Mission Statement

The Sociology Mission Statement of the College of Charleston

The Sociology Program seeks to foster the goals of a liberal arts and sciences education by developing in College of Charleston students the ability to understand an increasingly complex, diverse, and ever-changing world through application of the sociological perspective. Through a series of sequential courses, students who major in sociology will gain a fundamental knowledge of the key concepts of sociology, its major theoretical traditions, and the ways in which sociologists collect and analyze data.

By the time they complete their major, students will have used sociological theories to think critically about social issues at all levels of social reality, analyzed data for at least one research project, written a major paper on some aspect of social inequality, and come to understand the ways in which sociology can be applied in a wide range of careers.

We offer sociology students ample opportunities to undertake internships or volunteer work in the community, pursue an interdisciplinary minor, work one-on-one with professors on independent research, and present papers at professional meetings.

The Anthropology Mission Statement of the College of Charleston

Anthropology confronts the challenges of understanding biological and cultural similarities and differences in time and space. It does this via a comparative, holistic approach that takes the entire range of human diversity as its field of study. The field is traditionally comprised of four major subfields: archaeology, biological anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and sociocultural anthropology. In addition, a central concern of anthropologists working in all subfields is the application of knowledge to the solution of human problems.

In keeping with the College of Charleston's mission to operate as a comprehensive liberal arts institution, the Anthropology program offers its students a faculty committed to teach and train students, to offer courses (or modules) in each subfield, and to intrinsically connect our research to our teaching. We support original research and creativity in an atmosphere of intellectual freedom. At the appropriate levels, our undergraduates learn what each of the sub-fields entails and how each interacts and relates to the others. We encourage team-teaching and we experiment with new methodologies as they feed back into our research.

The special mandate of the field is to discover new and less harmful ways of perceiving, understanding and therefore validating the different experiences, histories and values of peoples and communities from around the world. With that mandate in mind, our mission statement is to advance, increase, and disseminate the insights of anthropology (both scientific and humanistic) through excellent teaching, writing and outreach. We do this by offering field schools, both domestic and international, courses that emphasize the discipline's core concepts, and classes that relate to our faculty members' specializations. We regularly associate, cooperate and collaborate with students, scholars and colleagues on local, regional, national, and international levels.

The Anthropology program recognizes the importance of multiculturalism and acknowledges its role and responsibility in promoting greater understanding of cultural diversity among faculty, students, and the university at large. We encourage students from historically underrepresented groups to apply to our program. We are committed to equal opportunity and affirmative action for our faculty, staff and students, regardless of "race," religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, or focus of teaching and research.

Our goals and obligations are to reach and educate our primary constituencies, which include both majors and non-majors (the latter of whom take our courses as part of a liberal college education), and to appeal to the public at large. These latter aspects of our mission statement link us to the needs of the global community, whose human rights we acknowledge, support, and defend.