SO210 Social Institutions

for F2J 2012

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


SO 210 Social Institutions


F2J 2012 INH


Wiggins, Cleon


Senior Adjunct Faculty


A.S. Administration Management
B.S. Criminal Justice Administration
M.A. Sociology

Office Location

Independence Campus, I-29 & 23rd Street, Indep., MO

Office Hours

5:30 - 9:50 on the nights that I teach

Daytime Phone


Other Phone



Semester Dates

October 22nd to December 16th 2012

Class Days


Class Time

5:30 - 10:00 PM

Credit Hours


Crisis in American Institutions, 14th edition, Allyn and Bacon, ISBN: 978-0-205-61064-8

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

Social Problems, 2nd ed., Charon and Vigilant, Wadsworth

Social Problems, 9th ed., Thomas J. Sullivan, Allyn & Bacon

This is a Blended Modality Course. Approximately 40% of the activities will require you to have regular internet access using a reliable connection to eCompanion, the Course website accessed through Park.Org or My Park. Additional resources will frequently be posted in eCompanion under Announcements, Webliography, DocSharing, and weekly Activity tabs.

You must also be able to receive information about the course activities in your Park University email account (

You may be able to push your emails to your smartphone. Check out "forwarding and POP/IMAP" under "settings" in your email account. You can reach settings by clicking on a gear icon in the upper right hand corner of the page.

You are encouraged to complete the online class: PDL300 Orientation to Online Learning--under Special Courses in your course list in your MyPark site.

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Course Description:
SO 210 Social Institutions: An overview of major social institutions, such as education, family, religion, culture and media, science and health care, politics, and the economy. Discusses their historical development, modern forms, social functions, and the ways in which they relate to one another and shape individual lives. 3:0:3 Prerequisite: SO141

Educational Philosophy:

The facilitator's educational philosophy is one of interactiveness based on lectures, readings, quizzes, dialogues, examinations, internet, videos, web sites and writings. The facilitator will engage each learner in what is referred to as disputatious learning to encourage the lively exploration of ideas, issues and contradictions.

Class Assessment:

The major essay is the core assessment for this class.

Other class assessments include examinations, a midterm and a final exam, quizzes, and in-class presentations

A mid-term exam will include chapters covered (plus related videos, handouts, lecture materials - including powerpoint presentations).

A final exam will include chapters covered plus related videos, handouts, lecture materials - including powerpoint presentations.

The major essay is due no later than the 7th week of class Students must clear their topic with the instructor before beginning work on this assignment. Again, it is imperative that students realize that the essay assignment IS the major core assessment for this course. The instructor will spend a good portion of the first class going over the requirements for this essay and the significance of it being the major core assessment.

Weekly in-class presentations. Students are responsible for bringing in a news story related to the week's subject(s) and for sharing their story with the class (explaining the relevance of the story with the material scheduled to be discussed in this class session, or, its relevance to the material discussed in the previous class session). This is an informal presentation made by the student on the story of their choosing. These presentations, for weeks 2 through 7, will be at the beginning of each class. Students must also submit support material to the instructor, i.e., newspaper article, magazine article, web-site address, etc. Any student(s) not in class before the last presentation is given may not give their presentation that week (unless ok'd by the instructor), and the student(s) will lose the points for that week's presentation. Students arriving to class late may not turn-in their support material for credit unless ok'd by the instructor.

Homework assignments. Grades for homework assignments will be based on content, original thought and grammatical correctness. The assignments will be discussed in class but will generally consist of analysis of articles presented to the class by the professor. These assignments are due at the beginning of each class session for weeks 2 through 7.

A group presentation. The class will be divided into groups for the purposes of an end-of-semester presentation (topics to be chosen in class). On the 7th week of class, each group will make a presentation on a relevant aspect/topic identified in of the course. Each student in the group is expected to participate equally in the presentation and each student will be graded on their participation.

Attendance and Participation. Students will be awarded points for attending class and for participating. Attendance points will be awarded when students arrive to class no later than 15 minutes after class begins and leaves no sooner than 15 minutes before class ends. Students will receive participation points for each class when the student answers relevant questions, asks relevant questions, and/or generally contributes to the overall discussion(s).


