The Donald Everett Axinn Division of Social Sciences
Southern Vermont College offers the following degrees in The Donald Everett Axinn Division of Social Sciences:
The Southern Vermont College Donald Everett Axinn Division of Social Sciences seeks to help students
understand how individuals and groups function in society. Building on a strong liberal arts foundation,
study in each of the majors provides students with preparation for both professional employment and
graduate study. Teaching in The Donald Everett Axinn Division of Social Sciences occurs through an
active, project‐based approach. Through this methodology, students gain an understanding and
appreciation of the connection between their academic work and how it applies to their chosen career
and everyday life.
The curriculum for the majors within this Division focuses upon students developing the skills necessary
to be contributing members of their chosen profession. Students are encouraged to explore how social
science theory informs our understanding of everyday events. Through both experiential learning in the
classroom and practicum, students experience how such theory translates into behaviors that affect our
daily lives. The curriculum focuses upon issues of social justice and students are encouraged to explore
their own beliefs and proposed methods to address issues of social inequality. Each major includes a
Capstone course where students will demonstrate their understanding of their area of study.
Social Sciences Communication Requirement
All majors in the Division emphasize the critical‐thinking process and the clear communication of the outcome of that process. All courses within the Division have a writing component designed to teach students how to successfully use existing research and literature to support their thoughts and positions. Students will complete writing assignments appropriate to the course level. Each 200‐level course will require students to write descriptively about topics. There will be short, regular writing assignments, essays or exams, and a short research paper. Literature reviews in 300‐level courses will emphasize analysis and building an argument with regular writing assignments, essay exams, and a research paper. All 400‐level courses will continue this emphasis on writing while requiring students to take and defend positions on controversial issues in the social sciences using the primary literature. All assignments will emphasize the communication of material through the American Psychological Association (APA) writing style.
Students are also expected to be effective oral communicators. Many courses include assignments that require students to present material orally using PowerPoint and/or other presentation media.
Career Opportunities and Graduate Study
Depending on their major, students are prepared to enter careers in fields such as human services; human
services management; federal, state, and local law enforcement; education; government service; nonprofit
organizations; and business. Students are also prepared for graduate study in psychology, social work,
history and politics, and criminal justice and law school.