A new sociology concentration at Edinboro University aims to inspire students to take action in the community and become agents of positive social change.
Edinboro University’s Bachelor of Arts in Sociology – Human Service and Community Development track provides students with the technical research skills and community development experience necessary to design, evaluate and implement client and community-centered programs aimed at promoting social equity and improving social conditions.
“This program will meet a need in the region for human service agencies, as it will educate students to be engaged in program development, management and assessment,” said Dr. Scott Miller, Dean of Edinboro University’s School of Business and College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. “Our talented faculty will work with agencies to ensure that students are receiving the latest tools needed to help those most in need of assistance in our community.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for social and community service managers is projected to grow 18 percent through 2026 – much faster than the average for all occupations – due to increases in elderly population and a rise in demand for substance abuse treatment and mental health and health-related services.
Students in the Human Services and Community Development concentration will learn skills in strategic social planning, policy analysis, community ethnography, community organization, social needs assessment, program development and evaluation, and participatory research methods.
The curriculum involves experiential and classroom education in applied and public sociological practice, ensuring graduates possess the professional skills required to engage in the challenges of 21st century professional employment in human and community services. Under the guidance of expert faculty, students enrolled in the program will gain a deeper understanding of institutional and social transformations through applied social science and human service work.
Dr. Samuel Claster, chairperson of EU’s Department of Sociology, said the program transcends the boundaries of traditional education.
“Our department creates a genuine space to cultivate students’ sociological imaginations,” Claster said. “Whatever fields our graduates pursue, they take a bit of the spirit of our department out into the world, and that is our greatest contribution to society.”
Career opportunities include community organizers, demographers, data specialists, grant writers, human and social service workers, city planners, volunteer coordinators, human resource specialists, program managers, fundraisers, educators and advocacy specialists for victims of all forms of social oppression.
“The faculty go above and beyond in preparing people to think, act and engage in this world,” said Annette DelCimmuto Mackay, a 2013 graduate of EU’s Sociology Department who earned her M.A. from Duquesne University and is pursuing a Ph.D. at West Virginia University. “None of my accomplishments thus far would have been possible if not for the education, guidance and encouragement that I received as an EU student.”
For more information about enrolling in Edinboro University’s high-quality, affordable degree programs, visit www.edinboro.edu.