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Social Service Assistant (A.A.S.)

A social service assistant helps social workers, psychiatrists, nurses, and healthcare workers by investigating the needs and eligibility for benefits of clients. When necessary, an assistant makes arrangements for transportation and offers emotional support. Students enrolled in this program will have the foundational knowledge and skills to assist with developing, organizing, and conducting programs to prevent and resolve problems relevant to substance abuse, human relationships, rehabilitation, or dependent care.

Our Social Service Assistant degree provides the foundational knowledge of developing the communication and critical thinking skills necessary to deliver basic services within diverse populations in the areas of behavioral health, family services, and/or substance treatment programs. Students will be introduced to psychological and sociological theories, ethics within the helping profession, and encouraged to explore cultural sensitivity based on self-reflection.

The curriculum focuses on preparing students with introductory-level competencies and skill levels to gain a perspective on working with the whole person in relation to that person’s environment. Graduates will be ready to work in public and private social service agencies and organizations.

Requirements & Course Sequence

Program Objectives

  1. Identify the values of the helping professional at an introductory level.
  2. Demonstrate a basic set of helping skills for entry level employment in the field of addictions counseling (i.e. interviewing skills, monitor/record client progress).
  3. Assess lifespan development in a multicultural context, and the significance of intersections of people and their environments.
  4. Demonstrate cultural sensitivity, critical thinking, and ethical characteristics of a helping professional.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to work with diverse populations.

Transfer Opportunities

Your ability to start here and earn a bachelor’s degree anywhere makes Penn Highlands the right college choice. Plus, you will save thousands of dollars. Be smart, and get your associate degree with us before transferring on to something greater.

Penn Highlands has signed transfer agreements to continue your studies in Social Service Assistant with:

  • Seton Hill University

Ready? Schedule a visit to discuss your future. Transfer options are different based on the college you plan to attend; our team can help you determine the right path for what you are looking for.

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Program available at the following locations:
  • Online Only (With programs that are fully online, some classes may be offered at our physical locations.)