Human Services Associate

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Human Services Associate

Associate Degree

61 Credits | 2 Years

Financial Aid-Eligible

Ashland, New Richmond, Rice Lake, Superior

Hybrid instruction

Career Cluster: Human Services

The Human Service Associate program prepares you to provide information, support, care and advocacy within the helping profession. Acquire the knowledge and skills needed to assist in areas such as social work, substance abuse counseling, case management and advocacy. Choose from a multitude of career options in a variety of community-based settings. 


Program Overview

In this program, you will acquire the skills needed to support people of diverse racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Work within county human services agencies, community-based organizations, residential treatment programs, schools, inpatient facilities and other settings that help people in need. Assist a variety of populations including youth, families, elders and persons with disabilities. You can choose from multiple careers focused on substance abuse counseling, domestic and family violence, community development, prevention and criminal justice. Once you complete the program, you will have successfully met the required 360 hours of approved specialized education in substance use disorder counseling in accordance with the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.

Program Outcomes

Human Services Associate graduates will be able to:

  • Model a commitment to cultural competence
  • Uphold the ethical standards and values for human service professionals
  • Demonstrate professionalism
  • Utilize community resources
  • Apply human services interventions and best practices
  • Cultivate professional relationships

Explore the Human Services field through counseling simulations, community-based observation and field experiences within area organizations and agencies.

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Full program course offerings are now available at Ashland, New Richmond, Rice Lake and Superior. Take courses via hybrid instruction.

Convenient for You

Full program course offerings are available at the Ashland, New Richmond, Rice Lake and Superior campus locations. Take classes via hybrid instruction.

Community Connections

You'll develop community connections with courses that immerse you in the community. Engage in 300+ hours of supervised community-based fieldwork, network with human service professionals and participate in service-focused activities.

Career-Enhancing Credentials

Graduates will meet the educational requirements for Wisconsin’s Substance Abuse Counselor certification.

Required Courses

Coursework addresses the scope, values, and principles of the human services profession. Emphasis is placed on ethical practice, professionalism, individual, group and family counseling/casework and substance abuse assessment and treatment. Learned knowledge and skills will be applied through counseling simulations, community-based observation and field experiences within area organizations and agencies

Explore the Required Courses

Featured Human Services Associate Courses

| 3 CR
Students gain a basic understanding of the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs. Emphasis is on historical and social perspectives of drug use, trends of use, and legal and social responses to problematic alcohol and illicit drug use. Additionally, this course provides an accurate description of the effects of psychoactive drugs, identifies methods of substance abuse treatment, and introduces the student to local treatment services.
| 3 CR
This course provides an introduction to case management theory, models, and techniques, along with the management and coordination of case records. Key components include intake assessment, creating a plan of service, coordinating care, referral techniques, client self-determination, and ethical issues.
| 3 CR
An introduction to theory and practice of group dynamics and processes are covered in this course. Knowledge areas include ethical considerations, effective group leadership, and stages of group development. Learners will record and critique practice group sessions, function as group members, and demonstrate effective group facilitation skills. COREQUISITE: 10520102 Interviewing.

Human Services Associate is Part of a Career Pathway

As a Human Services Associate student at Northwood Tech, you can earn credentials each step of the way!

* Career qualifications vary based on licensure application, examination and supervised practice/employment hours as specified and approved by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.

You could take this first and get a credential.

Technical Diploma
27 credits/1 Year Full Time
Potential Careers
Substance Abuse Counselor - in training, Assessment Counselor, Intake Counselor, Substance Abuse Counselor
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This is the program you’re looking at.

Associate Degree
60 Credits / 2 Years Full Time
Potential Careers
Case Worker, Community Outreach/Support Worker, Income Maintenance Worker, Human Services / Information and Referral Specialist, Substance Abuse Counselor (with specialized field experience), Intake Worker, Prevention Worker, Residential Manager
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Transfer your credits to earn your bachelor's degree.

Admissions and Tuition

Northwood Tech has an easy admission process that can be completed in one visit. Please see the details under the "Requirements and Application" section to get started.

Requirements and Application

Tuition and Fees

Northwood Tech breaks down the cost of education, so you'll have a good idea of how much your education will cost.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available to help you pay for your education. It can come in the form of grants, loans, federal work-study, military and veterans benefits, division of vocational rehabilitation benefits, and scholarships. 

Learn More About Paying for College

Cost of Attendance

The Cost of Attendance (COA) is an estimate of the costs that you may incur while attending Northwood Technical College.

Learn More About Cost of Attendance

Estimated Total Program Tuition 2023-24*

Human Services Associate

61 Credits | 2 Years


*Tuition is an estimate and does not include any miscellaneous fees for various courses, tools, books, supplies or uniforms. Program book costs are in addition to tuition and fees and vary depending on course selection and where the books are purchased or rented. 

After the Northwood Tech Human Services Associate Program

Upon completion of the program, you will earn a technical diploma in Substance Abuse Counselor Education and an associate degree in Human Services Associate.

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Transfer Center

Transfer your Northwood Tech credits to a four-year college to earn your bachelor's degree and beyond. 

View Transfer Center


Career Outlooks

Northwood Tech's graduates experience success. Learn more about the types of careers you can get after graduation.

View Career Options

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Professional Licensure and/or Certification Information

Northwood Tech’s Human Services Associate program is designed to meet the State of Wisconsin’s 360-hour educational requirements needed for Wisconsin Substance Abuse Counselor certification, as preapproved by the Wisconsin Department of Safety & Professional Services. (Certification also requires state application, examination, and supervised counseling experience outside of this program). However, Northwood Tech has not made a determination whether this program meets licensure requirements in states other than Wisconsin. Students who may be seeking professional licensure or certification in states other than Wisconsin should contact the appropriate licensing board in the state to verify that the Northwood Tech program meets licensure or certification requirements. To be eligible for testing and/or licensing in the state of Wisconsin, you may be required to obtain a social security number.


Choose a campus to view contact information, or for general assistance, please contact us.

Rice Lake Admissions Contact

Nicole Messicci

Admissions Advisor



Ashland Admissions Contact

Jennifer Bednarik

Admissions Advisor



New Richmond Admissions Contact

Jodi Saliny

Admissions Advisor



Superior Admissions Contact

Anna Kalin

Admissions Advisor



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Are you ready to experience success? Northwood Tech staff are standing by to support you in reaching your educational and career goals, so do it. Take the leap.