SO315 Minority Group Relations

for S2T 2006

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


SO 315 Minority Group Relations


S2T 2006 DL


Cummins, Kim D.


Senior Instructor Sociology/Adjunct Faculty


MA Sociology 1980 Central Missouri State University
BS Criminal Justice 1978 Central Missouri State University

Office Location

Virtual Office

Office Hours


Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

13 March - 7 May, 2006

Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours


Parrillo, Vincent N. "Strangers to These Shores." Eighth Edition, 2006. Boston: Pearson (Allyn & Bacon). ISBN #0-205-45763-0.

Textbooks can be purchased though the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased though the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
Your text has Companion Site with an online study guide. You should complete the online study guide for each chapter as appropriate. The URL to the Companion Site is listed here, as well as a number of online sources you may find useful in avoiding plagiarism and using MLA citation style format.,8189,2214298-,00.html

Course Description:
An examination of the patterns and causes of prejudice and discrimination.  Surveys the history and current status of groups in American society which have been subjected to discrimination based on race, ethnicity, sex or religion.  3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
The facilitator's educational philosophy is one that seeks to facilitate learning through learner interaction with course content, the facilitator, and other online learners. Learners are encouraged to explore new ideas and viewpoints, reason critically and objectively, apply and analyze what they have learned, and reflect on their own learning.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain how majority (dominant) and minority (subordinate) groups are defined and how those definitions are commonly justified, internalized by members of both, and manipulated for relative advantage.
  2. Know the historical development, current importance, and likely future developments in socially significant minorities, such as those based on “race” and ethnicity, history and geography, culture and religion, gender or sex, privilege, birth, and so forth; and critically assess how those definitions are created and applied.
  3. Know the social history of American migration patterns and how they were shaped by power, status, and access to other resources; and compare and contrast this history with those of other areas and times.
  4. Examine the patterns and causes of prejudice and discrimination, and interpret the consequences for individuals and societies.
  5. Explain how social institutions, such as economic, political, educational, and cultural systems, are created or adapted to perpetuate disadvantage among minority group members.
  6. Evaluate the history and current status of groups in American society that have been subjected to systematic discrimination, including African Americans, Native Americans, and other specific ethnic and religious groups.
  7. Explore, apply, and evaluate common responses by minority groups to discrimination, including assimilation, accommodation, separatism, and radicalism.
  8. Analyze and evaluate current issues in minority group relations; and apply your theoretical and social historical knowledge to specific minority group struggles in the present day, and to extrapolate their likely trajectories.

Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:
You will be able to track your grade throughout the course. You will also know in advance the standards for each assignment. My goal is to provide you with prompt, clear, and useful feedback in order to help you internalize the material.

Course Requirements:

Reading Assignments

Students will be expected to read the assigned chapters in the textbook, any lectures and articles displayed for each week, and other assigned material on the Internet. The Online Discussions and Activities, Writing Assignments, and Final Exam assume you have read the assigned readings. NOTE: There is a great deal of reading material in this course, especially within the first three weeks. Supplementary online material is used in addition to the text, and the text chapters tend to be very long. If you will consider your text as a reference and one of many sources of information for the course, you will find yourself less stressed by the amount of reading.

Class Participation

Your class participation includes Weekly Discussion/Peer Response and completion of Online Activities/Group Projects W/Journal Entries. These things make up 30% of your grade.

o Weekly Discussion/Peer Responses: involves posting a Discussion Response in one of the weekly discussion threads (A or B) and posting a Peer Response to a classmate's post in the other discussion thread. All Discussion Responses and Peer Responses must be a minimum of 200 words in length and contain proper reference citations (both in-text citations and Works Cited List in MLA format) for the information presented. Note: Weekly Discussion Responses should be completed by Thursday Midnight MST in order to receive full credit and give your classmates the opportunity to respond to your posting. Your Discussion Response and Peer Response will be graded according to the Weekly Discussion Rubric.

o Online Activity W/Journal Entry: You will complete an Online Activity in weeks 1, 2, 4, 7, and 8. Online Activities involve researching the Internet to locate answers to the questions provided under the Content Menu Item called Online Activity and then writing up your response in the Online Journal.Your Journal Entry must be a minimum of 200 words in length and contain proper reference citations (both in-text citations and Works Cited List in MLA format) for the information presented. You must use and cite at least one online reference source for your Online Activity W/Journal Entry. There are no regular Online Activities in weeks 3, 5, and 6. In Weeks 3 & 5 you will participate in Group Projects instead of doing an Online Activity. The Online Activity for Week 6 is optional. You can earn extra credit for completing that activity. Your Online Activities will be graded according to the Online Activity Rubric

o Online Group Projects W/Journal Entry: You will participate in a Group Project exercise in weeks 3 & 5 instead of doing an Online Activity. There is a journal entry associated with each of these projects. Questions to answer for your Journal Entry for these weeks are located in the weekly Content Menu Item called Group Project and also in your individual group discussion threads. The points for each of these Group Projects W/Journal Entry will be the equivalent of three discussion responses. Your participation in the Group Projects will be graded according to the Group Project Rubric.

