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Disability Studies Academic Certificate

The certificate program in Disability Studies is designed to prepare students for a career in the field of disability service provision. Such careers include social and human service assistants, community and social service specialists, rehabilitation counselor assistants, and personal and home care aides. Students will gain the theoretical knowledge and practical skills that will allow them to effectively provide services that meet the unique needs of adults with disabilities. Courses in the program assist students in developing an understanding and knowledge of disabilities that take into consideration the individual with a disability, societal influences, the environmental setting and the mandates of disability law. Students will also learn to employ assessment techniques, programming strategies, goal planning and life skills training that support self-advocacy, productivity, and community and family inclusion for adults with developmental disabilities. This certificate may also be taken in conjunction with the degree program in Behavioral Health/Human Services (BHHS) curriculum.

Student Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this program graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a basic set of helping skills (warmth, empathy, reflective listening) needed for entry employment in the field of disability service provision.
  • Work as a culturally sensitive ethical practitioner.
  • Demonstrate a stronger sense of self resulting from personal growth experiences.
  • Use critical thinking and writing skills needed for working with clients.

Program Entry Requirements:
The program is open to interested students. New students are required to take College placement tests. Students identified as needing developmental course work must satisfactorily complete the appropriate English prior to program entry. Students requiring developmental mathematics courses must complete them in addition to the requirements of the certificate program.

Program of Study and Graduation Requirements:
Graduation from the Disability Studies academic certificate program is based upon successful completion of the 33 required credits of coursework with a grade of "C" or better in all core courses and minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 ("C" average).

Disability Studies Academic Certificate Course Sequence

Course Number and Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits  

First Semester

BHHS 161 - Introduction to Disabilities   3  
BHHS 101 - Introduction to Behavioral Health and Human Services   3  
BHHS 111 - Introduction to Helping Skills BHHS 101, which may be taken concurrently 3  
ENGL 101 - English Composition I   3  
CIS 103 - Applied Computer Technology*   3  
MATH 118 - Intermediate Algebra (or higher)   3  

Second Semester

BHHS 105 - Introduction to Group Dynamics   3  
BHHS 194 - Case Management Practice BHHS 111 with a "C" grade or better 3  
BHHS 195 - Practicum in Behavioral Health/Human Services I BHHS 111 with a "C" grade or better 3  
ENGL 102 - The Research Paper ENGL 101 with a grade of "C" or better 3  
BHHS 261 - Developmental Disabilities Support Services BHHS 161 prerequisite 3  

Minimum Credits Needed to Graduate: 33

*Students with computer experience may apply for credit by exam through the Computer Technologies Department.

For More Information Contact:
The Division of Liberal Studies, Room BR-21, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Telephone (215) 751-8450; or the College Information Center (215) 751-8010.

Gainful Employment Information

Gainful employment information is intended to provide students with better information about the effectiveness of college programs in preparing students for careers. Information provided includes estimated program costs and time needed to complete the program, financing options and related careers.

Review the Gainful Employment Information