Goals and Values
The Department of Sociology and Social Work is currently
comprised of seven sociologists, four social workers, and a number
of adjunct faculty members specializing in fields ranging from non-profit
management to medical sociology. The Sociology Program, which offers
of Arts, and the Social Work Program, which offers the Bachelor
of Social Work, while distinct from each other in some respects,
are nonetheless guided by a common vision. This shared vision is
driven by several overlapping goals: service to humanity, service
to the discipline and the profession, service to the university,
service to the region and service to the students. These goals cannot
be prioritized because to do one is to do all; to neglect one is
to diminish all.
The department offices and many
classrooms are housed in Rarick Hall, along with several of the
other departments in the College of Arts and Sciences. Rarick
Hall features mediated classrooms, and faculty members and students
are provided with computerized work environments. Technology benefits
students with such features as computerized pre-enrollment, computerized
library services, computer labs and each student has access to
Service to Humanity
The quintessential goal of Sociology and Social Work
is to understand and work toward the betterment of the human condition.
The discovery of links between the concerns of individuals and environmental
conditions will become increasingly important in the 21st century.
Efforts to understand the creation, transmission, and reformulation
of social arrangements define our purpose, guide our work and contribute
to the betterment of the human condition. To this end, the Department
of Sociology and Social Work strives to create a community of inquiry
in which critical, reflective thought is valued and demonstrated
and social action based on the principles of justice is encouraged.
Service to the Discipline and the Profession
Sociology and Social Work faculty and students are
engaged in a number of research and service activities that benefit
the discipline and profession. Faculty research projects are quite
varied, and some of those projects include: the study of social
change in rural and urban areas in a province of China, research
evaluation of a Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services
program, Kansan's attitudes toward wildlife in the state, and study
of domestic mediation outcomes.
Service to the Community
Sociology and Social Work faculty consider service
to the profession and community to be a critical aspect of their
professional lives. A sampling of faculty service activities to
the discipline include: member of Committee on Women in the Profession
of the Midwest Sociological Society, Kansas Rural Development Council,
and the Social Work Advisory Committee for the Behavioral Science
Regulatory Board. Faculty serve the community in many diverse ways.
Faculty serve by volunteering and consulting for the Northwest Kansas
Family Shelter, Ellis Community Partnership, Court Appointed Special
Advocate, Hays City Government, and First Call for Help to name
a few. A faculty member writes a weekly parenting column for Hays
Daily News and speaks about parenting on a monthly radio program.
Another faculty member has written grant proposals for Hays Medical
Center, successfully securing more than $1.5 million in grant monies.
Faculty incorporate their experience in research and service into
their classrooms, providing students with direct exposure to the
application of sociological and social work knowledge to the real
Service to Fort Hays State University
In addition to fulfilling the responsibilities associated
with teaching, research and service, the Department of Sociology
and Social Work serves the university by supporting the educational
and professional needs of other units, by expending a substantial
amount of its resources to address diversity, by maintaining a leadership
role in the delivery of off-campus classes, and by seeking and accepting
assignments which contribute to the overall operation of the university.
Service to Students
The Department of Sociology and Social Work has a
well-deserved reputation for delivering quality undergraduate education.
While individual differences among students are both valued and
respected, a common vision of what graduates of our programs should
embody exists. The department works to help students achieve their
full potentials by requiring demonstrated competence in critical
thinking, oral and written communication, research, computer and
grant writing skills. In addition students are encouraged to develop
conflict resolution, mediation, and planning skills. Students are
taught to deal constructively with uncertainty and change, an ability
which is crucial to success. The faculty believe in the importance
of offering students "hands on" experience, and thus, provide students
with an avenue to apply theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom
to applications in the real world through involvement in faculty
research and service projects. Some on-campus students have the
opportunity to work as interns and student staff members in the
Docking Institute for Mike Walker and Dr. Gary Brinker. Our
goal is to equip students to make a "life" as well as a "living."