Learning Goals and Student Learning Outcomes
The following goals and learning outcomes have been established for students pursing a degree in Sociology:
- Define and apply the basic concepts of sociology including culture, status, roles, norms, institutions, social class, race, gender, and inequality.
- Understand the role of theory in sociology, evaluate the foundations of sociological theory, and evaluate major modern theories such as functionalism, conflict theory, symbolic interactionism, and feminist theory.
- Understand the macro structure of society, evaluate and apply various theoretical positions explaining social order and social change, evaluate and apply various theoretical positions explaining the functions of social institutions and their interrelatedness.
- Understand the microstructure of society, evaluate and apply various theoretical positions explaining the reciprocal relations between individuals and the groups in which they are embedded.
- Understand the design of research including sampling, measurement, and data collection, construct a sampling design illustrating the principles of random selection and stratification, identify possible measures of concepts, distinguish between reliability and validity, identify strengths and weaknesses of alternative methods of data collection.
- Understand ethical issues that arise in the course of research, identify the critical ethical issues in research such as confidentiality, informed consent, and minimization of risk of subjects, be aware of various professional codes of ethics such as the code of ethics of American Sociological Society, identify studies that illustrate the critical ethical issues in research.
Data Analysis and Computer Competency
- Understand both quantitative and qualitative analysis of data, present statistical information about one or more variables, compute and interpret various statistics about variables in samples, conduct inferential testing in order to generalize about population parameters using sample statistics, use qualitative data in generating and testing a theory, write a research report using both quantitative and qualitative data.
- Acquire computer competency for analyzing and presenting sociological findings, become familiar and competent in the use of various on-line data bases of published research, become familiar and competent in the use and application of various software packages for both quantitative and qualitative data analysis e.g. SPSS, become familiar and competent in the use and application of various word-processing software for the purpose of writing sociological papers and reports e.g. Word, become familiar and competent in the use and application of various software packages for the purpose of presentations e.g. Power Point, Excel, become familiar and competent in the use of the Internet and Web pages for the purpose of researching and gathering sociological information.
- Think critically, identify the structure of an argument presented in oral or written form, identify any weaknesses in the structure of an argument, its background, assumptions and its evidence, identify basic fallacies in reasoning.
- Communicate effectively by competent reading, writing and speaking, read and understand professional-level sociological reports, write a clear, grammatical, well-thought out well-organized report of sociological findings, make oral presentations of sociological content acquired in small groups as well as outside of the classroom.
- Identify, locate, evaluate and competently use information, acquire basic understanding of information-seeking practices and retrieval tools from both traditional sources and the expanding of digital sources, acquire skills in accessing, evaluating and using information, recognize the power of information and demonstrate ethical behavior and academic integrity as students, consumers and producers of information.