Explore our MS in Human Services Disaster, Crisis, and Intervention specialization
Whether it’s an act of nature or an act of terror, effective crisis management leaders are needed to curtail the effects of the disaster and implement relief efforts. This specialization focuses on theories and strategies to meet the needs of individuals, families, and communities in crisis. You will explore common reactions that communities share following a disaster and the psychological and behavioral disorders individuals can develop as a result. Coursework will allow you to gain an understanding of how different counseling practices are used to help individuals overcome the disorders. You will examine how to analyze a crisis at both a local and regional level and apply your knowledge to design a crisis plan to prepare for future emergencies.
Demand for professionals trained in this relatively new discipline is anticipated to be high, as evidenced by the number of job openings in crisis management and emergency planning.
- 53 quarter credits
- Foundation course (3 cr.)
- Core courses (25 cr.)
- Elective/specialization courses (20 cr.)
- Capstone (5 cr.)
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.
Foundation of Graduate Study in Human Services
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to Walden University and to the requirements for successful participation in an online curriculum. It provides a foundation for academic and professional success as a scholar-practitioner and as a social change agent. Topics include the relation of the mission and vision to professional goals; development of the program of study and Professional Development Plan; strategies for online success; introduction to the online library; and introduction to critical thinking, professional writing, and academic integrity. Course assignments focus on practical application of writing and critical-thinking skills and the promotion of academic excellence.
The Advanced Human Services Professional Practitioner in a Changing World
As leaders, advanced human services professional practitioners can inhabit many roles: generalist, planner, advanced case manager, advocate, humanitarian, and outreach worker. Throughout this course, students try on these roles in response to authentic human services scenarios in settings within a fictional community. In each scenario, they observe advanced human services professional practitioners applying role-specific strategies, approaches, and theories to help service users. Students also assess their current knowledge, skills, and abilities in relation to each role, as well as the values and experiences they bring to the profession. By the end of the course, students develop and refine a professional identity statement as a leader in the human services profession and examine self-care strategies relevant to the work of an advanced human services professional practitioner.
Assessment and Motivational Interviewing
Advanced human services professional practitioners frequently work with service users who are experiencing crisis and are in need of assessment to determine their level of care and to assist them with establishing and achieving goals. In this course, students develop motivational interviewing skills to help service users identify and self-motivate to achieve the goals they desire. Students apply motivational interviewing skills, such as open-ended questioning, affirming, reflective listening, and summarizing, to authentic human services case studies in the context of assessment. Students also have an opportunity to develop supervisory skills by providing constructive feedback on their peers' motivational interviewing and assessment skills.
Cultural Humility and Diversity
Students in this course examine the theory, philosophy, and practice of working with diverse populations, with a focus on the interplay between individual and unique cultures within societies and organizations attempting to move toward equality and cultural humility. They explore cultural issues and ethics related to economic disparity, power, privilege, and social justice. Students also explore the complex social, political, and related ethical challenges advanced human services professional practitioners face as they seek to meet the needs of diverse populations. Applying concepts presented in the course, students engage in in-depth assessments of emerging or persistent ethical or social justice issues, through which they demonstrate their ability to empower, support, and connect service users with community resources. Throughout the course, students engage in readings, case studies, and practical assignments to build skills to work in multicultural environments and participate in an immersive experience with a specific culture to further develop their cultural humility.
Applied Research and Evaluation Methods
Organizational credibility, community trust, and fund-raising are increasingly dependent upon demonstration of program effectiveness and success. Students in this course are introduced to research and evaluation methods in the public and nonprofit sectors. They examine the strengths, limitations, and threats to validity; models, quantitative metrics, and tools used to evaluate programs and policies; and legal and ethical issues associated with research and evaluation methods. Students are asked to critically evaluate sample research using these parameters.
Crisis, Trauma, and Disaster Response
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the personal and systemic impact of crises, disasters, and other trauma-causing events on individuals, couples, families, and communities. Students examine theories and response models as they relate to sexual trauma, crisis in individuals and families, crisis in the community, and crisis in the nation and in the world. They explore topics including crisis assessment, counselor competencies, vicarious trauma and countertransference, specific related diagnoses, and advocacy. Students consider cultural, legal, and ethical issues related to crisis, trauma, and disaster events and response.
In this course, counselor educators learn the fundamentals of crisis management and crisis leadership. In addition, students develop an understanding of the theories and models related to crises, disasters, and other trauma-causing events. Students also learn about ethical, legal, and diversity considerations in crisis and trauma response. By the end of the course, students understand models for training and supporting other counselors in the areas of crisis response applicable to community, national, and international crises. Students develop a crisis management plan for their own community.
Psychology of Terrorism
Students in this course examine the history, philosophy, and techniques of terrorism as well as countermeasures to terroristic threats to public safety. Topics include aspects of international and domestic terrorism with an emphasis on terrorism's roots, viewed from the broadest possible political, sociological, and cultural perspectives; factors and catalysts attributed to the terrorism phenomenon—including poverty, psychology (e.g., motivational factors, antisocial behaviors), social injustice, oppression, and religion; and the impact of media and technology in aiding and countering terroristic activities.
Grant writing is a highly marketable skill that requires many nonprofit, educational, and community organizations to secure external funding to provide needed services to the community. In this course, students will explore the basic skills needed for non-research grant writing, including identifying potential funding sources, creating objectives and a need statement, preparing and justifying a budget, identifying appropriate assessment plans, and writing an executive summary. Through course assignments, students directly apply what they are reading and discussing by writing a full grant proposal based on an actual Request for Proposal (RFP).
Social Change, Leadership, and Advocacy for Human Services Professional Practitioners
This capstone course is the culmination of the MS in Human Services program. In this course, students have the opportunity to demonstrate senior case management skills and their understanding of the responsibility and leadership of the advanced human services professional practitioner to advocate for social change with service users, organizations, communities, and the human services profession. Students also demonstrate methods of advanced human services practice within local, national, and international organizations. Students continue to enhance their professional development plans by preparing for professional opportunities.
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Tuition and Fees
|Tuition||53 quarter credit hours||$495 per quarter hour||$26,235|
|Technology Fee||Per quarter||$160||$800|
*Tuition reflects the minimum time to completion. Time to completion varies by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. Tuition and time to complete may be reduced if transfer credits are accepted, or if you receive grants, scholarships or other tuition reductions. Walden may accept up to 30 transfer credits. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.
Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included and may cost between $1,000 and $1,400.
Many Walden degree-seeking students—67%—receive some form of financial aid.* Create a customized plan that makes sense for you.
*Source: Walden University’s Office of Financial Aid. Data reports as of 2018.Find Ways to Save
To be considered for this master’s program, you must have a bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, from an accredited school and meet the general admission requirements. All applicants must submit a completed online application and transcripts. More information for international applicants.
It was difficult going back to school when I was close to my 50s, but it was worth it.
Monique Allen MS in Human and Social Services Graduate
I chose to continue my education and pursue my MS in Human Services to open more doors for my career.
Robin Worthington MS in Human and Social Services Graduate
Walden’s advisors made me feel comfortable in choosing to attend Walden over other online programs.
Kimberly Dean MS in Human Services Graduate
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