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The Art of Listening and the Science of Hope

Sociology is the study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society. The subject matter is diverse, ranging from crime to religion, from the family to the state, from the divisions of race and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture, and from social stability to radical change in whole societies. Sociology's purpose is to understand how human action and consciousness both shape and are shaped by cultural and social structures.

Sociology is an exciting and illuminating field of study that helps us analyze important matters in our personal lives, our communities, and the world. Sociology helps us to investigate the social causes and consequences of such things as romantic love, racial and gender identity, family conflict, deviant behavior, aging, and religious faith. At the societal level, sociology examines and explains matters like crime and law, poverty and wealth, prejudice and discrimination, schools and education, business firms, urban community, and social movements. At the global level, sociology studies such phenomena as population growth and migration, war and peace, and economic development.

Program DescriptionACC offers an Associate of Arts Degree in Sociology, as well as a 2+2 partnership with Western Michigan University that allows students to complete their Bachelor of Social Work degree. 

The Associate in Arts program is intended for students who are considering an Associate in Arts (AA) degree or intending to transfer to obtain a bachelor’s degree or advanced degree in Sociology or Social Work. Students should consult with an ACC academic advisor concerning specific course selections. A minimum total of 60 credits are required for the Associate in Arts degree. 

Students in the Sociology program will study a variety of subjects that will help them begin to develop an understanding of human social relationships. Courses include:

  • General Psychology
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • History of Western Civilization
  • Introduction to Social Work
  • Developmental Psychology

Career OptionsSocial workers are employed in a variety of settings, including child welfare and human service agencies, healthcare providers, and schools. Most work full-time, and some work evenings, weekends, and holidays. Social workers typically need a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. They also may need a license; specific requirements vary by state. Clinical social workers need a master’s degree, supervised clinical experience, and a license from the state in which they practice.

Overall employment of social workers is projected to grow 9 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for social workers was $50,390 in May 2021*.

About 74,700 openings for social workers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2021-22 Edition, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh (visited October 26, 2022).

Western Michigan University 2+2 ProgramBachelor of Social Work
Alpena Community College offers an articulation agreement with Western Michigan University to provide a 2+2 agreement in Social Work. This agreement offers an affordable and practical opportunity for career development in Social Work by enabling community members to start their degree at ACC and continue their studies locally through the partnership with WMU. 

For more information visit the WMU transfer section on their website. 

An informational session was held on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022, from 9-10 a.m. in Room 116 of the Newport Center at ACC. Faculty from WMU attended virtually to discuss the partnership and the opportunities that this will provide for students. A recording of the program can be viewed below. 

PreparationBefore starting any program at ACC, a student’s academic background, assessment scores, or testing results are reviewed to determine the right courses to take. Review classes are also available to prepare students to meet the academic requirements of these programs. Students are strongly urged to meet with their academic advisors to determine the best pathway toward successful academic and career goal completion. 

An exciting career in Sociology is ready and waiting for you! A simple visit to Alpena Community College is all it takes to help you start the journey.

Contact the Advisor
Dr. Amber Vesotski