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    Student & Alumni Comments On Teaching

The following student comments on the sociology department's program, courses, curriculum, and teaching were taken from the graduating senior survey (1998-99) and the alumni survey (1998).

Comments from Graduating Seniors:

Question: What was one memorable learning experience you had in sociology?

"Creating and implementing an original research project."

"Discovering how fascinating sociology theory can be and how many different theories there are."

"Doing research in sociology 102A and 102B with Professor Macintosh."

"Having an instructor really take the time to explain a concept that was difficult for me to grasp."

"Learning that the family is not a separate institution but is influenced by religion, education, the economy, and government."

"Learning to evaluate things which I see and read that I took completely for granted prior to my sociology experience."

"I learned a great deal with Professors Varano and Liu and through researching my topic for my senior project."

"I learned a lot from Professor Varano; he knows his stuff and enjoys students and teaching very much."

"Much of the class discussion in sociology 125 was very interesting and insightful."

"I learned a lot about participant observation and applied it when Chancellor Reed was on campus. It allowed me to apply much of what I learned in many ways."

"Professor Rendon' term paper project in Chicano community."

"I gained a lot of confidence from taking Professor Macintosh's course (102A and 102B). I learned that my study was valuable and could be published if I added more to it."

"I learned a lot from writing a personal analysis of the social class I am from for Sociology 125. There was a lot of intellectual growth in that class."

    Question: What is one major strength of the sociology program?

"Professors such as Rendon, Varano, and Tumminia."

"Professors that enjoy teaching the subjects, like Professors Varano and Kloss."

"Some excellent professors, like Professor Gardner and Varano."

"The advisor, Professor Landis--I was always able t get a hold of him."

"The diversity of students in sociology classes and the willingness on the part of teachers to work with them."

"The instructors' interest in students as individuals, not just bodies filling seats in the classroom."

"The new professors are excited to teach and bring their experiences to class."

"The professors are great this semester. I wish I would have had the inspiration I have now years ago."

"The quality and vigor of some of the upper division core courses, especially sociology 125 and 193."

"The small size of some of the classes allows for an intimate atmosphere where I could get to know my professors as well as other sociology students."

"The department's theory courses, they are very interesting."

    Question: Please describe how you have grown intellectually since becoming a sociology major

"Analyzing and critiquing social events from various perspectives."

"Being a sociology major has given me the opportunity to question things in my environment and to apply a sociological perspective to these events."

"Critical analysis of our social world."

"Critical thinking about the diversity of individual's positions in society."

"I am much more aware of various social conditions in America."

"I believe it has allowed me to fine-tune my research skills and focus on topics in order to give a more well rounded analysis of them."

"I can work away knowing I am capable of communicating with my skills in writing as well as verbally. Thanks to the challenge this department has given me."

"I have become more aware of racial, class, and sex differences in American society. I have seen the "layers" that exists, all of which I had no idea existed before."

"I have become much better at research and more skeptical of statistics."

"I have gained a broad, through understanding of society and my relation to it."

"I have learned how to critically analyze data and graphs."

"I have learned how to read data and theories and not just believe what they say, but to understand how they affect my life. I've learned to take pretty much everything with a grain of salt."

"I have learned how to look at things from different points of view sociologically."

"I can totally argue the point of how everything in society is connected. How most of our social ills are not isolated but connected to everything else, especially class and inequality."

"I understand people of all races a little better."

"My understanding of different sociological theories and their approaches."

"The way I view current social issues. I am much more critical and less pulled in by hype."

"I now see certain issues in a new light, a new way that I never saw before."

    Comments from Alumni 1998:

"I would major in sociology again, especially at CSUS. I felt the curriculum was intense, informative, and challenging. The faculty was outstanding."

"Sociology was an adequate undergraduate degree for my confutation into law school. My overall experience in the sociology department was average. There was not a lot of innovative and exciting teaching that was happening when I was there."

"I would major in sociology again because at the time it was what I thought I wanted to pursue a career in. It was overall a great learning experience. Faculty were very supportive and available. The curriculum was very good educationally."

"I probably would major in sociology again because I really enjoyed most of the classes required for the major."

"The sociology program offers its students a broad look at our society. It also makes one take a hard look at oneself to examine our own biases. I would definitely major in sociology again and if I could. I would appreciate the degree so much more now."

"I enjoyed pursuing my soc major, but I quickly found out after the fact that here wasn’t a lot of money in it. I would do it again if there were more classes dealing with the professional world, more specifically how to deal with the maze of upper management."

"I would major in sociology again because of the diverse options in the BA program However, I felt the methods and research courses were extremely stressful and difficult and not related to my career plans."

"I would major in sociology again as it proved to be an ideal foundation for the MSW program."

"I would major in sociology again because I liked the faculty and courses. But I would not major in sociology again because it did not lead me into a career in that field."

"I feel I would not major in sociology again because I felt I made the wrong decision in choosing a major."

"The course options were extremely limited. Most students work, which greatly limits the availability of desired courses. The majority of the courses outside of the core were selected on the basis of my work schedule."

"I would major in sociology again because there are so many aspects of the field I have yet to learn."

"I would have gotten my MA in sociology if there had been a concentration in labor relations. Instead I am going to get my MA in business."

"The overall academic experience was great. The teachers were responsive and many in the soc department were passionate and helpful. But there are few jobs directly related to sociology."

"I don’t think it matters what one majors in unless one is seeking employment in a specialized area. All employers look for the ability to learn, the ability to communicate, and complete something, and to work with diverse groups of people. In that sense I would probably major in sociology again."

"I am glad that I majored in sociology because it really opened my eyes to society. It has made me a much more open-minded person. It has been difficult to qualify for many jobs that I have been interested in, however."

"I would major in sociology again for several reasons. First, sociology provided me with the necessary tools to grow and develop new insights into the world around me. Second, it fueled my passion for learning and inspired me to want to teach. Third, the soc program at CSUS developed my writing and speaking skills necessary to effectively communicate in everyday life."

"I would major in sociology again, because after 10 years in the job market, I have survived, and now I have a wonderful job working with a community based program on service learning that utilizes my education."






California State University, Sacramento