Major essay (this is the core assessment for the course) - 275 points

Mid-term exam - 200 points

Final exam - 200 points

Weekly in-class presentations (homework) - 120 points

Weekly homework assignment - 120 points

Group in-class presentation 50 points

Attendance - 40 points

Participation - 40 points

Total course points = 1,045

90% and above of 1,045 points = "A"

80% to 89.99% of 1,045 points = "B"

70% to 79.99% of 1,045 points = "C"

60% to 69.99% of 1,045 points = "D"

59% or less of the 1,045 points for the course = "F"

This grading system/scale will be used to calculate the grades on all assignments.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Any material turned in late will automatically be subject to a 15 point per day reduction before it is graded unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor, or unless the instructor views the reason(s) for the delay acceptable and beyond the student's control. The 15 point per day reduction in points will occur prior to the assignment being graded. To be clear, 15 points per day from the day and time the assignment was due, until the day and time the instructor receives the item. Therefore, if an assignment is due at the beginning of class (5:30 p.m.) and the student doesn't arrive with the assignment until 6:30, and without a valid reason for their tardiness, the assignment is subject to the 15 point penalty. Students should not e-mail assignments to the instructor with the expectation that the assignment will not be assessed the 15 point per day penalty unless the instructor has given permission for the assignment to be e-mailed. Any student who gives their assignment to another student, or anyone else (boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, etc.,) to deliver to the instructor is still ultimately responsible for their assignment reaching the instructor when it is due.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

All material must be type written. The instructor will not accept diskettes in lieu of hard copy material. It is acceptable and expected that students will disagree with the ideas, opinions, comments and points of views expressed by others in the class and those in the videos and handouts. However, it is never acceptable to attack anyone verbally for their opinion, comment, ideas, beliefs, etc.

Only under extremely limited circumstances will any electronic recording devices be permitted to be on during class session. This includes every audio and visual recording device imaginable. To be very specific, absolutely no cell phones, beepers or pagers are allowed to be on during class session. Absolutely no texting is allowed while class is in session. Any student talking on a cell phone or texting while in the classroom on break, must immediately end the conversation, stop the texting, or leave the room once class resumes. Laptop computers are also not allowed to be on during class session. Laptops may not be used to "take notes" during the class session. Any student using a laptop in class during a break, must immediately stop using the laptop once class resumes. Any student violating the rules that regulate the use of electronic devices, to include computers, will be asked to leave the class on the first offense and will be subject to removal from the class.

Students will not engage in any non-class activity during class sessions.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week #1 – Oct 22nd - Instructor's welcome; student introductions; review of the syllabus and course outline. Chapter 1 - Take the Rich off Welfare; chapter 2 Tax Cheats and Their Enablers chapter 4 Water for Profit. Lecture - What are systemic problems? Video scheduled. Homework assigned.

Week #2 – Oct 29th - CLASS WILL NOT MEET - Class presentation - homework due. Chapter 5 Nickel-and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America, Chapter 6 Generation Broke: The Growth of Debt among Young Americans and #8 The Squandering of America. Lecture - the effects on debt on society - institutions and individuals. Homework assigned.

Week #3 – Nov 5th - Class presentation - homework due. Chapters 9 Increasing Inequality in the United States, #11 Day by Day: The Lives of Homeless Women, #12 As Rich-Poor Gap Widens in the U.S., Class Mobility Stalls, #13 The Roots of White Advantage, #14, Schools and Prisons: Fifty Years after Brown v. Board of Education. Video scheduled. Home work assigned

Week #4 – Nov 12th - CLASS WILL NOT MEET.  Class presentation - homework due. Chapters 18 Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment on Campus, #23 A World of Wounds, #24 Diamond: A Struggle for Environmental Justice in Louisiana's Chamical Corridor, #27 Reconnecting Disadvantaged Young Men and, #28 The Underclass Label. Mid term exam. Home work assigned.

Week #5 - Nov 19th - Class presentation - homework due. Chapters 30 - Sick Out of Luck: The Uninsured in America; #31 Why Not the Best? Results lfrom the National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance, 2008; #33 The Untold Health Care Story: How They Crippled Medicare. Video scheduled. Home work assigned.

Week #6 – Nov 26th - CLASS WILL NOT MEET.  Class presentation - homework due. Chapter 35 - Schools as Scapegoats: Our Increasing Inequality and Our Competitiveness Problems are Huge - But They Can't Be Laid at the Door of Our Education Syustem, #34 Class Conflict: The Rising Costs of College, #36 - Hired Education and 37 - The Myth of Leniency. Video scheduled. Home work assigned.

Week #7 – Dec 3rd - Class presentation - homework due. Chapter #38 - Wild Pitch - "Three Strikes, You're Out" and Other Bad Calls on Crime/Instant Replay: Three Strikes Was the Right Call, #39 One in 100: Behind Bars in America 2008; #42 - Oil, Geography, and War, and #43 What to Do? A global Strategy against Terrorism. Group Presentations. Video scheduled. Home work assignment.

Week #8 – Dec 10th - Final Exam.

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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

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. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

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 "F".
  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.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98

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. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:9/16/2012 11:16:02 PM