Human Services Technology

Human Services Technology

As stated by the Southern Organization for Human Service Education, "Human Service professionals receive formal education combined with practical experience... Human Service professionals go wherever people are experiencing difficulties. Their profession is a vital one — not merely a job... their value is centered in their commitment to assisting others in maximizing their potential." You are committed to service; you are an empathetic leader who excels at building relationships and solving problems. You listen well and show that you care about others' well-being. In the human services field, you will practice with the utmost integrity. Enroll in the Human Services Technology program at Central Piedmont and earn an Associate of Applied Science in Human Services Technology with a concentration in either developmental disabilities or substance abuse. There are also many specialized certificates available designed primarily for individuals who already work in the field.

What You Will Learn

Human services are designed to promote or enhance the personal well-being of individuals and is one of the fastest growing professions heading into the next century. The human services technology program at Central Piedmont will provide you with a basic body of knowledge and skills that will prepare you to be effective in a wide range of human service agencies. Coursework will provide an understanding of the personal, social, psychological, and personal impact of issues, such as domestic violence, child abuse, disabilities, homelessness, mental health, aging, and substance abuse, among many others. Foundational knowledge includes the history of human service studies, professional standards, and ethical responsibilities. You will develop interpersonal and cross-cultural effective communication skills to work with a range of populations. You will study family structure dynamics and addiction process. Through training in case studies, you will practice interview and counseling techniques, research, crisis intervention strategies, therapy and prevention methods, and legal procedures. Upon completion of the program, you will be able to:

  • formulate and evaluate clients' needs based on the available evidence
  • develop a personal philosophy of human services based on current research on best practices
  • identify and apply appropriate assessment tools to evaluate and document clients' individual needs and context during an interview and/or home study in a multicultural environment; these tools include the utilization of attending and listening skills, development of supportive and empathetic presence, assessment and formulation of goals, the ability to plan and evaluate change, working with people/clients in crisis, and the development of a self-care process
  • identify and apply appropriate human services ethics based on current human services practices
  • explore ethical conflicts within the field of human services. 

Although there is currently no state licensure required for human services generalists, graduates will be eligible to sit the national Human Services Board Certified Practitioner credential developed by the Center for Credentialing and Education upon program completion. Graduates are employed in the criminal justice system and corrections centers, mental health clinics, social services, family services, disabilities agencies, rehabilitation centers, substance abuse treatment centers, non-profit organizations, and childcare and educational facilities. The Board Certified Human Services Professional credentialing will offer greater employment opportunities for the human services professional. 

Attend the Health Professions and Human Services Open House

Why Choose Central Piedmont

The human services technology program is accredited by the Council for Standards in Human Service Education. You will gain valuable hands-on experience through a required internship. You will also have the opportunity to apply to join the Tau Upsilon Alpha National Organization for Human Services Honor Society. This society recognizes academic excellence, fosters lifelong learning, leadership, and development, and promotes excellence in service to humanity.

Real World Education

At Central Piedmont, your education goes beyond what you learn in class. We offer numerous opportunities for you to enhance your learning — and to make friends, network, and pursue your passions — through clubs and organizations, sports, events and activities, leadership opportunities, job experience, volunteer experiences, visual and performing arts, and even international experiences.

The Details

  • Program Options

    The human services technology program offers multiple educational pathways, whether you are already in the profession or are just getting started. Choose from:

    • Associate in Applied Science in human services technology
    • Associate in Applied Science in human services technology - developmental disabilities
    • Associate in Applied Science in human services technology - substance abuse
    • several specialized human services technology, developmental disabilities, or substance abuse certificates

    Certificates are primarily designed for those individuals who already have advanced degrees and are interested in furthering their human services skills. There is also an interdisciplinary certificate in children with exceptionalities offered in collaboration with the Early Childhood Education and Occupational Therapy Assistant programs. The college catalog details the human services technology program options currently available at Central Piedmont as well as program eligibility and course requirements. If you would like information on opportunities to transfer associate degree credit to a four-year institution, please visit the Transfer Resource Center.

