Careers and Internships
Field studies or internships are an essential part of the preparation for your human services career. By participating in a field study, you apply the theory and knowledge you have learned in the classroom through "hands on" experience in a human services agency. While working under the supervision and guidance of an experienced human services professional, you get a unique opportunity to learn about yourself, your clients, your organizations, and the environment of helping professions. Site supervisors act as role models, providing direction so that you can observe and participate in the work of the organization.
- Have at least Junior standing
- Have a minimum of a 2.0 GPA
- Have successfully completed HD 1004, HD 2004, HD 2335, HD 2336
- Attend announced field study information meeting the semester before field study is anticipated
- Register for 3 or 6 field study credits
- Complete the field study enrollment form within the specified deadline a semester before the field study is to be done
- Complete 6 credits (288 hours)
- Credits may be earned through a single-semester placement of 6 credits or two-semester placements each with a minimum of 3 credits.
- Students splitting their field studies over more than one semester may continue at the same placement or at two different placements.
- Field studies are graded on the A-F scale.
- Grades are awarded based on the:
- Quality of academic assignments returned to the Field Studies Coordinator
- Evaluation by the field study site supervisor
- Attendance at classes led by the Field Studies Coordinator
- Appropriate documentation of time spent in the placement
- Undergraduate Field Study Handbook
The interdisciplinary nature of a degree in human development provides students with a range of career opportunities that can be tailored to an individual's personal interests, strengths, and long term career goals.
General Strategies for Career Development
- Obtain part-time, summer, internship, or volunteer experience in areas of interest.
- Obtain certification for specialized areas of interest.
- A Bachelor's degree is sufficient for entry-level positions.
- Advanced degrees are essential for clinical and therapeutic counseling positions.
- A Master's degree or Ph.D. is often necessary for administrative and supervisory positions.
- A Ph.D. is required for college teaching and advanced research positions.
- Additional specialized training qualifies individuals for higher paying positions and positions of greater responsibility.
Bachelor's Level Career Opportunities
- Family and child welfare
- Child care programs
- Child protective services
- After school programs
- Domestic court liaison
- Adoption services
- Juvenile justice system
- Community, human service, and religious organizations
- Health care settings and long-term care institutions
- Federal, state, and local government agencies
- Retirement communities
- Information and referral services for older adults and their families
- Professional organizations
- Life-long learning programs
- Drug/Alcohol counseling
- Health and wellness programs
- Recreations programs
- Respite services
- Crisis care and referral
Examples of Positions Held by Recent HD Graduates
- Elementary and Special Education Teachers, various public schools
- Child Care Center Director
- Social Worker, Department of Social Services
- Special Agent, FBI
- Program Staff, Girls Incorporated
- Forensic interviewer, Child Advocacy Center
- Lead Teacher, Head Start Program
- Assistant Director and Curriculum Specialist, after school child care organization
- Office Manager, financial planning firm for senior adults approaching retirement
- Career Center Specialist, Chantilly High School in Fairfax County
- Home Visitor, abuse and neglect prevention with first time parents
- Co-facilitator, Creating Lasting Family Connections
- Facilitator of substance abuse and sexual violence abuse prevention programs in high school
- Case manager, New River Valley Community Services Board