Social and Behavioral Sciences

SBS Course Descriptions

EYE 123/SBS 199 Our Brains at Play
This course will explore how play and interpersonal experiences forge key connections in the brain. By examining "our brains at play" student devote equal time to the fields of interpersonal neurobiology and play studies. The course will build communicative competence through experiential and cooperative learning, community engagement opportunities, class discussion on topics of ethical and social importance and oral and written assignments. Several times throughout the course, students will utilize a modification of the Lego® Serious Play® method, a kinesthetic and storytelling methodology for understanding how and why the interpersonal neurobiology of play contributes to the well-being of individuals, relationships, and society.  Cr 3.

HRD/SBS 200 Multicultural Human Development (SCA)
This course introduces developmental theory and research that encompasses the entire lifespan. Emphasis will be on prenatal development through adolescence, with an overview of adult development. A multi-disciplinary and multicultural view of human development will be taken by examining theories from a socio-cultural context and in consideration of change as well as stability throughout the life cycle. The interaction of hereditary, environmental, and socio-cultural factors will be considered in studying physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development. Prerequisites: Second semester freshmen or above; must have completed College Writing and an EYE course. Cr 3.


SBS 210 Me in 3D: Introduction to Social and Behavioral Sciences

This experiential course gives students the opportunity to consider their relationship with the world through the three different perspectives on Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology. Issues of information literacy will be explored as an introduction in the interdisciplinary strength of social and behavioral sciences as a major. Cr 3.

SBS 220: U.S. Democracy: Origins and Development (SCA)

In this course, students consider convergence of cultures, events, and ideas that led to the founding of the United States as a republic up to 1877. The course explores the basic structure of the U.S. system of government, the primary political philosophies that undergird it, and past efforts made to remedy injustices that ran counter to the ideals of democracy. This course has been approved by the State Department of Education for content area in secondary Social Studies. Cr 3.

SBS 300 Deviance and Social Control (DIV)
This course provides a forum to examine deviance and social control from sociological, psychological, ecological, environmental and cross-cultural (anthropological) perspectives, examining contested definitions of deviance, and different theories about deviance and social control.  The course investigates the interrelationships of culture, power, identity formation and social change. Portrayals of deviance and social control in literature, film and popular culture will also be explored.  Students challenge their critical thinking skills and will achieve a higher level of understanding about the relative notion of deviance, including how it relates to population size, and the nature(s) and type(s) of social control.  Cr 3.

LOS/SBS 301 Group Dynamics (EL)
This course gives students an understanding of how people behave in groups and the skills needed by group members to participate effectively in group activities. It provides a theoretical foundation for how groups function, with focus on group process and development; and it discusses how these theories can be applied to a wide range of group settings. This course uses experiential techniques to help students develop critical skills and understanding of group dynamics.  Cr 3.

LOS/SBS 302 Organizational Behavior (EL)
This course examines human behavior in organizations: individual, group, and organizational processes that impact workplace behaviors and organizational life. The focus is on understanding factors that contribute to organizational effectiveness and the major challenges facing organizations today. We will cover topics such as individual and organizational learning, individual values and motivation; interpersonal communication and work team dynamics, leadership and emotional intelligence, power and influence, organizational culture and change. Students will engage in experiential and skill-building activities and apply conceptual frameworks to their real-life work experiences.  Cr 3.

SBS 303 Abnormal Psychology
This course presents an introduction to the classification, diagnosis, and etiology of what is considered "mental illness." Cultural aspects of "abnormality" will be emphasized, as will integrative models of the causes of mental disorders. This integrative approach considers the complex interplay between biological, psychological, interpersonal, and cultural factors as they contribute to the development and expression of psychological disorders.  Cr 3.

SBS 304/ANT 233 Food and Culture
This course examines cultural beliefs and practices surrounding diet, food, cooking, eating, and nutrition. Students explore how behaviors and attitudes toward food and eating influence and are shaped by culture. Discussion may include food and healing, the social functions of food, food as represented in the media, food production and food politics, the diet industry, and eating disorders. Students gain insight into their own behaviors and attitudes toward food and eating, as well as those of today's global cultures.  Cr 3.

SBS 305 Child and Adolescent Development
This course examines the development and behavior of children from conception through adolescence. Theoretical frameworks and research on current knowledge in child and adolescent development will be considered, as well as applications to contemporary topics in child welfare and education. This course examines psychological, cognitive, and social dimensions of development. SBS/HRD 200 recommended.  Cr 3.


