Tricia Klosky, Ph.D., Chair
The social science department houses the following programs: criminal justice, human services, political science and sociology. The department’s programs examine various elements of society, as described in the major descriptions below. All departmental programs include a mixture of theory and practice, and stress clarity in written communication, oral communication and critical thinking.
The social science department also offers a major in educational studies jointly with the education department. The major is appropriate for students interested in providing education services in non-traditional contexts such as child and family services, corrections, health education, human services and other non-profit settings. Students may choose from concentrations in adult learning contexts, child and family contexts, religious education, and youth development and leadership. See Education section of this catalog for course requirements and additional information.
Criminal Justice Program
Tricia Klosky, Ph.D., Coordinator
The criminal justice program is an applied interdisciplinary program in the social sciences emphasizing a liberal arts approach to the administration and understanding of and the practice in the criminal justice system. The program is designed to prepare students for a variety of entry-level positions in criminal justice and to provide them with knowledge of the causes of crime, as well as the workings of the criminal justice system (police, courts and corrections) and law in society.
General Goals for Learning/Students:
- Have an understanding of the principles underlying the functions of the criminal justice system and its relationship to society at large;
- Have a thorough understanding of the role of criminal justice professional in the fields of law enforcement, corrections and the courts;
- Possess the skills necessary to think clearly, independently and critically about the fundamental issues in criminal justice; and
- Possess the foundations necessary for professional careers in the criminal justice fields, successful graduate study or law school.
Human Services Program
Valerie Edwards Robeson, M.S.W., Coordinator
Human services is a complex social system designed to prevent, identify and respond to the problems people can experience in daily living, such as poverty, abuse, illness and social isolation. The human services program prepares students for entry-level human services employment and for graduate study in related fields.
General Goals for Learning
- Understand the interactive nature of persons and their environments;
- Select, plan, implement and evaluate interventions designed to improve daily life, and promote human well-being;
- Possess the range of communication and information management skills necessary for various professional human services roles; and
- Engage in reflective ethical practice, guided by self-awareness and professional self-management.
Political Science Program
David Lynch, Ph.D., Coordinator
Political science is devoted to the study of the individual as a political being acting in association with others to accomplish public ends. As an academic discipline, it deals primarily with the description and analysis of political systems and political behavior.
General Goals for Learning
- Develop the ability to think critically and write clearly about important political questions or cross-cultural and global issues;
- Enhance their global citizenship through an awareness of the global dimensions of personal choices and public policies;
- Enhance an active democratic citizenship through the development of practical political awareness and experience at political activism; and
- Enhance their analytical and presentation skills devoted to political and global topics through class presentations.
Wesley Miller, Ph.D., Coordinator
Sociology focuses on “the analytical study of the development, structure and function of human groups and societies.”
General Goals for Learning:
- Develop what C. Wright Mills called a “sociological imagination”;
- Are able to differentiate and apply the three dominant sociological paradigms; and
- Are able to examine social reality from a scientific perspective.