SUNY Oneonta

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Department of Sociology
108 Ravine Pkwy.
Oneonta, NY, 13820

Phone
: 607-436-3512
Fax: 607-436-3525

 
 

Sociology Students

 
 

Announcements

Congratultions to our students who presented at the Student Research Show (pictured below).

student researc

 

All the Information You Need

This page is an important source of information for current or prospective students in the sociology department. Click on these links to find information about the following:

Already made up your mind? Apply now for study at SUNY Oneonta!

Thinking about going to a larger school? You might want to read the following letter from a student who left SUNY Oneonta in order to attend a large research university in the South. Here is the link: Letter from a Transfer.

View current faculty-student research collaborations.

What major, track, or minor should I choose?

It is such a tough question, and students frequently don't want to lock themselves into a program they later regret. One of the advantages of studying in Oneonta's Sociology Department is the ability to choose a major and later switch to one more or less specialized or flexible down the road. Are you a Criminal Justice major who has decided that research or law school is more appealing? Switch to the Sociology major - it usually means only adding a course in statistics and Senior Seminar. Are you a Human Services student who finds advocacy of the elderly a rewarding career? The Gerontology Studies program is waiting for you! At SUNY Oneonta, flexibility is our middle name!

When choosing a major, you should weigh the benefits of a specific, career-oriented program against those of a more general liberal arts degree. A career-oriented program, such as Criminal Justice, will provide an education that is more suited to what you plan to do down the road. This more narrow focus is appropriate if you know for sure what career you want down the road. On the other hand, this narrow focus could also narrow your prospective opportunities in the future should you decide that you want to switch careers. In terms of graduate study down the road, students should consider their interests: if you don't enjoy a major and, as a result, do not perform well, you might want a different major. Remember, graduate schools want some promise of success in graduate school, and that means grades. If you don't do well in one of our majors, you might be be better off in a major you find more rewarding.

The Sociology major has three tracks -- one more general and the others more specific. The Liberal Arts track is a traditional Sociology major and is thus our most flexible. It is designed for students who wish to explore the social world, and it fosters critical thinking, research and writing skills, and a broad-based ability to see the world through a variety of lenses. This is, in reality, true of all the Sociology Department majors, but the Liberal Arts track particularly emphasizes these traits by making it easy to declare another major or minor. Students in the liberal arts track have had particular success in double-majoring in such fields as Philosophy, Psychology, Political Science, Anthropology - anything else you might find interesting. A number of students interested in careers in the criminal justice system but wishing to keep their options open have opted to major in Sociology with a minor in Criminal Justice. For students interested in Law School, the Department recommends either this program or other liberal arts major (particularly Political Science) over the Criminal Justice major as the emphasis on critical thinking and writing is particularly applicable to the study and practice of law.

The second Sociology major track is the Human Services Pre-Professional track. This track is best suited for students interested in working in the social welfare system and other human services occupations. It is a strongly inter-disciplinary program that is designed to prepare students either for work in a human services agency or future study in a Masters of Social Work (MSW) program. Students interested in working in a human services capacity within the criminal justice system -- as a prison counselor, for example -- might consider choosing this major and a minor in criminal justice. If you are specifically interested in working with elderly populations, a minor in Gerontology Studies would be appropriate as well. As their are more required credits in this program, it is more difficult (but not impossible) to dual major with another program.

The third Sociology major track is called "Community and Environment." This is the newest of our options, and it opens doors to both immediate careers as well as advanced study. Students who are interested in liberal arts sociology, but find themselves drawn to issues related to urbanization, rural poverty, environmental abuses, community change, and community development should opt for this track or minor. This may be a desirable addition to individuals with environmental science or related majors, who wish to add a social science component to their skill and knowledge set. This will prepare you for a wide range career and graduate training possibilities.

The Criminal Justice major is a pre-professional program designed for students interested in future employment in the Criminal Justice system. The program at Oneonta has a strongly "criminological" approach. In other words, the Criminal Justice major at SUNY Oneonta is a liberal arts program that stresses the critical study and evaluation of crime and the criminal justice system itself. It stresses criminological issues, and it's best suited for students seeking the benefits of a liberal arts education in application to the criminal justice system. The program emphasizes the causes and consequences of crime, and as such is best suited for students who have interests in the study and/or investigation of criminal behavior. Career options include those in the corrections system, law enforcement, and probation and parole. The Department does not offer "skills" courses, such as firearms use or self-defense, and normally does not accept such courses from other schools as satisfying major requirements (although such credits will often count toward the degree requirement set by the college as electives). Students interested in future study of law are encouraged to consider a liberal arts major, such as our Sociology major, the Political Science major, or any other liberal arts program with a strong critical thinking and writing emphasis.

The Gerontology Studies major is a highly interdisciplinary major oriented toward students interested in the study of aging. The Gerontology Studies program is a highly individualized major that is focused on aging and the elderly, and is a good choice for those students looking to work with the elderly or who wish to pursue future graduate level work on the study on aging. As the Department's smallest major, the Gerontology Studies program offers highly individualized attention and flexibility that comes with being in a small major. While not as general as the Sociology major, students have the option of choosing between an internship or Senior Seminar, making this major as applied or as liberal arts oriented as one wishes.