Sociological Analysis Paper

For this course, you are required to write a formal paper that will be due at the end of Week 6. You will be writing a sociological analysis of a dominant-subordinate relationship in a country other than the U.S. You are to focus on ONE subordinate group in a country other than the U.S. and its relationship to the dominant group in that society. In order to write an effective paper, you will have to correctly identify the subordinate and dominant group based on a sociological definition (relative power). Once you do that, you will need to research the history of the relationship between the two groups in question, going back to their point of initial contact and then reviewing their subsequent history to the present. You may want to research what information is available on a topic before you make a final decision. Some topics are more difficult than others. o Topic Submission: Your topic should be submitted to the Dropbox labeled "Paper Topic" no later than the second week of the course.  Please check the dropbox the following day to make sure I have approved your topic. You may be asked to select another topic. o Paper Submission: You paper should be submitted to the Dropbox labeled "Analysis Paper" no later than Sunday midnight MST at the end of Week 6. For detailed instructions on format and required content for this paper, see the content item called "Analysis Paper" located under COURSE HOME in the content menu to the left of your screen when you enter the online classroom. This contains detailed information on how to write your paper. If you have any questions or need clarification regarding the requirements for the assignment, please ask prior to turning in your paper. Do not begin asking questions after you have received your grade. All students are responsible for reviewing this Sociological Analysis Rubric, which provides a detailed explanation of how your paper will be evaluated. No late paper will be accepted after the due date.

Midterm Exam

You will take an online open book midterm exam during the fourth week of class. The exam will be set up so that you can work on it any time during that week. If the time period for the exam presents a problem for you, please contact me to make other arrangements. You should do that as soon as you know there is a problem. The exam will cover chapters 1-6 in your text and any material/readings we have had for weeks 1-3 in our class discussions/activities. It will consist of 50 objective questions that will be automatically scored in the gradebook. The exam is worth 100 points or 20% of your total grade.

Proctored Final Exam

A proctored examination will be taken in a proctored testing environment during the 8th (or 16th) week at one of the Park University sites around the country or at an alternative location. For proctored examinations, photo identification is required at the time of the test. Guidelines for selecting an acceptable proctor can be found on the Park University Web Site. Approved proctors may include pastors, librarians, guidance counselors, chaplains, US Embassy officials, military education officers, any college or university faculty member or administrator. Excluded from the list of approved proctors shall be family members, neighbors, friends, co-workers and/or supervisors. Your instructor makes the final determination as to whether or not your choice of proctor is acceptable. The final exam for this course will be a closed book, comprehensive exam worth 125 points or 25% of your grade. No one will be allowed to pass this course without taking the final exam. The final exam is to be scheduled during the 8th week of the course. Make certain that you schedule your exam during the designated dates. A study guide for the final exam will be provided in "Course Documents" under COURSE HOME in the content menu to the left of your screen when you enter the online classroom. There will also be a downloadable copy for you in the Document Sharing area of the classroom.

Other Information on proctored exams:

o It will be the responsibility of the student to arrange for a proctor, by the 6th week of the term, who is accepted and approved by the course instructor.
o Approval of proctors is at the discretion of the online instructor. If you live within 2 hours of a Park University site, you will be expected to arrange for a proctor there and should make every effort to take your exam there. If you are not close enough to a Park University site, you will need to arrange for an approved proctor outside of Park University.
o A proctor request form will be made available to you during the first or second week of class so that you can send your requested proctor to your instructor for approval. o Failure to take a final proctored exam (or submit your final project for some online graduate courses) will result in an automatic "F" grade.
o Some Graduate Online courses may not require a proctored Final Examination.

Grading Criteria for Course Requirements:

Online Discussion, Activities, Group Projects 30% (150 points)Due Weekly Sunday Midnight MST
Midterm Exam 20% (100 points) April 3 - 9
Sociological Analysis Paper 25% (125 points) Due April 23
Comprehensive Final Exam 25% (125 points) May 1 - 7

Course Grading Scale:

Grade of A Assigned    90 -100%      450 - 500 Total Points
Grade of B Assigned    80 - 89%     400 - 449 Total Points
Grade of C Assigned    70 - 79%     350 - 399 Total Points
Grade of D Assigned    60 - 69%     300 - 349 Total Points
Grade of F Assigned    Below 60%     Below 300 Total Points

