Department Vision and Mission Statements

Vision Statement

The Department of Sociology aspires to continue and to further enhance, our presence within the University, the discipline, and local and global communities.  By developing and providing a curriculum that is both rigorous and relevant to a variety of social settings and issues, we hope to attract more of the best and brightest students as we prepare them for their future careers and lives as engaged citizens.  We will continue to encourage the pursuit of scholarship and service activities by our faculty, both in local and broader contexts.  We will strive to maintain a vibrant and inclusive environment where faculty, staff, and students are respected and where their contributions are fairly recognized.

 Adopted 2/21/2018

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Sociology is to promote scientific understandings of social life through teaching, scholarship, and service.   By providing rigorous training in disciplinary methods and theories, coupled with a diversity of substantive concentrations and educational experiences, we develop robust sociological imaginations and critical thinking in our students.  By encouraging and supporting scholarly research and activities by our faculty, we further the development of sociological knowledge and its application to important social issues.  Through a variety of service activities at the local, regional and national levels, we model for our students and others the importance of responsible community engagement.

Adopted 2/21/2018

Identity Statement

Our department is a community of teacher-scholars with expertise in a range of theories, methods, and substantive fields of inquiry. We provide students with rigorous training in sociological concepts and competencies, engage in scholarly research, and emphasize the application of disciplinary knowledge to inform social change and to promote individual and societal well-being. 

Adopted 9/11/2019

Inclusive Excellence Statement

The Department of Sociology is committed to academic freedom, constructive discourse, and the creation of an inclusive and diverse scholarly community where the dignity and value of all persons are respected. We strive to embody this commitment and display it in our interactions with one another that are equitable and respectful. We acknowledge that discrimination and oppression disadvantage some groups while privileging others in academia, as well as society. We value research that seeks to understand and address barriers faced by underrepresented or marginalized groups, teaching that encourages the development and achievement of all students, service that builds inclusive communities, and efforts to recruit and retain diverse staff, faculty, and students.

The Department of Sociology does not discriminate in access to its educational programs and activities, or with respect to hiring or the terms and conditions of employment, on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity and expression, political affiliation, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information or sexual orientation.

Adopted 12/12/2019

Department Goals and Outcomes

1.  Encourage and foster a department consisting of faculty members dedicated to being "teacher-scholars". 

  1.  Emphasize and recognize the value of teaching and scholarship as informing one another to better educate our students and further disciplinary knowledge.
  2. Create and use clear, systematic, and fair criteria for personnel decisions, evaluations and reviews, and salary recommendations.
  3. Pursue fair and adequate salaries appropriate to rank, years of service, and performance.
  4. Promote and enhance professional development opportunities related to teaching for department faculty.
  5. Promote and enhance professional development opportunities related to scholarship for department faculty.
  6. Provide incentives to faculty who hone teaching skills.
  7. Provide incentives to faculty who pursue ambitious research agendas.
  8. Maintain instructional staffing at a level sufficient to continue quality programs within the department.
  9. Create a more communicative, cooperative, and inclusive work environment for faculty members.

 2.  Create and foster an educational environment that supports diversity and inclusion. 

  1. Create a student advising initiative that encourages inclusion through faculty-student mentoring.
  2. Provide resources (i.e., scholarships, travel money, research funding) for student participation as majors in Sociology.
  3. Participate in faculty training or workshops focusing on how to create a more inclusive classroom environment.
  4. Support faculty to participate in further training, as well as working with students and other faculty members, to create an inclusive environment.

3. Maintain a quality undergraduate program in Sociology

  1. Create student learning goals and outcomes across programs to meet core concepts and competencies in sociology.
  2. Assess student learning goals and outcomes on an annual basis.
  3. Vertically integrate student learning goals and outcomes within programs to demonstrate student mastery of identified concepts and competencies. 
  4. Revise undergraduate program requirements to meet established learning goals and outcomes. 
  5. Assess and possibly update the courses included in Appalachian’s General Education Program.
  6. Increase the number of student majors. 
  7. Offer opportunities for students to learn about the culture of the department and major expectations.

4. Maintain quality graduate programs in Sociology.

  1. Create student learning goals and outcomes across programs to meet core concepts and competencies in sociology.
  2. Assess student learning goals and outcomes on an annual basis.
  3. Periodically re-examine the viability and curriculum of the graduate programs in light of assessment outcomes, disciplinary changes, and market demands.
  4. Increase the number of students in graduate programs.

 5. Encourage community engagement among students and faculty. 

       a. Identify and recognize community engagement among faculty members.
       b. Support community engagement among faculty members with funding and administrative support.
       c. Provide incentives for faculty creation of community engagement activities that include students.
       d. Provide incentives to faculty and students for excellence in community engagement.

6. Encourage faculty service to the profession of sociology. 

  1. Identify and recognize service to the profession among faculty members.
  2. Support service to the profession among faculty members with funding and administrative support.
  3. Provide incentives to faculty for excellence in service to the profession.

Approved 9/11/2019