What is the Human Services Management Certificate Program?

The certificate program in human services management is a specialization within the macro practice sequence at the Boston University School of Social Work. You must be a declared macro major to participate in this certificate program. In this program, 6 of your elective credit hours are spent in the Graduate School of Management (GSM).

What does the Human Services Management Certificate Program teach me?

This program better prepares macro practice social workers to be managers in nonprofit or public agencies. You will learn specific management skills like financial management, human resource management, and strategic planning.

Why would I want to take courses in human services management?

If you desire to direct human services programs, you need the skills to do so. Many social workers rise to the level of management without being prepared to handle its unique challenges.

When do I need to decide to apply?

If you are a full-time student, the application to the management certificate program is completed in the Spring Semester of your first year. If you are a part-time student, the application is completed during the Spring Semester of your second year. Applications are due on February 1st.

What does the application include?

The application package includes a reference form from your first-year placement supervisor, a reference form from your advisor, a personal essay from you, and the completed application form.

Who might be eligible for the Human Services Management Certificate Program?

Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the first semester at BUSSW. We also require that you have had a minimum of two years full-time paid or unpaid experience working in a human services program. If your experience has been part time but adds up to two years full time, then you have met this requirement. Work experience is required, because if you haven’t had experience in human services, including learning about and negotiating a work environment and organizational culture, then you are not likely to thrive in the very challenging atmosphere of the BU School of Management. In addition, you won’t have enough experience that relates to what you’ll be learning in management classes at BUSSW.

What else goes into the decision-making process regarding admission to the program?

If you meet the two-year minimum requirement, have a good GPA, and complete the application process on time, then we consider the recommendations from your advisor and field instructor, as well as your personal statement regarding your interest in being a manager.

What should I do if I want to be in the management certificate program?

Two steps: (1) register for and take Human Services Management, MP773 at BUSSW in your second semester, and (2) apply to be in the certificate program.

What do I do to apply for the management certificate program?

If you are a macro major who wants to apply for the management certificate program, do the following:

  • Check Ways and Means for more information about the program requirements, content, and outcomes.
  • Pick up an application in SSW 123 or request one from Suzanne Hogan.
  • If you need clarification on the information in Ways and Means, e-mail or call the director of the program: Julie Sweeney Springwater, 617-353-9126.
  • In December, talk to your field supervisor and academic advisor about recommending you for the program.
  • When your application and recommendations are ready, put them in Julie Springwater’s mailbox in the main reception area by February 1.

What courses would I take at the BU School of Management?

    Human Services Management Certificate Program students are eligible to request a variety of courses through the Nonprofit & Public Management Program at the School of Management. Since you are required to take 6 hours there, you will take two courses. Examples of courses our students have taken in the past few years are Leadership, Negotiations, Marketing for Social Change, Strategic Entrepreneurship, and Managing Organizational Conflict and Change.

    What is it like for SSW students in the School of Management?

    Students have appreciated getting the business perspective, and they feel that their experiences with management students have been extremely valuable. You should know, however, that the organizational culture in the School of Management is much different from that of SSW. Social work students who do best there are assertive, confident, articulate, able to work in teams, and open to diverse viewpoints.

    How do I register for courses at the School of Management?

    If you have been accepted into the management certificate program, you will receive a guest registration form, which should be completed immediately and given to Suzanne Hogan, the macro sequence secretary. On this form, you choose your top three choices for courses and attach your BU transcript. When all forms are in, she will deliver them to the School of Management. DO NOT attempt to register yourself at the School of Management, as the administration there has asked that we use this procedure for registering you, and you will have a more difficult time getting in to the classes.

    Can I be a macro major without being in the Human Services Management Certificate Program?

    Absolutely! You may concentrate in planning and program development or community organizing.

    May I take human services management courses at SSW without being in this certificate program?

    Macro or clinical majors can take management courses as electives.

    May I take human services management courses as part of a macro minor if I'm a clinical major?

    Yes, clinical majors often take the human services management or strategic management courses and have commented positively on their experiences.

    May I take courses at the BU School of Management without being in this special certificate program?

    Yes, SSW students may be able to register for courses in the School of Management. Only SSW students accepted into the Human Services Management Certificate Program, however, are guest registered as a group and get preference for registration in School of Management courses. For our students not in the certificate program, the School of Management registers their own students first and then lets guests in, if there is room.

    May I be in the management certificate program if I'm a part-time student?

    Yes, your management placement will be in your last year of school.

    May I be in the certificate program if I'm an advanced standing student?

    Some advanced standing students have been able to participate by making room in their schedules, by waiving courses, and/or moving some required courses to the Summer Semester in order to accommodate the required GSM classes. Please remember that the application deadline is February 1, at which time the Human Services Management Certificate Program students are guest registered early at the School of Management and a management placement is developed. Therefore, the advanced placement student should apply for the management program at the same time he or she is applying to the School.

    May I do the certificate program as well as a three-year dual degree program?

    This is possible but very difficult. It definitely entails taking classes every summer, in order to meet the requirements for all programs involved. If you can present a plan of study so that all required courses fit, then by all means talk with faculty advisors about this. If you have tested out of courses or transferred courses, then this is a more realistic possibility.

    What will the management field placements be like?

    Management certificate students are placed with the understanding that they will be working on specific management skills. They are asked to incorporate the following general areas into their experience during the second-year placement: governance, policy development, program development, planning, personnel administration, staff development, financial management, resource development, evaluation and monitoring, and inter-organizational relations.

    Am I supervised by a social worker at my placement?

    Not necessarily. Many management students are supervised in human services organizations by program managers and agency directors who are not trained as social workers.

    Will this program prepare me to take the social work license test?

    No, it will not. The certificate program per se will not prepare you to take a licensing test which is micro in focus. If you intend to be licensed as a clinical social worker, you will need to learn clinical social work skills.