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Social Sciences

(For 2014–2015 academic year)
Director C. Stevens

The Division of Social Sciences is composed of the Departments of Economics, Educational Studies, Geography, History, Political Science, and Sociology and Anthropology, as well as the International Relations Program.

Beyond seven major programs, the division supervises — under a social sciences topical major — additional programs that cannot be completed in a single department. Majors in this area often are students who require work in other divisions. In some cases the division director of the contributing discipline may assume advisory responsibilities.

Course Offerings

SOSC courses count toward the Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry requirement.

275  Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
N. Simpson
This 0.25-credit course is centered on service learning, where students prepare tax returns for low-income households in Madison and Chenango counties. The course includes approximately 10 hours of class meetings and 15-20 hours of community service in the two-county area during the semester. Students work directly with various non-profit organizations in this course. Graded work includes tax quizzes, participation in tax preparation sessions, volunteer logs, class discussions, and a final paper. Students are allowed to receive credit for this course only once, but may participate in the program again following successful completion of the course.

405  Upstate Law Project: Social Security Benefits for Disabled Children
This course introduces students to the Social Security system, discusses the barriers that low-income and disabled families face in accessing social services and medical care, and introduces students to the following legal topics: legal analysis, legal ethics, Social Security disability law, and legal writing. Students prepare a research paper addressing a selected topic on current issues in social service provision. Students also engage in a practicum experience. The practicum involves assisting the instructor, an attorney, with pro bono work helping low-income children (many of whom suffer from psychiatric illnesses) in securing benefits through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program of the U.S. Social Security Administration. The course practicum takes place at the Utica office of The Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York. Only students who have completed their Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry requirement can apply. Students are admitted to this seminar by permission of instructor.

475  Social Science Research Practicum
This course offers Colgate students an opportunity to complete an extended research analysis on a topic of their choosing. Students select and pursue a research question under the close supervision of the instructor, as part of a workshop-style class setting in which they work alongside other students with similar interests, and with the benefit of research insights periodically shared by other faculty members across the disciplines. The course places a heavy emphasis on empiricism as an important way to better understand the selected research questions.