Introduction to Sociology SSC-105-OA

Spring II, 2019

March 18th to May 10th, 2019


Instructor: Jamie Berry, MSW  

Phone: 607-215-5066


Office Location: On-line at the above e-mail address

Office Hours: Students can reach me through the falcon’s e-mail or my cell phone. I will answer e-mails within 24 hours. Please leave a message if I am not available and I will return your call as soon as possible.


Primary Text Reference:

Introduction to Sociology, 11thEdition, Tischler, Henry L. ISBN 978-1-333-58808-5 (A reference copy is available for use in the reference section of the library).


Introduction & Course Objectives


The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the discipline of sociology. This course will cover different facets of human society and will explore several social issues making connections between social theory and everyday life.


Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Recognize the relationship between the individual, culture, and society.

2. Demonstrate an understanding of deviance, crime and social control within society.

3. Identify and understand the impact of social inequalities within society based on race, ethnicity, gender, sex, and sexuality.

4. Demonstrate an understanding of population dynamics, health and healthcare issues, and aging issues as related to both the United States and other global societies presented in this course.

5. Identify connections between social theory and practical applications in the everyday world.

6. Understand how positive social change is affected and how individuals can participate in their communities.




On or before Sunday of the first week of the course March 24th, 2019 by 11:55 PM you will be asked to write an autobiography in the discussion forum. Please make certain it is in-depth and speaks to the reasons you are choosing to obtain a college education and why you feel this course will be of benefit to you. This will count as 80 points toward your grade. I require at least 500 words of practical information.


During the first week of class I expect you to complete your autobiography and comment on at least 2 fellow learner’s autobiography. This is out forum for communication. You will get out of it what you put it.


Discussion Questions:


Each week there will be two (2) discussion questions posted.  You must participate and reply to each question by Thursday of each week on or before 11:55 pm. This is done so that there is time to expand the discussion prior to the end of the week. (I expect substantive answers. You must contribute pertinent content that relates to your text and submit external research you have found that will contribute to the topic discussion.) 


You must respond to each discussion question topic, first giving your input regarding the topic and then participating in a discussion about the topic with fellow learners. Your grade will depend on the depth and extensiveness that you give to each topic. I expect to see 1 initial post to the two initial questions and then at least 2 replies during the week that are substantive and on point regarding the topics.  (One or two sentence replies with general comments like, “great reply.” Or, “I wish I said that.”  Will not be counted).

You must be posting at least 4 times during each week.

  1. Answer each discussion question
  2. Reply to 2 fellow student


There will be 2 discussion questions per week, you must reply to both with 200 words minimum for each before or on Thursday at 11:55PM (except for the last week).


You must reply to 2 of your fellow classmate’s initial discussion question per week with 150 words minimum for each before or on Sunday at 11:55PM (except for the last week).


It doesn’t matter what time of day that you respond since this is an on-line course where you work at your own pace in your own time frame, if you follow the deadlines for each assignment. However, you must post and reply at least 4 times during the week, or you will be dropped from the course. (This is how attendance is tracked.)  So, in order to document that you are in class for that period, you must post the required number of times each week, or you will be dropped from the course. 


This is out forum for communication. You will get out of it what you put it!

Research Paper Writing Assignment:


Research Paper Writing Assignment Your essay will incorporate concepts discussed in class and the text with observations made in your day-to-day lives. Concepts/terms are to be defined and researched (using your text, lecture, and three (3) outside sources). Those concepts are then to be linked to specific examples from your day-to-day lives of that concept in action. Your essay will be graded on accuracy in your definitions of the sociological concepts being investigated, your ability to seek out and effectively use 3 other sources (scholarly journals, newspapers, or current books) and your ability to connect the sociological concepts to real-life examples. Further, you will be graded on grammar, form, and overall organization (see my “Guidelines for Written Assignments” section near the end of this syllabus).


• Your essay should be between 5 to 6 pages and all ideas which are not your own MUST be properly referenced using either APA style. This is due April 21th at 11:55PM.


Select ONE research topic from the list below:


Essay #1: Discuss deviance as observed in your experiences in society. Connect your observations from the everyday world to clearly stated and defined concepts and theories of deviance discussed in class and in text and then researched by you. Relevant topics may include power, authority, social control, crimes, gangs, juvenile delinquency or any other facet of deviance as discussed in class.


Essay #2: Using observations from your experiences in society, write a paper discussing concepts pertaining to inequalities and stratification based on race, ethnicity, and/or class. Be sure to cite examples from your personal experiences after citing your research.


Essay #3: Gender and sex play a large role in our society. First, clearly define the terms sex a gender (identifying differences). Then, seek out research about how we are socialized to sex and gender norms in society. Be sure to cite examples from your personal experiences after citing your research.


