SSC 101



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Course Information:

Meeting Place:  229 Kethley Hall CRN:  16265
Meeting Times:  Wednesdays, 2:00–4:00 pm (Mar. 5– Apr. 30, 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:


    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, 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 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 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 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," 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 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 & 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 based on the in-class writing during the semester; these essays will go in your portfolio

    • The assignment for each essay is available using the links on the Course Outline below

(4)  W
orking with Your Advisor I (10 points)

    • Print out a copy of the advisor worksheet

    • On March 26, 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 April 9

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

    • Between April 16 and April 30, schedule a meeting with your advisor, and discuss your plans with her or him

    • Submit your Portfolio Plan and your Course and Graduation Plan, with your advisor's approval form, on April 30

(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 the assignment sheet for more information

     • Submit your Course and Graduation Plan on April 30

(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

    • Be sure to include the essays you prepare for this course in your portfolio

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

    • You will submit your Portfolio Plan on April 30


(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. 5

Welcome to the Division of Social Sciences Dr. Albert Nylander
Chair of the Division of Social Sciences
Engaging the Social Sciences:
Course Goals and Activities,
Keys to Learning in College
Discussion Slides 1
Slides 2
Assessment-Based Education Reading on Assessment in Education:
What is a Generally Educated Person? (Peer Review, Fall 2004)
Mar. 5


Week 2:  Goals in College; The Professional Portfolio

Mar. 19

Creating a Professional Portfolio

Handout:  Portfolio Components
Setting and Achieving
College and Career Goals
In-Class Essay: What are your goals in college?
Assignment:  Prepare a Statement of Purpose (Due Mar. 26)
Engaging the Social Sciences
Social Sciences Degree Program
Dr. Garry Jennings

Week 3:  Your Advisor

Mar. 26

Engaging the Social Sciences
Social Justice and Criminology Degree Program

Ms. Page Logan

Setting College Goals

Submit: Statement of Purpose

Working with Your Advisor I

Assignment: Interview Your Advisor (Due Apr. 9)
Handout:  Advisor Worksheet


In-Class Essay:  Who are you?
Assignment: Prepare a Biographical Essay (Due Apr. 2)

Week 4:  Strategies for Studying in College

Apr. 2

Engaging the Social Sciences
Social Science Education Degree Program
Dr. Amy Owen
Background Submit:  Biographical Essay
Learning Style In-Class Essay: How do you learn?
Prepare an Essay on Your Learning Style (Due Apr. 16)
Submit:  Blue Book
What Do I Want to Know?
How to Study in College;
Active Learning Strategies



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:  Campus Resources

Apr. 9

Engaging the Social Sciences
Political Science Degree Program
Dr. Leslie Fadiga-Stewart
Working with Your Advisor I Submit: Responses and Reflections and Advisor Worksheet
The Value of a College Education In-Class Essay:  What does college mean to you?
 Prepare a Statement of Values (Due Apr. 23)
Learning Opportunities on Campus Ms. Susan Hines, Technology Learning Center
Ms. Paula King, Counseling and Testing Center
Dr. Susan Allen Ford, Writing Center Mrs. Diane Blansett, Academic Support Lab
Mr. Michael Mounce, Roberts-LaForge Library Reference Dept.

Week 6:  Assessing Social Science Knowledge

Apr. 16

Engaging the Social Sciences
Applied Development Studies Degree Program
Dr. John Green
Learning Style Submit:  Learning Style Essay
Evaluating Learning Pre-Test on the Social Sciences
Working with Your Advisor II In-Class Essay:  What do you want to learn in college?
Plan for Courses & Graduation and a Portfolio Plan (Due Apr. 30)
Handout: Advisor Approval Form
View the DSU Undergraduate Bulletin

Week 7:  Ethics in College

Apr. 23

Engaging the Social Sciences
Geography Degree Program
Dr. Mark Bonta
Sociology Degree Program
Engaging the Social Sciences
Dr. Debarashmi Mitra
The Value of a College Education Submit: Statement of Values
Academic Honesty and Ethics In-Class Essay:  Under what conditions would you cheat in a DSU course?

Week 8:  Student Engagement

Apr. 30

Becoming an Engaged Student In-Class Essay:  What is an engaged student?
Submit:  Blue Book
Working with Your Advisor II
Maintaining Your Student Portfolio
Review Professional Portfolio with Division of Social Sciences Faculty
Dr. Leslie Fadiga-Stewart
Dr. Paulette Meikle

Submit: Portfolio Plan; Plan for Courses and 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