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The mission of the department of sociology is as follows: The faculty of the department of sociology offers a broad range of high quality, interactive courses that provide sociological perspectives for students and others, leading to an understanding of our own as well as other societies and cultures. The faculty is committed to excellence in the integration of teaching, research, and service that connects local, national, and global communities.
In order to fulfill this mission, we create learning environments which ensure the highest quality of learning and often engage students in research projects in the local community. Students in sociology courses are challenged in many ways. Research and writing requirements are heavier than those in most other departments. Mainstream assumptions about race/ethnicity, social class, nationality, religion, and gender are frequently challenged in ways that have an emotional impact upon students.
In order to have successful and open discussion of these challenging issues it is necessary to have a safe teaching and learning environment.
We provide an atmosphere of mutual respect among students and between faculty and students to allow for honest discussion, questioning, and analysis. The department frequently meets to discuss ways to ensure and promote the level of mutual respect which will lead to the highest levels of learning. We have ongoing discussions about improving teaching methods, and the department works as a team to promote the continual improvement of the learning experiences of our students.
In accordance with national standards, we support the academic freedom of our faculty to incorporate new and innovative hands-on learning experiences into their classes, and we encourage experimentation with new methods.