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Overview of Associate Degree Program in Public Service

Majors Overview June 18, 2013

The spirit of public service informs diverse careers, but specifically those in criminal justice, fire fighting, and human services. Most public service technology departments at local community colleges allow students to choose associate degree programs in a service-oriented field.

Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Public Service Technology Field

There are a diverse number of public service technology programs offered by schools including training for homeland security personnel, police, industrial health and safety professionals, firefighters and paramedics. Associate degree programs in public service technology also include those in American Sign Language interpretation, early childhood development and human services. Students are taught the professional ethics and foundational knowledge required for their public service career. Coursework in most programs are a combination of classroom lectures and practical training.

Education Requirements

High school graduates without any prior post-secondary education can seek enrollment in associate degree programs in public service technology. Some public service degree programs are also open to working professionals already employed in the public service sector, but want to complete a degree program. Prospective employees for most public safety positions are usually required to meet minimum physical fitness requirements.

Program Course Topics

The associate degree program in human services will lead to a wide range of public service occupations, such as social work assistant, mental health aide, and community outreach worker. Students who have selected human services as a representative program may take the following courses:

•Human services internship
•Social ethics
•Case management
•Group dynamics
•Social psychology
•Psychology
•Computer applications
•Human services foundations

Career Options

Public service technology associate degree program graduates can further their education or go on to a range of entry-level positions. Individuals may obtain the following public service positions:

•Teacher aide
•Gerontology aide
•Paramedic
•Community support worker
•Fire fighter
•Law enforcement officer

Continuing Education Information

Completion of an associate degree program in public services technology will give students the educational background needed in order to enroll in a bachelor degree program. Schools usually allow students to directly transfer credits earned from an associate’s degree program to a four-year bachelor degree program in areas such as law enforcement, criminal justice fire science, human services and early childhood education. Associate degree program graduates could also seek membership from professional associations in their specific public service fields, thereby benefiting from opportunities to network and continue education.

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