Community Studies

Associate in Arts Degree (AA)

Certificate of Achievement (COA)

Program Information
The degree and certificate in Community Studies (emphasis in Direct Services) are applied sociology programs. Sociological theory and perspectives provide the foundation for students to work as paraprofessionals at the assistant level, under the supervision of workers with professional degrees. Students may perform a variety of entry level, social service organization functions including resource development and referral, client screening, assessments, consultation, reports, and record keeping.

Career Opportunities
The certificate in Community Studies (emphasis in Direct Services) is designed to prepare students to work in entry-level employment in public, private, and nonprofit community service organizations. Students have an opportunity to develop self-awareness and career goals through courses in Introduction to Social Services and the Sociology Practicum.

Students obtaining the Certificate in Community Studies will be eligible for entry-level jobs that do not require the A.A. degree in human services.

Gainful Employment
For more information about program costs, graduation rates, median debt of program graduates, and other important information regarding gainful employment, please visit:

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • evaluate the history of the helping professions and the evolution of services and social policy over time.
  • analyze social service organizational structure, its functions, and its application to social service programs and delivery systems.
  • demonstrate an understanding of the social services worker as a paraprofessional and the various roles that the social service worker assumes in the community.
  • compare and choose core helping interventions for work at the paraprofessional level.
  • determine and develop community resources used in assisting clients.
  • integrate personal sensitivity and awareness of the cultural diversity of clients, helping professionals, and communities.
  • judge and apply knowledge of existing professional codes of ethics and laws for the helping professions.

Associate in Arts (A.A.) Degree
The Associate in Arts degree may be obtained by completion of the required program, plus general education requirements, plus sufficient electives to meet a 60-unit total. See SCC graduation requirements.

Certificate of Achievement
The Certificate of Achievement may be obtained by completion of the required program with grades of “C” or better.