Community Leadership and Human Services

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Community Leadership and Human Services is to prepare students for careers in fields where they will have opportunities to positively impact the communities in which they live and serve. Faculty and staff strive to offer academic programs that foster the development of students’ interpersonal and critical thinking skills, cultural sensitivity, professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions required for them to contribute to their chosen professions. This is achieved through the development of lifelong learning strategies, authentic learning experiences, experiential-based job competencies, and community engagement commitments.


The Department of Community Leadership and Human Services is dedicated to preparing professionals in such areas as: Criminal Justice, Recreation and Leisure Services, Social Work, and Nonprofit Leadership Studies. Students may earn a Bachelor of Science degree or a Bachelor of Arts degree or a minor in Criminal Justice. Interested students may also earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Forensics, which is taught in the Chemistry Department in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, and requires a minor in Criminal Justice. Internship experiences are available during the junior and senior years in a variety of agencies, including the public defender, local police agencies, Kentucky State Police, the Office of the Commonwealth Attorney, victims’ services agencies, and regional corrections agencies.

Students may pursue a Bachelor of Science degree with a track in Outdoor Recreation. Service learning and hands-on experiences occur throughout the curriculum allowing students to develop a record of relevant professional practice. All recreation majors complete a semester internship as part of their degree requirements. Land-Between-the Lakes, a national recreation area, four state parks, and a variety of other natural resources are located within twenty to forty minutes of the University.

The social work program is designed to meet the career aspirations of those interested in fields such as child welfare, mental health, school social work, medical social work, and community organization.  Students who receive the B.S.W., work in recreational programs for children, group homes, public assistance programs and public housing, domestic violence shelters, hospitals, and nursing homes. Social Work requires participation in a field placement in an agency setting during the last year of course study.

The department offers a major and a minor in nonprofit leadership studies. This program prepares students for leadership roles in organizations like the American Red Cross, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the YMCA, hospitals, colleges, and ministries to mention several. It is designed to include competencies in program development, supervision, public relations, and finance to mention a few. Many classes involve a service learning project and can help students earn the designation of Service Learning Scholar at graduation. Note: With the exception of first semester freshmen, all students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher and have completed all developmental courses prior to declaring youth and nonprofit leadership as a major.

Departmental Offices

The main department office is located in CH 108 with Nonprofit Leadership Studies offices in CH 105, Social Work offices in CH 102, and Criminal Justice offices in 101 South Applied Sciences Building.