SSC 101


FALL 2007

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Note:  There has been a change in the course schedule.  On Nov. 7, we will discuss the Social Science Education Degree Program with Dr. Amy Owen, and on Nov. 28 we will discuss the Sociology Degree Program and the Applied Development Studies Degree Program with Dr. John Green and Dr. Debarashmi Mitra.


Course Information:

Meeting Place:  228 Kethley Hall CRN:  45452
Meeting Times:  Wednesdays, 2:00–4:00 pm (Oct. 10–Dec. 5)  

Instructor Information:


Instructor: Dr. Alan Barton

Office: 214 Kethley Hall

Telephone: (662) 846-4097

E-mail: abarton@deltastate.edu

Webpage:  http://ntweb.deltastate.edu/vp_academic/abarton/

Office Hours:

The instructor holds regular office hours at the following times:


Tuesday  11:00 am–12:00 noon; 2:00–6:00 pm
Wednesday  9:00 am–12:00 noon; 4:00–6:00 pm

If you cannot make one of these times, contact the professor to set up an appointment.

Course Webpage:


Additional materials and updated course information can be found on the course webpage:


Course Overview:


This course is to be taken by all students during their first semester with a major in the Social Sciences (Sociology, Geography, Political Science, Social Science Education, Applied Development Studies, Social Sciences, Criminal Justice).


The purpose of the course is to introduce the various degree programs in the Social Sciences, to complete assessment activities in the Division of Social Sciences, and to better prepare you for academic life at DSU.

Course Objectives:

(1)  Understand the various degree programs in the Division of Social Sciences.


(2)  Complete all assessment requirements for the Division of Social Sciences.


(3)  Begin a portfolio to collect and highlight the work you complete at DSU.

(4)  Learn about campus resources available to assist you during your time at DSU.

(5)  Develop a plan for completing your degree and strategies for successfully achieving your goals.

(6)  Build a more engaged student body in the Division of Social Sciences and at DSU.

(7)  Meet other students in the Division of Social Sciences.


Course Materials:


You will need two items for this course.  First is a large blue book, 8.5 x 11", which we will use for in-class writing assignments..  The second item is a 2" or 3" binder that you can use for your portfolio.  You can purchase these items at the university bookstore, at a retail stationery store, or at various on-line sources.

Responsibilities and Grading: 


Your primary responsibility in this course is to come to class each week, participate and complete all of the assigned work.  We will do some in-class informal writing, and you will work outside of class on a portfolio of your work.  You will also visit your advisor at least twice during the semester to complete assignments.

Each assignment is worth a certain number of points.  There are a total of 100 points available over the course of the semester.  If you finish the semester with at least 90 points, you will get an A in the course.  If you finish with between 80 and 89 points, you will get a B.  For 70 to 79 points, you will get a C, and for 60 to 69 points, you will get a D.  If you finish with less than 60 points, you will get an F in the course and will have to repeat it the following semester.

YOU are responsible for your progress in this course, and in all of your courses at DSU. If you miss a class session, you should check with another student to see what you missed. “I didn’t know” is NEVER a valid excuse. If you don’t know something, it is your job to find out.


You are expected to comply with all academic standards and ethics as defined in the DSU Bulletin and Handbook. You are expected to do your own work in all of your courses. Plagiarism, fraud and other forms of cheating is NOT tolerated at DSU, and the minimum sanction for cheating in this course is a zero on the assignment..  DSU's Vice President for Academic Affairs monitors all cases of cheating on campus, and repeat violations will result in severe sanctions, including expulsion.


For more information on academic honesty, see the DSU Library's "Plagiarism Prevention: A Guide for Students."



16.9% of Mississippians have a college degree; For the U.S., the figure is 24.4%  (Source:  U.S. Census, 2000).  When you finish your degree, you will join an elite group.  What is your strategy for finishing your degree?


“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48).  Will you be ready to live up to the responsibilities of a college graduate?