SBS 308/ANT 302 Medical Anthropology
This course considers the interface between medicine and anthropology in terms of both human biology and society. The course develops concepts of health as effective adaptation to environmental stresses, including infectious disease, nutritional stress, and psychosomatic illness, among others. It traces the history of health and disease in human society from hunter-gatherers to modern urban, industrial communities, and examines the way in which human populations have attempted to deal with various agents of disease. The course examines the diversity of human theories of disease causation and explores the role of modern medicine in effective health care delivery to persons of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.  Cr 3.

SBS 310 Childhood and Society
This course weaves several broad themes regarding children and childhood in society, including how socio-historical circumstances shape our perceptions of children and childhood as a distinct life stage; how various agents of socialization including family, educational systems, and media shape contemporary childhood socialization; how children are co-constructors of childhood and society; and how the experiences of childhood are shaped by ethnicity, race, class, and gender.  Cr 3.

SBS 311 Theories of Personality
This course is an in-depth study of the major theories of personality. It includes consideration of historical developments and cultural differences in the area of personality theory and research. Specific consideration will be given to the relationship of personality with mental and physical health.  Cr 3.

SBS 315 Social Psychology of Disability
This course will examine some of the social psychological issues associated with disability and the rehabilitation of individuals who have disabilities, with a focus on minimizing existing social, vocational, educational, and attitudinal barriers to individuals rather than on minimizing the impact of clients' physical/mental differences within a normed environment. It will familiarize students with the points of view and the experiences of people from various social, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds with a wide range of disabilities/abilities, towards enabling students to approach counseling as a means of expanding opportunities for their clients' access to these opportunities, and empowering their clients to attain their goals.  Cr 3.

LOS/SBS 316 Diversity in Organizations
 (DIV)
Using historical, socio-economic, and psychological perspectives, students learn about the challenges diverse members of U.S. society, such as women, people of color, people from marginalized classes, and those from other countries have had and continue to face. Students gain an understanding of how the workplace may affect diverse peoples and how others can learn to make the workplace more hospitable. A primary focus of this course is on examining beliefs, behaviors, or unconscious attitudes that perpetuate the oppression and subordination of diverse members of society in the workplace, while also looking at how increased diversity is adding to workplace productivity, creativity, and learning. Readings are drawn from the social sciences and humanities to provide an interdisciplinary approach to the topic. Cr 3.

LOS/SBS 329 Research Methods
This course is an introduction to quantitative and qualitative research methods which can be used in organizational planning and decision-making and in the social and behavioral sciences. Students learn how to apply appropriate methods of inquiry and complete an applied project. Strongly recommended for students going on to graduate school, careers in consulting, or human resource management. Prerequisite: LOS 120 or equivalent. Cr 3.

SBS 332 Death, Dying, and Denial
An interdisciplinary consideration of death and dying that may include biological, historical, and various social science perspectives, this course examines cross-cultural variations in beliefs and practices related to death, care for the dying, and bereavement. It also explores the personal, social, and cultural implications of denying death and refusing to mourn.  Cr 3.

SBS 334 Spirituality
Spirituality, variously defined, is a central part of human experience, constituting important levels of consciousness and meaning. This course will investigate the experience and development of spirituality over the life span as depicted in religious, psychological, "New Age," and imaginative literatures.  Cr 3.

SBS 335 Legal Issues in Health and Human Services
This course examines the legal framework underlying the delivery of health and human services with an emphasis on current socio-legal problems including the rights of clients and the responsibilities of workers.  Cr 3.

SBS/SCI 336 / BPH 201 Fundamentals of Public Health
This course provides an overview of the public health system and examines the purpose, history, organization, approach, functions and determinants of health. The course places special emphasis on current health issues from our daily lives to highlight the relevance of public health. Trends, successes and challenges from a population perspective will be discussed as well as various tools and techniques used to address public health issues.  Cr 3.

SBS/SCI 337/BPH Introduction to Epidemiology
This seminar course introduces the student to epidemiology as a utility for the establishment and maintenance of public health. In essence, epidemiology involves the observation and statistical analysis of the occurrence of health and disease in human populations. This science informs the practice of preventive health/disease control and the formulation of public health policy. Seminar topics will be drawn from both infectious and chronic disease epidemiology ranging from the historical plagues such as the Black Death to the modern plagues of AIDS, cancer, and obesity. Recommended prerequisites include introductory biology, and statistics.  Cr 3.

SBS 339 Immigration, Ethnicity, and Identity
This course will investigate race and ethnicity and how people acquire and retain their identity. Why do people leave their homes to start new lives in new places? Why do they want to face new or grave challenges? Pilgrims, Jews, Huguenots, and Irish in the past, and Somali and Syrians, today, are but a few peoples who have done so. Through historical and contemporary readings and films, oral histories and personal interviews, the course examines the challenges immigrants face, as they attempt to assimilate within the U.S. while trying to maintain their native languages, traditions, cultures and communities.  Cr 3.

