Health and Human Services (HHS) is one of six major areas in the Social Sciences Interdisciplinary major. It studies the systems delivering human services to individuals and communities in need, the problems affecting those individuals and communities, and the professions and professionals providing services. Within SSC/Health and Human Services students focus their upper level coursework in a specific concentration: early childhood studies (HHS/ECH), community mental health (HHS/CMH), or social gerontology (HHS/GER).
For more information on the community mental health or social gerontology concentration areas of the SSC/Health and Human Services majors please see their individual pages.
The HHS/Early Childhood Studies major explores topics of early child development, education and the mechanisms by which children learn; social institutions that impact child development such as family structures and gender; and methodologies.
Although this major does not lead to a teaching certification, the Social Sciences Interdisciplinary programs major in Health and Human Services/Early Childhood is one of the approved majors for acceptance to UB's Graduate School of Education for early childhood/childhood education.
Upon successful completion of all requirements, the student will have the ability to:
- Identify a range of health and human service professions and their characteristics; understand typical human service (HS) problems and client needs; understand the theoretical foundations of human service intervention
- Understand the foundational principles of two social science disciplines critical to HS intervention
- Understand the methodology of and be able to critically evaluate social science research; propose a research project that would answer a significant research question
- Utilize statistical methods to evaluate data in relation to knowledge claims
- Recognize the effect of human values and cultural diversity on the provision of health HS
- Demonstrate knowledge of child and adolescent agencies and services: knowledge of early childhood development, language development, educational research and practice, family structure/functions, interventions
- Demonstrate personal characteristics and professional skills associated with HS positions
- Develop interview, oral presentation and writing skills necessary in HS fields
The SSC/Health and Human Services/Early Childhood Studies major is designed to offer choice and flexibility in building the program most suitable for individual interests and career goals. There are approximately 240 students enrolled currently in the Health and Human Services – Early Childhood Studies major area.
Courses in the major are taught in both large lecture and small seminar field course formats. Prerequisite and introductory courses for the major typically enroll 40-450 students per class. Intermediate and community mental health courses enroll 40 to 250 students per class.
SSC/Health and Human Services major is housed in 203 Clemens Hall on UB’s north campus. The program holds classes in centrally scheduled space throughout the campus, which includes traditional classrooms and lecture halls that can accommodate the program’s teaching philosophies.
Students take courses from across the College of Arts and Sciences allowing them to interact with faculty from various departments such as psychology, sociology, biology, anthropology and global gender studies. Instruction or grading responsibilities for some of these courses may be assigned to teaching assistants.
In addition SSC has approximately 30 adjunct instructors who are working professionals in their fields. They provide a diverse selection of courses related to their areas of expertise. There is one teaching assistant in the program who is responsible for teaching social research methods each semester.
Students who graduate from the SSC/Health and Human Services –Early Childhood Studies major are prepared to work in such areas as child mental health, child protective services, developmental disabilities, preschool settings, and community education in private, public and governmental agencies.
Students have reported obtaining employment with The Western New York Developmental Disabilities Services Office, People, Inc, the YMCA, Baker Victory Services, Teach for America, Mid-Island Jewish Community Center, Gateway Longview, and UB Childcare Center.
The interdisciplinary structure of the major prepares students to go on to advanced study in early childhood/childhood education, special education, social work, schools psychology, counseling, and higher education administration as well as professional areas such as occupational therapy. Students have gone on to advanced studies at SUNY Stony Brook, CUNY/Hunter College, Columbia University, Syracuse University, Kent State, SUNY Buffalo and St. John Fisher College.
Admission to the major and advisement for students are coordinated through the program’s office in 203 Clemens Hall. There is at least one advisor assigned to each major area. We provide advisement for students on major and university requirements. Our advisors work closely with the general advising office, financial aid and student accounts to help students find answers to questions about all aspects of being an undergraduate at UB.
This degree does not lead to state certification for teaching at any level. Students interested in pursuing graduate studies directed toward state certification as K-6 teachers are strongly advised to consult with an Office of Interdisciplinary Degree Programs advisor as soon as they begin this major. Further information about teacher certification at UB can be obtained from the Teacher Education Institute, Graduate School of Education, 375 Baldy Hall.
Please call our office at (716) 645-2245 ext. 0 to make an appointment with an advisor in your major area of interest.
With the help of its alumni donors, SSC has established a Study Abroad Award to encourage undergraduate students who are in one of the six SSC majors to pursue an opportunity to study abroad. The award is available for study abroad in fall, spring or summer semesters.
Students in our program may qualify for scholarships and financial support from a number of other sources, including: