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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Lan Pham
SOC W 551
Seattle Campus

Human Resource Management in the Human Services

Theories and techniques for 1) designing human services workplaces that support employees' performance and well-being, and 2) managing diverse, satisfied, and high-performing human service staffs. Topics include job quality analyses; job descriptions; employee interviewing, supervision and performance evaluation; models of negotiation and conflict resolution; and strategies for working with volunteers.

Class description

This course is designed to give students an introduction into a variety of aspects of human resource management. Students will learn the elements of job description, writing job descriptions, performance evaluations, and also explore supervision tools and styles. This course is also intended to give students the opportunity to explore their own leadership approach and develop insights which can be useful in adapting to a variety of environments and cultures.

Student learning goals

(1) Develop a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the complexity of supervisory/leadership relationships within the organization,

(2) Gain insight into their own personal leadership characteristics, communication style, and areas for growth,

(3) Practice behavioral skills that will help build effective and enjoyable work relationships and promote professional staff development,

(4) Understand the importance of cultural competency in the context of human services program and staff management,

(5) Demonstrate an understanding of, and ability to independently apply procedures for effectively drafting job descriptions, employee interviewing tools, and negotiating job offers, and strategies and tools for employee supervision and performance evaluation,

(6) Apply ethical principles of supervision/management and risk management issues.

General method of instruction

This course will incorporate lecture, discussion, role play, case studies, and classroom interaction. Guest speakers may be utilized when the topic calls for a subject matter expert. It is expected that students come to class prepared to participate and take responsibility for their own learning goals. Feedback on class content is encouraged and expected so that students may gain the most from this learning experience.

Recommended preparation

Previous experience working in the human services environment is helpful, but not required.

Class assignments and grading

Attendance and Class Participation: 25% While the text, readings, and lectures will provide students with key concepts essential to achieving the competencies for this course, classroom discussion and attendance are key to enhancing the learning experience. Students are expected to come to class having read assignments and be open to sharing their thoughts, questions, and issues related to course material. As part of leadership development, students may be called upon for feedback or asked to lead the class/group in discussions based on the readings.

Job Description and Interview Questions: 15% Students will be asked to locate a recent human services job announcement via the internet. Based on the announcement, the student will develop a job interview tool. The job interview tool should be primarily behaviorally based and should consist of at least 10 questions and 2 scenarios and submitted with a copy of the job announcement. *Due – April 26, 2013.

Effective Leadership Skills: 20% Students will observe and interview the site Practicum Instructor (or another Manager at the practicum site) and describe his/her leadership style. Students may ask the PI/Manager what he/she considers as the core or essential skills of effective management and leadership and why. Based on the students’ experience at the practicum agency and through observations, students will describe in writing how their PI (or the agency) inspires and motivates staff. What theories or practice is being used? Has this been effective? What needs improvement? Please keep the paper to no more than 5 pages. *Due – May 10, 2013

Corrective Action Letter/Plan: 15% Students will work in teams (no more than 5) to discuss and develop a corrective action letter and coaching plan related to a challenging staff situation provided to the group. *Due – May 17, 2013

Data Paper and Presentation: 25% Students will explore data collection and planning through a brief writing assignment. This paper should be no more than 5 pages in length and will examine an agency’s relationship with data collection: How is data collected? What is collected? What is the purpose? How has the date inform the agency’s policy or programs? What has the agency learn from the data? What has been effective? What needs improvement? What information is lacking? Please describe any race or social justice implications in the process and outcomes. Students may work individually or in a group (no more than 5 people) and will present their findings in a 10-25 minute class presentation. (Larger groups may need additional time.) *Due – June 7, 2013.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Lan Pham
Date: 04/08/2013