Augie students studying and working on service learning projects in Cambodia in January and February 2013 with Dr. Marsha Smith, professor of sociology and anthropology (left). Here they are building garden beds for mangoes at the Children's Development Village sponsored by the Life and Hope Association in Siem Reap.
Augustana College offers a major and minor in sociology, and a concentration in social welfare.
The Anthropology program resides within the overall department of sociology, anthropology and social welfare. A major and minor also is offered in Anthropology.
Sociology is the scientific study of human interaction, groups, social institutions and culture — social forces that create order or cause change in society. Students who choose a sociology major with a concentration in social welfare examine responses of society to human needs and social problems.
The sociology department offers a wide range of courses dealing with such topics as race, class, gender, aging, organization, religion, demography and crime. Students of social welfare focus on such issues as mental and physical health, crime, child and family welfare, and poverty.
Because the study of sociology includes issues and themes found throughout the liberal arts, Augustana's liberal arts foundation provides the ideal environment for sociological studies. The sociology faculty contributes significantly to the Augustana General Education Series, the liberal studies sequence for all students.
Augustana students complete a Senior Inquiry capstone project during the senior year, working with a faculty mentor as they demonstrate and further develop knowledge in their field. Within the sociology department, students create a portfolio of their major papers along with a final research project.
Outside the classroom
- Sociology students have opportunities to collaborate with faculty on research in the fields of sociology, social work and social policy.
- The sociology department assists students in finding internship placements in various areas including non-governmental organizations and non-profit sectors, public health, education, publishing and business.
- Students of sociology often participate in the st4udent-run sociology club and the college's chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta, the international sociology honor society. In all, the college offers more than 150 co- and extra-curricular student organizations.
- Every year, Augustana sociology students showcase their research at state, regional and national conferences.
- Career opportunities for sociology majors stem from our graduates' knowledge of social organizations, social relations and collective behavior, and from the research skills they acquire. A degree in sociology from Augustana prepares graduates for employment in a variety of areas, including community relations, human resources, social planning, legal assistance, marketing, applied research and criminal justice.
- Students concentrating in social welfare are prepared for careers in the increasingly complex network of human services, including family welfare, health care, counseling, community organizing, policy analysis and program planning.
- Augustana's graduates in sociology and social welfare have attended graduate school in sociology, law, public administration, social work, criminal justice, education leadership and counseling.
What students say
Josh Morgan '10, sociology and political science majors, psychology minor:
"The sociology and social welfare programs at Augustana prepare you for the future in a multitude of ways. Whether it is through research opportunities or internship experience, the department and faculty are always developing new ways to incorporate learning experiences outside the classroom. In fact, the faculty encourages students to consider a variety of possibilities and to personalize the program to fit their interests. In the course of personalizing my program I was given the opportunity to intern with Arrowhead Ranch, an at-risk center for troubled youth, and the chance to work on a wide range of research projects. I know I am well-prepared for the future, no matter what path I take-law school or graduate school-because Augustana College has made sure this is possible through its prominent liberal arts education."
Sarah Cermak '09, sociology and anthropology majors:
"The sociology department at Augustana comprises professors who love what they teach and love teaching. Studying diverse populations through many of the anthropology and sociology classes I've taken led me to take part in a summer internship through Family Resources, Inc., working primarily at their domestic violence shelter in Davenport, Iowa. This was a challenging internship, but thanks to the education and mentoring I have received at Augustana, I definitely was prepared not only for the internship but also ... my future endeavors."
The six full-time faculty members of the Sociology, Anthropology, Social Welfare Department all hold the Ph.D. and are affiliated with various professional associations. There are currently two teaching fellows in the department. The current department chair, Dr. Adam Kaul, is an Associate Professor of Anthropology.
Dr. Vicki Sommer and students in SOCW160 Intro to Social Welfare and Policy class field trip to the Friendly House in Davenport, Iowa. This is a modern-day settlement house, providing a multitude of services to neighborhood residents.