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Department of Sociology at Lehman College

Learning Goals and Objectives



Sociology majors graduating from Lehman College should be able to demonstrate knowledge of the following five learning goals and the related objectives:

GOAL I (core knowledge): the core sociological concepts, such that the student will be able to:

  • compare and contrast a sociological perspective with other scientific perspectives
  • identify the contributions of key figures and events to the historical development of sociology as a scientific discipline
  • identify, define, distinguish and illustrate core sociological concepts (society; social structure; culture; religion; social institutions, e.g., family, economy; social change; social class; status; race; ethnicity; gender; social conflict; deviance; etc.)

GOAL II (theory): the role of theory in sociology, such that the student will be able to:

  • define theory and describe its role in building sociological knowledge
  • identify, describe and compare the major theoretical paradigms (functionalism, conflict, symbolic interactionism, positivisim, feminism etc.)
  • distinguish middle-range theory from theoretical paradigm and describe applications of middle-range theories in the study of specific social institutions and processes

GOAL III (research): the use of empirical evidence in sociology, such that the student will be able to:

  • propose a research design to answer sociological questions or test hypotheses
  • describe, compare and contrast some of the basic quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches employed to gather social science data e.g., sampling, survey, observation, experiments, interview, secondary data analysis, etc.
  • implement methods of social data collection
  • calculate and interpret descriptive and inferential statistics
  • summarize the content of qualitative data
  • describe and apply the principles of ethical practice required in social research

GOAL IV (IT literacy): the role of computers, internet resources and libraries in sociological research, so that the student will be able to:

  • access original and peer-reviewed published sociological research and data
  • distinguish credible peer-reviewed published sociological research and knowledge from other information
  • use standard computer software for basic data analyses
  • use word-processing and other software to produce sociological reports

GOAL V (communication literacy): the strategies for communicating sociological research and arguments, such that the student will be able to:

  • document writing with ASA style citations and bibliographies
  • write a complete account of a social event, topic, issue or problem using sociological concepts, arguments or theories
  • review and critically assess published research papers
  • write annotated bibliographies
  • write a sociological literature review
  • write up a complete research proposal designed to answer sociological questions or test hypotheses