The Department offers a variety of opportunities for Sociology majors beyond the coverage of class instruction:
- Soc 371 (formerly 471)-Directed Internship (5cr) provides the opportunity to earn upper division elective credits while gaining work experience in the community (repeatable to maximum of 10cr).
- Soc 400-Independent Study (1-15cr) allows students the opportunity to pursue topics not covered in ordinary courses.
- Soc 480-Learning and Teaching Sociology (2-5cr) offers the opportunity to perform as a teaching assistant (T.A.) for a faculty member.
- Soc 481-Research Assistantship provides the opportunity to assist a faculty member with sociological research.
- Soc 492-Senior Thesis (5cr) is an independent course requiring a substantial research paper.
- Work-Study Positions are available for students who have been awarded work-study funds through the Student Employment Center.
SOC 371 (formerly 471) -Directed Internship (5 credits)
SOC 371 (471)- Prereq: SOC 302, SOC 306 (210) and permission from the Sociology Department. All interns work at least 12 hours per week at the work site, in the type of work specified in the contract. In addition, students complete three written assignments, including a research paper. This is a 5-credit course, repeatable to a maximum of 10 credits. Both the on-site supervisor and the Internship Coordinator are responsible for the evaluation of interns at the end of the quarter.
Program objectives: Students apply sociological concepts and methods to better understand social issues and problems while engaged in on-site work experiences in various settings. Internship experiences provide valuable knowledge about the complexities of professional work, the process by which individuals find jobs, and the interconnection of agencies, organizations, and public policy, among other issues. In addition, internship experiences provide students with valuable information about their own occupational preferences.
See the Internship Guide2017.pdf for more information on program objectives and requirements.
How to obtain an internship: Students are responsible for finding their own internship placement. The internship setting should offer the student professional-level work that is related to one of the sub-areas of sociology (for example, criminal justice, social inequality, sociology of family, youth, aging, urban studies, education, etc.). The work should be varied, non-clerical, involve instruction and learning opportunities, and be relevant to the mission of the agency or organization.
See Consider Doing An Internship for more information on how to find an internship.
To register for Soc 371 (471), you will need override permission from the Sociology Department. Please contact the Sociology Internship Coordinator, Mick Cunningham for more information. Mick.Cunningham@wwu.edu .
SOC 400 -Independent Study (1-15 credits)
SOC 400 - Prereq: SOC 302, 304 (215), 306 (210); and a minimum 3.0 gpa for the preceding three quarters; agreement with a faculty member to work with you individually.
About Independent Study: Soc 400 allows students the opportunity to pursue topics not covered in ordinary courses. Students often use this opportunity to do further research in an area introduced by a course. SOC 400, however, may not be used to cover the ground covered in an existing course; it does not provide a way to get around scheduling difficulties. Faculty work loads are too pressed to allow time to repeat courses individually. Students may earn 1-15 credits, graded A/F or S/U. A maximum of 10 credits may apply toward the major, and the grading must be A/F. Additional credits will be applied as upper division elective credits only.
To register for Soc 400, you must get written permission from faculty. Ask the faculty to sign an Independent Study Registration Permit Card. Cards are available from the Sociology Department Office (AH 510), or from the Sociology Advisor (AH 513). Once this card is completed, submit it to the Registrar's Office to finalize registration (registration is not completed online).
Soc 480 -(T.A.) Teaching & Learning Sociology (2-5 credits)
SOC 480 - Prereq: Permission of instructor. Soc 480 is a variable credit course (2-5 credits), and is repeatable to a maximum of 5 credits. S/U grading. SOC 480 may not be applied toward the major, however SOC 480 applies as a university elective toward the total 180 credits required for graduation.
T.A. Duties: The teaching assistantship is intended to provide students with practical experience in the teaching of sociology at the undergraduate level. To that end, students will get hands-on experience in the various activities associated with teaching a particular course in the department. TA duties may include leading discussion groups, assisting the instructor in preparing lecture material, and assisting students in the class with understanding the course material. The actual duties will vary by course and instructor. Credit is determined by the instructor depending on the actual duties of the teaching assistant based on this formula: one credit per 2.5 hours a week of work.
T.A. Vacancy Pool: Faculty often invite especially strong students to be T.A.'s. Students may also approach instructors with an interest in a certain class. The Sociology Advisor also maintains a "Vacancy Pool"- a list of students who indicate an interest, so that as positions become available we can easily match students with faculty who need assistance in various courses. To find out more about this opportunity, contact Andrea.Osborn@wwu.edu before registration starts for the next quarter.
To register: Once you have established a T.A. position with faculty, contact Andrea.Osborn@wwu.edu for an override.
Soc 481-(R.A.) Research Assistantship (2-5 credits)
SOC 481 - Prereq: Permission of instructor. Variable credit to a maximum of 5 credits in any one quarter, repeatable to a maximum of 10 credits. Graded A/F.
This course is structured on an apprenticeship model. Students will be working closely with one faculty member, assisting her/him with sociological research. The actual activities will vary, depending on the nature and stage of the research project. Responsibilities may include data set construction and/or analysis, interviewing and interview transcription, and library searches. Students will be required to submit a report or project journal to the supervising instructor in a format that will be mutually agreed upon at the start of the assistantship.
To register: Once you have established a T.A. position with faculty, contact Andrea Osborn for an override.
Soc 492 -Senior Thesis (5 credits)
SOC 492 - Prereq: SOC 302, 304 (210), 306 (215), and 5 credits of SOC 400 (Directed Independent Study) undertaken with the student's senior thesis faculty advisor prior to and in preparation for the senior thesis. Graded A/F
See Senior Thesis Guide and Contract. The student is required to complete a Senior Thesis Contract in consultation with her/his senior thesis faculty advisor prior to taking the SOC 400-492 sequence.
To register, permission is required from faculty. Once you have arranged permission with faculty, contact Andrea Osborn for an override.
The Sociology Department has 4-5 positions available each year for students who have been awarded Work-Study funds through the Student Employment Center. Majors, as well as non-majors, may work in the Sociology Department Office and assist faculty in the preparation of teaching materials, or perform as research assistants for various projects. Work-Study offers the opportunity to 1) gain work experience and improve marketable skills, and 2) meet a new set of contacts who may eventually become valuable references for future employment.
For more information about eligibility for work-study funds, contact the Student Employment Center. To find out about work-study positions available in the Sociology Department, contact Debbie Arthur, Administrative Services Manager; AH 512; (360) 650-3610.