Doctor of Philosophy in Human Services

University of the Rockies // Degree Programs // Doctor of Philosophy in Human Services // Doctor of Philosophy in Human Services


(Courses are 3 credits, unless otherwise noted, and are listed in the recommended sequence.)


HUM 7100 History & Systems of Human Services
This entry point course provides the historical context and development of the human services field. This course examines the historical context and the evolution of health and human services professions. Students will study the origins of the profession and evaluate ways in which philosophical and ideological perspectives have defined the fields of practice throughout its history. Students will analyze the ways service delivery and social policy has changed in response to political influence and societal needs. Students will explore the differing political, social, and economic perspectives and their influence on health and human services professions.

HUM 7140 Socio-Cultural Determinants in Society
In this case study-based course on social determinants of human services and aspects of diversity, students will examine the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age in varying US and global social systems and demographics. Students will explore social constructs, correlates of behavior, impact of social and community structure on status, and disparities within diverse communities. Students will apply social and behavioral theories of human service resources, strategies, methods, ethics, and public policy.

HUM 7160 Organizational Operations & Human Services Administration
Students will apply advanced critical thinking skills in this course designed to expose them to a broad range of essential organizational operations and extend students' existing knowledge base on the workings of human services administration. In addition to exploration of volunteer recruitment, retention and management, marketing, cross-disciplinary regulations, development and implementation of policy, change management, fund-raising, the critical focus will apply to leadership theories and organizational behavior aimed at positions of leadership within an organization.

HUM 7170 Financial & Grant Management
This financial and grant management course critically examines and identifies various accounting and financial knowledge related to the establishment and monitoring of financial strategies, policies, and tools within a government or private human services organization or service. In addition, financial management roles and responsibilities, advanced grant writing principles and techniques, and ethical financial practices and accountability will be explored and developed.

HUM 7175 Program Review & Evaluation
This practical program review and evaluation course for the human services discipline will employ a hands-on approach ultimately culminating in a hypothetical program evaluation and service-level improvement by completing weekly process goals, to include analysis of a completed needs assessment survey. The course will provide students with all materials needed in order to evaluate the complex program presented and complete tasks to ultimately modify it by the end of the term.

RES 7400 Research Design & Methods – Quantitative
This course involves the advanced study of research design, and the quantitative methods that can be used in addressing research questions. Students will gain experience developing their own research ideas and learning how to select and apply appropriate research designs to test those ideas. Through the process of critiquing research articles, students will also learn how to evaluate which research designs would be appropriate to test various areas of inquire, as well as how to communicate the methods and results of particular quantitative studies. Students will be required to complete a training on ethics in research, as well as complete a quantitative research proposal in an area of interest, which may include dissertation related research.

RES 7410 Research Design & Methods – Qualitative
This course involves the advanced study of research design, in general, and the qualitative inquiry, in particular, that can be used in addressing research questions. The epistemological assumptions underlying the qualitative methodology will be explored as students become familiar with the philosophical issues underlying how we know what we know. The ability to choose a researchable topic and create associated research questions will be emphasized. Students will become familiar with a variety of approaches including ethnography, grounded theory, phenomenology, narrative, participatory action research, and case study. A variety of common data collection methods will be studied, such as observation, interviews, surveys, and historical document collection. Validation and reliability standards, as well as evaluation criteria for qualitative approaches will be addressed. Students will be required to complete training on ethics in research, as well as complete a qualitative research proposal in an area of interest, which may include dissertation related research.

Research Course* (Select one 3-credit course from list below)
Student selects one 3-credit course from the research courses listed at the bottom of this page.

HUM 7210 Leadership & Advocacy
This course explores theories of developing and applying motivation, influence, communication and persuasion methods for leaders to empower, enable, and encourage others to become actively engaged in social, human, and service issues within political and community populations in both domestic and global environments. This course is intended to prepare students to successfully assume organizational leadership roles and will include hands-on, real world leadership and advocacy opportunities in order to gain this experience for their future.

