Mission and Outcomes Statements


Mission Statement
Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies Majors
Dept. of Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies
The missions of the Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies programs at Westminster College are to help students understand and practice the scientific study of human behavior as it is interpreted and experienced in groups.  The department studies criminology and criminal justice within sociological frameworks.  The systematic approach that sociology requires liberates students from individualistic mindsets and helps them to understand themselves and their society in new ways.  Thus the sociological perspective is profoundly transformative.  Our enterprise contributes to the larger vision and goals of the liberal arts with its emphasis on logical reasoning, critical reflection, clear written and oral communication, skilled group work, appreciation of pluralism and diversity, viewing of self and society from alternate perspectives, application of knowledge to solving social problems and cultivation of identity as both a local and global citizen.  We achieve these learning goals using a variety of pedagogies informed by best practices in the scholarship of teaching and learning and focused on active engagement inside the classroom and in the larger society.  As dedicated scholars ourselves we enjoy modeling the process of discovery as we guide students in experiencing its satisfactions. 


Departmental Outcomes for Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies Programs
Students majoring in Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies will be able to:
Knowledge Goals:
1.Articulate a sociological perspective on social issues
2.Understand and apply core sociological concepts
3.Understand, apply and evaluate classical and contemporary sociological theories
4 Understand, apply and evaluate major qualitative and quantitative research methods in sociology
5.Explain the concept of value-freedom and arguments about its merits and attainability
6.Explain how historical change and continuity, as well as cultural context, influence individual, group, and/or institutional behavior
7.Evaluate the dynamic role of individuals on group and/or institutional processes
Skills Goals:
8.Make comparative analyses across cultures and societies
9.Locate and effectively use disciplinary information literacy resources
10.Interpret data presented in charts, tables and graphs
11.View social phenomena from alternate perspectives
a.Demonstrate competency in recognizing the implications of meso and macro social forces on individuals
b.Demonstrate competency in understanding privileges, disadvantages and experiences of people in social statuses very unlike one’s own
c.Demonstrate the ability to apply two or more theoretical perspectives to a single social situation or process
12.Summarize and critique academic journal articles in Sociology
13.Conduct both original and archival research on a sociological subject, using quantitative and qualitative methods and abiding by the ASA Code of Ethics
14.Demonstrate basic competency in SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences)
15.Correctly use the American Sociological Association documentation format
16.Apply sociological perspectives, concepts and theories to co-curricular activities, service learning and internships
Value/Attitudinal Goals:
17.Understand themselves in new, sociologically-informed ways
18.Understand their society in new, sociologically-informed ways
19.Appreciate pluralism and diversity
20.Refine moral and ethical commitments to one’s local citizens
21.Refine moral and ethical commitments to one’s global citizens