    Developmental Disabilities

    The Associate in Applied Science in human services technology - developmental disabilities and developmental disabilities certificates are designed to prepare current and prospective human service professionals to work with children and adults with physical, intellectual, and emotional disabilities. A key component of service provision is identifying the individual needs and supports for persons with disabilities.The past four decades have produced major advances in legislation, education and services for individuals with disabilities. With the support of innovative services, families are raising their children at home rather than in institutions, children previously considered uneducable are attending public schools, and adults with developmental disabilities maintain jobs, live independently, and are active members of their communities. Participating students will gain an understanding of the support needs of individuals with developmental disabilities in medical, psychological, social, educational, vocational, and economic terms. Fieldwork and clinical experience in community agencies which provide comprehensive services to persons with disabilities and their families will be offered. Successful graduates of the Associate in Applied Science in human services technology - developmental disabilities or developmental disabilities certificates should qualify for employment and leadership positions in group homes, foster care homes, respite services, vocational rehabilitation agencies, supported employment programs, adult day activity programs, early childhood intervention programs, public school classrooms as teacher assistants, community support services, and other programs that provide support for individuals with developmental disabilities.

    Substance Abuse

    The Associate in Applied Science in human services technology - substance abuse and substance abuse certificates are designed to prepare you for a career in the addictions field and assist you in the process of state credentialing toward becoming a certified or licensed substance abuse counselor. You will also be able to transfer your credits earned and pursue a four-year degree. Coursework includes classroom and experiential activities geared toward:

    • knowledge and skills in the twelve core functions of a substance abuse professional
    • an understanding of the physical, psychological, and sociological aspects of addiction, including process additions, co-occurring disorders, and relapse prevention
    • an understanding of the impact of addiction on the individual, the family, and society
    • knowledge and skills in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of addiction
    • an understanding of the ethical and legal aspects involved in the addictions field

    Graduates who complete certification/licensure by the State Board qualify for positions as substance abuse counselors, DWI evaluators and educators, residential and half-way house counselors, criminal justice addiction professionals, prevention and education specialists, case managers, and community based program managers. Substance abuse knowledge is vital in many other areas of human services including, mental health, social work, criminal justice, domestic violence, homelessness, and HIV prevention and education. The Central Piedmont substance abuse program does not currently provide peer support specialist training; North Carolina’s Peer Support Specialist Program is coordinated through the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services. The credential offered is the NC Certified Peer Support Specialist (NCCPSS) and is required for those who want to provide peer services in a public agency. For more information on becoming a NCCPSS, please consult the NCCPSS page. Substance abuse certificates may be used towards the initial or renewal of certification/licensure through the North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board (NCSAPPB) or the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC). These courses are also approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). If you already have a degree but it is not in a like field, you will be required to take additional prerequisite courses prior to or in conjunction with those required of the certificate.

    Visiting Students

    If you wish to transfer human services technology course credit back to your home institution, explore how to enroll at Central Piedmont as a visiting student.

    Corporate and Continuing Education

    Central Piedmont's Corporate and Continuing Education provides non-credit, non-degree courses and programs, including job skills, industry-focused career training, certificates, certifications, professional licensure, and personal enrichment. Day, evening, weekend, and online opportunities are available.

    College and Career Readiness

    If you are looking for programs to gain the knowledge or skills necessary to finish a high school degree or to get a job, visit Central Piedmont's College and Career Readiness.

    College Credit for High School Students

    Visit Career and College Promise to learn about opportunities for high school students to earn college credit at Central Piedmont.

  • Human Services Technology Program Requirements

    The human services technology associate degree requires the completion of 73 credit hours completed full-time in five semesters, or 76 credit hours completed full time in five semesters if working towards the developmental disabilities or substance abuse concentrations. It is possible to complete certificates in three to four semesters, but recommended to complete in four. The curricula include general studies courses as well as program-specific courses. If you take more hours each semester or transfer relevant hours in from another college it may take you less time, if you can only attend on a part-time basis it will take you longer to complete. The program chair will work with each student every semester to advise you on course sequence and offers guidance on how many credit hours to take. It is imperative to seek advisement from the program chair for course sequence to complete as quickly as possible. Please note this timeframe does not apply to students that have a degree in an unrelated field, who will need to take additional courses. The timeframe for those students varies depending on how many additional classes they may need to take. General studies courses can be taken at any time and at most campuses. For detailed information on human services technology course and program requirements, visit the Central Piedmont Community College catalog. After completing the process to enroll at Central Piedmont, speak with a program advisor before registering for human services technology program courses.

