University of Southern Indiana

Departmental Learning Outcomes

Department of Sociology Mission and Goals


We seek to enhance our students' lives through thoughtful and diverse teaching pedagogies which emphasize the scientific, interpretive, and critical skills needed to conduct theoretically sound, methodically rigorous, and multifaceted analyses of human social phenomena at both the local and global levels.  We offer students direct opportunities to develop and apply those skills through traditional research and experiential learning activities.  We believe our students and community are best served by emphasizing a strong foundation in the fundamental and broad perspectives of (sociology) which permit students to analyze and understand social phenomena across times, places, and cultures while minimizing ethnocentric biases.  

Intended Student Outcomes/Goals

The specific sociology program objectives are intended to ensure a rigorous and academically substantial program that focuses on conceptual learning and the scientific method.  The specific program goals are listed below:

  1. Critical Analysis: Students will be able to critically analyze social situations using sociological theory.
    • The ability to recognize social forces and patterns in their daily life
    • The disposition to question the taken-for-granted assumptions in the social world
    • The skills to reflexively understand one's own behavior
    • The capacity and attitude to challenge the forces of reification 
  2. Sociological Knowledge: Students will have a broad-based knowledge of principles and practices in sociology.
    • The fundamental knowledge of social stratification and inequality based on such dimensions as race, class, and gender
    • The ability to identify and understand social institutions
    • The knowledge of research design and statistical analysis
    • The knowledge of the predominant sociological perspectives and theories
  3. Effective Communication: Students will be able to communicate effectively in both written and oral format
    • The ability to change and adapt writing and presentation style to different audiences 
    • The skills to present an argument based on logic
    • The capacity to know how and when to reference other's work and scientific evidence
    • The disposition to engage in debate with with respect and civility
  4. Sociological Perspective: Students will possess the skills necessary to practice sociology
    • The capacity to recognize appropriate evidence and properly apply it to support an argument
    • The skills to design research, gather and analyze social data using appropriate methods
    • The ability to use appropriate technologies to conduct literature reviews and collect existing data
    • The skills to construct an investigative technique that is grounded in social theory
    • The ability to relate empirical findings to the wider theoretical knowledge base
  5. Independence and Creativity: Students will develop and display the ability to work independently and creatively.
    • The ability to work on projects which entail ambiguity
    • The skill to select research topics that are feasible 
    • The capacity to build on existing sociological knowledge rather than restating it

Contact Dr. Andrew Buck


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