Bachelor of Human Services - Inherent academic requirements

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Bachelor of Human Services - Inherent academic requirements

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AR372 Bachelor of Human Services

Committed to equity and diversity
  • At USC, we are committed to facilitating the integration of all students into the University Community.
  • Reasonable adjustments in teaching and/or assessment methods can be made for students provided those adjustments do not compromise the inherent requirements of the program.
  • The inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Human Services are the fundamental skills and abilities that the student must be able to achieve in order to demonstrate the essential learning outcomes of these programs.
  • This Statement provides realistic information about the inherent academic requirements that you must meet in order to complete your course and graduate. Make sure you read and understand the requirements for the Bachelor of Human Services, so you can make an informed judgement about your ability to fulfil them.
Externally accredited

USC offers the Bachelor of Human Services which meet external Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA), accreditation requirements. Students and graduates of the Bachelor of Human Services are entitled to apply for ACWA membership. Relevant standards and codes which inform the inherent academic requirements for these programs include the Australian Community Workers Code of Ethics and the Australian Community Work Practice Guidelines which can be accessed at www.acwa.org.au

  • Key community/human services work and human services practice skills are embedded and assessed throughout the Bachelor of Human Services.
Skills you need

The Bachelor of Human Services has inherent academic requirements in five categories:

  • Observational skills
  • Communication skills
  • Behavioural and social skills
  • Intellectual, such as conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities
  • Sustained Performance
Before you enrol

If you intend to enrol in one of these programs at the University of the Sunshine Coast, look carefully at the inherent academic requirements listed in this statement and think about whether you might experience challenges in meeting them.

  • If you think you might experience challenges related to your disability, health condition or for any other reason, you should discuss your concerns with a University Ability Adviser or School of Social Sciences staff.
Reasonable adjustments

Students with disabilities or other special circumstances may be provided with reasonable adjustment to enable them to meet the inherent academic requirements of these programs if the adjustment is:

  • logistically reasonable
  • likely to result in the student being able to perform the skills adequately and in a timely manner.
Observational skills

The core observational requirements are capacity to demonstrate

  • receptiveness to information within the environment. This is a core requirement because students must demonstrate the required range of skills, tasks and assessments to maintain consistent, accurate and safe practice including professional care of self and others.
  • examination and assessment of situations. This is a core requirement in ensuring safe, professional and community/human services work practice in the field placement context.
Justification

These are inherent requirements of the Bachelor of Human Services because observation is a skill that is utilised throughout the Human Services/Community Work profession and the degree provides eligibility for membership to the ACWA and to practice as a Community/Human Services worker.

Adjustments

Adjustments must address the need to perform the full range of tasks involved in practice. Any strategies to address the effects of vision impairment must be effective, consistent and not compromise assessment or safety.

Exemplars

As a student you must

  • attend to non-verbal behaviour (eg observe body language, tone of voice and facial expressions) throughout the academic and work practice in the field placement contexts
  • observe multiple people and events simultaneously, assess situations and respond appropriately
  • be receptive to their environment and identify relevant aspects of a practice situation
  • observe risk factors in relation to workplace health and safety to maintain consistent, accurate and safe professional care of self and others
  • identify relevant aspects of a Human Services/Community Work practice situation.
Communication skills

The core communication skills for this program are effective:

  • Verbal communication skills
  • Non-verbal communication skills
  • Written communication skills
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Skills

The core communication requirement is the capacity to demonstrate effective communication in English, in a variety of practice and academic contexts; this being an essential requirement for the provision of effective community/human services work support. The academic and field education components of the programs require communication in English.

VERBAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Student will demonstrate:

  • ability to communicate, and to understand accurately verbal communication in English, and respond verbally, in English, to a standard that allows fluid, clear, timely, and comprehensible two-way discussions
  • ability to express ideas concisely and clearly with the capacity to develop skills in verbal reasoning
  • listening comprehension skills that equip the student to deal with varied situations, from note-taking in lectures to work placement situations
  • sensitivity to individual and/or cultural differences in their communication and ability to interact appropriately in different situations
  • ability to understand and provide clear instructions in the context of the situation
  • timely clear feedback and reporting.
Justification

This is an inherent academic requirement of the Bachelor of Human Services because:

  • Communication in a way that displays understanding of, respect and empathy for others, and promotes the development of trusting purposeful relationships is a key requirement for community/human services work practice with both clients and in the workplace.
  • Communication may be restricted to verbal modes because of physical limitations of the individual (e.g. injury, disease or congenital conditions).
  • The speed and interactivity of communication may be critical to deliver individual safety and or assessment.
  • Timely, accurate and effective understanding and delivery of instructions is necessary to provide safe, professional support when participating in group aspects of the curriculum and on field placements.
Adjustments

Adjustments must address effectiveness, timeliness, clarity and accuracy issues to ensure appropriate support.

