Human Services Certificate

Oakton's Human Services Program can prepare you for a profession where your ability to support others individually meets systemic changes needed to make society more equitable for all. Skills in facilitating conversations, leading groups and working within a team are a focus in our human services courses and can benefit you in every workplace. Our programs will train you in a multitude of interpersonal and communication skills so that you can start a new paraprofessional job or even change your existing career.

Are you considering a bachelor's or master's degree in social services or social work? Our academic advisors can help you start planning your transfer as soon as you're ready. Starting with a foundation at Oakton will give you the chance to get ahead with the core concepts of human services at a fraction of the cost of a four-year school. Courses in our curriculum can help students develop skills in the following and more:

  • Counseling and interviewing
  • Leading and facilitating groups
  • Psychosocial screening and assessments for various work settings
  • Case management for social determinants of health (SDOH)
  • Developing service and aftercare plans
  • Understanding professional ethics and legal issues

Degree and Certificate

Our program for an associate degree in human services is composed of 60 semester hours, including general education. Completing the degree is an automatic qualification for a certificate and transfer to certain bachelor's programs. Refer to the IAI General Education Courses list for guidance in selecting general courses.

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If you do not wish to pursue degree studies you may complete a human services certificate to prepare for entry-level positions at many social service agencies. The certificate program is 34 semester hours.

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Job Outlook

Employment in community and social service occupations is projected to grow 12 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 346,900 jobs. Most projected new jobs in this occupational group are in counselor and social worker occupations, as their services will continue to be needed in areas such as drug abuse counseling and rehabilitation counseling, and also for school and career counseling. In addition to counselors and social workers, this group includes religious workers.

The median annual wage for community and social service occupations was $47,520 in May 2020, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $41,950.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Potential Careers

• Health Education Specialists and Community Health Workers
• Marriage and Family Therapists
• Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists
• Counselors
• Social and Human Service Assistants
• Social Workers
• Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

Meet Your Faculty and Experts

Our faculty is committed to guiding you down a path toward success with their years of varied experience. In addition to classroom learning, students receive support from our panel of expert advisors.

Bakahia Madison, LCPC
Chair and Professor
M.A. Roosevelt University
Psy.D. Illinois School of Professional Psychology
Office: 2727, Des Plaines

Meet our part time faculty:

Anthony Bertram, LCSW, CADC, CODP
B.C.J. Marian University
M.S.W. Loyola University, Chicago
Office: B206, Skokie

Richard Lyon, M.A., LCPC, CADC, CAMS-II
B.A. Wheaton College
M.A. Wheaton College
Office: B206, Skokie

Carolyn Ransom-Champion, Ed.D, CADC
B.A. National-Louis University
Ed.D, Argosy University, Chicago
Office: B206, Skokie


Cathy Willis
B.A. National-Louis University
M.A. Northeastern Illinois University
Office: B206, Skokie

James D. Eaglin, CADC
Family Behavioral Health Clinic

Edward A. Halverson, CADC
Director of DUI Services
Arlington Center for Recovery

Dr. Karen White, CADC, NCRS, RCT
Chief Executive Officer

Ex-Officio Member:

Bakahia Madison, Psy D, LCPC, CADC
Chair and tenured Professor
Oakton College

Marc J. Battista, MA
Associate Vice President of Workforce Education
Dean of Business & Career Technologies
Oakton College

What's Next?

We are glad you are considering attending Oakton College. No matter where you are in your decision-making process, we are here to help you with your next steps. Whether you're ready to apply now, need information on paying for college or have questions and want to contact someone, we're here to help.

Contact Us