SBS 341 The Family
This course is a contemporary, interdisciplinary approach to the study of the family that includes an examination of family structures, familial relationships, and the impact of historical change on these structures and relationships.  Cr 3.

SBS 343 Substance Use Disorders
This course considers patterns of use of drugs, the bases of their effects and associated harms, and the history of and current options for prevention and intervention efforts. Consideration will be given to the role of society and public policy in influencing our thinking and behavior concerning substance use and abuse.  Cr 3.

SBS 344 Violence: Causes and Control
This course studies violence and the possibilities of living peacefully as explored in psychological and sociological works and in writings on anthropology, social policy, and religion. The course reviews the causes of violent and aggressive behaviors and specific approaches to the prevention and control of these behaviors.  Cr 3.

SBS 345* Diversity: Many Voices (DIV)
This course examines the impact of various markers of diversity including race, class, and gender on individual and social experiences in the United States. Students will analyze issues of diversity concerning inequality, power, privilege, and social justice.  Students will explore their own place in a diverse society and develop opportunities for building strength through diversity in organizations and communities.   Cr 3.

SBS 346 Introduction to Social Services
This course examines the profession of social work from both historical and contemporary perspectives. Students will explore specialty areas in social work such as mental health and disability, crime and violence, and family work. A focus on case management will be explored. Career options in the social work field will be explored.  Cr 3.

SBS 348 Responding to Mental Health Crisis in the Community
This course explores history and models of mental health focused on the ability of individuals with mental illness to function successfully in the community. The course will assist students in developing an understanding of crisis intervention perspectives, including knowledge of the following: risk factors and precipitating events; available emergency community resources and associated obstacles to access to these services; effects of psychological trauma as it pertains to the impact on the community; what it means to be culturally competent; and how we work with various vulnerable populations within a community setting.  Cr 3.

SBS 349 Trauma and Narrative
This course examines the medical, political, and cultural history of the concept of trauma, focusing on how trauma has become a core concern in both contemporary clinical psychology and literary criticism.  We consider models for conceptualizing responses to traumatic experiences. Topics include the diagnostic criteria of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, recommended treatment approaches, risk and protective factors. Students explore "narrative" vs. "traumatic" memories and carefully examine a number of literary texts and films to analyze the characteristics of representations of traumatic memory.  The idea that fashioning a narrative of traumatic experience is essential to trauma therapy and to the healing effects of trauma literature, will also be explored. Prerequisites: Completion of a 100-level College Writing course (with grade of at least a C), SOC 100, PSY 100, and ANT 101.  Cr 3.

SBS 350 Psychosocial Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence
This course includes readings and discussion of the etiology and manifestation of psychosocial disorders in childhood and adolescence. Topic areas, including approaches to intervention, will be considered from developmental, psychological and sociological perspectives.  Special focus includes the role of the family and other collateral adults to support a variety of treatment approaches.  Cr 3.

SBS 358 Representations of Motherhood
This interdisciplinary course examines the ways in which motherhood is represented in various cultural forms (including film, literature, and political rhetoric) and from within different historical and cultural contexts. Contemporary psychological theories will be considered in terms of how they are used to prescribe normative demands on women and mothers and also how they attribute various powers to mothers that then contribute to the construction of particular social policies and practices. Prerequisite: College Writing course.  Cr 3.

SBS 362 Understanding Regulation: Applying Scissors to Red Tape
Every industry and profession in the United States is caught in a vast net of regulations; federal, state, and local governments all have policies that influence and determine the infrastructure of organizations and how they function. From the Food & Drug Administration through Equal Opportunity laws, local ordinances, and professional organization standards and requirements, this course will examine how and why regulations arise; how to research and decipher their essential elements; how to determine what regulations apply to product, idea, or profession (PIP) and how to think about and manage risks associated with regulations.  Cr 3.

SBS 363 Human Factors in Regulatory Ethics
Human Factors in Regulatory Compliance and Social Policy: introduces students to classic and contemporary theory within psychology, sociology, anthropology and legal studies to understand why regulations exist and how human beings create, respond to, and navigate them. Students learn about core constructs that impact both individual and group-level (e.g., corporate) decision-making, and policy making.  These include: neurocognitive and evolutionary processes; individual factors (e.g., need for control, reactance, psychopathy); group processes (e.g., in-group/out-group; groupthink; persuasion techniques); social factors (e.g., tragedy of the commons; nature of institutions and bureaucracies); and cultural factors (e.g., individualism versus collectivism, cross-cultural ethical/legal differences). Students learn to use these analytical frameworks to understand the role of poverty/affluence, education and governmental structure on how regulatory control is created and sustained within social systems. Cr 3.