Exemplars

As a student you must:

  • engage in discussions, make verbal presentations and participate in tutorials, clinical discussions and group-work
  • recognise, interpret and respond appropriately to verbal communication and non-verbal communication cues accurately and appropriately
  • convey spoken and written messages, including complex academic perspectives, accurately and effectively
  • communicate appropriately in any exchange or encounter in the field placement setting, eg in supervision, interviews, staff and interagency meetings
  • make verbal presentations as required when on field placement in host agencies.

NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Effective non-verbal communication is fundamental to community/human services work and needs to be respectful, clear, attentive, empathetic, non-judgemental and appropriate to the practice context.

Students will demonstrate:

  • capacity to recognise, interpret and respond appropriately to behavioural cues
  • consistent and appropriate awareness of own behaviours and their impact on others.
Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Human Services because:

  • The ability to observe and understand non-verbal cues assists with building rapport with people and gaining their trust and respect in academic, professional and practice settings.
  • Displaying appropriate facial expressions, eye contact, being mindful of space, time boundaries and body movements and gestures promotes trust in academic, professional and practice settings.
  • Being sensitive to individual differences displays respect and empathy to others and develops trusting relationships that are essential for effective professional support.
Adjustments

Adjustments must enable the recognition, initiation of or appropriate response to effective non-verbal communication in a timely and appropriate manner.

Exemplars

As a student, you must:

  • recognise and respond appropriately to non-verbal cues in classroom and assessment situations
  • recognise and respond appropriately to non-verbal cues in the field placement environment.

EFFECTIVE WRITTEN COMMUNICATION

English literacy is a fundamental community/human services work requirement in Australia with professional and legal ramifications. Proficiency in other languages can also be highly valued in some practice settings.

Students will demonstrate:

  • capacity to construct coherent, timely and professional written communication in English appropriate to the circumstance
  • reading and comprehension of a range of literature and information in English
  • capacity to construct coherent written communication appropriate to the circumstances
  • capacity to understand and implement academic and practice conventions to construct written text in an appropriate manner for the intended audience.
Justification

This is an inherent academic requirement of the Bachelor of Human Services because

  • Construction of written text-based assessment tasks in English to reflect the required academic standards is necessary to convey knowledge and understanding of relevant subject matter and for demonstrating community/human services work practice standards.
  • Accurate written communication, including record keeping, written reports and case notes is vital to provide consistent and accurate assessments and professional support in the field placement context.
  • The ability to read, decode, interpret and comprehend multiple sources of information is fundamental for safe and effective assessment, treatment and professional support in the field placement context.
Adjustments

Adjustments must allow students to meet necessary standards of clarity, accuracy and accessibility to ensure effective acquisition, recording, comprehension and transmission of information in both academic and field placement settings.

Exemplars

As a student, you must:

  • construct an essay to academic standards
  • construct a community/human services work case notes/report in a timely manner that meets professional standards
  • develop a written framework for community/human services work practice as an outcome of field placement
  • paraphrase, summarise and reference in accordance with appropriate academic, professional and/or organisational practice conventions.

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) SKILLS

The capacity to acquire and demonstrate sound working skills in applying information and communication technologies (ICT) to communicate via a range of ICT applications and systems in both academic and professional settings.

Justification

These are inherent requirements of the Bachelor of Human Services degree because competent ICT skills are essential to:

  • successfully accessing, applying and communicating information to meet learning outcomes
  • preparing and completing assessment tasks, WIL placements and submitting assessment items online.
Adjustments

Adjustments must demonstrate a capacity to effectively use a range of ICT to apply and communicate accurate information. USC has in place a range of strategies and technology to support students with disabilities. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with the University’s AccessAbility Service.

Exemplars

As a student you must:

  • employ a range of ICT skills, such as internet searching and word processing, to complete written and audio-visual learning and assessment activities.
  • use Blackboard (USC’s virtual learning environment) and the online placement system to undertake activities, placements and assessments to meet intended learning outcomes
  • use a range of software applications and devices for academic, research and placement purposes, in face-to-face and online synchronous and asynchronous communication environments.
Behavioural and social skills

The core behavioural and social skills are the capacity to demonstrate:

  • Relational skills
  • Ethical behaviour
  • Behavioural and emotional stability
  • Behaviour within legal parameters

RELATIONAL SKILLS

This is a core requirement of the program because community/human services work practice requires the ability to make and maintain purposeful, equitable and appropriately bounded relationships with a wide range of individuals, groups and communities.

