SSC 101



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The slides from lecture will be posted on the website after each class meeting.  To find the slides, go to the Course Outline below, and click on the hyperlinks in the boxes under "Speaker/Activity/Assignment."


Course Information:


Meeting Place:  208 Bailey Hall

Meeting Times:  Wednesdays, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm (Mar. 7–May 2)

Instructor Information:


Instructor: Dr. Alan Barton

Office: 37 Ward 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:


    Monday 2:00 – 6:00 pm

    Tuesday 2:00 – 6:00 pm
    Wednesday 10:00 – 11:00 am; 1:00 pm – 2:00 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 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.

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 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.  The Division of Social Sciences has an Academic Honesty and Ethics Committee, which handles all cases of cheating in the Division.  In addition, 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, 4 points will be deducted from your attendance score

    • 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 (10 points)
    • You must 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 twice during the semester

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

    • On March 28, 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

    • Submit your findings, along with your reflections on the meeting, on April 11

(5)  Working with Your Advisor II (15 points)
    • Between April 18 and 25, you will develop a plan for maintaining your portfolio over your time at DSU

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

    • At this visit, you will also develop a plan of the courses that you intend to take to complete your degree

    • Submit your Course Plan on May 2

(6)  Portfolio Plan (20 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

    • During the semester, you will complete assignments for your portfolio, including:

           –A Statement of Purpose and Objectives for your education at DSU

           –A Bio Statement

           –An assessment of your own learning style and preferences

    • You will submit your Portfolio Plan on May 2

    Click here for information on compiling and preparing your portfolio


(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.



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

Mar. 7

Welcome to the Division of Social Sciences Dr. Albert Nylander
Engaging the Social Sciences
Course Goals and Activities
In-Class Discussion
Assessment-Based Education In-Class Discussion
 Review the Chart on Learner-Centered Assessment in Education

Mar. 14


Week 2:  The Portfolio

Mar. 21

Engaging the Social Sciences
Social Sciences Degree Program
Dr. Alan Barton

Setting and Achieving
College and Career Goals

In-Class Essay and Discussion
Assignment: Prepare an essay on your reason for being in college and your objectives
Creating a Student Portfolio In-Class Discussion
Handout:  Elements of a Student Portfolio

Week 3:  Your Advisor

Mar. 28

Engaging the Social Sciences
Sociology Degree Program
Applied Development Studies Degree Program

Dr. Paulette Meikle-Yaw
Dr. John Green

Active Learning Strategies

In-Class Essay and Discussion
Assignment: Prepare an essay on your learning style and preferences

Working with Your Advisor

In-Class Discussion
Assignment:  Schedule a meeting with your advisor and complete the worksheet
Due:  Statement of Purpose and Objectives

Week 4:  Where to Go for Help

Apr. 4

Learning Opportunities on Campus Writing Center (Dr. Marilyn Schultz)
Academic Support Lab (Ms. Diane Blansett)
Roberts-LaForge Library Reference Dept. (Ms. Melissa Dennis)
Technology Learning Center (Dr. Felix Rizanov)
Counseling and Testing Center (Dr. Richard Houston)
Portfolio Due:  Assessment of Your Learning Style
Engaging the Social Sciences
Geography Degree Program
Dr. Mark Bonta



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

Apr. 11

Engaging the Social Sciences
Political Science Degree Program
Dr. Garry Jennings
Ms. Arlene Sanders
How to Study in College Plagiarism Prevention
In-Class Essay and Discussion
Assignment: Prepare a biographical essay
Working with Your Advisor Discuss Results of Meetings with Advisors
  Responses and Reflections on Working with Your Advisor

Week 6:  Assessing Social Science Knowledge

Apr. 18

Engaging the Social Sciences
Criminal Justice Degree Program
Mr. Marv Payne
Pre-Test on Social Sciences Test; Bring a Scan-Tron Form No. 882E (Available at the University Bookstore)

Week 7:  Setting Goals

Apr. 25

Engaging the Social Sciences
Social Science Education Degree
Dr. Amy Owen
What Do I Want to Know? In-Class Essay and Discussion
Working with Your Advisor Assignment: Develop Plan for Courses & Graduation and Portfolio Plan with Advisor
Due:  Bio Statement

Week 8:  Student Engagement

May 2

Becoming an Engaged Student In-Class Essay and Discussion
Maintaining Your Student Portfolio In-Class Discussion
Due: Portfolio Plan and Plan for Courses & Graduation
Course Evaluation  

Additional Resources:

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

Writing Center
         Bailey Hall 211
         (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