Social Sciences

The Department of Social Sciences prepares students for careers in the law, politics, public administration, the criminal justice system, human services, social work, activism, non-profits and social research.

The department offers majors in criminal justice, gender studies, political science, sociology and social justice. Students planning to pursue law school can minor in our legal studies program.

Our programs prioritize a hands-on, experimental learning approach. Our graduates are prepared for professional careers and graduate school through internships, service learning, study abroad, the global classroom and research.

  • Faculty

    Dr. Molly Clever, Associate Professor of Sociology and Social Justice
    Email: clever_m@wvwc.edu
    Phone: 304-473-8093

    Coty Martin, Assistant Professor of Political Science
    Email: martin.c@wvwc.edu
    Phone: 304-473-8434

    Jessica Scott, Associate Professor of Gender Studies
    Email: scott_j@wvwc.edu
    Phone: 304-473-8360

     

     

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  • Majors
    • Criminal Justice – B.A.

      Students will:

      • Demonstrate knowledge of core concepts in the field, including: the structure and operation of the justice system, crime and its definitions, philosophies of punishment, justice, and deviance, and how to evaluate research findings and apply research methods that demonstrate proficiency in oral and written communication skills and information literacy.
      • Recognize and apply theory and practice through participation in research, service learning, study abroad, civic engagement, and/or internships.
      • Identify and explain the role and limitations of each component of the system.
      • Analyze the functions and impacts of social inequalities and power on the functioning of the justice system and the content of law.
    • Political Science – B.A.

      Students will: 

      • Students will articulate central concepts, principles, and patterns of political behavior, evaluate research findings, and apply research methods that demonstrate proficiency in oral and written communication skills.
      • Students will critically analyze and communicate the impact of relevant local, national, and international political forces on individual, societal, economic and global structures.
      • Students will demonstrate knowledge of Political Science through participation in research, service learning, study abroad, civic engagement, and/or internships.
    • Social Justice – B.A.

      Students will:

      • Students will be able to articulate central concepts and principles of social justice from a variety of perspectives, evaluate research findings and apply research methods that demonstrate proficiency in oral and written communication skills and information literacy.
      • Students will be able to analyze the functions and impacts of specific social practices and policies.
      • Students will be able to identify and explain the varied intersections of cultural and societal difference and formulate strategies of advocacy that promote social and ethical responsibility and non-discrimination.
      • Students will be able to recognize and apply theory and practice through participation in service learning, study abroad, civic engagement, internships and other out-of-classroom learning experiences.
    • Sociology – B.A.

      Students will:

      • Students will demonstrate knowledge of the core principles in the field, including: familiarity with the social structure, culture, social institutions, theories and major theoretical paradigms.
      • Students will be able to apply the sociological imagination in analyzing culture, inequality, organization, and institutions (including family, education, and the economy), which facilitates cultural relativism and an acceptance of diversity.
      • Students will understand social stratification and the difficulties that minority groups encounter, and have an awareness of social problems in global society.
      • Students will demonstrate effective writing and oral communication skills, to include an understanding of the research process, and demonstrate knowledge necessary for advanced studies or a career.
    • Gender Studies - B.A.

      A study of gender as one of the primary categories through which social relationships are organized reveals the political functioning of relations of power and the ways in which individuals negotiate those relationships within their specific contextual locations. Gender Studies recognizes the capacity for knowledge production to be transformative in the functioning of both daily lives and institutional practices.

      Our Gender Studies program includes a curriculum built from courses across a range of disciplines. This equips students to analyze systems of power using an intersectional approach through the experiences of gender, race, class, sexuality, ability, and religion.

      Students have formally represented the college at regional research conferences, and have successfully continued to pursue graduate study. Course work in Gender Studies focuses on events, movements, people, and politics both historical and contemporary; irreverent and sacred; creative and practical; canonical and obscure. In addition, Gender Studies students have been instrumental in establishing and sustaining campus organizations that support the theoretical work they do in the classroom.

  • Minors
    • Criminal Justice

      Students will: 

      • Demonstrate knowledge of core concepts in the field, including: the structure and operation of the justice system, crime and its definitions, philosophies of punishment, justice, and deviance, and how to evaluate research findings and apply research methods that demonstrate proficiency in oral and written communication skills and information literacy.
      • Recognize and apply theory and practice through participation in research, service learning, study abroad, civic engagement, and/or internships.
      • Identify and explain the role and limitations of each component of the system.
      • Analyze the functions and impacts of social inequalities and power on the functioning of the justice system and the content of law.
    • Political Science

      Students will: 

      • Students will articulate central concepts, principles, and patterns of political behavior, evaluate research findings, and apply research methods that demonstrate proficiency in oral and written communication skills.
      • Students will critically analyze and communicate the impact of relevant local, national, and international political forces on individual, societal, economic and global structures.
      • Students will demonstrate knowledge of Political Science through participation in research, service learning, study abroad, civic engagement, and/or internships.
    • Social Justice

      Students will: 

      • Students will be able to articulate central concepts and principles of social justice from a variety of perspectives, evaluate research findings and apply research methods that demonstrate proficiency in oral and written communication skills and information literacy.
      • Students will be able to analyze the functions and impacts of specific social practices and policies.
      • Students will be able to identify and explain the varied intersections of cultural and societal difference and formulate strategies of advocacy that promote social and ethical responsibility and non-discrimination.
      • Students will be able to recognize and apply theory and practice through participation in service learning, study abroad, civic engagement, internships and other out-of-classroom learning experiences.
    • Sociology

      Students will: 

      • Students will demonstrate knowledge of the core principles in the field, including: familiarity with the social structure, culture, social institutions, theories and major theoretical paradigms.
      • Students will be able to apply the sociological imagination in analyzing culture, inequality, organization, and institutions (including family, education, and the economy), which facilitates cultural relativism and an acceptance of diversity.
      • Students will understand social stratification and the difficulties that minority groups encounter, and have an awareness of social problems in global society.
      • Students will demonstrate effective writing and oral communication skills, to include an understanding of the research process, and demonstrate knowledge necessary for advanced studies or a career.
    • Legal Studies

      Legal Studies

      Recently West Virginia Wesleyan established a Legal Studies minor to serve as a pre-law program in their preparations to applying to and attending law school. Dr. Martin (martin.c@wvwc.edu) currently serves as the program coordinator and works with faculty in several departments to offer students a diverse set of courses across the Social Sciences, Business, History, Communications, and English departments at Wesleyan. Dr. Martin also coordinates a series of events each semester to offer students the opportunity to interact with Wesleyan alumni in the field of law, those working in public and private practices and positions, LSAT workshops with former students now in law school, and law-related movie nights (from A Time to Kill to My Cousin Vinny). Information about the required courses can be found below:

       

      Required Core Courses (12 Hours)

      • BUSI 250: Legal Environment of Business
      • POLS 215: Constitutional Law
      • CJUS 260: Criminal Law & Procedures
      • POLS 348: International Law & Human Rights OR HIST 360: American Legal History 

      Electives Group 1 (3 Hours)

      • COMM 226: Argument and Evidence
      • ECON 331: International Economics
      • ECON 333: Environmental Economics 
      • ECON 361: Public Sector Economics
      • Any 300-Level English Literature Course 

      Electives Group 2 (3 Hours)

      • HIST 252: Women’s Rights Movement in America
      • HIST 269: African-American History 
      • HIST 360: American Legal History 
      • HIST 345: Sexuality in American History 
      • POLS 265: International Organizations
      • POLS 328: Environmental Law & Politics