SBS 364 Introduction to Expressive Therapies 
This course introduces students to the basic principles, theories, and varied professional applications of the expressive therapies, including modalities of art, drama, movement, music, poetry and play.  Exposure to and experience with a variety of experiential processes is a major feature of the course. Exploration of the value of these methods in transcending barriers of age, mental health, physical health, learning styles and needs, language ability and cultural norms is also woven into the course.  Cr 3.

SBS 368 Transitioning Cultures: Ethical Conflicts in Post-Military Life     (EISRC designated course for active duty military or veterans only)
This course compares and contrasts ethical and moral issues across military, civilian, and veteran populations. Students will articulate how values and ethics inform human understanding, social structures, and personal and interpersonal behavior in comparisons between military and civilian life experiences. Students will explore the contradictions between military ethics and divergent frameworks of civilian life. As a EISRC designated course the core pre-requisites are: any three of Creative expression, Cultural Interpretation, Science Exploration, Socio-Cultural Analysis. Cr 3.

SBS 370 Towards a Global Ethics (EISRC)
This writing intensive course assists students in articulating and assessing their own values. It examines the range of ethical theories and positions and explores the influence of particular cultural ideologies on ethical beliefs. The course considers the ethical principles implied in democracy, sustainability, justice, and difference. It examines ethical issues and dilemmas faced by individuals, organizations, and nations while exploring personal and collective decision-making processes in a global context. Core pre-requisites: any three of Creative expression, Cultural Interpretation, Science Exploration, Socio-Cultural Analysis. Cr 3.

SBS 375 Infant Mental Health and Attachment
This course focuses on the critical importance of attachment in early childhood and the emotional development of young children as the basis of forming relationships throughout one's life. New developments in neuroscience, the impact of stress on developing brain architecture and adverse childhood experiences will be reviewed. Positive and negative influences on both attachment and emotional development will be discussed as well as implications for attachment relationships throughout the lifespan. The concepts of infant mental health as relational, reflective, and interdisciplinary will be presented as well as skills and strategies for supporting the growing field of infant mental health. Recommended: PSY 100, HRD/SBS 200, a course in Child Development, or SBS 311.  Cr 3.

SBS 390 Brain and Behavior
This course will explore the relation between the human brain as a physical organ, the mind as it relates to the brain, and behavior. We will explore how the human brain is structured and how those structures control various function; the basics of how neurons communicate with each other, electrically and chemically; how the brain develops and “brain circuits” are formed; and how memory, emotion, identity, and spirituality grow out of the “wetware” that is our most complex organ. Cr 3.

SBS 398 Independent Study (EL)
Prerequisite: junior standing and permission of instructor.  Cr 3.

SBS 399 Special Topics
Various courses.  Cr 3.

SBS 411 Counseling and Psychotherapy
A study of the conceptual foundations, fundamental characteristics, and ethical principles involved in the process of psychological counseling. Alternative models (e.g., individual, group, family) of therapy will be explored in relation to theories of personality development and functioning. Special focus will also be placed on counseling approaches in community mental health areas such as trauma and crisis intervention. Prerequisite: SBS 311.  Cr 3.

SBS 420/LOS 599 Mindfulness
Mindfulness is about paying attention without judgment to what is being presented to us in our lives moment by moment right here, right now and then responding to this moment from a place of balance/center rather than reacting from old patterns. This course studies Mindfulness using practices based on the Kabat-Zinn Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Program and practices based on the work of Professor Nancy Hathaway. Students will learn to utilize Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction practices for cognitive and emotional regulation, and explore ways to integrate Mindfulness into work, family, health, and relationships, particularly into Teaching, Nursing, Social Work, Counseling, Public Safety, and the Healthcare Professions.  Cr 3.

SBS 430 Applied Social and Public Policy
A review of contemporary social policy alternatives and an examination of social policy making processes at both the macro- and micro-levels. The course combines service learning or community engagement with action research strategies in an Applied Social Policy project with a community-based organization or governmental agency. Prerequisites: Junior standing and either LOS 210 or SBS 210 or SBS 370 or permission of the instructor.  Cr 3.

LOS/SBS 436 Risk, Public Policy, and Society
This course considers the variety of ways in which risks, especially risks to the environment and to health, are measured, perceived, communicated, and acted upon in our society. Perspectives will be drawn from health fields, natural sciences, and political science, as well as from the social sciences.  Cr 3.

LOS/SBS 470 Study Abroad (INT & EL)
The goal of this course is to provide an experiential learning opportunity for students to increase their global awareness. Through a variety of readings, overseas traveling, site experiences, and reflection exercise, students will examine a diversity of sociocultural issues in a foreign environment. Prerequisite: Instructor permission. Variable Cr 3-6.