HDFS 475 - Entrepreneurs and Leaders in Human Services

  • 3 credits

Skills and knowledge about leadership and entrepreneurship in areas pertinent to human development and family studies, as human services, non-profits, and other enterprises related to helping individuals, couples, and families.

The course will integrate two critical components for work in human services, non-profits, and enterprises related to helping individual, couples, and families: leadership and entrepreneurship. The first section of the course will discuss theory and research on leadership applied to professional communication and decision-making in human service settings. We will review personal and professional qualities essential for successful leadership and entrepreneurship. Roles, responsibilities, and ethical standards for professionals will be examined. The course will then transition to discuss an array of topics associated with social innovation and entrepreneurship, including defining the problem/opportunity, developing innovative solutions, planning a management and governance structure, building a funding strategy, defining a basic financial and operating structure, building partnerships and mobilizing resources, and assessing the impact of innovations.

Course Learning Objectives:

  • Create a leadership and entrepreneurial philosophy built on a perspective of global social innovation and cultural needs of diverse families, couples, and individuals in human service settings.
  • Synthesize leadership theory and research with self-identified areas of interest in human services.
  • Evaluate the practices of successful leaders and entrepreneurs in HDFS professions.
  • Summarize and defend attributes and practices of ethical leadership and entrepreneurship in HDFS professions.
  • Synthesize resources related to the leadership and entrepreneurship in HDFS, specifically related to creating partnerships, identifying financial resources, and securing funding.
  • Develop the skills necessary to become leaders in human services.
  • Assess the need for social innovation to address the systemic and developmental issues of individuals and families.
  • Explain and justify innovative solutions to difficult social problems around the world.
  • Accurately appraise the impact of innovation and human service enterprises.


HDFS 375 (Lifespan Intervention and Prevention Science); completion of 60 credits.

Important Information

All prerequisites must be completed or consent from the instructor given prior to enrollment.

If you register for this course after the start of the term, please contact the instructor at the time of registration. By contacting the instructor, you ensure you are added to the CANVAS section as soon as possible and have access to the course and details about the class requirements.

Textbooks and Materials

View a list of required textbooks.

Access to video equipment is necessary for uploading videos (e.g., webam and microphone).


Dr. Jennifer Aberle
Dr. Jennifer Aberle

(970) 491-5089 | jennifer.aberle@colostate.edu

Dr. Jen Aberle is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies and the Director of the Online & Undergraduate Programs in HDFS. She is a passionate educator with over 18 years of experience teaching and supporting undergraduate students at Colorado State University. Dr. Aberle is thrilled to teach this course - leadership and entrepreneurship in the human service sector is part of her every day work as an administrator. Additionally, she works in the areas of prevention and intervention sciences related to lifespan development and clinical work associated with grief and loss.