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Wingate among the best in the nation for human services

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Wingate’s Human Services major is listed as tops in North Carolina and among the top 40 in the nation in a number of recent rankings.

Best Accredited Colleges named the program No. 36 in the United States, the highest ranking of any North Carolina university. College Factual named Wingate both the best and the most well-attended human services school in North Carolina. And Course Advisor ranked Wingate the most popular university in the state at which to study human services.

The organizations examined quality of education, financial aid awards, campus resources and more to compile their rankings. College Factual cited Wingate’s low student-loan default rate (4 percent, as opposed to the national rate of 10.1) and reported that “Every student pursuing a degree in human services needs to look into Wingate University.”

Dr. Christi Sporl, the associate professor who leads Wingate’s program, says strong relationships between community partners, faculty and staff, and students are the key to serving students and the community well.

“I honestly believe what sets us apart are our people and our relationships with each other,” she says. “The human services, sociology and psychology faculty who contribute most to the program not only teach and well-prepare students for the work but also develop strong mentorships with our students. Faculty and staff who contribute to the program work hard to build and maintain strong relationships with community members, and our community partners are amazing at training our students in the field.”

Sporl says the program, which relies heavily on sociology and psychology for theory, knowledge and research, also includes practical skills from the counseling and social work arena. Students get hands-on training to help prepare them to work effectively with various client populations.


The program requires students to take a practicum course during their senior year, in which they work in a human services agency for a full semester while taking a seminar class, “to connect what they have learned in previous courses with what they are learning in the field,” Sporl says. Students also hear from guest speakers, which not only gives them insight into the field but enables them to begin networking.

She said the program may soon begin offering concentrations in social work and counseling while keeping its generalist track.

“We are also developing a plan to get students board certified through the National Organization for Human Services (the HS-BCP credential) when they graduate to better equip them to compete in the job market,” Sporl says.

Wingate students can earn a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree in human services. While many find work with various human service agencies, others pursue graduate degrees in social work, counseling, occupational therapy, marriage and family therapy or other areas.

“One of the key features of the human services program is that it helps develop many soft skills that are required in so many different jobs now plus a foundational knowledge base in the social sciences,” Sporl says. “There are so many possible paths!”

Learn more about studying human services at Wingate at wingate.edu.