SSC 101


FALL 2008

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Course Information:

Meeting Place:  228 Kethley Hall CRN:  45452
Meeting Times:  Wednesdays, 2:00–4:00 pm (Oct. 8 – Dec. 3, 2008)  

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 2:00 – 5:00 pm
    Wednesday 9:50 – 11:40 am

    Thursday 2:00 – 5:00 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, 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 Materials:


You will need two items for this course.  First is a blue book, 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.

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.

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 specified 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 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," available on the library website.



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, 4 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 and Portfolio Essays (15 points)
    • We will use the blue books for informal in-class writing assignments; the instructor will collect and read your blue books twice during the semester

    • You will prepare essays on assigned topics during the semester; these essays will go in your portfolio

    • The assignment for each essay is available on the Course Outline section of the on-line syllabus

(4)  Working with Your Advisor I (15 points)

    • Print out a copy of the advisor worksheet, linked from the Course Outline below

    • On the scheduled date, you will be given a sheet with various questions

    • You then must 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
    • Turn this in on the scheduled date

(5)  Working with Your Advisor II (10 points)
    • Prepare a Course and Graduation Plan as specified in the assignment linked from the Course Outline below

    • You will meet again with your advisor and go over your Course and Graduation Plan

    • At this visit, you will also review your Portfolio with your advisor

    • You will submit your Course and Graduation Plan, with your advisor's approval form, on the specified date

(6)  Course and Graduation Plan (20 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

    • Take your Portfolio with you to the second meeting and review your Portfolio with your advisor

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

    • Submit your Course and Graduation Plan on the specified date


(7) 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.



Course Outline:




Week 1:  Course Introduction

Oct. 8


  Dr. Albert Nylander,
Chair of the Division of Social Sciences
Welcome to the Division of Social Sciences
Engaging the Social Sciences
Degree Programs in the Social Sciences
Dr. Garry Jennings,
Professor of Political Science
Review the Course Schedule Discussion
Week 2:  The Professional Portfolio

Oct. 15


Ms. Page Logan, Instructor in Social Justice & Criminology
Dr. Tiffany Guidry, Assistant Professor of Social Justice & Criminology
Engaging the Social Sciences
Social Justice & Criminology Degree Program


Course Goals
Keys to Learning in College Slides 1: Engaging the Social Sciencees
Slides 2: Engagement in Learning
Creating Portfolios:  The Professional Portfolio and the Assessment Portfolio Discussion
Handout:  Portfolio Components

Week 3:  Assessment-Based Education

Oct. 22



Dr. Albert Nylander, Professor of Sociology & Community Development

Engaging the Social Sciences
Social Science Education Degree Program



Reading on Assessment in Education "What is an Educated Person?" by J.G. Gaff (Peer Review, Fall 2004)

Assessment-Based Education

Setting and Achieving
College and Career Goals

In-Class Essay: What are your goals in college?
Assignment:  Prepare a Statement of Purpose
(Due Oct. 29)

Week 4:  Where to Go for Help

Oct. 29


Assignment:  Interview Your Advisor (Due Nov. 12)
Handout:  Advisor Worksheet
Working with Your Advisor I
Assessing Your Background In-Class Essay: Who are you?
Assignment:  Prepare a Biographical Essay
(Due Nov. 5)
Setting College and Career Goals Submit:  Statement of Purpose


Dr. Susan Hines, Office of Information Technologies
Dr. Richard Houston, Counseling and Testing Center
Dr. Susan Allen Ford, Writing Center
Mrs. Diane Blansett, Academic Support Lab
Mr. Michael Mounce, Roberts-LaForge Library Reference Dept.
Learning Opportunities on Campus



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:  Developing Study Skills

Nov. 5


  Dr. Leslie Fadiga-Stewart, Assistant Professor of Political Science
Ms. Arlene Sanders, Instructor in Political Science
Dr. Garry Jennings, Professor of Political Science
Engaging the Social Sciences
Political Sciences Degree Program
Assessing Your Background Submit:  Biographical Essay
What Do I Want to Know?
Active Learning Strategies for Studying in College
Learning Strategies
Learning Style In-Class Essay: How do you learn?
Assignment:  Prepare an Essay on Your Learning Style
(Due Nov. 12)


  Dr. Mark Bonta, Associate Professor of Geography
Engaging the Social Sciences
Social Sciences Degree Program with a Concentration in Geography

Week 6:  Assessing Social Science Knowledge

Nov. 12


  Dr. Debarashmi Mitra, Assistant Professor of Sociology & Community Development
Engaging the Social Sciences
Social Sciences Degree Program with a Concentration in
Applied Development Studies
Working with Your Advisor I Submit:  Advisor Interview and Advisor Worksheet/Notes
Learning Style Submit:  Learning Style Essay
Working with Your Advisor II Assignment:  Develop Plan for Courses & Graduation (Due Dec. 3)
Handout:  Advisor Approval
The Value of a College Education In-Class Essay: What does college mean to you?
Assignment:  Prepare a Statement of Values
(Due Nov. 19)


  Pre-Test on Social Sciences
Evaluating Learning

Week 7:  Academic Honesty

Nov. 19


  In-Class Essay: Under what conditions would you cheat at DSU?
Academic Honesty and Ethics
The Value of a College Education Submit:  Statement of Values


  Dr. Paulette Meikle, Assistant Professor of Sociology & Community Development
Engaging the Social Sciences
Social Sciences Degree Program with a Concentration in Sociology

Week 8:  Student Engagement

Dec. 3


  In-Class Essay: What is an engaged student?
Submit:  Blue Book
Becoming an Engaged Student


  Review Professional Portfolio with Social Sciences Faculty

Submit: Plan for Courses & Graduation
Working with Your Advisor II
Maintaining Your Student Portfolio
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