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Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work

Sociology Student Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate with a B.A. or B.S. degree in either the general or criminology option of sociology offered at Kansas State University should be able to meet the following learning outcomes:

Understanding Society stands as the bedrock of sociology, guiding study of the relationship between individuals and society. The sociology student will demonstrate proficiency in understanding society as follows:

  • Describe social facts
  • Define social problems
  • Identify links between social structure features and individual behavior
  • Illustrate historical connections to contemporary social issues
  • Compare cultural diversity within and among societies
  • Explain significance of socially constructed differences
  • Identify mechanisms and consequences of social inequality
  • Interpret social policy effectiveness

Analyzing Society marks the authority of sociology as a scientific discipline, producing a comprehensive body of knowledge regarding social order, control, and change. The sociology student will demonstrate proficiency in analyzing society as follows:

  • Identify distinct sociological theories and perspectives
  • Describe how theories emerge in specific social and historical conditions
  • Assess links among theories, concepts, and methods of research
  • Illustrate basic levels of research techniques
  • Discuss ethical issues in social science research
  • Assess credible sources of information
  • Judge evidence used to support an argument
  • Compare opposing viewpoints  
  • Propose solutions to problems

Communicating about Society provides a vital role in modern society, affording links between scientific and lay communities, between knowledge and policy, and among professional groups. The sociology student will demonstrate proficiency in communicating about society as follows:

  • Prepare a clear and focused account of a social event, issue, topic, or problem
  • Create written accounts integrating sociological concepts with empirical findings
  • Assemble (verbally or in writing) research results appropriate for a general audience
  • Produce output describing socially constructed differences to diverse populations

 

Students who graduate with an M.A. or Ph.D. in Sociology from Kansas State University should be able to meet the following learning outcomes:

M.A. Program

Demonstrate competency and understanding of sociological theory, research methods, and one area of specialization in the discipline.

Demonstrate the ability to apply sociological knowledge to produce scholarly and creative works, including research papers and theses.

Demonstrate an awareness of principles of integrity and ethical behavior that are central to the profession of sociology.

Ph.D. Program

Demonstrate competency and understanding of sociological theory, research methods, and two areas of specialization in the discipline.

Demonstrate the ability to apply sociological knowledge to produce scholarly and creative works, including research papers and dissertations.

Demonstrate an awareness of principles of integrity and ethical behavior that are central to the profession of sociology. 

 

Below are the results of our most recent graduate program review:

M.A. Program

From 2012-2016, 17 M.A. theses were completed and 100% of these were successfully defended on the first attempt. One M.A. student attempted to pass the M.A. comprehensive exam, and she was successful in the first attempt. During the period examined, the retention rate for the M.A. program was 83.3%. Out of the 17 M.A. students who completed the program during the period examined, 11 were successfully placed in Ph.D. programs, 5 found employment in professional, applied, or other positions, and 1 recently graduated and returned to their home state and is seeking employment (94%). During the period examined, 30 research papers were presented by M.A. students at professional conferences. Although not expected at the M.A. level, 8 students submitted papers for publication during this review period with 4 accepted during this time. The longitudinal results indicate that we are making many present their work at professional conferences and have this research accepted for publication. Furthermore, we have high job and Ph.D. placement success, which we strive to continue in the future.

Ph.D. Program

From 2012-2016, 23 Ph.D. degrees were awarded and 100% of these students successfully passed their final examination on the first attempt. Regarding the PhD preliminary examinations, of the 26 original exams, 62% passed on the first attempt. Eight of the exams required rewrites of examination questions from the students, which meets out expectations. All of these students successfully passed their preliminary exams after their revision attempts.

Of the 16 Ph.D. graduates, 15 obtained employment in academic positions, post-doctorate fellowships, or research centers (94% placement). Of the 43 Ph.D. students enrolled in the program during the period examined, 39 were retained for a retention rate of 90.7%. During the period examined, 137 research papers were presented by Ph.D. students at professional conferences. Further, 49 research papers were submitted to professional journals and other publication outlets for review, 38 manuscripts were accepted for publication with a Ph.D. student as a sole or co-author. The longitudinal results indicate that we are making many improvements in the program, including increasing the number of students who present their work at professional conferences and have this research accepted for publication. In this review period, all of our students successfully defended their dissertations on the first attempt, providing evidence of their training and preparation for their future careers. Furthermore, we have high job placement success, which we strive to continue in the futue.