Springfield College School of Human Services Changes Name and Expands Program

Pat Kenney
Managing Editor




Photo Credit: Pat Kenney
Photo Credit: Pat Kenney

Since 1885, Springfield College has provided its students with an education that enriches their spirit, mind and body, also known as the Humanics Philosophy. Simply put, Springfield College is a place where education is key but bodies and minds are equally as important.

Branching off that philosophy, the School of Human Services (SHS) mission “provides a broadly accessible higher education in human services for adult learners that embodies the principles of Humanics, community partnership, and academic excellence to achieve social and economic justice.”

Spread across 10 states, the SHS expands and encourages the spread of Springfield’s Humanics philosophy. As of recently, the school has decided to undergo a change that could lead to expansion and growth with in each of the 10 departments.

As of July 1, 2015, the School of Human Services will officially be changing its name to the School of Professional and Continuing Studies.

“Over the years, many students have asked why we [The School of Human Services] only offer degrees in human services,” stated Jean Wyld, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Springfield.

“They wanted to know why we do not offer degrees in social work or psychology and the answer is because that is our title. We are the School of Human Services and that is what we do.”

Over the past couple of years Wyld and Robert Willey, dean of the SHS on the main campus here in Springfield, listened to and fielded all the questions about the services provided from the school.

As soon as President Cooper arrived on campus, she asked Wyld and Willey; why not?

As Willey announced his SHS decided to answer the question.

“We met with all the campuses and talked about what programs we wanted to offer and how we can use each campus more fully,” continued Wyld. “Long story short, that resulted in us deciding that we need to be offering more degrees and thinking about more ways to offer those degrees.”

Although weekend classes are a major draw into the SHS, Wyld, Willey and the rest of the staff think that expanded classes to weeknights or online would open the school up to much more growth and expansion.

Thus with that line of thinking in place, the name of the school became restrictive. The change in the name would open the school up to more growth and expansion but most importantly more students.

The majority of the students that attend our school [SHS] at all 10 campuses are working adults,” commented Wyld. “What the school does so well is offer them the opportunity to study when they aren’t working.”

Serving the needs of students will fulltime jobs and families has been the specialty of the School of Human Services and that is something they do not want to get away from. Instead, they want to expand into more fields.

Decisions, however, have not yet been made about which degrees will be added due to the fact that the SHS wants each campus to have unique degrees centered around their community and the impact they can make.

Although no decisions are being made about which degrees to add to which campus, the search for Robert Willey’s replacement would quickly help make such decisions.

“The first step is to higher a new dean,” said Wyld. “The second step is for that dean to meet with the campuses and figure out what expansion makes sense for their location.”

With July 1, 2015 slowly creeping upon us, the School for Human Services will soon start to make the shift towards the future in hopes that the School of Professional and Continuing Studies will be here to stay.


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