Department Policies

Information for Students

The Sociology Department has a number of policies that govern student conduct and expectations in all department courses. The policies are superseded by policies written on the syllabus by individual faculty members, and as such the following policies are in effect except in such cases. These policies are in addition to those of the college.

Basic Course Regulations

  1. The instructor of a given course reserves the right to interpret and execute college, department and classroom policies.
  2. All classes, including exams, begin at the start of the class period unless otherwise noted. Tardiness is disruptive to the class, may result in not being admitted to the classroom and/or a reduction of an exam grade.
  3. Every student has a responsibility to help create a safe and respectful learning environment. Any disruptive behavior, including the use of electronics (including cell phones) not sanctioned by the professor or college authorities, is unacceptable and may result in the student’s removal from class, disciplinary action through the Student Affairs Office, and/or being reported to University Police. Class ends when dismissed by the instructor, and students should refrain from talking or preparing to leave until class is dismissed
  4. Class attendance is expected. Students are strongly advised that a good grade is difficult to achieve without regular attendance since much of the material is based on an understanding of the lectures. Any class materials or notes are the responsibility of the student, and the Instructor has no obligation to provide lecture notes, video presentation, or any other material to a student regardless of the reason for class absence.
  5. Students are expected to complete the reading assignments in a timely manner.
  6. Any cheating on an exam or assignment, if discovered, will result in an automatic E on the exam or assignment as well referral of the student to the relevant university disciplinary committee. The professor retains the right to assign a grade of E for the entire course.
  7. Makeup examinations are subject to the prerogative of the Instructor. Absence during an exam or when an assignment is due is not acceptable. The only reasons accepted for missing an exam or an assignment due date are: (1) death in your immediate family; and/or (2) hospitalization, you or your immediate family. Immediate family is you, your spouse, your child, your parents, or your brother/sister. (3) court subpoena. If an exam is missed for any other reason you will receive no credit [0] for that exam. Unless otherwise stated, students should assume that exams begin at the beginning of the class and should be ready to take the exam at that time.. Late arrival for an exam is subject to the same policies as missing an exam.
  8. The students are responsible for all material and announcements presented in the classroom. Ignorance of announced examination, assignments, and/or course changes will not be accepted as an excuse for incomplete work in this course. A student is responsible for what happens in class.
  9. Instructor reserves the right to raise a student grade based on overall good performance.
  10. Please remember to be kind to one another. Every time you chat, walk around, or eat while class is in session, you are making it hard on some of your classmates. If students complain to about such behavior, or the instructor feels you are seriously disturbing the class, a warning can be issued in private or public. If the behavior continues on that or another day, the appropriate college authorities responsible for disciplinary issues will be contacted.
  11. The instructor retains the right to ask questions based on the reading, course lectures, or any other assigned work whether it was discussed in class, the textbook, or not.
  12. The instructor has the ultimate authority to amend or except these policies based on professional standards of conduct.


You may appeal a grade by a Sociology Department faculty member if you feel that the standards by which you have been graded are biased or unclear. To appeal, you should send a letter of an appeal to the department chair outlining the circumstances and reasons for the appeal. You should enclose copies of any relevant materials, such as syllabi, papers, etc. You are responsible for retaining copies of these same materials for your own records.

The department chair will appoint a committee of at least three neutral faculty members to investigate your appeal. You may or may not be contacted for additional information or documentation at that time. Upon reaching a conclusion, a letter will be mailed to you by the department chair informing you of the committee's conclusions. To start this process, you should send the appeals packet to:

Chair, Department of Sociology
SUNY Oneonta
108 Ravine Pkwy.
Oneonta, NY 13820

If the student wishes to pursue the case further, s/he should contact the Division of Behavioral & Applied Science.
In cases where an appeal involves the department chair, the student has the option of appealing directly to the School of Social Science.

Independent Study Guidelines

An Independent Study is a contract between the individual faculty member(s) and the student. The criteria for satisfactory completion is established between the two parties, subject to rules of professional conduct. An Independent Study is not guaranteed to students; faculty members are not obligated in any way to work on independent study projects with students. Any data generated through such a partnership becomes the property of the faculty member, although any reports written by the student remain the property of the student.

The following criteria are established for Independent Study numbering schemes:

  • SOCL 299: Directed Readings, Faculty-Student research in which the student is primarily involved in data collection or literature review, and Annotated Bibliographies.
  • SOCL 399: Student-Faculty Research, Faculty-Student research in which the student is a co-author or has some supervisory role.

Internship Guidelines

An internship is registered under SOCL 397: Field Experiences in Sociology. Internship opportunities are available to all departmental students, but those student enrolled in programs with a required internship must conduct the internship in an internship site appropriate to the student's course of study, which is set up with the appropriate internship coordinator (contact the department secretary, Michele Myers-Platt to set this up).

All students are strongly encouraged to begin the process of internship location and registration during the semester prior to semester during which the internship will be conducted. The department does not guarantee a student an internship opportunity, even in cases when the internship is a requirement. Students enrolled in programs with required internships will, as a general rule, be given opportunities to fulfill such requirements with instructors specifically chosen to work with field experience students.

If you plan on finding an internship on your own, either in the local area or somewhere else, you should contact one of the above professors and ask if they will supervise it from campus or any member of the full-time faculty. If you are interning in a setting that is not Criminal Justice or Human Services related, you should talk with your faulty advisor prior to the semester in which you would like to intern.

The most important thing with your internship is to start the process early. Internships can be tricky to put together, and waiting until the beginning of the semester in which you wish to intern can result in failure to find an internship. Contact the appropriate faculty during the previous semester.
College policy dictates that the paperwork for the internship must be complete prior to enrolling in the course (SOCL 397). This means that you should start the process early: even if you find an internship right at the beginning of a new semester, late paperwork could incur additional fees.

Internship waivers

If you are a criminal justice major or a sociology major pursuing the human services track, you may be able to waive the SOCL 397 internship requirement. If you have at least 120 hours of volunteer or paid work experience in the appropriate work environment, you may request a waiver by sending a letter to the department chair at the below address:

Chair, Department of Sociology
SUNY Oneonta
108 Ravine Pkwy.
Oneonta, NY 13820

You should also have a letter from your supervisor indicating your terms of employment, work capacity, and official duties sent to the same address. If an internship was conducted for college credit at another institution, check to see if the credits can be transferred. The necessary criterion is: substantial professional responsibilities, minimum 120 hours of work experience, and conducted under the supervision of an accredited college or university. An internship conducted at a high school cannot transfer or be used to waive the internship requirement in department programs.

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