The sociology program officially moved to the social work department on Aug. 15 when the Texas Tech Board of Regents approved the move. It is officially relocated in terms of the website, the catalog and where it is housed.
This semester the faculty and classes are still in the Academic building due to the department schedule being set before the move.
“We hope this means growth for the program,” Dr. Joel Carr, the sociology program director, said. “We are confident; for the students, this means additional opportunity.”
The department is looking into aligning the sociology program with the social work department so that sociology may build off the existing synergy.
Many of the current staff have credentials in sociology, criminology, juvenile delinquency and additional sociology branches.
The alignment of the sociology program with the social work department would bring about an opportunity to get into or work their way toward the Master of Social Work at Angelo State University.
The sociology department also hopes to welcome the currently pending concentrations set to start in the fall of 2022. The concentrations (Medical Sociology and Criminology, Delinquency and Deviant behavior) are meant to help students find work after their undergraduate degree in the medical field or law enforcement.
The Bachelor of Arts in Sociology will be discontinued in the Fall of 2022, but those currently under the B.A. catalog will still be able to finish their degree.
This change means that all those wanting to receive a Bachelor of Sociology at ASU after fall of 2022 will have to get a Bachelor of Science. In addition to this change, the major will require the introduction to social work as a support course.
According to Carr, the main idea behind these significant changes is to streamline the program and build structure in the major. Sociology students will be required to take Introduction to Sociology, Social Problems, Social Psychology, Research Methods and Data Analysis and Social Theory. After these courses, a student may choose to remain as a general sociology major, or choose one of the two concentrations to specialize in.
Medical sociology would require the courses Sociology of Health and Illness, the Sociology of Mental Health and Illness, Social and Health Measurement and Marriage and Family. Criminology, delinquency and deviant behavior would require the courses Deviant Behavior and Social Control, Criminology, Juvenile Delinquency and Family Violence. Both concentrations will also require advanced electives in sociology.
“We have Dr. Shirley Simpson who likes to teach on popular culture and has expertise in urban sociology. We also have Ms. Jennifer Shoemake who likes to teach about marriage and family as well as family violence but has expertise in medical sociology and criminology,” Carr said. “And myself; my expertise is in social psych, criminology and deviant behavior in addition to medical sociology.”
In addition to Simpson, Shoemake and Carr, there is also the social work department chair, Dr. Thomas Starkey, who is not a part of the sociology staff but has credentials in gerontology.
The sociology department also has Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD), the international honor society for sociology for students who meet the requirements. “As a member of AKD, I think it is a real plus for students’ professional development. It looks nice on their resume, and you would get cords for graduation,” Carr said.
Additionally, the department welcomed a newly established organization this past spring semester. The Sociology Society is a student-run organization that invites all students who have an interest in the field of sociology, regardless of their major or minor, to join.
Many of the sociology faculty are passionate about their field(s), highly professional, dedicated, welcoming and have open-door policies that allow students to stop by and ask questions about the department, majors, courses, organizations or just to converse.
For information on Alpha Kappa Delta, you can contact the faculty advisor at: https://www.angelo.edu/live/profiles/3233-shirley-simpson
For information on The Sociology Society, you can contact the faculty advisor at: https://www.angelo.edu/live/profiles/1391-jennifer-shoemake
For further information, you can reach out to the program director: https://www.angelo.edu/live/profiles/9503-joel-carr