Learning Opportunities:

You must complete all of the following activities:

(1)  Attendance (25 points)
    • You must attend all class sessions
    • Please sign the attendance sheet at each class meeting; this is the official record of attendance, and you may not receive credit for attending if you do not sign the sheet

    • For each class session that you miss, 5 points will be deducted from your attendance score

    • You will not pass this course if you do not come to class
    • You can be excused from one class period for illness or an official university activity that conflicts with the class, if you bring a note from a doctor or administrator verifying the reason for your absence
    • If you cannot be in class for any other reason, please notify the instructor in advance, and you will receive half credit; For excused absences, you will receive half credit for additional absences after the first; The best way to notify the instructor is through e-mail

(2)  In Class Discussion (15 points)
    • You should participate actively in class discussions
    • Disruptive and disrespectful behavior is not tolerated

    • Make sure all cell phones and pagers are turned off during class

(3)  Informal Writing (15 points)
    • We will use the blue books for informal in-class writing assignments

    • You will prepare essays on assigned topics during the semester

    • The instructor will collect and read your essays during the semester

(4)  Working with Your Advisor I (10 points)

    • Print out a copy of the advisor worksheet (see link below)

    • Between October 31 and November 14, schedule a meeting with your advisor, and discuss the questions on the sheet with him or her

    • Type up your findings, along with your reflections on the meeting
    • You will turn this in on November 14

(5)  Working with Your Advisor II (10 points)
    • Prepare a Course and Graduation Plan and a Portfolio Plan, as specified in the assignment (see link below)

    • Between November 14 and December 5, schedule a meeting with your advisor, and discuss your plans with her or him
    • You will submit your plans, with your advisor's approval form, on December 5

(6)  Course and Graduation Plan
(15 points)

    • Prior to your second visit with your advisor, prepare a draft Course and Graduation Plan, specifying the courses you intend to take each semester and your plan for graduating from DSU

    • Review your Course and Graduation Plan with your advisor at the second meeting

    • Have your advisor sign the Advisor Approval Form attesting he/she has reviewed and approves of your Course and Graduation Plan (see link below)

    • See the assignment sheet for more information (see link below)

    • You will submit your Course and Graduation Plan on December 5

(7)  Portfolio Plan (10 points)

    • During your time as a student in the Division of Social Sciences, you will be responsible for completing a portfolio of your work

    • The portfolio is required for graduation, and you will not graduate unless you turn in a complete portfolio

    • Prior to your second visit with your advisor, begin your portfolio, and complete a plan for your portfolio

    • Review your portfolio and portfolio plan with your advisor at the second meeting

    • You will submit your Portfolio and Portfolio Plan on December 5


(8) Critical Engagement (±10 points)

    • You can earn or lose up to 10 points on your final grade, based on factors such as the motivation, interest, and improvement you demonstrate in the course


Note:  ALL work that you submit, except in-class work, should be presented in a professional manner; that is, it should be typed, submitted on time, and if there are multiple pages, they should be attached with a staple or paper clip.



An international study of 13-year-olds ... found that Koreans ranked first in mathematics and Americans last. When asked if they thought they were "good at mathematics," only 23 percent of the Korean youngsters said "yes" -- compared to 68 percent of American 13-year-olds. The American educational dogma that students should "feel good about themselves" was a success in its own terms -- though not in any other terms.

