The mission of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice’s sociology program is to academically challenge students through opportunities in and out of the classroom and to explore the ultimate meaning of life, their place in the world, and their responsibility to others by developing sociological imagination and understanding the role that external forces have on individual attitudes and behaviors.
At Thomas More, a degree in sociology is a liberal arts degree. The curriculum contains courses in the arts, philosophy, theology, history, and natural sciences. Consequently, graduates are equipped with a variety of skills which are transferable to any career. Students graduate with skills such as oral and written communication, critical thinking, research experience, and computer knowledge. The sociology major also provides an emphasis on ethical leadership and social justice. Thomas More prepares students by laying a foundation of strong academic skills useful for any profession. Students are urged to think about social issues from a multidisciplinary approach, using theories from sociology, psychology, economics, political science, and history.
The mission of the department of sociology and criminal justice is to contribute to the intellectual growth of students. This goal is realized through offering opportunities to promote this growth both in and around the classroom. Students explore relationships between society, culture and self in preparation to contribute to the discipline’s humanitarian mission in future positions of responsibility. Small class sizes help to foster individual attention and close student/faculty relationships. Students experience an atmosphere of superior teaching and scholarship in preparation for their futures in the private sector or in public service.
The sociology and criminal justice faculty: Dr James Camp, Professor Ellie Megerle and Dr. Amy Thistlethwaite, have extensive teaching, research and community service experience. Faculty hold degrees from several different institutions including Xavier, Texas Women’s University and the University of Cincinnati. Academic interests include poverty, family, human rights, criminal sentencing, corrections, Mexican culture and social change. Faculty have served in various capacities outside of the department including the academic advising center and experiential learning programs.
Students with a degree in sociology often pursue graduate work in sociology, social work, or law school.
A Bachelor of Arts in sociology is excellent preparation for future graduate work in sociology in order to become a professor, researcher, or applied sociologist. The undergraduate degree provides strong liberal arts preparation for entry-level positions throughout the business, social service, and government worlds. Sociology offers valuable preparation for careers in journalism, politics, public relations, business, or public administration–fields that involve investigative skills and working with diverse groups. It is a broad liberal arts base for professions such as law, education, medicine, social work, counseling, human resource management, non-profit organizations (NGOs), politics, and governmental service. Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts. Since all human behavior is social, the subject matter of sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob; from organized crime to religious cults; from the divisions of race, gender and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture; and from the sociology of work to the sociology of sports. In fact, few fields have such broad scope and relevance for research, theory, and application of knowledge.
As a sociology major, a student’s career opportunities are extensive. For example, this program could lead to a fascinating job in:
Whether students enter the workforce with an undergraduate degree or go on to pursue an advanced degree, they will find the foundation they receive at Thomas More University will serve them well.
The Sociology and Criminal Justice Department offers several opportunities to get involved outside the classroom, including academic conferences, service learning programs, and the Student Club. Through the Student Club for sociology and criminal justice majors, students will identify and address social issues relevant to them, the university and the community at large.
The community service experience brings classroom theory to life out in the field. Students get real world experience and make connections with future employers. Thomas More students receive a variety of placement opportunities in social work, counseling, and at local nonprofit agencies. The community service placement students are closely supervised and evaluated by practitioners who consistently give students high marks for professionalism and hard work. Agencies permit Thomas More majors do more than just observe – they work hands on. Past internship placements include: Warren County Women’s shelter, Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice, Lighthouse Youth Center, Hamilton County Probation, and the Salvation Army.
The Mexican-U.S. Border Studies Program is tied to a class (SOC381) where students explore the social issues related to the border region between Mexico and the United States. The program requires eight days of field study in the Juarez/El Paso area during spring break.
The Jamaica Service-Learning Program is also tied to a class (SOC 382) where students work with children’s homes and schools in the communities of Copse and Greenwood and participate in a joint venture with a Jamaican organization. The program requires approximately two weeks of field study after the spring semester ends.
Sociology majors must maintain a minimum cumulative and major GPA of 2.5. Students who do not meet this requirement may not be considered successful candidates for matriculation (i.e. the chair will not endorse their applications for graduation), and they may be removed from the major after a one semester grace period to meet the requirement (i.e. undeclared major status).
The department employs a select group of majors as work study students during the fall and spring academic year.
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