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Social Sciences

(For 2015–2016 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 the major programs offered by Social Science departments and programs, the division supervises — under a social sciences topical major — individualized programs that cannot be completed in a single department. Majors in this area often are students whose particular topics of interest require work in more than one Social Science department or in other divisions.

A topical major in the social sciences consists of 8–10 courses agreed upon by the student, his or her faculty advisor, and the division director, including several at the 300 level and a unifying final seminar. See “Topical Majors” and “Double Major” in Chapter VI for additional information on requirements and restrictions.

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 families of low-income and/or of individuals with disabilities 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.