Department Chair - Mark C. Seis
Associate Professors - Janine M. Fitzgerald, Mark C. Seis, and Carey Vicenti
Assistant Professors - Keri J. Brandt, Rebecca Clausen, and Kalin L. Grigg
Sociology seeks to explore how our individual and collective biographies intersect history within society. The relationships between social structure and individual consciousness, historical processes and everyday life, and collective interests and individual prerogatives provide the sociological substance by which we become self-conscious. It is through the study of sociology that we become aware of the meaning of our everyday lives and recognize the extent to which we participate in the construction of social formations.
The sociological task of comprehending the relationships among individuals and groups is a significant part of any student’s educational experience. Extensive work in sociology is recommended for students planning careers in human services. Health services administration, family casework, community planning and development, and criminal justice work are typical human service careers. Moreover, an emphasis in sociology provides foundational preparation for graduate work in sociology, social work, public administration, law, journalism, and other fields.
In order to cultivate critical consciousness and active participation in processes of development and change in society, the Sociology/Human Services curriculum is organized to facilitate the integration of theory (reflection) and practice (action). While participation in the human service and practicum courses forms the nucleus of the praxis experience, the Block Internship, Mexico, Community Services, and Service Learning programs all provide further opportunities for engaging in field experience.
In addition to the General option, the Sociology Department offers options in Criminology and Ethnic Studies. Students may choose only one option to complete their Sociology major.
A minor in Sociology/Human Services is available for students majoring in other disciplines.
Sociology Block Internship Program
The Sociology Block program is designed to integrate 16 credits of Sociology course work with a community-based internship and/or a community-based research project. The goal of the program is to provide an educational experience in which academic study is integrated around, and driven by, a community-based project. Placements and projects are organized according to student interest. While the schedule for internship hours varies according to the needs of the particular placement, students are expected to work approximately 20-25 hours per week in their project or internships. In addition, students are responsible for completing all of the assigned coursework, most of which will be integrated into a single, final portfolio. Students will be assigned to one of the participating Sociology faculty members who will serve as the students’ primary mentors in both the academic and community- based work. Students enrolled in the Sociology Block Program should not be enrolled in any other courses while taking the Block.
The Sociology Department conducts a study abroad program in northern Mexico during the winter semester. Students enrolled in the Mexico Program live with Mexican families and engage in service projects in surrounding communities, typically teaching English in local schools. The academic coursework typically consists of a 16-credit combination of sociology, modern languages, and history. Alternatively, students can enroll in the Sociology Block Program and complete the Block Program requirements by participating in the Mexico program.