Keep in mind that no matter the major you choose, it is most important that you are interested in what you are studying. A liberal arts education, whether in be in a career-focused program such as the Criminal Justice or Human Services program or in the Liberal Arts Sociology track, should be a rewarding experience marked by personal growth and a more worldly outlook. For the almost three-hundred Sociology Department majors, this is what we offer. We would love to have you as a part of our growing Department, but we encourage you to explore other departments as well.

I want information about the Sociology Club or Criminal Justice Club. What can I do?

Both the Sociology Club and Criminal Justice Clubs are active and instrumental in enhancing the experience of our majors and minors. If you would like information about these clubs, you can contact the club's advisors listed below: To request being a member of these clubs, please visit campus connection.

Criminal Justice Club Advisor: Gregory Fulkerson, Ph.D

Criminal Justice Club Website

Sociology Club Advisors:. and Elizabeth Seale, Ph.D.

I want to join the Alpha Kappa Delta Honor Society. What Should I do?

Students who are either Sociology or Criminal Justice Majors in the Junior or Senior years may apply to enter the Alpha Kappa Delta Honor Society. Please visit the Alpha Kappa Delta page for more information and to see the most recent inductees.

 

What are the department policies?

The Sociology Department has a number of policies that govern student conduct and expectations in all Department courses. The policies are superseded by policies written on the syllabus by individual faculty members, and as such the following policies are in effect except in such cases. These policies are in addition to those of the College.

Basic Course Regulations

1. Class attendance is expected. Students are strongly advised that a good grade is difficult to achieve without regular attendance since much of the material is based on an understanding of the lectures. Any class materials or notes are the responsibility of the student, and the Instructor has no obligation to provide lecture notes, video presentation, or any other material to a student regardless of the reason for class absence.

2. Students are expected to complete the reading assignments in a timely manner.

3. Any cheating on an exam or assignment, if discovered, will result in an automatic E on the exam or assignment as well referral of the miscreant to the relevant university disciplinary committee. The Professor retains the right to assign a grade of E for the entire course.

4. Makeup examinations are subject to the prerogative of the Instructor. Absence during an exam or when an assignment is due is not acceptable. The only reasons accepted for missing an exam or an assignment due date are: (1) death in your immediate family; and/or (2) hospitalization, you or your immediate family. Immediate family is: you, your spouse, your child, your parents, or your brother/sister. (3) court subpoena. If an exam is missed for any other reason you will receive no credit [0] for that exam. Unless otherwise stated, students should assume that exams begin at the beginning of the class and should be ready to take the exam at that time.. Late arrival for an exam is subject to the same policies as missing an exam.

5. The students are responsible for all material and announcements presented in the classroom. Ignorance of announced examination, assignments, and/or course changes will not be accepted as an excuse for incomplete work in this course. A student is responsible for what happens in class.

9. Instructor reserves the right to raise a student grade based on overall good performance

10. Please remember to be kind to one another. Every time you chat, walk around, or eat while class is in session, you are making it hard on some of your classmates. If students complain to about such behavior, or the Instructor feels you are seriously disturbing the class, a warning can be issues in private or public. If the behavior continues on that or another day, the appropriate University authorities responsible for disciplinary issues will be contacted.

11. The Instructor retains the right to ask questions based on the reading, course lectures, or any other assigned work whether it was discussed in class, the textbook, or not.

12. The Instructor has the ultimate authority to amend or except these policies based on professional standards of conduct.

Appeals

You may appeal a grade by a Sociology Department faculty member if you feel that the standards by which you have been graded are biased or unclear. To appeal, you should send a letter of a appeal to the Department Chair outlining the circumstances and reasons for the appeal. You should enclose copies of any relevant materials, such as syllabi, papers, etc. You are responsible for retaining copies of these same materials for your own records. The Department Chair will appoint a committee of at least three (3) neutral faculty members to investigate your appeal. You may or may not be contacted for additional information or documentation at that time. Upon reaching a conclusion, a letter will be mailed to you by the Department Chair informing you of the committee's conclusions. To start this process, you should send the appeals packet to:

Ho Hon Leung, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Sociology

SUNY College at Oneonta

108 Ravine Pkwy.

Oneonta, NY 13820

If the student wishes to pursue the case further, s/he should contact the Division of Behavioral & Applied Science.

In cases where an appeal involves the Department Chair, the student has the option of appealing directly to the Division of Behavioral & Applied Science.

Independent Study Guidelines

An Independent Study is a contract between the individual faculty member(s) and the student. The criteria for satisfactory completion is established between the two parties, subject to rules of professional conduct. An Independent Study is not guaranteed to students; faculty members are not obligated in any way to work on independent study projects with students. Any data generated through such a partnership becomes the property of the faculty member, although any reports written by the student remain the property of the student.

The following criteria are established for Independent Study numbering schemes.