    Work-Based Learning

    Human services technology degrees and certificates listed in the catalog with a WBL course(s) will require you to complete an internship (Work-Based Learning). For all human services technology associate degree students, work-based learning is typically done within the your last two semesters in the program. All human services technology students, regardless of specialization, must have a 2.5 cumulative GPA in order to take WBL courses. For more information, please contact the program chair or refer to the Work-Based Learning site.

    Human Services Technology (No Specialization) Work-Based Learning

    In order to take the human services technology WBL courses, you will need to have:

    • been recommended for placement by the human services faculty
    • associate degree students:
      • completed 12 semester credit hours within the program of study
      • completed an additional three semester credit hours specifically in human services technology courses
      • completed HSE 110, HSE 112, HSE 120, HSE 123, HSE 225, SAB 110, ENG 111, PSY 150, and SOC 213
    • certificate students:
      • completed nine semester credit hours in your program of study

    Once all you meet all the human services technology work-based learning minimum eligibility requirements, you will need to:

    Human Services Technology - Developmental Disabilities Work-Based Learning

    In order to take the developmental disabilities WBL courses, you will need to have:

    • completed DDT 110, DDT 120, and DDT 230
    • completed completed HSE 110, HSE 112, HSE 120, SAB 110, PSY 150, and SOC 213

    Once all you meet all the developmental disabilities work-based learning minimum eligibility requirements, you will need to:

    • secure an internship site

      • the program chair will provide eligible students with a list of possible sites
      • students will be responsible for contacting sites and setting up interviews (minimum of two interviews with different organizations is required)
    • complete work-based learning paperwork
    • register for the WBL course
      • registration will take place during regular registration for the fall and spring semesters
    Human Services Technology - Substance Abuse Work-Based Learning

    Students in substance abuse programs requiring WBL must compete the a minimum of 160 hours per semester in order to learn the 12 core functions (DOC) of a substance abuse professional. Substance abuse internships are conducted in local agencies which provide primary substance abuse treatment services and have  North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board (NCSAPPB) credentialed substance abuse counselors and supervisors on staff. In order to take the substance abuse WBL courses, you will need to have:

    • associate degree students:

      • completed 12 semester credit hours within the program of study
      • completed nine credit hours specifically in substance abuse (SAB) courses
    • certificate students:
      • completed six credit hours in SAB courses required for the certificate
    • registered with the  North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board (NCSAPPB) prior to beginning the internship
    • been recommended by the program chair

    Once all you meet all the substance abuse work-based learning minimum eligibility requirements, you will need to:

    • register with the North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board (NCSAPPB)

      • this must be done prior to beginning the internship
      • perspective students should study the Board's website to familiarize themselves with state credentialing requirements for substance abuse counselors
      • students will receive instruction on the Board and the registration process through the course of the program and will be assisted in the registration process by program faculty
      • students with a criminal background should review the Board's rules relative to registering and credentialing
    • secure an internship site
      • the internship site internship must be substance abuse-specific with a certified or licensed substance abuse professional providing supervision
      • faculty will assist the student in identifying possible locations and will discuss sites that best suit the student’s interests, strengths,  and schedule, but it is the responsibility of the student to secure a site
      • the specific site is based on the student's professional interests and current schedule
    • attend a mandatory information meeting
      • information about the time and location of this meeting will be shared once arrangements are made
    • attend a work-based learning orientation session
      • upcoming sessions TBD
  • Locations

    General education courses are available at many locations and over the summer, but program courses are not. Please note that course offerings and availability are subject to change from semester to semester. Always confirm which courses are required to complete this program in the college catalog and confirm where courses are available using Schedule Builder.

  • Course Delivery Methods

    • Classroom/Lab
    • Combined (Classroom/Lab and Online)
    • Online

    Our classes are very interactive and often have experiential aspects to them, thus may not be conducive to online instruction, but many of the general education classes are offered online. Please note that course offerings and availability are subject to change from semester to semester. Always confirm which courses are required to complete this program in the college catalog and confirm course delivery methods using Schedule Builder.

  • Human Services Technology Careers

    Visit Central Piedmont’s Career Coach for detailed human services technology career opportunities, salary information, and job openings.

