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Established in 1990 by Barbara S. and Robert B. Keith, in memory of their daughter who attended Rockford University during the summers in the early 1960’s. This scholarship is awarded to junior or senior students with financial need who are majoring in the helping professions.
The Delman Prize in Sociology was established to honor faculty emeriti. This award may be given to a student based on academic performance and grade point average criteria who has completed at least 30 credit hours in sociology.
Established in 1993 and based on annual renewal, this scholarship is awarded to outstanding students pursuing a career in the criminal justice field.
Established through individual and corporate gifts to the Rockford University Criminal Justice Advisory Board, this scholarship is awarded to part-time students who are majoring in sociology with a criminal justice emphasis or pursuing the master of business administration degree with emphasis in criminal justice. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit and current full-time employment in the law enforcement field.
For more scholarship information relevant to this department, please visit the Academic Catalog (pdf).
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Dr. Newhart graduated with a Ph.D. in sociology from North Carolina State University. Areas of interest include criminology, corrections, juvenile delinquency, terrorism and research methods. Dr. Newhart serves as coordinator of the criminal justice track in the department.
Professor Kennedy graduated with a M.A. in behavior analysis psychology from West Virginia University, and has completed 45 credit hours in graduate work in sociology at Loyola University. Professor Kennedy has been accepted into the Public Policy and Administration – Terrorism, Mediation, and Peace doctoral program at Walden University and has been progressing in her studies to earn a Ph.D. since November 2016. Areas of interest include: ethno-religious political violence, in particular the Northern Ireland conflict, terrorism, peace and conflict studies, military sociology, extreme deviance, race and ethnicity, gender, substance use, and social stratification.
Thomas McIntyre, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor of Sociology
B.A., Pennsylvania State University
M.A., University of Pittsburgh
Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
Dr. McIntyre graduated with a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh. Areas of interest include: sociological theory, sociology of community, military sociology, and peace and conflict studies.
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Sociology is a popular major or minor for students planning futures in such professions as law, politics, law enforcement, social work, public health, urban planning, community relations and public administration. Students also will find that numerous courses in criminal justice, management, marketing, business organization, labor relations, communication, journalism, recreation and nursing draw upon the principles, research techniques and findings of sociology.
Employers frequently look for potential employees with specific skills that are acquired in sociology courses dealing with survey and research methods, statistics, criminal justice, marketing, and population research. With a number of these courses to their credit, students may well find themselves at a competitive advantage with other liberal arts graduates. The breadth of learning from a liberal arts education gives opportunities to develop interpersonal, analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills essential for success in today’s competitive job market. According to the Wall Street Journal, big employers are wooing social science and liberal arts graduates with growing fervor after years of favoring job applicants with technical degrees. Employers find that graduates of schools like Rockford University can take a variety of problems and apply creative analysis to them.
A variety of career opportunities exist for our graduates in both the public and private sector. Our graduates have found employment in a variety of law enforcement/criminal and juvenile justice agencies at all levels and social service agencies. For students who go on to graduate school, professional positions in law, social work, higher education, research, and public policy and administration are available. In addition, undergraduate study in sociology is good preparation for business careers in local, national and international sales and marketing, and careers in law.
Students enrolled in the criminal justice concentration are required to successfully complete one, 3-credit academic internship as part of their degree requirements. Students enrolled in the sociology general concentration may choose to complete one, 3-credit academic internship, although it is not part of their degree requirements. Department faculty and advisors assist students with locating appropriate internship placement opportunities. Internships provide students the opportunity to get a “real world” experience in their field of career interest.
Some of our recent alumni have gone on to graduate work in sociology, social work, and law. Others have obtained positions in social service agencies, from child welfare to community mental health. Still others occupy positions of responsibility and leadership in criminal justice agencies. A number of probation officers and police officers in Rockford and neighboring cities are alumni of our program. In addition, another alumnus is a federal prosecutor and many others have gone on to law school. One is even a U.S. marshal.
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As majors in sociology at Rockford University, students may pursue a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree and also choose to concentrate in criminal justice. The all-college and divisional requirements ensure a strong liberal arts foundation for a more specialized program of study. Students may have a wide range of academic internship opportunities to work for a semester in an agency or organization in the community and earn credits toward graduation.
Majors and Tracks/Concentrations:
Sociology (B.A., B.S.)
Rockford University’s Department of Sociology offers students the opportunity to major in sociology and to also concentrate in criminal justice. Degree requirements for these programs can be found in the academic catalog.
SLO 1: Social Organization
Demonstrate knowledge of the properties of social organization, at both micro and macro levels, in different types of societies from preindustrial to postindustrial.
SLO 2: Social Change
Demonstrate knowledge of social change processes at group, institutional, and societal levels at different points of societal development.
SLO 3: Cultural Literacy
Develop an appreciation for the ways in which culture influences patterns of social organization and change in societies, traditional and modern.
SLO 4: Theory and Practice
Develop an understanding of the unity of theory and practice in the conduct of social scientific research and in the professional practice of social work and law enforcement professionals.
SLO 5: Social Science Research
Demonstrate knowledge of social scientific research process and methods.
SLO 6: Communication
Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in both written and oral forms.
SLO 7: Critical Thinking
Think critically and act responsibly as informed students of social science.
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Sociology invites us to examine aspects of the social environment that we often ignore, neglect or take for granted. This examination enables us to achieve a better grasp of how society is organized, where power lies, what beliefs channel our behavior, and how societies have evolved over time. The sociological imagination equips us with a special form of consciousness that gives us a better understanding of the social and cultural forces we confront, especially those that constrain us and free us, and how they relate to large scale social structures.
By looking at social and cultural arrangements in imaginative and fresh ways, we gain a new vision of the social experience. We find that the society into which we are born and the culture transmitted to us shape our identities, personalities, emotions, thought processes and fortunes in countless ways.
As majors in sociology at Rockford University, students may pursue a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in criminal justice or general sociology. In each concentration, the all-university and collegial requirements ensure a strong liberal arts foundation for a more specialized program of study. Students who pursue the criminal justice concentration have a wide range of academic internship opportunities to work for a semester in an agency or organization in the community, and earn credits toward graduation.
At Rockford University, students of sociology learn to recognize and understand the various forms of social organization and social change processes in American society and in other societies around the world. They study various theories of societal organization and change while developing the ability to apply different theoretical approaches to the study of contemporary societies and problems. Students develop a working understanding of the methods of social scientific research, in both qualitative and quantitative forms and learn how sociology has an important role in policy formulation.
Our goal is to provide a curricular experience that equips our graduates with the knowledge and skills to succeed in graduate and professional schools, and in positions in the private and public sectors. In addition, we seek to provide our students with the necessary knowledge, skills and commitments to become responsible citizens and lifelong learners. We are committed to helping students understand and accept diversity, to be aware of social problems in our own and other cultures, and to understand the effects of social change on society.
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