Midterm & Final Exam:


The midterm examination will cover all material from the first half of the course. The exam will consist of multiple-choice questions and true and false. The exam will incorporating the knowledge you have gained from the entire course. It is open books and open notes.


• Cheating will not be tolerated and will be recognized by a grade of “F” on the exam and will be reported to the appropriate office.


• If you require special assistance during an exam, please see me during the first week of class so that we can make necessary arrangements.


  • Midterm: completed by Sunday 4/07/19 at 11:55PM
  • Final Exam: Final Exam completed on Thursday 5/9/19 at 11:55PM


Online Course Attendance Policy


Students enrolled in credit-bearing courses at Lackawanna College will fail any course(s) in which they accumulate absences beyond the maximum number allowed. This pertains to online courses as well.


Attendance is defined by participating in an academic activity within the online classroom, which includes making posts and replies in a course-related graded discussion forum or submitting a course-related written assignment.


Students that fail to participate in an academic activity as described above in the online classroom prior to the last day to drop/add will automatically be dropped from the course.


  • You are required to engage in discussion by making an initial post to your instructor’s prompt by the assigned day of the week, and then submitting the required number of replies by the end of the week.
  • Students who do not participate in any course-related discussions AND who do not submit any course-related assignments for ONE week will be DROPPED from the course. It is the responsibility of the student to formally withdraw from the course at the Registrar’s office.

Withdrawal Policy


A student has the privilege of withdrawing from any courses or from the College itself without academic penalty up to and including the final date for withdrawal indicated on the College calendar.

To withdraw officially from a course or from the College, a student must obtain the proper withdrawal form from the Student Affairs Office or from your Center Director, complete this form and submit it to the Registrar's Office before the final day for withdrawal without academic penalty as indicated on the College calendar. If a student stops attending a course for which he/she is registered after the published census date (end of drop/add) without having officially withdrawn from the course, the student will be assigned an AW (penalty-grade failure) for the class. No exceptions will be made.

Students who violate the College's Academic Integrity Policy and fail a course in consequence may not exercise the withdrawal privilege in that course.


Financial obligations to the College will be determined according to the Refund Policy.


Instructor Policies

  • All emails and responses posted in the General Questions section of the forum will be answered within one day.
  • All assignments will be graded within 3 days of the assignment due date
  • There will be no “extra credit.”
  • If your assignments are not handed in on time, you will receive a zero
  • If you do not post properly and on time, each week, you will receive a zero and be dropped from the course.
  • If your input is not substantive, communicated well with research added, as well as being grammatically correct with no misspellings, points will be deducted for any and all deficiencies.



Letter Grade

Numeric Range

Quality Points


96 – 100



90 – 95



87 – 89



83 – 86



80 – 82



77 – 79



73 – 76



70 – 72



67 – 69



60 – 66



0 – 59





This course is graded on a point scale. 700 points equals a grade of 100 percent. 


Autobiography on or before the end of the first week of class              80 points

2 initial DQ posts each week                    160 points   -- 20 points each week

2 additional posts each week                    160 points -- 20 points each week

Midterm                                                                                                  100 points

1 Research Paper                                                                                    100 points

Final Exam                                                                                             100 Points TOTAL POINTS FOR COURSE                                                       700 points



Due Dates and Late Penalties:

  • There will be no “extra credit.”
  • If your assignments are not handed in on time, you will receive a zero
  • If they are not submitted in the proper forum or assigned online area, you will not receive credit. No assignment will be accepted through email. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • If you do not post each week, you will receive a zero and be dropped from the course.
  • If your input is not substantive, communicated well with research added, as well as being grammatically correct with no misspellings, points will be deducted for any and all deficiencies.



Rubric for Discussion Question Posts

20 points per week for a total of 160 points

What Should I Do?

Points Available

Did I do This?


Points Earned

Post answers to both discussion questions directly demonstrating a clear understanding of the material, support your response with research or reading, and promote conversation 2 posts per week containing at least 300 words. Initial posts are due on Thursday of each week by 11:55 PM. An external scholarly article citation must also be included in each post each week.

 160 for the course




Continue both conversations with at least 2 more replies, to fellow learners and/or the instructor. Each reply must contain at least 200 words and must be submitted before Sunday for each week. An external scholarly article citation must also be included in each post each week.

 160 for the course




Make certain you use correct grammar, spelling and syntax. Also make certain you use proper netiquette

-2 for each error




Please respond to other learners and to your instructor in a civil manner using proper netiquette. We can disagree without being disagreeable. Scholarly input is educational not adversarial.