    Upon completing a substance abuse certificate or degree program at Central Piedmont, you will not be certified by the state. State licensure is required if you are working with substance abuse specifically. However, you can, and in fact it is required, work in the substance abuse field while you are in the process of obtaining your certification/licensure. You can learn more about State certification/licensure requirements and processes by contacting the North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board at 919.832.0975 or The degree as well as the substance abuse counseling certificate will also provide you with the 300 hours of supervised practicum required by the Board. The information obtained in all courses helps to prepare you for the written State credentialing exam.

  • Costs and Aid

    Central Piedmont provides real-world, affordable, hands-on education and career training. Learn how much it costs to attend Central Piedmont. Financial aid and scholarships are available.

    Human Services Technology Scholarships

    In particular, students interested in the human services technology program should consider the following scholarships. Please note that many scholarships are managed by organizations outside of Central Piedmont.

    Substance Abuse Scholarships
    PACT Scholars Program

    Thanks to a grant from the Mecklenburg County Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board Community Health and Wellness Grant Program, the Central Piedmont substance abuse program is excited to announce its new Preparing Addictions Counselors of Tomorrow (PACT) Scholars Program. This program is designed to assist current substance abuse students who are facing barriers to completion. Students in the scholars program will benefit from the following opportunities:

    • scholarships for tuition, fees, and books for up to three semesters
    • academic advising and mentoring
    • participation in events designated by the substance abuse faculty and staff including career seminars, networking events, service-learning projects, professional organizations, conferences, and state Board meetings with funds for travel available for select non-local events
    • assistance with the application process for state credentials including financial assistance to pay for the registration fee

    In order to be eligible for the PACT Scholars Program, students must meet the following criteria (please note - eligibility will be verified by the program):

    • have attained a 2.5 or higher GPA
    • be currently enrolled in the Associate in Applied Science degree program in substance abuse or in the dual certificate program in substance abuse
    • have completed 30 hours of coursework (including general education courses) in the Associate in Applied Science degree program in substance abuse or 9 hours of coursework in the dual certificate program in substance abuse
    • enroll for a minimum of six credit hours per semester in the program (where feasible given remaining coursework and course availability)
    • complete the admissions process

    The time and date of our next PACT scholars program information session is still to be determined. To apply for the PACT Scholarship, submit your information using the interest form, and program staff will follow-up with you about next steps. The admissions process for eligible applicants will include:

    • completing a 500-750 word essay
    • participating in an interview with the admissions committee

    Please contact Jeff King at with any questions you may have about the PACT scholarship.

  • Attend a Human Services Technology Program Information Session

  • Resources

    Human Services Technology Student Handbook

    Human Services Club

    The purpose of this club is to educate and provide opportunities for the professional growth and development of the Human Services Student at Central Piedmont. Central Piedmont is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution. Membership is open to all currently enrolled students. Students can be enrolled at any Central Piedmont Campus. Examples of Human Services Club Activities Include:

    • attending regional and national human services conferences
    • participation in Fall Fest/Spring Fling, which are on campus student festivals
    • involvement in the HERO program (for children who have been victimized or witnessed domestic violence)
    • participation in college sponsored blood drives
    • AIDS awareness projects
    • sponsoring needy families around holiday times
    • leadership training
    • Police Activity League

    For more information contact Hontah Epps (Club Advisor) at

    Tau Upsilon Alpha Honor Society

    The purpose of Tau Upsilon Alpha National Organization for Human Services Honor Society is to honor academic excellence; to foster lifelong learning, leadership and development; and to promote excellence in service to humanity.

    Students are invited to apply for membership in TUA every spring. Applications for membership will be accepted beginning on February 1st, 2019. Applicants must download and complete the Tau Upsilon Alpha application form (PDF document) then submit the form along with the $40 application fee to the chapter advisor, Hontah Epps, at Applicants must have a 3.25 GPA and should be actively involved in volunteering efforts and/or clubs and organizations. Application deadline is Friday, February 22nd, 2019

    An induction ceremony to formally admit new members to TUA is conducted every April and friends and family of the new inductees are invited to attend. Forms are available to order a TUA medallion or cord through the National Organization for Human Services.

  • Related Programs

  • Admitted Students: Find Your Faculty Advisor

    Students at Central Piedmont have a faculty advisor for each program of study offered. Find your faculty advisor based on your last name.

    Human Services Tech:

    Developmental Disabilities:

    Substance Abuse: