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School of Humanities


Master of Arts in Human Services Administration (MA/HSA)

Course Descriptions


HSA 614  Writing Skills for Human Service Practitioners - 3 credits

This course will help students improve their academic and professional writing skills. By creating and refining a variety of professional documents (proposals, reports, web-based prose, PowerPoint presentations, and academic research), students will learn to write with clarity, conciseness, correctness and conviction.

HSA 649  Tools and Models for Human Service Managers - 3 credits

It is only through effective and efficient management practices that human service agencies can achieve a broad humanistic vision. This course will provide students with a variety of management tools models and perspectives essential for creating and maintaining efficient practices and effective strategies within human services organizations.

HSA 659  Planning and Effecting Community Change - 3 credits

This course examines participatory planning as a systematic process for creating community change. It critically analyzes the sociopolitical context and core concepts of "planning for change," major models and methods of practice, and practical tools for engaging community members, assessing community strengths and needs, setting goals and making action plans, building support and collaborative partnerships for implementation, and evaluation as a participatory community-based approach. Emphasis is placed on working with oppressed groups in racially segregated and economically disinvested areas.

HSA 711  Professional Ethics - 3 credits

The course focuses on the theoretical and historical background of ethics for human services with the primary attention given to philosophical traditions. Approaches to values are distinguished, e.g., philosophical, psychological and interdisciplinary.

HSA 722  Theories of Counseling - 3 credits

The course focuses on theoretical perspectives of helping in a wide variety of human interaction situations. Theories of counseling will be examined and their application to other professional helping relationships will be discussed. Variables related to establishing and maintaining a helping relationship will be examined, e.g., assessment/intervention, rapport building, cultural competence and skill building. The stages of a helping relationship will be explored in class by role-plays, student simulation (case consultation), and problem solving formats. Emphasis is on understanding helping from the perspective of interpersonal dynamics and the components of behavior change.

HSA 731  Group Dynamics, Ethical Issues and Systems Analysis of Group Interaction - 3 credits

The course focuses on theories of group dynamics with respect to styles of leadership and/or facilitation of group context and process, and conflict resolution. Behavior in face-to-face groups is examined along the dimensions of task accomplishment, relationships among group members, and issues of cultural diversity. Ethical questions for groups and the formation of group norms as a values clarification process are considered. The difference between beliefs, attitudes and values will be delineated. Issues of institutional racism, sexism, classism, ageism, ethnocentrism, and homophobia will be examined for their impact upon norm formation. Group dynamics will be explored in a cultural context with the emphasis on valuing diversity and managing conflict. Conceptual tools from systems theory, communications sciences, cultural anthropology, and sociology will be employed to identify and explicit various behavioral patterns within different group settings. Emphasis will be placed upon intra-group and inter-group dynamics, intra-cultural and intercultural communications, as well as linkages between groups and lager social systems.

HSA 743  Social Systems Intervention, Marketing, Managerial Planning and Outcome Assessment - 3 credits

This course will examine various aspects of organizational management and the extension of managerial intelligence to the organization's surrounding community and other salient social systems in the larger macro environment. Concepts and tools will be drawn from systems theory, cybernetics, game theory, communication theory, marketing management, political science, public administration, and organizational outcome assessment.

HSA 744  Research I: Action Research - 3 credits

This first course in the final skills sequence focuses upon the descriptive analysis of data and presentation of findings. This course is a continuation of skills in Social Research & Problem Solving. Skills I Research findings will be analyzed, findings presented, and collusions will be drawn. Additionally, recommendations for future study will be explored. Limitations to methodology will be documented along with implication of these limitations. Students will be introduced to research based social program planning and grantsmanship strategies. Students will also further explore applied research through the introduction of evaluation research theory.

HSA 753 Social Systems Innovation and Change at the Organizational, Community and Societal Levels - 3 credits

This course will focus on the various aspects and implications of planned change, innovation, capacity building, and the analysis of future trends. Change and innovation will be fully explored both within human service organizations and larger social systems. Material from political science, systems theory, organizational development, public administration, social marketing, and public policy will be presented.


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University City Campus
3020 Market St., Philadelphia PA 19104
(215) 590-8233