Jennifer Withrow, Ed.D., Chairperson

The Department of Sociology and Social Work is made up of three related but distinct programs — sociology, social work, and behavioral science. All are concerned with advancing social justice and human rights, and with understanding contemporary social issues, policies, and solutions.

The Social Work program prepares students to become a part of the large body of Licensed Social Work professionals nationwide. The core values of the Social Work profession, service, social justice, dignity/worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence are embedded in courses of this major. Social Work focuses on prevention, intervention, and advocacy at the individual, local/state, and governmental level to advance the social work principals for all people.

Sociology and behavioral science are concerned with understanding contemporary social issues, policies, and solutions.

The Department offers a major in sociology, a major in behavioral science, and a major in social work; minors in sociology, socio-psychology, gerontology, and nonprofit leadership; and certificates in gerontology and nonprofit leadership.

Sociology

Sociology is a behavioral science that provides a framework for understanding social inequality, patterns of behavior, forces of social change and resistance, and how social systems work. Sociology offers a range of research techniques that can be applied to virtually any aspect of society.

Students majoring in Sociology have the option to select a family dynamics concentration.

Sociology Major

The sociology major offers students a traditional approach to sociology through the study of multiple levels and components of social life ranging from the micro-level of social identity to macro-level global dynamics.

Social life, social diversity and inequality, social behavior in families and communities, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior in various cultural contexts are all examined.  Effective with the 2020-2021 undergraduate catalog, the former social dynamics track is now the sociology major.

Family Dynamics Concentration

The family dynamics option offers core sociological concepts in conjunction with a specialized focus on contemporary family dynamics in the United States. The concentration explores recent transformations in family life including trends in parenting, marriage and divorce, and work-family balance.

The sociology major and family dynamics concentration can be applied toward understanding many issues. Whether as a paid employee, a volunteer or a citizen activist, the sociological perspective is valued in business, health, social service, criminal justice, law, media, education and government sectors of society.

Licensure for Teachers
Students choosing a major in sociology who also want to pursue Ohio teacher licensure must satisfy the same requirements as the major and additional requirements in behavioral science, education and humanities. The pertinent Adolescent to Young Adult License (grades 7 – 12) is integrated social studies. See an outline of requirements in the catalog under Education. Degree seeking students should be aware that social studies licensure does not satisfy for a major. A concentration in social studies is available in the Middle Childhood Licensure (grades 4-9) program. See Education.

Behavioral Science

The Behavioral Science major aims to develop graduates who value diversity and embrace the integration of life and learning. Students learn to understand and apply the core concepts and elements of social science. Building upon existing programs in Criminology and Criminal Justice, Psychology, and Sociology, students are prepared with a broad foundation that emphasizes the analytical and critical thinking skills needed for a broad range of professional careers. The Behavioral Science major is highly flexible, enabling students to customize their coursework in ways that align with their individual career goals and future academic studies.

Departmental policy for all behavioral science majors: A 2.0 GPA for major and cognate courses.

Social Work

Students majoring in social work learn to appreciate the cultural and human diversity in society through classroom experience and field work. Faculty in the social work department maintain active ties to community agencies that address a variety of issues including health, aging, substance abuse, and mental health services.

The Social Work program provides preparation for entry-level professional, generalist social work practice. The baccalaureate program is designed to develop practitioners who have the knowledge, values and skills to work with a wide variety of people in a range of organizational settings. This professional program is built upon a liberal arts foundation.

The program has been accredited by the National Council on Social Work Education, 1725 Duke St., Alexandria, Virginia 22314, (703) 683-8080, since 1991. A chapter of Phi Alpha, a national social work academic honor society, was established on campus in 1996. Graduates of the program are eligible for Social Work Licensure in Ohio and other states with similar license requirements.

Social work is a challenging and exciting profession which provides the opportunity for individuals to contribute to the amelioration of social problems. Social work faculty are committed to preparing competent and dedicated generalist social work practitioners.

The curriculum includes two fieldwork courses during the senior year in which students spend sixteen hours per week in a social agency under the supervision of a professional practitioner.  Students are placed in social service agencies such as, but not limited to: mental health organizations, nursing homes, hospitals, and domestic violence/crisis settings, community service agencies, and in foster care/youth programs in the Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Southern Indiana regions.

Acceptance into the program is based upon:

  •  the completion of the prerequisite courses plus SWK 220 with a grade of “C” or better and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.3.
  •  the completion of 100 hours of community service through either a prior volunteer, co-op, internship, or paid position in a social/health agency within the past five years or enrollment in two Service Learning courses (explained below in italics) taken concurrently with either social work or related courses, or a combination of the two.  If the student has completed a total of 100 hours of volunteer, co-op, internship, or paid work in a social/health agency, then the student should submit a signed letter from that agency.  The letter should state the time period in which the student served the agency and the overall quality of the student’s work. The letter should be on agency letterhead.

Service Learning is a Program that is attached to your Social Work and Liberal Arts courses that enable you to earn up to three free credits. This experience will help to give evidence of your readiness to enter a professional program.  Since professional social workers must follow the NASW Code of Ethics, a person considering social work as a field must be sure that his/her own personal values are consonant with the professional value system.

  • the completion of a personal essay submitted to the program director which demonstrates potential for the social work profession. Guidelines for the personal essay admission requirement are distributed in the Introduction to Social Work course and in the “Review of Application for Admission Requirements” section of the Social Work Student Handbook.  Students should complete the essay by the end of the semester in which they are enrolled in the course.  The instructor of the introductory course and the Program Director will read the essay.