SOCL 299: Directed Readings, Faculty-Student research in which the student is primarily involved in data collection or literature review, and Annotated Bibliographies.

SOCL 399: Student-Faculty Research, Faculty-Student research in which the student is a co-author or has some supervisory role.

Internship Guidelines

An internship is registered under SOCL 397: Field Experiences in Sociology. Internship opportunities are available to all Departmental students, but those student enrolled in programs with a required internship must conduct the internship in an internship site appropriate to the student's course of study, which is set up with the appropriate internship coordinator (contact the department secretary, Michele Myers-Platt to set this up). All students is strongly encouraged to begin the process of internship location and registration during the semester prior to semester during whicht he internship will be conducted. The Department does not guarantee a student an internship opportunity, even in cases when the internship is a requirement. Students enrolled in programs with required internships will, as a general rule, be given opportunities to fulfill such requirements with instructors specifically chosen to work with field experience students.

As of Fall 2005, the Department retains the following faculty for internship supervision:

Criminal Justice: Jim Smalls

Human Services: Ann Marie Mills

Students are not required to set up internships through these faculty, but the faculty coordinator must be a member of the Sociology Department.

Other FAQs

I am interested in law school. What major is best for me?

Law schools tend to be interested in well rounded students who have performed well in their courses. The Department strongly recommends that students maintain a 3.0 or better GPA in their major. It is more important for you to be in a major you find interesting and in which you do well. For this reason, any liberal arts major will be an ideal choice.

The Criminal Justice major is NOT recommended for students who intend to go to law school. If you find the Criminal Justice courses interesting, the Department recommends the Sociology (Liberal Arts) major. All Criminal Justice courses that are taught by the Sociology Department count toward the Sociology Major as well.

I am interested in graduate school. What should I do?

Admission to graduate school is frequently quite competitive. Try to find more than one program that suits your needs, looking at a range of different schools. Try to have a "safe school" or two if possible. Keep your grades up, and apply early. Although most graduate programs and law schools will have a technical deadline of late January or February, some operate on a rolling admissions process, which means that they may have already filled their opening by the deadline. Apply by finals week of the fall semester if you can, and make sure your GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores and any other related test scores (e.g., the LSAT for law school) are on their way by New Year's Day.

I want to do an internship. Want should I do?

Internships are required by some programs and available to all. If you are specifically looking for a human services internship, you can contact AnnMarie Mills, and she will help you find a placement. Criminal Justice interns should contact Jim Smalls prior to the beginning of the semester in which you wish to intern. Appointments with our internship coordinators can be set up with our department secretary, Michele Myers-Platt. If you plan on finding an internship on your own, either in the local area or somewhere else, you should contact one of the above professors and ask if they will supervise it from campus or any member of the Full Time Faculty. If you are interning in a setting that is not Criminal Justice or Human Services related, you should talk with your faulty advisor prior to the semester in which you would like to intern.

The most important thing with your internship is to start the process early. Internships can be tricky to put together, and waiting until the beginning of the semester in which you wish to intern can result in failure to find an internship. Contact the appropriate faculty during the previous semester.

College policy dictates that the paperwork for the internship must be complete prior to enrolling in the course (SOCL 397). This means that you should start the process early: even if you find an internship right at the beginning of a new semester, late paperwork could incur additional fees.

I am a Human Services or Criminal Justice major. Can I have the internship (SOCL 397) requirement waived?

Depending on the circumstances, yes. If you have at least 120 hours of volunteer or paid work experience in the appropriate work environment, you may request a waiver by sending a letter to the Department Chair at the below address:

Ho Hon Leung, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Sociology

SUNY College at Oneonta

108 Ravine Pkwy.

Oneonta, NY 13820

You should also have a letter from your supervisor indicating your terms of employment, work capacity, and official duties sent to the same address. If an internship was conducted for college credit at another institution, check to see if the credits can be transferred. The necessary criteria is: substantial professional responsibilities, minimum 120 hours of work experience, and conducted under the supervision of an accredited college or university. An internship conducted at a high school cannot transfer or be used to waive the internship requirement in department programs.

I feel that I have been graded unfairly. How can I appeal my grades?

You may appeal a grade by a Sociology Department faculty member if you feel that the standards by which you have been graded are biased or unclear. To appeal, you should send a letter of a appeal to the Department Chair outlining the circumstances and reasons for the appeal. You should enclose copies of any relevant materials, such as syllabi, papers, etc. You are responsible for retaining copies of these same materials for your own records. The Department Chair will appoint a committee of at least three (3) neutral faculty members to investigate your appeal. You may or may not be contacted for additional information or documentation at that time. Upon reaching a conclusion, a letter will be mailed to you by the Department Chair informing you of the committee's conclusions. To start this process, you should send the appeals packet to:

Chair, Department of Sociology

10 Schumacher

SUNY College at Oneonta

108 Ravine Pkwy.

Oneonta, NY 13820

I lost an appeal sent to the Sociology Department. Can I appeal further?

Yes. You may contact the appropriate Dean.