Late Submission of Course Materials:
I do not accept late class participation in this course for any reason.  If you do not complete the required assignments by the midnight deadline in the week they are due, you miss your chance for class participation in that week. No Discussion Response, Peer Response, Online Activity W/Journal Entry, or Group Project W/Journal Entry will be accepted for credit after Sunday midnight MST of the week in which the assignment is due. There are no exceptions, regardless of the reason you could not complete the assignment. You cannot make these up. They must be completed and submitted within the week they are due. Extra credit in week six has been made available as a way to make up some of the class participation points you may miss in any week, but this extra credit is limited. My goal in establishing this rule is to create an online environment that is fair to me and to those who have made the effort to submit assignments on time. With the number of students I have each term, it is impossible for me to keep track of makeup work for those who feel they need to submit late assignments. Therefore, there are no exceptions to due dates for anyone. Everyone is treated exactly the same, regardless of circumstances. Everyone is given the same deadlines for assignments. If you think that your present work schedule or work responsibilities will prevent you from regular participation in the classroom and/or from timely completion of the assignments, you may want to consider whether or not this is the best time to take this course. Balancing work, family, school, and other responsibilities sometimes requires us to set priorities and make sacrifices.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Student Conduct:

Learners are expected to treat one another and the instructor with mutual respect. No inflammatory remarks or personal attacks on others will be tolerated.

Submission of Assignments:

A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday. The first week begins the first day of the semester and ends at midnight the following Sunday. The eCollege classroom is set to MST. Weekly discussion threads are timed to end at midnight MST each week. Assignments scheduled for completion during a class week should be completed by Sunday Midnight MST of the week assigned. They should be posted in the classroom or placed in the appropriate dropbox basket as directed by your instructor. Please note that this means if you are in a different time zone you must figure out by what time you need to post in your own time zone in order to make the midnight MST deadline. Your Discussion Response should be posted by Thursday midnight MST in any given week in order to give classmates an opportunity to respond to your thoughts and ideas. Class assignments should not be emailed to the instructor. The eCollege platform eliminates the necessity of sending papers, exams, and other assignments via email. You simply place your assignment in the appropriate area of the classroom or in the designated dropbox basket for that assignment. The time you submit your assignment is noted in the classroom. It is graded there, and the grade is posted to the gradebook. You will be able to track your progress throughout the course by going to the gradebook.

Word Processor Documents

Students are asked to complete their assignments in MS Word if possible. Even though the eCollege classroom can accept MS Works, Word Perfect, or other types of files, be advised that your instructor may not be able to accept them. In this case, I cannot accept any Word Perfect files because I cannot open/read them. You should also keep this in mind in terms of being able to share documents with other students in the classroom. If you do not have MS Word and your documents are not compatible, you will have to save and submit your documents as RTF or "Text Only" files. These still need to be submitted as attachments that can be placed in the dropbox basket or uploaded to the document sharing or discussion areas of the classroom. Students should keep electronic file copies of all assignments submitted until after the end of the term and grades have been received. Computer Literacy Students are expected to have frequent access to a PC with a modem and web browser and reliable internet access. Computer literacy (ability to set up files, familiarity with search engines and browsing the Internet, and experience with downloading files) is expected. You are also expected to familiarize yourself with the features of the eCollege classroom by reviewing the Student Orientation Tutorial made available to you on the Academics PSH Page (this is the page that lists the links to courses in which you are currently enrolled). This tutorial should appear under the heading "Special Courses" at the top of that page.

Pirate Mail

All students are given a Pirate Mail email account when they register for online courses. Your Pirate Mail address is the one your instructor is given and is the email address the instructor uses to contact you. You should make a habit of checking your Pirate Mail account frequently for messages from your instructor. You must have and utilize a Pirate Mail address for this course. You may have your email forwarded from Pirate Mail to another email account if you choose, but all official Park University correspondence will come to you via your Pirate Mail account. If you have your mail forwarded from Pirate Mail to another account, it is a good idea to check the option to have a copy of each email saved in Pirate Mail. This ensures that you have a copy of all email sent to you. Forwarding mail is not always reliable. When emailing the instructor, please email from your Pirate Mail account and make sure that you put SO315, your last name, and your student ID number in the subject line of your email.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-87

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-87
For more detailed examples of what constitutes plagiarism, see What Is Plagiarism? posted in Course Documents in the classroom.

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "WH".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.
ONLINE NOTE: An attendance report of "P" (present) will be recorded for students who have logged in to the Online classroom at least once during each week of the term. Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation. Participation grades will be assigned by each instructor according to the criteria in the Grading Policy section of the syllabus.

Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89

Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all learners that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to learners concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding learners with disabilities and, to the extent of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .

Additional Information:

Class Participation Guidelines

Analysis Paper (Core Assessment)

Analysis Paper Rubric (Core Assessment Rubric)

Weekly Discussion Rubric

Online Activty W/Journal Entry Rubric


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