There are several types of four-year degree programs that prepare graduates for careers in community services, including a Bachelor of Science in Family and Community Services, Bachelor of Science in Community, Family and Addiction Services or Bachelor of Arts in Community Services. These programs generally require a high school diploma or GED to apply.
Students may be able to specialize in topics such as family studies, child and youth development, adult development and family systems. Internship programs or practicum experiences are often required or offered in various settings, including early childhood centers, treatment facilities, community centers and family service agencies. Many graduates go on to pursue master's degrees.
Bachelor's Degree in Community Services
Through an interdisciplinary approach, students learn about human development, community involvement, social services and advocacy, while developing research and evaluation skills. Students must fulfill general education requirements with courses including English composition, science and mathematics. Students might be able to choose from elective courses so they can tailor their coursework to suit their career goals. The core curriculum for such a program could include the following topics:
- Family community service program management
- Human service program evaluation
- Family community service programming
- Financial counseling
- Leadership coaching
Popular Career Options
Graduates of bachelor's degree programs in community services can seek employment with non-profit organizations, social services groups, government agencies and other community assistance organizations. Graduates can take on various career roles, including:
- Child advocate
- Service coordinators
- Program directors
- Case managers
- Grant writer
Continuing Education and Certification Information
A student who is interested in pursuing a graduate education within a related field might consider earning a master's degree in a mental health field, substance abuse or in counseling, such as marriage and family therapy. Students could also consider a master's degree in public service, which provides advanced knowledge and additional experience in non-profit, government and service fields.
Upon completion of a bachelor's degree program in community services, individuals can pursue various certifications, such as the Certified Family Life Educator through the National Council on Family Relations or the National Certification in Nonprofit Management/Leadership with the Certified Nonprofit Professional designation from the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance.
Degree programs in community services combine coursework with hands-on internships to train students in a variety of subjects, including counselling, leadership, and program management.