Why Fredonia?


Our department offers the opportunity to study in one or more of our three different but related disciplines:  Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice. Students in our majors interact and learn in shared core courses and electives. Through these courses and intermingling there is opportunity to be enriched through the exchange of diverse ideas, interests and projects.

Through our curriculums, students have an opportunity to become ready for graduate school or find employment in their field of study. In Sociology, students engage in both practical as well as intellectual exploration of important topics related to sexuality, race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic class, deviance, health issues, urban issues, etc. In Social Work, students learn the knowledge, values, and skills required to become entry-level professional social workers who work with individuals, families, groups and communities to find solutions to problems. They are members of a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited program and have all the rights and opportunities that come with that distinction. Criminal Justice majors learn a broad base of knowledge related to crime and delinquency, criminal law and procedure, police science and security, corrections, and the juvenile justice system. Criminal Justice is an emerging leader in online course offerings and offer electives with an international/global perspective. Students have increased opportunities for study and expertise than they might receive in other programs. The study of Anthropology adds both time depth and cross-cultural perspective to all three disciplines.

Combining a major with a minor offered through our department (Anthropology, Sociology, Criminal Justice and Public Health) or other minors such as Communications, Psychology, Geographic Information Systems, or any other one of our outstanding programs can give students an edge in the competitive marketplace.

Opportunities for internships in human services, government, non-profit organizations as well as businesses are available to hone skills, gain experiences and grow as an individual. Social work students are given the opportunity to master the required core competencies in a year- long 500 hour professional practicum.

Each of our major disciplines has a student-led Club as well as Honor Society giving interested students the opportunity to become more involved in the life of the department and to gain knowledge, skills and relationships through their extracurricular activities.

Gain Skills

Our students gain or enhance the following important skills used throughout a lifetime when they engage in course work:

  1. critical thinking skills
  2. interpersonal communication skills
  3. oral presentation skills
  4. computer and statistical skills
  5. library research and other research methods skills
  6. skills to produce concise reports and essays
  7. skills to recognize trends and patterns
  8. planning and organizational skills
  9. management skills

Faculty Commitment

Faculty are committed to their disciplines. They are practicing experts in the field as well as teachers. Many work with students on research, academic, and service projects. Faculty are committed to their students’ learning and growth. Our faculty are rated high as effective teachers by our students. We take advising seriously and each student has individualized advising. Students see their advisers for course scheduling and for help with academic issues and with career planning.

Broad and Strong Curriculums 

Each discipline’s curriculum is built on Fredonia’s traditional liberal arts base. Students are broadly and well educated. All three majors have a generalist focus to prepare students for any graduate program or entry level position in their fields. Each has a senior capstone course that pulls all the students’ learning together and finalizes their academic careers. Each has distinctive features. A distinctive feature of the Sociology curriculum is the inclusion of Anthropology in the core. Critical reading and writing occur in each class. Social Work students engage in a developmental curriculum that leads to completion of their field practicum experience. During field practicum students complete a portable Field Competency Portfolio to highlight and show their mastery of the required CSWE core competencies. Criminal Justice values an interdisciplinary approach. Students build on their professional core by requiring nine credit hours of approved interdisciplinary electives in addition to nine credit hours of Criminal Justice specific electives.

Entry Level Expertise 

At graduation a major from our department, has learned the knowledge, values, skills and expectations of their field. They have enlarged their world view. They have emerged from their studies with the solid foundation of needed by an entry-level social scientist. They have learned how to study and interpret the social world. They understand the strengths and limitations of qualitative and quantitative data. They learn how to do effective background research; locate, evaluate and use secondary data sets; collect data including field observation, content analysis and surveys; analyze data; interpret findings and discuss the ramifications of the findings. They have gained or enhanced the oral communication skills needed to engage in the work as well as to discuss their work. They have ideas about how to engage as a citizen in the world as well-informed, life-long learner. They are skilled, connected, creative and responsible.

Department Learning Outcomes

1. Students will develop critical thinking skills in order to promote enhanced problem solving and decision making.

2. Students will develop writing skills to the level of an entry level professional or a beginning graduate student.

3. Students will develop ability to comprehend the complexity and diversity of human societies and cultures.

4. Students will develop abilities to frame questions, design research projects, collect data, analyze data, and draw valid conclusions from these data.

5. Students will develop ability to understand and apply the major conceptual orientations and theoretical frameworks used by their disciplines and/or professions.