Although online certificate programs specifically in human services management are rare, those that exist at the undergraduate level provide foundational knowledge in human services managerial issues. Fully online graduate certificates are usually designed for students who already work in the field and desire to advance their knowledge and skills. Some schools may offer online certificates in another field, such as project management, but allow students to focus on its application to human services.
Students pursuing an undergraduate certificate typically do not have to meet any special admission requirements, but prospective graduate students must have a bachelor's degree. Certificate programs at either level usually take no more than a year to complete, depending on the student's enrollment status.
Alternate Fields of Study
Topics covered in these programs include managerial theories, ethical or legal issues, administrative practices, decision-making and program management -- all subjects commonly found in certificate programs in a field of study other than human services management. Those who seek totally online learning may want to consider the following options:
- Certificate in Human Services
- Certificate in Health Care Management
- Certificate in Public Health Administration
- Certificate in Nonprofit Management
- Certificate in Public Sector Management
- Certificate in Project Management
- Business Certificates
- Human Resources
- Business Management
- Business Administration
Online certificate programs in human services management are designed to have coursework similar to on-campus programs. Along with managerial issues, courses may focus on the personal and community health, psychology, sociology and criminology issues that create the need for human services. Discussed below are courses found in other certificate programs that are applicable to the human resources management field.
Health Care Management
Online certificate programs for health care management are typically offered at the graduate or post-graduate level, and include courses on policy, management and health care. Students take classes on systems and policy, health care finances and public administration. They study management principles, change leadership and administrative ethics. Other courses look at biomedical statistics, epidemiology and health informatics. Skills can be applied toward human services at hospitals and allied health facilities.
Many human services are delivered by nonprofit agencies, which may or may not have contracts with state or local government. With strict reporting rules and the almost-constant need for funding, nonprofit management is a demanding field. Graduate-level online certificate programs are offered, and address board development, fundraising, volunteer management and supervisory skills.
Certificate programs held online use a combination of distance learning methods to deliver course material. Students usually log on to a virtual classroom when it is convenient for them to access readings or lectures as well as assignments, such as case studies or assessments. Online discussion boards and course chat rooms are often used to allow classmates and their instructors to interact or work on projects together. On-site requirements are not typical for online certificate programs in human services.
To summarize, online undergraduate and graduate certificate programs in human services management are highly interdisciplinary, integrating social science topics with leadership studies and industry-specific explorations.The online format allows students to complete assignments independently, but virtual classrooms give students the opportunity to communicate and collaborate with each other and their instructors throughout the program.