Students will demonstrate:

  • ability to establish and maintain respectful relationships with clients, academic staff, supervisors and peers
  • ability to engage and relate appropriately in individual and group supervision and experiential learning groups
  • ability to develop, articulate and maintain appropriate professional boundaries.
Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Human Services because highly developed relational skills are a cornerstone of effective helping including effective engagement, assessment and intervention which may occur over a sustained period.

Adjustments

Adjustments must not compromise the student's ability to demonstrate an acceptable level of effective relational skills.

Exemplars

As a student, you must:

  • build rapport in a timely and appropriate manner with a client to engage them while on placement
  • demonstrate appropriate boundaries in professional relationships consistent with the practice setting and community/human services work standards
  • manage tensions and challenges in relationships with clients, individuals, groups, placement agency staff and communities appropriately while on placement.

ETHICAL BEHAVIOUR

Students will demonstrate knowledge of, and engage in, ethical behaviour in practice.

Students undertaking community/human services work studies are governed by practice standards and codes of ethics which include but are not limited to the Australian Community Workers Code of Ethics and the Australian Community Work Practice Guidelines which can be accessed at www.acwa.org.au Students are both accountable and responsible for ensuring professional behaviour in all contexts. A core requirement of these standards is professional integrity.

Justification

Ethical behaviour and professional integrity are inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Human Services because compliance to codes, guidelines and policies facilitates safe, competent interactions and relationships for students and/or the people with whom they engage. This supports the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of all.

Adjustments

Adjustments must ensure the codes and standards are not compromised or result in unethical behaviour.

Exemplars

As a student you must

  • be aware of and be guided by relevant codes, guidelines and policies and apply ethical principles and processes to decision making in academic and field placement settings. This includes complying with professional standards and requirements in a manner consistent with the Australian Community Workers Code of Ethics and the Australian Community Work Practice Guidelines.
  • demonstrate professional integrity, including competent interactions and relationships with other students and/or the people they engage with on field placements.
  • demonstrate appropriate behaviour with confidential information in classroom and field placement settings
  • reflect on ethical considerations and issues and take responsibility for ensuring own awareness of ethical behaviour.

BEHAVIOURAL STABILITY

Students will demonstrate sufficient behavioural stability to work constructively, both individually and in teams, in diverse and at times, changing and unpredictable environments, in academic, placement and professional settings.

Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Human Services because students are required to function and adapt effectively and sensitively as Human Services/Community Worker. Furthermore, the nature of working with vulnerable people, groups and communities means Human Services students will often be exposed to highly complex human situations. They are required to have sufficient behavioural and emotional stability to engage and respond appropriately to these situations along with the capacity to seek appropriate supervision and support when needed.

Adjustments

Adjustments must support stable, effective and professional behaviour in both academic and field placement settings.

Exemplars

As a student, you must:

  • be aware of own emotional reactions and appropriately engage in supervision and support to maintain appropriate behaviour
  • be receptive and professional in responding appropriately to constructive written and verbal feedback
  • maintain respectful communication in times of increased stress or workloads during field placements.

BEHAVIOUR WITHIN LEGAL PARAMETERS

Behaving within legal parameters is a core requirement of students because Human Services practice is often occurring in the context of specific legislative, regulatory, administrative and common law requirements which provide a context for the delivery of safe and appropriate services.

Students will demonstrate knowledge of, and compliance with the legal requirements relevant to community/human services work practice, professional regulations and roles undertaken including in field education placements. Students may need to use such knowledge for the benefit of client individuals, groups and communities, as part of the commitment of community/human services work to social justice and human rights. Given the law may not be clear in its application to particular practice situations, students must demonstrate the capacity to appropriately seek advice and supervision about the legal aspects of practice situations.

Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Human Services because of the need to demonstrate knowledge, understanding, and compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements in order to reduce the risk of harm to clients, self and field placement agencies. Compliance with legislation and common law in the field placement setting reflects the requirement that students are both responsible and accountable for their practice.

Adjustments

Adjustments must be consistent with legislative and regulatory requirements.

Exemplars

As a student, you must:

  • comply with relevant legislation including child protection and safety legislation
  • hold a valid Working with Children Check in placements
  • seek appropriate advice and supervision about the legal aspects of a practice situation when on field placement.
Intellectual – conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities

The core intellectual requirements for this program are the capacity to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge and cognitive skills
  • Reflective skills, including the ability to integrate a diversity of considerations

CONSISTENT KNOWLEDGE AND EFFECTIVE COGNITIVE SKILLS

This is a core requirement of the Bachelor of Human Services program because knowledge and effective cognitive skills are essential for identifying and responding to the needs of client individuals, families and communities. Community/human services work occurs at the interface between people and their social, cultural and physical environments and may include a wide variety of interrelated needs and issues.

