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Clinton Community College Expands Its Human Services Program

Monday, August 14, 2006

Two new certificate specializations in CCC's Human Services Program-Alcohol & Drug and Early Childhood Care & Development-have been approved by SUNY, announced Assistant Professor Jennifer Waite, the Human Services Program Coordinator. A third new certificate, involving the Advocacy and Resource Center (ARC) and Behavioral Health Services North (BHSN) and called the Direct Support Specialist Program, has also been submitted to SUNY for approval this summer. It involves dealing with people who work in residential centers or group homes.

Since Assistant Professor Waite arrived at Clinton three years ago, the number of course offerings for students in the program has expanded greatly. Thirteen new courses dealing with specific populations and their challenges are now available. The addition of these new certificate programs enables students seeking associate degrees at CCC to specialize and thus better prepare themselves for the job market. As Assistant Professor Waite notes, "The need for competent Human Services professionals is growing. In addition, both individual and community needs have become more complex and often people have multiple difficulties-childcare needs, developmental disabilities, substance abuse struggles, elder care-to address. Here at Clinton, we're training our future professionals to have the multiple and specific skills to deal with these many issues."

At last count, the program had over 60 students pursuing degrees with various specializations. In addition to teaching introductory level courses Associate Professor Waite oversees a group of ten part-time faculty, with credentials and expertise in a wide array of disciplines. The Human Services program partners with local agencies through internships (which provide students invaluable experience, scholarship opportunities, and job contacts). Executive directors of various agencies serve on the CCC Human Services Advisory Committee ensuring that the program maintains its currency in the various fields and disciplines it teaches. Highly respected in her field, Waite belongs to the National Organization for Human Services and is the President Elect for the New York State Human Services Educators Association

Waite works closely with her students, reveling in her role as teacher and mentor. Last year, for example, she was able to have four students participate in the Mid-Atlantic Consortium for Human Services (MACHS) conference in Syracuse, NY. They came away from the conference with increased knowledge of the future of Human Services and skills needed to address individual and community needs. They also experienced meeting and interacting with other human services students from NY, DE, PA, NJ, MD, and Washington, D.C. In the future, plans are in place for CCC to host the annual MACHS conference.

Waite is seeking additional, national accreditation from the Council for Standards in Human Services Education for the Human Services program, further certifying CCC Human Services graduates as Human Services professionals. Fairly new for the field of Human Services, this national accreditation will greatly enhance the educational nature of programs that receive the accreditation. For information on all aspects of Clinton Community College's Human Services program, please contact Ms. Waite at Jennifer R. Waite.