Department of Counseling and Human Services receives accreditation for BA in Human Services

Photo by Jeffrey M Foster

The UCCS Department of Counseling and Human Services recently had their Bachelor of Arts in Human Services accredited by the Council for Standard in Human Service Education (CSHSE). This certification lasts for five years, with plans to reaccredit in 2027.

To receive this accreditation, the Department of Counseling and Human Services applied for the opportunity and conducted a thorough self-study to prove the program, department, college and university all meet the accreditation standards. Since the BA in Human Services is a newer degree, the department made a few changes as they learned more about the CSHSE standards.

“Our fieldwork courses are very rich in skill-based, supervised experiences,” said Kim Severn, Human Services Program instructor and Coordinator for Counseling and Human Services. “The faculty worked very hard to adapt our syllabi and practices to the rigorous standards of CSHSE, and we had a few graduate assistants who helped with gathering the resources we needed.”

The comprehensive self-study, written by Severn, was started in 2020 and submitted in July 2022. Once CSHSE reviewed the self-study, three readers appointed by the council met with the department to discuss the study and plan for a site visit. This virtual inquiry took place in the first week of October and two CSHSE-approved site visitors met with the Chancellor and the Dean of the College of Education at both the beginning and end of the visit. They also met with other UCCS personnel, including faculty and lecturers, current and former students, the community advisory board and the Department Chair. The visit ended with very positive results and soon after, the department received the official announcement that they passed the site visit with no restrictions.

When sharing their results, the readers noted several aspects they were impressed with, such as the program having a very active advisory board and heavy emphasis on skill-based training and that all full-time faculty and adjunct faculty are licensed mental health professionals, along with the program consisting of emphasis areas which align with community needs including substance use and recovery, military and veteran support, rehabilitative services, social and emotional wellness and student affairs in higher education.

They also highlighted that the program provides scaffolded levels of fieldwork experiences and uses the college-based fieldwork site, Campus Connections, which provides a mentorship program for middle school at-risk students.

“The Department of Counseling and Human Services was thrilled to learn that our Bachelor of Arts in Human Services was accredited by the Council for Standard in Human Service Education (CSHSE),” said Diane Stutey, Associate Professor and Department Chair. “This is the only accrediting body for Human Service postsecondary-education degree programs. Receiving this accreditation ensures our UCCS students that they are receiving a high-quality Human Service Education through best practices, evidence-based standards and a peer review accreditation process.”

“As the Department Chair, I would like to personally thank Kim Severn, who serves as our Program Coordinator for the BA in Human Services,” Stutey added. “She was also responsible for writing the comprehensive self-study and setting up the accreditation site visit which ultimately led to our CSHSE accreditation.”

About the UCCS College of Education

The College of Education offers undergraduate and advanced degrees, initial and advanced licenses and additional endorsements across three departments: Teaching and Learning, Counseling and Human Services and Leadership, Research, and Foundations. The college is home to more than 1,000 students and offers 12 bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and doctoral degrees. It is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP). Learn more about the College of Education at UCCS.