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Department of Sociology Learning Outcomes and Assessment

The WSU Department of Sociology trains undergraduate students in critical thinking, quantitative and symbolic reasoning, how to conduct and evaluate social research, understanding social behavior, social structure and social order, communication, and appreciating diversity. Our goal is for sociology students to develop the following Student Learning Outcomes:


WSU Sociology Department’s Student Learning Outcomes:
  • Critical Thinking: Define and analyze social problems; identify structural and cultural factors that contribute to social and individual outcomes; analyze the connections between social problems and personal issues.
  • Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning: Understand and apply basic statistics to social issues; interpret and draw appropriate conclusions from social science data presented in tables, charts, and graphs; apply quantitative knowledge to present social science data in various forms (graphs, tables, words).
  • Communication: Clearly communicate sociological concepts, theories, and findings through writing and speaking; follow appropriate norms of small group and classroom discussion interactions by listening actively and responding appropriately.
  • Evaluating/Conducting Empirical Research: Identify, assess, explain, and conduct components of social science research including research design, data collection, sampling, and measurement.
  • Information Literacy: Identify sources of social science research; assess social science research reported in both professional and popular publications; use social science to develop informed judgements about significant social issues.
  • General Life Skills:  Students will develop skills including civility, punctuality, responsibility, and organization, life-long learning, professionalization.
  • Society and the Physical World: Identify, analyze, and explain the relationships between social structure and culture on the one hand, and technological and natural physical systems on the other.
  • Diversity:  Identify, analyze, and explain the causes and consequences of social inequality across multiple dimensions (e.g, gender, race, SES) and institutions (e.g., family, sports, work).
  • Social Order: Identify, analyze, and explain the contribution of social institutions to social order.


How We Assess Student Learning

We assess students’ actual learning in these areas by administering assessment instruments in our core classes including: Development of Sociological Theory (Soc 310) Research Methods in Sociology (Soc 317), Quantitative Techniques in Sociology (Soc 321) and the Senior Capstone Course (Soc 497).

Assessment Results Forthcoming

Graduating seniors are also required to complete a BA exit survey that asks them to assess how well the sociology department helped them in developing the skills related to these SLO’s.

Exit Survey Results Forthcoming