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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Criminal Justice Administration and Human Services Department
Course Prefix and Number: HUMS 345
Course Title: Working with Communities and Organizations
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: The values, knowledge and skills of human service practice in the context of communities and organizations. Prerequisite: HUMS 105 or PSYC 101(courses may be taken as corequisite).
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): HUMS 105 or PSYC 101(courses may be taken as corequisite).
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Many suitable textbooks are available from various publishers and the following list is not comprehensive. Other textbooks may be judged by individual instructors to be more suitable.

Chiseled in Sand: Perspectives on Change in Human Service Organizations
By Cohen R. and Cohen J. (Brooks/Cole)
The Macro Practitioner’s Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Effectiveness with Organizations and Communities
By Ellis, R.A., Mallory, K.C., Gould, M.Y., Shatila, S.L. (Brooks/Cole)
Promoting Community Change
By Homan, M.S. (Wadsworth/Thomson Learning)
Critical Inquiries: Reading on Culture and Community
By Royster, J.J. (Longman)
Course Objectives
  • To understand the practice principles, ethical standards, and theoretical concepts of the human services profession as they apply to working with communities and organizations.
  • To explore theories of community and organizational structure, development and change.
  • To demonstrate skill-based competencies in organizational and community assessment and planned change.
  • Examine various strategies of community and organizational change.
    Measurable Learning
  • Explain various theoretical approaches as they apply to practice with communities and organizations.
  • Describe the interrelationship of community and organizational systems as related to individual client problems and needs.
  • Identify community resources to meet a variety of human needs.
  • Describe the process by which policies are formulated and implemented on the local community and organizational level.
  • Assess community and organizational power, resources, needs, values and dynamics.
  • Discuss the impact of cultural and ethnic diversity on communities and organizations and how group membership may influence access to resources.
  • Identify the historical and current impacts of community and institutional oppression on minority populations.
  • Examine various strategies of community and organizational change.
  • Plan and employ methods of community change to solve problems.
  • Apply a planned change process to work with communities and organizations.
  • Discuss ethical standards and principles for human services practice with communities and organizations, with emphasis on ethical responsibilities to colleagues, to employers, and to the community and society.
    Topical Outline: Note: This class will emphasize writing in the APA format and students are expected to improve their research and writing skills.

  • Conceptual framework for understanding change in the human services
  • Identifying community and organizational values
  • Ethical standards and principles for practice with communities and organizations
  • Systems theory: the community as a system; organizational development and dynamics
  • Assessment: the organization as a system - change of command, lines of authority, organizational culture, etc.
  • Working under supervision
  • Assertiveness
  • Designing change
  • Program planning and development
  • Working within a bureaucracy
  • Working within a budget
  • Community development and dynamics
  • Assessment - assessing structure, size, community resources, needs, values, dynamics, and power bases; political, economic, social, and cultural
  • Working with and within communities
  • Building relationships and rapport
  • Networking
  • Promoting client self-determination/empowerment
  • Historical overview of community practice
  • The Civil Rights Movement/the Women’s Rights Movement
  • Models and strategies of community intervention
  • Assessment of community problems - identifying the problem and the target system
  • Methods of data collection; surveys, needs assessment, interviews group meetings
  • Planning change
  • Evaluating change
  • Fundraising

    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 25

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Michael Perkins Date: November 8, 2007
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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