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Master of Arts in Human Systems Intervention

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  • Objectives
    The objectives of the program are: * to provide expertise for work as consultants and facilitators of change within human systems - groups, organizations, communities; and, * to emphasize the development of process-oriented observation and intervention expertise as well as the ability of human systems to develop these capabilities for themselves.
  • Academic Title
    Master of Arts in Human Systems Intervention
  • Course description
    YEAR I: Total of Required Credits: 18 credits

    AHSC 610 Group Process Intervention (3 credits)

    This course is oriented to the theory and practice of intervention in small groups. The course involves participation in a small group laboratory through which students’ experiences are integrated with conceptual frameworks, including theories of group development and leadership. Ethical issues in group processes will be considered.

    AHSC 620 Learning and Individual Change Processes (3 credits)

    This course will examine research and theory of individual learning and change which involves cognitive, affective and behavioral components. Intervention with an emphasis on a normative re-educative approach to facilitating learning and change will be emphasized. Illustrative intervention cases will be examined to identify essential qualities, underlying assumptions about learning and change in the context of human systems, and implications for the role of the intervenor.

    AHSC 631 Research Methods (3 credits)
    This course examines research methods involved in action research and other applied field perspectives.  Methods applicable at all stages of the research process include the literature review, defining the purpose of study, design of quantitative and qualitative research tools, data gathering, qualitative and quantitative data analysis, and reporting and communicating research results and recommendations.
    NOTE:  Students who have received credit for AHSC 630 may not take this course for credit.

    AHSC 632 Planning Human Systems Intervention (3 credits)

    This course examines the design and implementation of intervention programs from a systems perspective based on organizational theories, needs assessment, theories of learning and change, and group processes.  It builds on basic concepts of organizational dynamics and effective human systems.  Emphasis is on understanding organizational and group processes, development of planning skills, and making strategic choices.  Interventions are framed in the context of collaborative action research with participant involvement at all stages including problem analysis and definition, generating and selecting intervention strategies, action planning, implementation, and project evaluation.
    NOTE:  Students who have received credit for AHSC 630 may not take this course for credit.

    AHSC 660 Philosophy and Ethics of Intervention (3 credits)

    This course will review the philosophical underpinnings of intervention in human systems with an emphasis on a normative re-educative approach. It will address core values and ethics imbedded in change efforts, as well as examining the philosophical roots of different traditions of change methodology. It will consider the philosophical implications of change agents functioning as consultants rather than experts and as process rather than content specialists. It will consider ethical and philosophical aspects of power, strategy, and conflict, among other issues associated with intervention.

    AHSC 670 Consultation Methods (3 credits)

    The course will examine current models of consultation. It will enable students to establish effective client-consultant relationships based on collaborative approaches to entry, diagnosis, planning, and implementation. Ethical concerns for consultation will be integrated with discussions of methodology. Through observation and analysis of student-designed interventions, the course will provide experience-based learning and feedback. Special attention will be given to considerations of power, conflict, decision-making, negotiation, problem-solving, planning and strategy.

    YEAR II: Total of Required Credits: 24 credits

    AHSC 680 Facilitating Individual and Group Learning Processes (6 credits)

    This course will focus on interventions at the individual and group levels. Client-centered models of working in groups to achieve learning and task objectives will be reviewed. Issues of design, planning, and implementation of learning programs for individuals and groups, including attention to power, problem-solving, decision-making and conflict management will be examined in a laboratory setting where students will plan and conduct a group learning program under supervision.

    AHSC 685 Coaching Interventions and Processes (3 credits)

    This course develops professional understanding of theories and methodologies relevant to individual coaching processes in the functioning of groups, organizations and communities.  Emphasis is placed on the development of competencies in executive, managerial and employee coaching.  Course content encompasses phases of the coaching process, communication methodologies, obstacles and barriers to change, individual change models, strategic individual interventions, dealing with resistance, philosophy and ethics of coaching, and coaching structures.  Practical components are integrated into the course.

    AHSC 698 Master’s/Magisteriate Project (15 credits)

    Students must demonstrate their ability to conduct a complete intervention to effect change in a human system as the principal consultant in a collaborative relationship with a client representing that system. The project includes contracting with the client, gathering and analyzing data, implementing relevant intervention activities, and evaluating the intervention as well as their role.

    ELECTIVE COURSES
    Students must complete an additional 3 credits of electives to complete the requirements for the degree.  Additional course-related fees may apply to certain elective courses.

    AHSC 675 Introduction to Open Systems Theory (3 credits)

    This course introduces the socio-ecological version of open systems theory (OST) and practice with a particular focus on the Search Conference, the Participative Design Workshop, and Unique Designs.  OST was developed to promote and create change toward a world that is consciously designed by people, and for people, living harmoniously within their ecological systems, both physical and social.  Students learn how to design and implement interventions in organizations, communities and larger social systems.
    NOTE:  Students who have received credit for for this course under an AHSC 681 number may not take this course for credit.

    AHSC 681 Special Topics (3 credits)

    Topical seminars will be offered to provide perspectives about current intervention themes. These may complement students’ program, but will not constitute part of the required curriculum. Examples include: emerging trends in organizational development; strategic planning models; the use of self as an instrument of change; intercultural issues in intervention.

    AHSC 682 Special Topics (3 credits)

    Same as AHSC 681 when a second special topic is offered in the same term.

    AHSC 695 Independent Study I (3 credits)

    Students may pursue studies in areas of specialized professional interest related to the graduate program or as a means of strengthening understanding of the core areas of the graduate program.

    AHSC 696 Independent Study II (3 credits)

    Students may pursue a second area of specialized professional interest related to the graduate program or further develop understanding in the core areas of the graduate program.

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