HUM 7250 Emerging Trends & Innovations in Human Services & Social Sector
This highly collaborative course on the emerging trends and innovations in human services and the social sector will require students to conduct extensive literature reviews resulting in the exploration of prospective dissertation topics to gain significant knowledge of the evolution of their chosen topic. In addition to other activities to determine the future innovations in the human services and social sectors, the students will each examine the root of their prospective dissertation topic, the literature available, and what they see in the future that is emerging from this chosen topic. Students will share their findings periodically as scheduled throughout the course for collaboration and peer review purposes.

HUM 7480 Evidence-Based Practice in Human Services
This course demonstrates the value of evidence-based practice as an integral part of formulating human services research and policy. Course work examines the current definition of evidence-based policy and approaches to move the field forward. The course provides an evaluation of evidence-based literature, including case study examples of the application of evidence-based practices in human services. The course also examines actions to further evidence-based policy, including preparing and communicating data more effectively, using existing analytic tools, conducting policy surveillance, and tracking outcomes with different types of evidence.

ORG 8518 Professional & Business Ethics in Organizational Leadership
This advanced seminar examines enduring issues in business and professional ethics, in addition to the application of proven approaches to ethical professional practice and organizational operations to contemporary organizational environments and issues.

Electives (15 credits)**
Student selects five 3-credit courses from the elective courses listed at the bottom of this page.

HUM 8770 Doctoral Capstone Seminar^ (4 credits)
This seminar provides students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in their curriculum to highly realistic case studies related to their fields of specialization for the doctorate. Through discussions among students and the instructor, students will review, analyze and evaluate case studies emphasizing the practice of the content in their curriculum. The course will involve the analysis and evaluation of one or more case studies. Students will contemplate complex ques­tions posed by their instructor, reply to those questions, respond to other students' analyses and evaluations, and receive faculty feedback. Each student will submit a final assignment on each case, involving his or her critical thinking on the core issues presented in the case and the presentation and defense of an approach to addressing those core issues. Prerequisite: completion (including approved credits transferred) of all coursework required in the student's doctoral curriculum.

RES 8910 Dissertation Planning I (1 credit)
In this course students begin drafting their dissertation under instructor supervision. Students working individually on their dissertation drafts focus on the description of their topic, refinement of their research questions, and outlining their review of the literature with feedback and recommendations for revisions from their instructor. Final approval of these drafts of portions of the dissertation rests with the student's individual dissertation committees, as described in the current University of the Rockies Dissertation Handbook, as revised from time to time. Following the procedures outlined in the Handbook, students may form their committees before, during, or after their enrollment and completion of Dissertation Planning I and II.

RES 8912 Dissertation Planning II (1 credit)
In this course students continue drafting their dissertation from Dissertation Planning I under instructor supervision. Students working individually on their dissertation drafts focus on further refinement of the description of their topic, the final draft wording of their research questions, and beginning to write their review of the literature and research methodology with feedback and recommendations for revisions from their instructor. Students will exchange research concepts and proposed approaches about their research methodology with other students proposing similar methods (qualitative, quantitative, mixed, action). Final approval of these drafts of portions of the dissertation rests with the student's individual dissertation committees, as described in the current University of the Rockies Dissertation Handbook, as revised from time to time. Following the procedures outlined in the Handbook, students may form their committees before, during or after their enrollment and completion of Dissertation Planning I and II.

RES 8990 Dissertation (1 credit per term, 5 terms)
Students writing a dissertation must complete a total of 5 credits by registering for five consecutive terms of dissertation credit, one credit per term. Dissertations are written per the policies, practices and procedures in the Dissertation Handbook.

Total Credits 62

^ This course may not be transferred in.

* Choose one course from the following Research Courses (3 credits each):

RES 7415 Advanced Statistics
This course emphasizes inferential statistical concepts related to methods most appropriate to data and theories. The focus is on a quantitative approach to the concepts and methods of statistical inference. Topics include hypothesis testing, probability, multiple correlation and regression, t-tests, Analysis of Variance, Analysis of Covariance, and Multivariate Analysis of Variance, and nonparametric tests. Research design issues are addressed, with a focus on selecting data analysis techniques to appropriately address research questions and apply the concepts covered to various research problems and real life situations. Emphasis is on developing skills for interpreting statistical results presented in scholarly research articles. Prerequisite for PhD: RES 7400. Additional prerequisite for PhD ODL: ORG7402.

