Human Services


If you have an interest in the Human Services career field and would like to hear more about any of our four areas of study, please click the link below to watch a video of the most recent annual Human Services  Informational Session. You can hear about the different certificate options we offer, what you can do with your certificate, the length of time it takes to complete our program, and much, much more. The ending also includes an open Q&A between the audience and our panel members.



Human Services Updates: What's New & How It Affects You


Check here for important Human Services Program updates. Updated links and information regarding courses, Fieldwork and Seminar (HS 110 and HS 150), Mental Health Worker Cooperative Work Experience (CWE 180), etc. will be posted regularly.

Live Webinar with Dr. Cornel West - Dr. Cornel West Video at Saddleback College (10-23-20)                                                Also on YouTube-YouTube Video: Dr. Cornel West at Saddleback College 


re-introducing the occupational skills award for eating disorder studies


About the Human Services Programs


Saddleback College Human Services Mission Statement (Rev. 2020)

To provide quality education for knowledge acquisition and skill development in the areas of assessment, intervention, treatment, advocacy, and support, on behalf of individuals seeking human services.

The Human Services program offers four areas of study for people looking for a career in the helping professions. The curricula meets the needs of career-oriented students seeking a certificate in Alcohol & Drug Studies,  Human Services Generalist, or Mental Health Worker. In addition, students may continue on and complete an Associates of Science degree in one of these three educational areas. Our programs serve as an introduction to social work, social welfare, criminal justice, counseling, mental health, alcohol & drug counseling, and other helping professions for students planning advanced degrees in these fields. Coursework includes participation in internships or Cooperative Work Experience at various facilities. We also offer an Occupational Skills Award in Eating Disorders and Community Based Corrections. This skills award may be obtained on it's own or in addition to any of our certificate programs. See Schedule of Classes for Human Services courses and refer to our "HS Roadmap" below.

HS Services Program at a Glance

Faculty & Staff


Caroline Paltin, PhD 
Chair and Professor, Human Services Program

HS Adjunct Faculty Team Contacts:

  • Cristina Jones:
  • Mia Ferreira:
  • Geoff Henderson:
  • Jim Wainwright:
  • Joe Salcido:
  • Tracy Ballardo:


Chelsey Tyson -
Human Services/Medical Assisting Program Specialist / Office HS 235

Additional Information and Resources 

  • Individuals who work, volunteer, or intern at a licensed alcohol and drug treatment facility, in a counselor capacity, must be registered or certified with one of the state-approved certifying organizations, per the CA. Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). It is important to note that, once you get registered there is a 5-year timeframe to become certified. Reference the DHCS links for details. Saddleback College Human Services Alcohol and Drug Studies Certificate of Achievement Program is accredited by the California Association for Alcohol and Drug Educators (CAADE)


  • Students are encouraged to review each certifying organization to determine which organization you plan to register with. 


  • CAADE emphasizes an educational philosophy and it is the accrediting organization for the Alcohol and Drug Studies Certificate Program. We therefore recommend registration with CAADE/ACCBC when it is time for you to register. However, you may select the organization of your choice.


  • If you are considering getting an AS degree and/or transferring to a university upon completion of your degree and/or certificate, you may take some of the required general education (GE) courses along with the HS courses during each semester. It is recommended that you meet with a counselor for information about the GE courses need for an AS degree and/or transfer. 


  • Counselor Contacts:
    • Please call to set-up appointments with a specific Counselor 949-582-4572 
      • Michelle Gustafson (Counselor)
      • Doug Barr (Counselor)
      • Aimee Tran (Articulation Officer)