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Social Service Field Work

The Social Service Field Work course (SOC 4860, 4865) offers service learning opportunities to students who major or minor in Sociology. The course provides students a unique chance to experience possible career interests, to learn from those already working in the field, to consider the need for graduate education, and to establish valuable contacts that may be helpful in acquiring full-time employment. Working in the field, and using and applying the sociological perspective, are integral and vital activities in the sociological tradition.

Students who take the course select from a range of possible supervised field work opportunities within community, human services, and health-related agencies. In return for their contribution to the day-to-day activities of the agency, students receive direct professional supervision, valuable field experience, and four credits toward graduation.

Students volunteer at the placement agency between 12 and 15 hours each week. Students arrange with the supervisor at their placement an agreed-upon work schedule, specific responsibilities, and tasks expected to be accomplished over the course of the placement. These agreements are stipulated in a Memorandum of Understanding document which is signed by the student, the agency and the Department of Sociology & Criminology.

In addition to the responsibilities the students assume as part of their placement, the academic component requires that each student meet on a periodic basis with the Chair of the Department of Sociology & Criminology to discuss his/her Social Service Field Work experiences and progress toward applying the sociological perspective to these experiences.

The course grade, therefore, is based on two components:
  • A Placement Evaluation of Student Performance
  • A Course Project where the student applies some type of sociological analysis to his/her field work experiences.