RES 7440 Advanced Study in Qualitative Research
Students with interest in qualitative research, or with a desire to utilize this methodology for their respective doctoral dissertation, will be given an opportunity to greatly expand their existing knowledge base on qualitative research methodology. Students may elect to begin working on a preliminary proposal for their doctoral dissertation (or select and explore a topic of interest that may become the dissertation topic) for the culminating project in this course.

** Choose 5 courses from the following Electives (3 credits each):

HUM 8105 Applied Human Services Policy
This course examines cutting edge trends in the formation and execution of human services policy in public and private organizations. Selected topics include the current human services climate, forces driving policy formation and execution, and issues related to the future of human services policy. The topics selected will connect human service policy with culture, existing organizational strategies, and the process of change in future directions. Effective mechanisms to influence policy are emphasized. Major case study examples of human services policy are included in the learning process.

HUM 8115 Theories & Strategies of Community Development & Advocacy
This course examines the theories and research underlying the political, economic, and social structures related to community groups and organizations within contemporary society. Students analyze methods of creating communities and social organizations that empower and support individuals to work together to initiate change, with or without the assistance of outside advocacy. Students develop skills to create and assess community action plans, incorporate persuasive language into client advocacy, and organize political action groups to seek opportunities for themselves and others. There is a focus on social and economic justice within the context of human services' ethics that supports and sustains the well-being of individuals and communities, especially among diverse populations.

HUM 8125 Performance & Quality Management
This course provides students with the opportunity to explore the theories underlying performance evaluation and approaches to evaluation in human services settings. Emphasis is placed on conceptual, methodological, organizational, political, and ethical problems in evaluating both risks and approaches involved in the delivery of human services. Students will learn to identify quality and outcome indicators. They will learn to evaluate research and analyze data associated with the evaluation of the quality of service delivery and the assessment of risk. They will learn construct techniques used to perform the evaluations, strategies for getting human services professionals to be invested in the development of the research and in the outcomes, demonstration of program effectiveness, and dissemination of results to stakeholders.

HUM 8135 Advanced Issues in Socio-cultural Concepts & Practices
This course provides students with a framework to explore social problems and approaches using a global perspective. Students will evaluate the sociocultural-theoretical assumptions and methodological techniques underlying the practice of global human services. Students will examine the processes of advocacy and social change at a global level. Students will assess the ways in which community, national, and international sociocultural issues impact the human services professional.

HUM 8145 Child & Family Advocacy
This course will provide students with a critical understanding of child and family welfare. Topics analyzed will include infancy, baby, child, youth, and adolescent physical, cognitive, emotional human development and behavior with related issues. Additionally, family systems, challenges, and resources available, legal issues related to familial dysfunction and abuse, domestic violence, health services, global issues (e.g., human trafficking, disease, child safety, etc.).

HUM 8205 Change Agents in Human Service Systems
This course examines the complex, dynamic, and rapidly changing human service system in the United States. Action research will be examined critically and applied. Students will explore the nature of becoming a change agent in the human service systems and the influences that create change in these systems, with an emphasis on current policy issues, performance challenges, and program solutions. Students will examine the social, economic, and political forces that have shaped and continue to influence the human services along with strategies to effectively manage the changes they produce, with a goal of becoming effective change agents. Students develop skills to master inner strengths and overcome limitations associated with being effective change agents.

HUM 8215 Special, Vulnerable & Underserved Populations in Human Services
This course will apply a hands-on approach to understanding the unique needs of vulnerable and underserved populations in the human services field. Students will explore all of the following and select one to complete a practical project incorporating the study of and recommendations for specific needs of: military members and their families, veterans, homeless individuals and homeless families, immigrants, the geriatric community, medically underserved, chronically and severely mentally ill, single parents, the uninsured, economically disadvantaged children and families, those with human immunodeficiency virus [HIV], racial/ethnic minorities, incarcerated individuals and their families, or any other instructor approved demographic population.

HUM 8225 Human Services Information Technology
This course explores the past, present, and future of various human services information technology modalities from the basics of computer literacy, telecommunications, networking, accounting and administrative applications, to security issues and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). With evolving changes in laws and policies, such as implementation of the Affordable Care Act, this course is recommended for those students interested in staying abreast of the latest in cutting-edge technologies that coincide with this and other legislative initiatives impacting the human services field.

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