Social and Human Services


Located in Kirkland, Washington, just outside of Seattle, Lake Washington Institute of Technology's (LWTech) Social and Human Services (SHSV) program prepares students for a variety of exciting and challenging social service positions. The program provides a generalist education for employment in which the student will develop the professional values, skills, and knowledge to assist individuals and groups with personal, interpersonal, and situational problems.

Who Are We? And Why Are We Here?

“We are people people. Human-oriented. People who want to help others.”

“We want to make a difference in someone’s life. We have a passion to help, to contribute.”

In this occupational area students will be prepared for employment as case managers in rehabilitation, employment services, corrections, educational programs, and community based organizations serving youth, seniors, and individuals with disabilities.

 The Social and Human Services program was developed in 2002 by one of the college’s counselors in response to the labor market demand for trained professionals in a wide variety of positions. The curriculum was guided by an Advisory Committee which identified 132 individual skills needed by entry level employees in the field. Each of these skills was built into the certificate and two-year degree courses with core classes in interviewing techniques, case management, multicultural appreciation and oral and written communication. As the program grew, additional courses of specialization were added in the areas of disability, aging, loss and healing, and social problems impacting individual families. Students have the opportunity to combine theory and practical skills in each of three internships, preparing them for successful employment. 

Why Students Choose Social & Human Services at LWTech

You will develop the knowledge, skills and professional values to assist individuals and groups with personal, interpersonal and situational problems.

Other schools offer similar programs, but LWTech SHSV students report a number of advantages to studying here:

  • Hands-on experience.
  • Affordable education.
  • Smaller classes with a personal atmosphere, allowing students to get to know one another and space to enroll in the classes they need.
  • A life-friendly schedule.
  • A friendly, calm environment.
  • Make a real difference in the lives of others.
  • Gain a broad foundation in real-world training, teamwork and problem-solving.
  • Enjoy small class sizes, with hands-on training geared for the work environment.
  • Gain hands-on work experience through the internships available through the program.
  • Enroll at the start of any quarter.
  • Attend full or part-time, with financial aid available for those who are eligible.
  • Have transfer opportunities for four-year degrees.

After Graduation

Some of LWTech's graduates go straight into work in our community after completing their certificate or AAS. They work in senior centers, food banks, schools, shelters, vocational rehabilitation centers, home health agencies and more. Some who are already working earn promotions.

Many of LWTech's alumni go on to get a 4-year degree. Upon completion of the Social and Human Services  AAS  at LWTech students may transfer to a variety of baccalaureate programs at junior status, including the Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Health at LWTech, Seattle Central College, Highline, Central Washington, the Evergreen State College, University of Phoenix and City University of Seattle.

Whether you’re interested in working with people, looking for a new career, returning to school or just beginning your professional life, this program will give you the multiple skills you need for employment in this rewarding field.

Admission Requirements

Admission to our program is simple: enroll at the college & register for our first class

Students begin working towards their degree or certificate in Social and Human Services by enrolling in SHSV 110 Introduction to Social and Human Services. That class has two prerequisites: successful completion of the course Beginning English ENGL 093 (or an equivalent placement score for ENGL 099 or higher); and successful completion of the course Adult Basic Education Math II ABED 040 (or an equivalent placement score for MATH 087 or higher). 

Students who complete Introduction to Social and Human Services are then eligible for the rest of the program.

Get Started at LWTech! You're Ready!

Gainful Employment
Gainful Employment

Regulations published in the Federal Register on October 29, 2010 require institutions to report aggregated information for students who enrolled in Title IV eligible educational programs that lead to gainful employment in a recognized occupation (GE programs). These regulations include the disclosure of tuition and fees, books and supplies, on-campus room and board, number of students completing the program, median student loan debt, and job placement rates which must be available to all prospective students. Below lists disclosures for Title IV eligible certificates offered within this academic program. Please visit LWTech's Gainful Employment page for more details.