Students will demonstrate:

  • capacity for independent critical thinking, creative thinking, problem solving, critical analysis, decision making, rational inquiry and self-directed learning
  • capacity to locate appropriate and relevant information and process information relevant to practice
  • ability to integrate and implement knowledge in practice.
Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Human Services because conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities are necessary for the students to be able to fulfil the required range of academic and practice tasks including providing safe and effective human services practice which appreciates the various contexts and contributing factors to people’s situations and issues and is based upon knowledge that the student must source, understand and apply appropriately. This includes the knowledge of clients and communities, as well as research and professional knowledge.

Adjustments

Adjustments must not compromise or impede student’s ability to demonstrate the minimum acceptable level of knowledge and cognitive skills required to practise safely.

Exemplars

As a student you must

  • locate, conceptualise, and use appropriate knowledge in response to academic assessment items
  • build strong conceptual frameworks and apply knowledge of theories, models, concepts, legislation, policy and practice; in classroom discussions, groupwork, assessments and professional contexts
  • appropriately apply knowledge of policy and procedures in the field placement
  • identify, critically analyse and synthesise knowledge from various appropriate sources, including the views of client individuals, groups, communities and staff they practice with to inform assessment and the development of practice responses.

REFLECTIVE SKILLS

This is a core requirement of this program because community/human services work practice requires self-awareness and a capacity for reflectivity to consider the effect of one's own issues, actions, values and behaviours on practice. The human services practitioner is required to regularly undertake critical reflection about the nature of people’s issues and needs. This involves the dual challenge of both assisting people’s functioning and identifying and responding to systemic issues that create inequity and injustice. The human services practitioner must also possess the ability to appreciate and reflect on the social, economic, cultural and situational contexts of people’s lives and the implications these have for practice.

Students will demonstrate:

  • ability to accurately reflect on their own values and their earning and life experiences, and how these influence their academic success and professional practice
  • ability to identify and critically reflect on various contexts for the issues people face, including the social, cultural, legal and economic contexts of people’s situations and experiences, and the implications of these for practice
  • ability to accept feedback on their professional practice and respond constructively.
Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Human Services because:

  • Reflective self-awareness and commitment to social justice are core requirements of ethical community/human services work practice.
  • The ability to appreciate and reflect on the various contexts in which people experience difficulty is a core requirement for appropriate assessment and support.
  • Participation in supervision is a key teaching strategy in community/human services work education and this requires a well-developed understanding of oneself to facilitate ongoing learning.
  • Working with clients while on placement and understanding and responding to them requires well developed understanding of oneself and the ability to effectively manage one's reactions to situations that may arise.
Adjustments

Adjustments must not compromise the student's ability to demonstrate an acceptable minimum level of capacity in this area.

Exemplars

As a student, you must:

  • identify, critically reflect on relevant contexts which influence how people experience difficulty and use this reflection to develop integrated responses to academic and field placement challenges.
  • demonstrate in assignments and field education processes the capacity to reflect on your own values and experiences and how these influence your practice.
  • demonstrate an ability to appreciate and respond to complexity in community/human services work practice.
  • identify when a practice issue is outside your scope of expertise or when one's practice may be negatively affected by personal experience and/or reactions.
Sustained performance

The capacity to demonstrate sustained performance is a core requirement of this program because human services/community work practice in the field placement context requires both physical and mental performance at a consistent and sustained level.

 Students will demonstrate:

  • consistent and sustained level of physical energy to complete a specific task in a timely manner and over time
  • capability to perform repetitive activities with a level of concentration that ensures a capacity to focus on the activity until it is completed appropriately
  • capacity to maintain consistency and quality of performance throughout the designated period of time.
Justification

This is an inherent academic requirement of the Bachelor of Human Services because sufficient physical and mental resilience is an essential requirement needed to perform tasks in an assigned period to provide effective, safe and professional support in field placement and professional contexts.

Adjustments

Adjustments must ensure that performance is consistent and sustained over a given period.

Exemplars

As a student, you must:

  • participate regularly in tutorials, lectures, workshops and skill development assessments
  • engage consistently in field placement practice over the required time frame
  • perform at a consistent and sustained level to meet learning requirements
  • respond appropriately to academic set-backs through self-evaluation and when experiencing difficulties make this known to appropriate academic and University staff members and/or the work placement supervisor.
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