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Social Sciences

Welcome to the Social Science Department at GCC

Mission & goals

MissionGoalsDiversity statement

Our mission

It is the mission of the department of social sciences to develop capable citizens who are empowered with knowledge, skills, and attitudes to make informed and responsible decisions in a diverse and interdependent world. We endeavor to serve the college and the community as a source of social science information in addressing matters of mutual concern. We strive to promote understanding, respect, sensitivity and acceptance of differences and are committed to peace, social justice, equity and human rights.

Through courses in Anthropology, Economics, Environmental Studies, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology we strive to give students the social science knowledge and skills that promote an interdisciplinary understanding of human society and the natural world.

As academic advisors we provide information and guidance to help students adopt and achieve realistic educational objectives and direct students to the institutional resources that will support their success.

As social scientists and educators we value and actively promote scholarship that fosters academic excellence, collaboration, innovative active inquiry methods, and excellence in teaching that engage, motivate and inspire students to think critically, feel deeply, communicate effectively and act responsibly to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex, technological, diverse and threatened world.

(Adopted Spring 2004)

Departmental goals

Behavioral Science Core Student Learning Outcomes (drafted 4/28/11. adopted 5/22/12)

Behavioral Science Core General Education Outcomes

  1. Appreciate diverse , cultural, and individual perspectives
  2. Demonstrate competence working with small and large groups to solve problems
  3. Explore the ethical implications/impact of   individual, cultural and institutional actions on the social world.
  4. Demonstrate civic knowledge and engagement in the social world
  5. Communicate through written and/or oral and/or technological means/media
  6. Use quantitative concepts and processes to demonstrate an understanding of social science research
  7. Locate, evaluate and use various sources of information to explore the social sciences
  8. Think creatively and critically about social environmental, political, cultural, economic and psychological issues.
  9. Appraise the connections between self and society. Explore the world the world through a social science lens

The College expects students who have satisfied the core requirements in Behavioral Sciences to achieve outcomes in two of the following disciplines:

Anthropology:

  • Apply knowledge of basic anthropological theories, concepts, and methods of investigation to the study of human culture and biology.
  • Recognize the evolutionary development of the human species as an integral part of the total world ecological system.
  • Describe different ways people around the world, past and present, interact with each other and their environment, and consider the implications for the future.
  • Understand culture as the distinguishing phenomenon of human life, and identify specific universal issues related to cultural change that shape the quality of life for people everywhere.
  • Apply the anthropological perspective to the critical analysis of alternative strategies for solving global problems.

Environmental Studies:

  • Develop basic literacy in evolution from the birth of the universe to contemporary life on earth from a variety of cultural perspectives.
  • Understand basic characteristics of ecosystems and ecological problems.
  • Recognize the relationship between humans and their social and natural communities.
  • Develop basic race, class and gender analyses as related to environmental and ecological issues.
  • Identify, investigate and propose solutions to environmental issues informed by both the social and natural sciences.
  • Understand the power of personal choices and collective political involvement in solving environmental problems.

Peace and Social Justice:

  • Understand the concepts of peace and conflict through the lens of cultural differences, scarce resources, economic and social structures, international trade, the arms race, oppression, power and war.
  • Develop a common language that defines concepts of peace, war, violence, justice, exploitation, security, human rights, international law and organization.
  • Integrate theory and methods from multiple disciplines and their role in the history and development of peace studies and social justice education.
  • Identify and integrate the paradigms of peace studies and social justice education.
  • Comprehend the morality and values of peace and social justice.
  • Promote eight keys to a culture of peace: respect all life, reject violence, share with others, listen to understand, preserve the planet, rediscover solidarity, work for women’s equality, participate in democracy.

Political Science:

  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of the political institutions and processes of different types of government.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of the methods, approaches, and theories used in accumulating and interpreting information applicable to the discipline of political science.
  • Understand the dynamics of politics and power at work in the modern world.
  • Understand the value and necessity of diversity in the democratic political process.
  • Understand the nature of conflict and the role politics plays in mitigating the negative consequences conflict.
  • Understand how human rights and economic interdependence are key concepts that determine regional and global political stability.

Psychology:

  • Demonstrate basic knowledge about human behavior from a variety of psychological perspectives, including neuroscience, sociocultural, gender, developmental, cognitive, behaviorist, psychodynamic and humanistic and develop an understanding of the possibilities and limitations of each perspective.
  • Understand the scientific method and be able to critically evaluate the efficacy of research data.
  • Understand applications of psychology to personal, social, and organizational issues.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to reflection on psychological perspectives to engage in civic life in an active and responsible manner.

Sociology:

  • Understand fundamental sociological concepts, perspectives, and the basic elements of human society.
  • Cultivate a sociological imagination for implementation in everyday life.
  • Develop awareness of the self, and of the self in relation to society, including a focus on social identities and their impact on the sociological perspective.
  • Comprehend classical and modern sociological theories, and understand their application to social issues and problems.
  • Apply new methods of critical analysis to current social issues and policies.
  • Foster a reflective perspective leading to a commitment to social activism and social change.

Diversity statement

As members of the Social Science Department we agree that one of our primary responsibilities within our community is to explore and promote diversity in our course work and in our professional and personal relationships.

As members of the Social Sciences Department we affirm:

  • That every individual is important and we value their unique experience within their culture.
  • That we must encourage that every voice is heard and each person is respected and has an equal opportunity to succeed unhampered by prejudice.
  • That there exists now, rich diversity within our community beyond the surface of what we see.
  • That we instruct, mentor, challenge, encourage, model, and guide our students to explore the constructs that make up their worldview.
  • That we promote examination of personal perspectives in order to understand our differences and recognize our common humanity.
  • That diversity is essential for a vibrant, healthy and resilient institution capable of responding to the challenges of the changing world it represents.

(Approved 9/28/2005)

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