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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What's Next?

Enrolling at Oakton College can save you thousands of dollars and help you earn more over the course of your career. Our tuition is among the lowest in the region, and we offer many ways to bring your costs down even more.

99 percent of Oakton students graduate without debt.

To help you get there, you can apply for a scholarship, which you don’t have to pay back. We award $12 million in scholarships annually. Financial Aid includes grants, loans, and other forms of financial assistance that can reduce your costs of attending college.

We offer payment options that give you control over how you pay. Pay all at once or spread your payments over the course of the semester.

Learn more about your options for paying for your education

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As your community college, we serve students from various backgrounds. We aim to make the application process as easy and as clear as possible for everyone.

We can help you get started on a degree or certificate. Applying to Oakton is fast and easy.

Your first step before you begin your studies is filling out an admission application and completing your enrollment process.

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Meet Your Faculty and Experts Section

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

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