Release Date: 
Monday, May 20, 2019

Social Work/Counseling Technician associate degree will launch in Winter 2020

headshot of Imad Nouri
Imad Nouri, lead faculty member for the new program.

Effective the Winter 2020 Semester, the HFC School of Health and Human Services (HHS), along with the Counseling Division, will launch a new Social Work/Counseling Technician associate degree in applied science program.

“This program is rooted in social work principles, counseling, family dynamics, and mental health. There will be required classes in psychology, sociology, biology, and anthropology,” said HFC counselor Imad Nouri, MSLPC, the lead faculty member.

Program Description

This program provides the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to work in a wide variety of mental health agencies ranging from assistants to licensed professionals. Areas of study, either as a counseling technician or through transfer for additional studies and potential licensure, include:
• Social work
• Counseling
• Special education
• Substance abuse
• Gerontology
• Human resource development

Students will participate at a supervised field experience in cooperation and conjunction with mental health agencies, such as:
• Mental health clinics
• Drug and alcohol abuse centers
• Special education facilities and programs
• Community action programs
• Public assistance offices
• Hospitals
• Rehabilitation programs
• Residential care programs

Students will have the opportunity to work with patients, including the terminally ill, the elderly, those suffering from AIDS, and are developmentally disabled. Most HHS classes include both classroom work and field placement experiences, which occur off-campus.

Core Classes

The first class in the program, HHS 100: Introduction to Social Work, will be offered in the Winter 2020 Semester. According to Nouri, a minimum of 64 total credit hours will be required to graduate from this program. Of the 64 credits, 23 must be completed in the required classes, which include:
• HHS 100: Introduction to Social Work (3 credits)
• HHS 101: Introduction to Counseling and Interviewing Skills (4 credits)
• HHS 102: Introduction to Interpersonal Theory & Practice (4 credits)
• HHS 201: Mental Health Technician I (6 credits)
• HHS 202: Mental Health Technician II (6 credits)

According to Nouri, this program is 100 percent embedded per the Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA). This means that HFC students completing the program will be able to transfer seamlessly to all 4-year universities that honor the MTA (all public and many private universities in the state do).

Madonna University already offers a bachelor's degree in social work, right on the HFC campus. Plans are currently under way with Eastern Michigan University (EMU) in Ypsilanti to develop a specific transfer agreement for HFC graduates.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students should be able to:
• Discuss and interpret the history of the social work professional, as well as current issues and trends in the mental health field.
• Apply the different treatment modalities as appropriate to the role of a social work/counseling technician.
• Apply the profession’s ethical standards and principles, including practice with respect and practice without discrimination.
• Apply critical thinking skills within the context of professional mental health and social work practices.
• Research the various public health agencies providing counseling, mental health, and social work services.

“This promises to be a successful program. I’m looking forward to getting it started,” said Nouri. “Students who wish to go onto earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work will certainly benefit from it.”

For questions or more information, contact the HHS at 313-845-9877 or