical impairments. This course will examine the impact prenatal (e.g., alcohol and other substances in utero, nutritional deficiencies) and postnatal (e.g., neglect, abuse, poverty, placement instability) traumas have on child brain development. Emphasis will be placed on topics including attachment, executive function, Theory of Mind (ToM), social-emotional processing, and language development. A section of this course will also examine the role and impact trauma and adversity have on stress hormone functioning and how this can lead to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis) dysfunction. Trauma-specific interventions and approaches supporting positive children's brain development following exposure to adversity will be discussed during this course in order to promote and increase competency around the provision of trauma-informed care (TIC).

HSV 555   Special Populations in Human Services 3 credits

This course will explore underserved and disadvantaged individuals who are involved in the field of human services. Topics include vulnerable children and adults, individuals impacted by intellectual, learning, neurocognitive, and neuropsychological deficits, and those diagnosed with serious and persistent behavioral health disorders. Special attention will be given to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Traumatic Brain Injuries, Wernicke Korsakoff Syndrome, and trauma. Student will examine the role of institutions such as forensic state hospitals and veteran, dependency, adult and juvenile justice court systems. Students will be equipped to identify and better understand the special populations that are found in criminal justice and forensic behavioral health settings.

HSV 560   Substance Use and Co-Occurring Disorders 3 credits

This course provides an overview of substance use disorders and the most commonly abused substances in human service populations. Students will learn how to identify commonly abused substances, recognize patterns and warning signs associated with substance use, and identify evidence-based intervention and treatment approaches. This course will explore the impact that substance use has on brain development, behavior (e.g., violence), and the family system. Assessment criteria and screening practices for clients with comorbid substance use and behavioral health disorders are included. Topics include other complicating factors including chronic medical issues, developmental disabilities, and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Students will be equipped to recognize substance use disorders in human service populations and more effectively assist clients with substance use disorders.

HSV 561   Forensic Behavioral Health Aspects of Trauma 3 credits

Trauma histories are common among persons involved in the criminal justice system (e.g., intervention, detainment, arrest, confinement, and probation), legal (e.g., criminal trials and problem-solving courts), and forensic (e.g., forensic behavioral health and forensic state psychiatric hospital) settings. When such issues have not been appropriately identified and managed, impacted individuals are at an increased risk of exhibiting traumatic stress reactions (e.g., irritability, aggressiveness, avoidant behaviors), which may contribute to counterproductive outcomes such as self-destructive behaviors, poor impulse control, and an increased risk of antisocial and criminal behavior. This course will examine the implications trauma exposure has on persons and family structure involved in these various systems with the goal of increasing awareness and understanding of the importance of utilizing trauma-informed approaches and practices when working with criminal justice and forensic behavioral health populations. Emphasis will also be placed on the role, and impact trauma has on juvenile and adult legal proceedings (e.g., competency to stand trial, criminal responsibility, and sentencing) as well as on children involved in child welfare and protection matters (e.g., child maltreatment, allegations of abuse, termination of parental rights, foster care placement).

HSV 565   Sexual Offending 3 credits

This course introduces the theories and research behind why some clients engage in and justify inappropriate sexual behaviors. Topics include types of sex offenders, risk factors, statistics associated with sex offending, sex offender-specific policies (i.e., registries and civil commitment of SVPs), and sex offender treatment options. Co-morbid conditions and diagnostic criteria that are often associated with sex offending will be highlighted. Students will learn about sex offender-specific risk assessment tools along with their strengths and limitations.

HSV 566   Risk Assessment in Human Services 3 credits

This course introduces students to different types of risk assessments (e.g., actuarial and structured professional judgment) used with adolescents and adults in the human services arena. Topics will include in-depth exploration of risk approximation as it relates to self-harm, future violence, familial violence, sexual predation, and trauma exposure. Students will become familiar with the intended use, potential for misuse, and limitations accompanying varied risk assessment tools and methods across different settings. Students will explore the theoretical and research findings that guide the development, selection, and implementation of risk assessment procedures that are relevant to the specific referral question and case. Students will be equipped to select, rate, and utilize information gathered from risk assessment instruments in the field of human services.

HSV 567   Trauma and its Impact on the Family System 3 credits

Trauma and other adverse life events can impact entire family systems, resulting in significant distress for all immediate and extended members. Regardless of the type of trauma experienced (e.g., intergenerational trauma, parental abuse or separation, death of a loved one, collective trauma, witnessing a traumatic event, etc.), the adverse effects can be wide-ranging, long-term, and contribute to a host of social, emotional, behavioral, and physical health challenges. When such issues have not been properly identified and supported, impacted families are at an increased risk of attachment and communication breakdowns, conflict, separation, and familial violence. This course will examine the implications trauma exposure has on families involved in criminal justice, forensic behavioral health, and human service settings. Strengthening family resilience and Trauma-specific interventions and approaches to support those impacted by trauma and adversity will be discussed during this course to promote stability, increase resilience, and heal within the family system.

HSV 578   Trauma Informed Practice, Self-Care, & Resilience Strat for Human Service & Teleconsulting Care Prof 3 credits

Professionals working within various criminal justice, forensic behavioral health, and human service settings are frequently exposed to traumatic and stressful contexts. As such, it is imperative for professionals employed in these settings to practice ongoing self-care and maintain a high level of resilience. This course focuses on examining ways for professionals, including practitioners who provide teleconsultation services and organizational leaders, on building resilience and self-care practices (e.g., incorporating deep breathing, meditation, sleep, nutrition, work-life balance, limiting media and screen time exposure, etc.). Emphasis will be placed on topics including burnout, secondary and vicarious trauma, and compassion fatigue. A section of this course will also review the psychophysiology of resilience, stress, empathy, validation, joy, gratitude, happiness, and sleep and the implications these topics have for the helping professional.

HSV 585   Cultural Awareness and Understanding for the Human Service Professional 3 credits

This course provides the foundational knowledge and increases the awareness and skills that contribute to culturally competent practice in human services. The course will sharpen the critical thinking skills necessary for cultural competency as it highlights the intersection of cultural diversity, behavioral health, and criminal justice involvement. The course will also build self-awareness of cultural identity and how this can affect the provision of human services. An in-depth look at specific criminal behaviors (e.g., family violence) and how culture impacts these particular behaviors as well as influences involvement with corrections will be explored.

HSV 590   Forensic Behavioral Health Law for the Human Service Professional 3 credits

This course will examine the relationship between behavioral health and the legal system and discuss the various roles that human service professionals can play in the forensic behavioral health law arena. Topics include competency, expert witness testimony, courtroom testimony protocols, and the insanity defense. Case studies and scenarios will be used to enhance the student’s understanding of the law as it relates to the mentally ill. Issues involving mentally ill offenders and developmentally impaired persons who commit crimes be addressed. The stages of a criminal case and exploration of therapeutic courts (i.e., drug, DUI, and mental health) will be included.

HSV 595   Research and Capstone 3 credits

This course is the culminating final project in this program of study. Students will complete a 40-60 page integrative paper on a scholarly topic relevant to the practice of human services in forensic behavioral settings.