GCC's Social Science Department offers degree and certificate programs in EducationGender and Women's Studies and Social Sciences, as well as classes in anthropology, education, environmental studies, political science, psychology and sociology.
MissionDepartmental GoalsDiversity Statement

Our Mission

It is the mission of the Department of Social Sciences to develop capable citizens who are empowered with the 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, 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 support and guide students through the process of identifying and reaching their educational goals 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 Fall 2017)

Behavioral Science Core Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate understanding of major concepts, theories, and findings in the social sciences.
  2. Understand and articulate the impact of diversity on individuals, groups, and societies.
  3. Communicate social science concepts, theories, and perspectives through written, verbal, and other relevant forms.
  4. Demonstrate critical and creative analysis of perspectives and issues in the social sciences.
  5. Appraise the dynamic connections between self and society.
  6. Apply disciplinary knowledge from the social sciences to contemporary issues affecting individuals and groups.
  7. Understand the basic concepts and ethical principles of social science research.  

(Adopted Spring 2014)

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


  • 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.

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.


  • 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.


  • 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 believe that one of our primary responsibilities within our community is to explore and promote diversity in the classroom and in our professional and personal relationships.

As members of the Social Sciences Department we affirm:

  • 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 is 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 Fall 2017)