--Thomas Sowell (quoted in J.M. Henslin, 2004)




Course Outline:




Week 1:  Course Introduction

Oct. 10

Course Goals and Activities Discussion
Engaging the Social Sciences;
Keys to Learning in College
Discussion Slides 1
Slides 2
Assessment-Based Education Reading on Assessment in Education
Week 2:  Goals in College; The Professional Portfolio

Oct. 17

Welcome to the Division of Social Sciences Dr. Albert Nylander, chair
Engaging the Social Sciences
Social Sciences Degree Program
Dr. Garry Jennings
Dr. Paulette Meikle-Yaw

Setting and Achieving
College and Career Goals

In-Class Essay:  What are your goals in college?
Assignment:  Statement of Purpose (Due Oct. 24)
Creating a Professional Portfolio Handout:  Portfolio Components

Week 3:  Campus Resources

Oct. 24

Engaging the Social Sciences
Geography Degree Program

Dr. Mark Bonta

Learning Opportunities on Campus

Ms. Susan Hines, Technology Learning Center
Dr. Richard Houston, Counseling and Testing Center
Dr. Allan Mitchell, Writing Center
Mrs. Diane Blansett, Academic Support Lab
Mr. Michael Mounce, Roberts-LaForge Library Reference Dept.

Setting College Goals

Submit: Statement of Purpose


Assignment:  Prepare a Biographical Essay (Due Oct. 31)

Week 4:  Strategies for Studying in College

Oct. 31

What Do I Want to Know?
How to Study in College
Active Learning Strategies
In-Class Essay:  How do you learn?
  Prepare an Essay on Your Learning Style (Due Nov. 7)
Working with Your Advisor I Assignment:  Schedule a Meeting with Your Advisor; Complete the Advisor Worksheet (Due Nov. 14)
Handout:  Advisor Worksheet
Background Submit:  Biographical Essay
Engaging the Social Sciences
Political Science Degree Program
Ms. Arlene Sanders
Dr. Leslie Fadiga-Stewart



Learning is least useful when it is private and hidden; it most powerful when it becomes public and communal. Learning flourishes when we take what we think we know and offer it as community property among fellow learners so that it can be tested, examined, challenged, and improved before we internalize it.

                                                                                                                   ~Lee Shulman





Week 5:  The Value of College

Nov. 7

Engaging the Social Sciences
Social Science Education Degree Program
Dr. Amy Owen
The Value of a College Education In-Class Essay:  What does college mean to you?
 Statement of Values (Due Nov. 28)
Learning Strategies Submit:  Essay on Learning Style

Week 6:  Planning Your Degree Program

Nov. 14

Engaging the Social Sciences
Criminal Justice Degree Program
Dr. Bobby Moore
Ms. Page Logan
Working with Your Advisor II In-Class Essay:  What do you want to learn in college?
Meet with Your Advisor; Develop a Plan for Courses & Graduation and a Portfolio Plan (Due Dec. 5)
Advisor Approval Form
View the DSU Undergraduate Bulletin
Submit: Advisor Worksheet
Nov. 21


Week 7:  Assessing Social Science Knowledge

Nov. 28

Engaging the Social Sciences
Sociology Degree Program
Applied Development Studies Degree Program
Dr. John Green
Dr. Debarashmi Mitra
Evaluating Learning Pre-Test on Social Sciences
Value of College Submit:  Statement of Values

Week 8:  Student Engagement

Dec. 5

Becoming an Engaged Student In-Class Essay:  What is an engaged student?
Submit:  Blue Book
Maintaining Your Student Portfolio Submit:  Portfolio/Portfolio Plan and Plan for Courses & Graduation
Course Evaluation  

Additional Resources:

Roberts-LaForge Library
         Reference Desk:  (662) 846-4431
         Further information

Writing Center
         201 Kethley Hall
         (662) 846-4088
 Further information


Academic Support Lab

         H. L. Nowell Union 311
         (662) 846-4654
         Further information


Academic Success Workshops
Further information



Office of Information Technology

         Bailey Hall 114

         OIT Help Desk:  (662) 846-4444

         Further information

Technology Learning Center

         Ewing Hall 130        

         (662) 846-4444

         Further Information

Counseling & Testing Center
         O.W. Reily Student Health Center
         (662) 846-4690
         Further Information

Office of Career Services
         H.L. Nowell Union 300

         (662) 846-4646

         Further Information



Be prepared; don’t give up

See what others have to say about preparation

See what others have to say about perseverance