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History, Geography, Political Science and Sociology
Dr. Steven Usitalo, Chair
Technology Center 358
1200 S. Jay St.
Aberdeen, S.D. 57401
Phone: 605-626-2601
Fax: 605-626-2635
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Sociology is the scientific study of society and social interactions. that emerge among people. Sociologists attempt to understand the forces that mold individuals, shape behavior, and determine social events.
Sociology, a liberal arts degree, offers preparation for a very wide variety of career opportunities. It's not specific training for a narrow list of jobs. The list of employment opportunities for sociology graduates is very long. An internship is not required, but is offered as valuable elective credit.


  • Academic Programs


Students may earn from one to 12 credits through internships at agencies that may include police; court services; social services; nursing homes; Bureau of Indian Affairs; battered women’s shelter; and many more locations. Each student is encouraged to develop an internship to his or her interests and career

The Associate of Arts degree in Applied Gerontology  prepares students for career opportunities working with older adults. This program delivers the academic and professional expertise required for a broad range of occupations studying aging and caring for the aged.


It is conveniently structured for beginning students as well as for those who are currently working in this field. To ensure that good care and quality of life are made available to the growing population of seniors across the nation will require a large number of new jobs in the next decade. The AA degree program will educate students about the special challenges faced by the elderly and the many kinds of services they may need. In addition, it will train students to help seniors take on those challenges and to provide the assistance they will require. Students will understand and learn about the physical, mental, social and spiritual needs of older people and will be given well-grounded practical information for working with seniors. This is an interdisciplinary program taught by a diverse faculty with expertise in health, physical fitness, psychology, biology, sociology, and gerontology.


The courses and teaching styles are based on the principle that many issues in aging are caused by a multiplicity of agents working in disparate but reinforcing system environments. For example, physical and mental conditions clearly affect each other and only by recognizing their interactions can we increase our ability to help seniors cope with their surroundings. It is only through interdisciplinary study and analysis that students will gain the multidimensional insights and find the strategic solutions to meeting the needs of older people. The Gerontology minor helps students understand the complex biological, psychological, and social phenomenon of aging in preparation for careers in association with older adults (business, social services, recreation, health, government, counseling, and education).