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Human and Public Services

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ECC helps you gain hands-on experience and make meaningful connections in the field.

Human and public service careers are about serving people and communities. Whether you’re interested in taking a few courses to meet a requirement or want to pursue a degree or certificate, Elgin Community College offers a variety of options to study human services as you work toward a career as a social worker, drug and alcohol counselor, mental health worker, occupational therapist, and more.

ECC offers a variety of programs to help you work with people to improve their quality of life through improvements to their daily lives. You’ll be exposed to both educational and experiential learning methods in assessment, social policy, individual and group treatment, rules and regulations about the profession, and personal and professional self-awareness.

With connections to almost 100 human service organizations spanning four counties, students have a wide range of internship options through ECC’s Field Experience Program. Clinical skills are developed along with analytic and advocacy abilities. Plus, you can transfer to a bachelor’s program at a university after completing an Associate Degree. Our experienced instructors in the human services field teach all courses, and certain certificate programs are only open to former addicts so they can serve as role models to motivate and monitor other addicts to promote long-term recovery.

Plan of Study and Course Descriptions

Please refer to the ECC catalog for program details and course descriptions.

ECC Catalog

Do you have partnerships with community organizations?

Graduates are prepared for employment in non-profit organizations, government agencies, hospitals, health care facilities, community social service agencies, and advocacy groups. The program's community advisory board, comprised of representatives from many of these agencies, ensures that students receive guidance and support tailored to the needs and expectations of the industry.

Through internships and on-campus collaboration opportunities, students receive valuable real-world exposure, allowing them to apply their classroom learning in practical settings while positively impacting their communities. We also offer a variety of on-campus leadership and service programs to get involved in, such as Student Government, Human Services Club, Recovery of All Kinds, Spartan Christian Fellowship, Students Who Are Not Silent, and more.

Are your counselor programs accredited?

Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association, Inc. (IAODAPCA), the Council for Standards in Human Services Education (CSHSE), the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC), and the Council for Standards in Human Services Education (CSHSE) have approved our programs.

ECC in the News

December 2020 Graduate Wendy Rivera.
Accomplishment | Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 12/11/2020

Wendy Rivera: At ECC, I finally felt like I belonged

Wendy Rivera never imagined graduating with high honors or going on to pursue a bachelor's degree. Read how ECC shaped her into who she is today.

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Recovery Support Specialist
Published 04/05/2022

New grant-funded recovery support specialist program launching in fall 2022 at ECC

Elgin Community College is among a select few Illinois colleges to be awarded a state grant by the Illinois Department of Human Services to support a new program for Certified Recovery Support Specialists (CRSS) and Certified Peer Recovery Specialists (CPRS). The program will begin accepting applications this spring, with classes launching in the fall of 2022.

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Elgin Community College December 2023 graduate Tara Retondo
Commencement | Graduation Essays
Published 12/11/2023

Tara Retondo: Nothing or no one will ever decide where I end up in life except me

My dream goal for years was to work in the mental health field because, as someone who had a battle with mental illness, I would find meaning in helping others through theirs.

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Jesse Ramirez, student speaker for the Fall 2023 Career and Technical Programs Commencement Ceremony
Commencement | Graduation Essays
Published 12/19/2023

Jesse Ramirez: This day is just the start

Good morning, ECC students, staff, family, friends, and loved ones of those here. First off, I would like to say how much of an honor it is to be standing before you here. If you had asked me five years ago when I came back to ECC if I would be standing here, I probably would tell you it wouldn’t be possible.

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