To make certain you understand, remember and benefit from what we learn in class, discussion and interaction are critical. Responses such as, “I like what you said”, “I see”, “I agree”, or “Good thinking” are NOT acceptable. You must also make certain you don’t repeat what others have said. You will not receive credit for these types of answers.

No credit




Read the Good Discussions document in the HANDOUTS and LINKS section of the course and in this syllabus. It will help you, but you should also use this rubric to gain all possible points for your contributions and, more importantly, to get the most out of our class.





Be certain all responses are clear and substantive. The initial posts for the discussion questions





Make certain that all responses are detailed and relate to the course readings and notes, your own everyday lie, or both. This will ensure that you provide your fellow learners with something that is not generic and will help all of us learn from what you have contributed.





Grading Guidelines for Written Essay Assignment:


An “A” paper demonstrates critical thinking and application of theory/concepts to the subject. It incorporates rich examples from the student’s observations and experiences that are linked to the concepts/terms discussed in class, text and scholarly journals. Concepts/terms are defined properly. The paper is well conceived and executed, demonstrating proper use of written English. The paper fulfills all specific requirements listed.


A “B” paper presents content clearly and displays a firm grasp of the material. Demonstrates some critical thinking. Incorporates some examples from the student’s observations and experiences. Most of the concepts/terms are defined and scholarly journals are used for major theory support. The paper may contain some minor grammatical errors. The paper is well organized. The paper fulfills most of the specific requirements listed.


A “C” paper displays a reasonable understanding of the material. Treatment of the topic is general and lacks detail. Contains a few examples from the student’s observations and experiences. Concepts are not defined or some are defined improperly or lack scholarly journal support. Paper may contain a few major and or minor grammatical errors. The paper fulfills most of the specific requirements listed.


A “D” paper demonstrates lack of clear understanding of the topic and a weak grasp of the material. Concepts are defined and not linked to illustrative examples from the student’s observations and experiences or no concepts are given and the paper is merely a description of the student’s examples. Reads poorly and contains major and minor grammatical errors. The paper does not fulfill the requirements listed.


Disability Statement


Lackawanna College is an Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity institution.  Students with disabilities and other needs should feel free to contact the instructor privately if there are services and adaptations which can be made to accommodate specific needs.  Students who are having difficulties with class material are strongly advised to seek assistance in the reading and writing lab.  If you feel that you have a disability that has not been formally documented, you may meet with Mrs. Christine Kiehart in the Disability Services office to discuss your options. Please note that disability services do not include exemption from participation requirements in courses considered part of the School of Distance Education, including online and hybrid courses. 

Lackawanna College Notice of Nondiscrimination


Lackawanna College will not discriminate in its educational programs, activities, or employment practices, based on race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, ancestry, union membership, or any other legally protected classification. Announcement of this policy is in accordance with State Law including the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and with Federal Law including Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs and activities. Lackawanna College is committed to providing an educational and work environment that is free from unlawful sexual discrimination including sexual harassment, sexual violence, and gender based harassment. 


In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Lackawanna College will not tolerate any forms of sexual misconduct including but not limited to: sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence and gender-based harassment by employees, students or third parties. This includes prohibiting discrimination against pregnant and parenting students. The College also prohibits retaliation against any person who makes a claim of discrimination or harassment or who provides information in such an investigation. This policy applies to admissions, employment, treatment and access to all programs and activities that take place either on or off the campus at Lackawanna College. 


Lackawanna College will fully and promptly investigate all allegations of sexual misconduct and will take action reasonably designed to resolve the complaint in an equitable manner, end a hostile environment if one has been created, prevent its recurrence, and, when appropriate, take steps to remedy its effects on individuals and the college community.

Lackawanna College complies with Title IX and all other federal laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in education programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.

Reports or inquiries regarding nondiscrimination should be made to:


Title IX Coordinator/ Executive Director of the Student Wellness Program, Marsha Pigga, Angeli Hall, Room 102, 501 Vine Street, Scranton PA, 18509 (570) 955-1466/ (570) 677-7589,


Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action inquiries: Georgia Egan, Affirmative Action Officer/Director of Continuing Education, Angeli Hall, Room 300C, Vine Street, Scranton PA (570) 961-7815, or Gopu Kiron, Affirmative Action Officer/eLearning Director, Angeli Hall, Ground Floor, Vine Street, Scranton PA, (570) 504-7929,

Additional information regarding Title IX requirements and how to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights: Office of Civil Rights at, 800-421-3481. Philadelphia Office: Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Education, The Wanamaker Building,100 Penn Square East, Suite 515, Philadelphia, PA 19107-3323 Telephone: 215-656-8541, Email: