<<PR/PE Index 

Application for State Approval of

Teacher Preparation Specialty Programs


Michigan Department of Education, Office of Professional Preparation Services

P.O. Box 30008, Lansing, Michigan 48909

Phone:  (517) 335-4610 *** Fax:  (517) 373-0542



  • For each new, amended, or experimental program, a separate application is required. 
  • Application and all documentation are to be submitted electronically. 
  • Fax or mail only the cover page that is signed by the unit head. 
  • All correspondence regarding this application should be addressed to the consultant/coordinator identified on Application Attachment 1. 


I.  Application Information


Lake Superior State University

MDE Endorsement Area and Code (from Application Attachment 2)


Sociology (CF)

Date of this Application

February 4, 2005

Name and Title of Unit Head

Dr. David Myton, Chair, School of Education

Signature of Unit Head




II.  Contact Information for Questions Related to This Application

Contact Person’s Name and Title

Dr. Leslie Dobbertin, Professor of Sociology

Contact Person’s Phone Number

(906) 635-2106

Contact Person’s Fax Number

(906) 635-6678

Contact Person’s E-Mail Address



III.  Type of Request for Approval                                                                  (Indicate One)

New program for institution


U.S. Department of Education Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) Code, if vocational occupational area


Compliance with State Board of Education new or modified program criteria


Experimental program


Program amendment (See Section IX for guidelines)



IV.  Institutional Representatives                                                                 

Name/Title Specialty Mailing Address E-mail Address Phone Fax

Dr. Leslie Dobbertin, Chair of Social Sciences Dept., Sociology Professor

Sociology, BA, MS, & Ph.D. in Sociology Lake Superior State University  650 W. Easterday Avenue, Sault Saint Marie, MI  49783 ldobbertin@lssu.ed. (906) 635 2106 (906) 635 6678
John Howell, classroom teacher

Social Studies,

 MS Special Education

12605 S. Bourd Road, Dafter, Mi 49724 jhowell@eup.k12.mi.us (906) 248 5434  


<<PR/PE Index 

Quick Link Index:

Section 1. Summary of Course Requirements

Section 2. Program Summary

Section 3. Instructional faculty

Section 4. Candidate Preparation

Section 5. Collaborative Partnerships

Section 6. Professional Development and Support

Section 7. Standards Matrix

Section 8. Special Recognition

Section 9. Instructional Methods

Section 10. Course Descriptions

Section 11.  Course Syllabi


            Sociology (CF) Specialty Program

            Lake Superior State University

            February 4, 2005






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Section 2. Program Summary

(Narrative below)




a. Describe the philosophy, rationale, and objectives of the specialty program and explain how the program is consistent with the philosophy, rationale, and conceptual framework of the unit.


Sociology program philosophy, rationale, and objectives reflect and give specific content to the philosophy, rationale, and conceptual frameworks of the School of Social Sciences, the College of Arts and Letters and Lake Superior State University. 


The Department of Sociology helps students develop an understanding of the social nature of human beings, embedded in the linguistic base of culture and learned, reinforced, and changed through interaction.  The qualities of social structures and social life in general as well as the specific characteristics of the same in contemporary U.S. society, including problems, are the core of our program.  Our objective in the process of imparting this knowledge is to empower the student through helping the student accomplish a number of objectives.  (1) We work to help the student develop his/her own perspective about human behavior and social structure, so that the student understands his/her position and can effective develop personal goals and plans as well as awareness of social responsibility. (2) Sociological theory and methods of research are emphasized. (3) Course work is designed to help the student acquire the  abilities to analyze social situations and think critically in grappling with social issues.  (4) Assignments require writing and speaking to provide opportunities for students to work on these abilities.  (5) Collaboration with colleagues in class projects and helping one another on individual research projects is built into the program.  Students also have at least one and may have two experiences working with community programs in completing service learning and research projects. Throughout the above, our goal is to encourage students to aim high, to envision themselves accomplishing more than they previously expected, and to see themselves are part of a community of scholars as a life long position.


The College of Arts and Letters provides programs of study preparing students for careers in public and private institutions and for continued study in graduate programs including professional programs.  Quality of scholarship, development of personal intellectual goals, involvement outside the classroom with colleagues, professors and the community, and development of critical thinking, analytical, and communications skills are emphasized in programs within the College.


Lake Superior State University seeks to provide a personal, natural, and superior education.  Our small size enables our students to get to know one another and their professors. Our commitment to creating a collaborative environment with respectful and inclusive enables us to create a close intellectual community. “Natural” reflects not only our geographical location near the north woods and on the Great Lakes, but also describes the relationships due to the high investment of faculty and staff in getting to know their students and working with closely with them in developing their intellectual abilities.  “Superior” is more than a play on the name of our nearest Great Lake; it reflects a goal to promote excellence in our students, whatever their background or future goals, as a life time learning goal. 


 The School of Education, within the College of Professional Studies, works with speciality areas, such as Sociology, to provide the program that our future teachers need.  This commitment is expressed in the School of Education’s vision statement.


We believe that the act of teaching and learning involves a framework of research, reflection, and response.  We see these elements as an evolving cyclical process, a pathway that learners and leaders of learning must employ to create powerful knowledge bases, develop as participatory members of a democratic society, and establish and maintain environments conducive to learning. The process of research, reflection, and response is focused upon four areas that we believe are the essential elements of expert teaching.  These areas include: content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, professional dispositions, and learning communities.  At the center of the process of acquiring and applying the skills and knowledge of professional practice we place the learner. 

We see the learner as inclusive of all stakeholders in schooling and education. 


What is

Research:  Expert teachers understand the need to maintain a current perspective on the numerous facets of education.  A professional educator strives to engage in the study of pedagogy, examination of the literature related to teaching and explore avenues for the transformation of theory to practice. The act of research is often precipitated by observed events in the classroom and school.  When dilemmas arise, expert teachers ask questions and then seek answers through research.


Reflection:  John Dewey stated “The active, persistent, careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in light of the grounds that support it is reflective thought” (1933, p.9).  Expert teacher are continuously reflecting upon their practice.  Engaging in critique, they look at the elements of teaching as well as their whole practice within the contexts in which pedagogy is engaged.  The act of reflection requires the teacher to question their behavior, their beliefs as determinants of practice, and carefully consider the responsibility of being a leader of learning.


Response: The act of engaging in pedagogy should be responsive.  To implement change or modifications in one’s practice to better facilitate learning is a key element in the repertoire of an expert teacher.  Response however is not change for the sake of change.  Response is the act of planned change given careful research and reflection.  The professional educator employs change in relationship to perceived need, then after review of literature and active research within the classroom, supported by careful reflection, the teacher implements the change.  The expert teacher then monitors the response, actively engaging in continued research and reflection to better their pedagogical practice.


Content Knowledge: Teachers need to be broadly educated in the liberal arts and sciences, and be able to knowledgeable of the interdependence of the disciplines. They must be able to analyze and synthesize ideas, information, and data and make applications of knowledge in inquiry, problem-solving, and critical thinking. The professional educator must be an effective communicator, possessing the skills and abilities of listening, speaking, writing, and reading.


Pedagogical Knowledge: Professional educators must have the knowledge to effectively engage individuals in the learning process.  In order to engage in teaching excellence they must posses a strong understanding of cognition, the multidimensional dimensions of learners and learning, and demonstrate the skills of research, reflection, and responsive pedagogy.   Via an understanding of human growth and development, a variety of instructional techniques, assessments, materials and technologies, and an abundance of practical experience in classrooms, teacher candidates should be able to mature as exemplar professional educators.


Professional Dispositions: Teachers are stewards of society.  They are the models and guides of future generations. In light of their influence in classrooms and schools, all teachers and teacher candidates must model the ethics, values and dispositions of professional educators. They should be able to engage in active reflection, self-critique and accept constructive criticism from others.  The developing professional educator should invite and respect others' points of view and incorporate reasonable suggestions from peers and experts.  Teachers and teacher candidates should be committed to life-long learning and the belief that all candidates can learn.  


Learning Communities: Schools and classrooms are microcosms of society, and as such are the venues for candidates to learn and grow as participatory members of the community.  The themes of caring, responsibil°ity, democracy, and stewardship are woven into the fabric of curriculum as teachers and teacher candidates take on the role of facilitators of environments conducive to learning while modeling tolerance, dignity, participation and shared decision making.


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b. Describe the sequence of courses and/or experiences to develop an understanding of the structures, skills, core concepts, ideas, values, facts, methods of inquiry, and uses of technology.



SO101 Introduction to Sociology (3)

SO238 Social Psychology (4)

SO202 Social Research Methods (3)

SO302 Statistics for Social Sciences (4)

SO303 Contemporary Sociological Theory (3)

SO304 Development of Sociological Theory (3)

SO401 Sociological Research I (3)

SO402 Sociological Research II (3)

and 9 additional hours of Sociology including at least one 300 or 400 level courses

TE422Elementary Social Studies Methods or

TE444 Secondary Social Studies Methods



SO101 Introduction to Sociology (3)

SO102 Social Problems (4)

SO103 Cultural Diversity (3)

SO238 Social Psychology (4)

SO302 Statistics for Social Sciences (4) or

SO304 Development of Sociological Theory (3)

and additional courses to total at least 23 hours with 9 hours total 300/400 level

TE422Elementary Social Studies Methods or

TE444 Secondary Social Studies Methods


Core concepts, ideas, values, facts--many that are first presented in Introduction to Sociology--are developed in the various other courses, depending upon their content (see Standards Matrix). In SO238 Social Psychology and the attached lab, methods of inquiry and research skills are learned. Students have further opportunities to develop these skills in SO202 Social Research Methods, SO302 Statistics for Social Sciences, SO401 Sociological Research I and SO402 Sociological Research II.


We are a community of learners bound by the shared values that exemplify excellence in the professional education of teacher. We are committed to provide opportunities for research, reflection, and response. We achieve these opportunities through situated and contextual learning experiences, and in the foundations for the development of context knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and professional dispositions.  We value a commitment to learning communities, and are dedicated to meeting the diverse needs of learners.”


Commitment to research characterizes both the School of Education and the Department of Sociology.  Teachers are consumers of research: they must remain current in their field.  Teachers must be able to conduct research in the course of their classroom work and as participants in the school system.  Sociology students at LSSU examine research and the connection between theory and research.  They conduct a research project in their sophomore year, and majors conduct a more extensive project in their senior year.


Reflection is part of the Teacher Education program and the Sociology program.  Social problems and issues provide material; the questions raised in lecture, discussion and assignments encourage students to engage in analysis and critical thinking and in discussions to share the result of their reflection with others. 


Response is essential to teaching.  Unreflective repetition of past approaches does not build the teacher’s repertoire nor allow the teacher to keep up with changes.  The Sociology takes the position that once students come to understand social systems and social life, they can no longer claim to be repeating learned patterns, but are responsible collaborators improving social systems through their support for and efforts to improve social systems.



Formal admission to the School of Education teacher certification program also requires (in addition to university general education requirements of one year English, one semester of speech, one year of social sciences, on year of humanities and a course in student diversity), the following items:

CS101 Introduction to Computer Science – addressing basic competencies in technology

MA207 Statistics

Michigan Test for Teacher Certification Basic Skills Test

Formal Interview

Impromptu timed essay – assessing written communication skills

2.70 minimum overall GPA with no grade below C in major/minor, and

B- minimum grade in professional education sequence courses.


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c.  Describe how candidates are prepared to utilize a variety of instructional approaches to address the various learning styles of candidates.


Candidates are prepared to utilize a variety of instructional approaches to address the various learning styles of candidates through both observing approaches used by instructors and through work students are required to complete as part of course requirements.


In Sociology courses students are exposed to a variety of types of lecture and discussion exhibited by the four Department members.  Observing and discussing films is part of many courses. In one or more classes students are required to read and critique one another’s papers, to work in small groups to prepare presentations, and to present papers in classroom or larger forum.  Students will have the opportunity to use or to serve as tutors or supplemental instructors, although this is not required of each student.  Collaboration is required in revision of longer papers in at least one course. All students in the Sociology program will design and complete a sociological study once (minors) or twice (seniors). At least one ot the studies is of an off-campus program or setting.  Students are commonly asked to bring their observations about human behavior and social structures to class for discussion or in the form of written analysis. 


In the Teacher Education program, students learning styles are a significant topic addressed in the professional education core sequence, especially in TE250 Student Diversity and Schools and in TE301 Learning Theory and Teaching Practice.  In TE301 Candidates analyze various approaches to teaching and learning and the decisions that teachers make in applying theory to diverse classroom situations.  Students learn social cognitive and constructivist views of learning, as well as learning the approaches for the creation of a positive learning environment.  TE422 Elementary Social Studies Methods and TE444 Secondary Social Studies Methods extend these topics to the social studies classroom and provide a discipline specific context for continuing these discussions.  Students learn to plan and present social studies lessons and units using contemporary methods and national and state standards and benchmarks in planning instruction and assessment.  Technology is integrated into these studies

d.  Describe any differences that may exist between elementary or secondary preparation to teach in each major or minor area (e.g., instructional resources, field placements, instructional techniques), if applicable.


The Sociology program for elementary and secondary are the same in the specialty content area, but differ in application courses specific to teacher education in social studies after the 300 level.  In the core curriculum in teacher education through the 300 level the field placement experiences and opportunities to tutor are equivalent.  At the 400 level, secondary and elementary student teachers diverge and take a different of method courses tailored to their choice of level of instruction.  However, the time allotted for the field experience is the same.  Elementary teacher education students are exposed to a diverse array of subjects, whereas the secondary students tend to focus on their major and minor topics. 


e.  Describe how the program incorporates gender equity, multi-cultural, and global perspectives into the teaching of the subject area.


Within Sociology, these areas are the major focus of SO103 Cultural Diversity and are among major topics of SO101 Introduction to Sociology as well as a number of other courses.  (See the Standards Matrix.) 


The professional education core sequence contains a course devoted to these issues: TE250 Student Diversity and Schools.  TE250 is required for all teacher candidates at Lake Superior State University.  TE 301 Learning Theory and Teaching Practice addresses issues of learner differences, multicultural classrooms, social class differences, gender role issues and bias, language differences, and methods for creating a culturally and socially compatible classroom.  Understanding student diversity and developing an appreciation of diversity are addressed in TE422 Social Studies Methods for Elementary Teachers and TE444 Social Studies Methods for Secondary Teachers, required courses for majors and minors. Techniques for transforming the curriculum to infuse multicultural perspectives are provided.



f.  Describes how the program prepares candidates to use multiple methods of assessment appropriate to this specialty area.

Assessment, in addition to experiences gained through the content courses .  


Multiple methods of assessment are addressed directly in TE301 Learning Theory and Teaching Practice.  A variety of techniques are explored including formative and summative assessment strategies, as well as the creation of authentic classroom tests.  In addition, the concept of going beyond grading to communication and create family and community partnerships ins introduced.  Assessment, in addition to experiences gained through the content courses in Sociology is addressed in TE422 Social Studies Methods for Elementary Teachers and TE444 Social Studies Methods for Secondary Teachers.  Course work includes strategies for acquiring and analyzing data on student achievement for assessment purposes..  The State of Michigan’s Curriculum Framework, which presents the subject of assessment, is utilized extensively in the methods courses.







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Section 4 Candidate Preparation

Submit available data specific to the program area being reviewed








% Pass

% Pass in sub-areas







































































State of Mi.











Sociology Sub-Areas


1.      Foundations: Prerequisite Concepts and Skills

2.      Individuals, Groups & Social Interaction

3.      Social Organization

4.      Social Stratification and Change

5.      U.S. Social Problems


The faculty of the Sociology Department is in the process of analyzing the above outcomes and considering ways to help students improve their scores. We are comparing outcomes for students taking the major with outcomes for students taking the minor in Sociology.  The courses required and the content of these courses are being scrutinized with the intention of improving student outcomes.  


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Section 5 Collaborative Partnership

  • Describe how candidates for majors and minors in specific specialty programs participate in early field experiences in K-12 schools. 
  • Describe aspects of the student teaching experience for certification candidates that enhance the applicants’ abilities to teach in this specific specialty area.  Are candidates in your institution assigned to K-12 classrooms as student teachers in both their major and minor (if applicable)? 








The Sociology specialty area provides some experiences valuable to students preparing for a career in teaching.  Collaborative work including critiquing one another’s papers places the student alternately in the role of learner and teacher.  The lab work in SO238 Social Psychology involves students in completing brief qualitative and quantitative studies for the purpose of comparing the uses and strengths and weakness of the two methods of study.  Each student designs and conducts a qualitative field study, enhancing observational skills and providing practice in research, both  important skills for teachers. 


Field placements are integrated throughout the professional education sequence beginning with TE250 Student Diversity and Schools where the focus is on tutoring experiences.  In subsequent courses, after admission to the School of Education, candidates have diverse and varied experiences of increasing responsibility and duration.  These early field experiences require a minimum of 15 hours per semester per course in focused experiences coupled with reflective journaling and fulfillment of additional course outcomes focused on the experiences.  Field experiences are required in each of the professional education core courses (TE250, TE301, TE430, TE431, TE440 and TE443) prior to entering the student teaching internship.  During the internship candidates work for approximately 22 weeks under the direct supervision of a classroom teacher and the periodic oversight of a university supervisor.  Candidates meet regularly with a university instructor for a seminar course, and are also concurrently enrolled in a graduate course each of the two semesters of the internship.  During the fall semester, candidates complete TE602 Reflection and Inquiry in Teaching Practice I examining qualitative and quantitative research methods and developing their own research based question addressing student learning.  During the spring semester students complete a second graduate level course on curriculum planning and implementation, TE605.


Student teaching internship placements extend across two university semesters, beginning generally with the start of the academic year in August/September and continuing through mid-April.  Candidates are strongly advised to use the transition at mid-year to change their placement venue to gain experience at a second level or subject area in the spring.  Such changes in placement do require the consent and concurrence of the building principals and teachers, and in some cases teachers wish to continue with a single student the entire time.  Wherever possible candidates are placed in situations where they can teach in both their major and minor fields, either through split morning/afternoon assignments with different teachers, or placements in different schools for each semester.


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Section 6 Professional Development and Support

Postponed until 2005-20012



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Section 8 Special Recognition





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Section 9 Instructional Methods

Describe how candidates are prepared to teach in this specific specialty area. 

Describe how this program will utilize technological resources.







Lake Superior State University teacher candidates are prepared in instructional methods through both the professional education sequence (TE150-TE443) and through courses in their chemistry curriculum.  In the professional education sequence, the secondary candidate completes TE430 General Methods for Secondary Teachers (a study of strategies and methodologies to facilitate learning...), TE440 Reading in the Content Area (a study of reading methods...) and TE443 Science Methods for Secondary Teachers (curriculum, objectives, content, materials, organization methods and assessment).  Each of these courses has a required fieldwork component where the candidate applies the concepts and theories through modeling and practice lessons in secondary classrooms as appropriate to their certification. 


Technology is integrated throughout the professional education sequence, in fulfillment of the 7th standard of the Entry Level Standards for Michigan Teachers (ELSMT).  The School of Education uses extensive resources available for Michigan teachers to enhance their preparedness for the effective use of technology, including, for example, the Preparing Teachers for Tomorrow project through Merit (http://ptft.merit.edu) and Intel's Teach to the Future project into our professional education sequence.  This integration is reflected in many of our internal documents which are archived on the School of Education website, including the PTFT alignment matrix and the PTFT assessments per module summary.


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Section 10 Course Descriptions

Provide descriptions of all courses contained on Application Attachment 3.  Descriptions must provide enough information to show that standards could logically be met in these courses. 





Course descriptions for each course are published in the university calendar (catalog), and reproduced here for reference.  Catalog course descriptions broadly describe course objectives, credit earned and prerequisites.  The course syllabi, provided in Section 11, are the more complete record of course content, objectives, assessment, and alignment to the content standards.


SO101 Introduction to Sociology (3, 0) 3
An introduction to the basic concepts of sociology.  Explanation of human behavior which emphasizes human groups, institutions, social change and social forces.
SO102 Social Problems (4, 0) 4
An introductory course providing data and theory for a variety of contemporary social problems such as poverty, unemployment, teenage pregnancy, inequality, housing, shortages, violence and pollution.
SO103 Cultural Diversity (3, 0) 3
This course introduces the student to racial, ethnic, gender and social class variation within the United States and the global community to enable students to better understand, live with, and appreciate diversity.
SO202 Social Research Methods (3, 0) 3
Introduction to basic methods of social research.
(Also listed as SW202)
SO238 Social Psychology (3, 2) 4
This course examines the social nature of humans, exploring both the influence of social structures upon behavior and the process by which people create social structures; explains Symbolic Interactionist theory; and introduces qualitative research methods which are applied in a field study conducted by the student.
(Prerequisite SO101)
SO302 Statistics for Social Science (4, 0) 4
The social foundation for statistical inference is discussed and elementary statistical concepts are introduced through numerical problems: Z scores, t-test, chi square, correlation, ANOVA, etc.
(Prerequisite: MA086 or equivalent/ satisfactory score on ACT or placement exam)
SO303 Contemporary Sociological Theory (3, 0) 3
Comparison and assessment of the models and concepts used today by sociologist to explain human behavior.
(Prerequisite: SO101, SO304)
SO304 Development of Sociological Theory (3, 0) 3
A critical analysis of the contribution to sociological theory by Comte, Spencer, Marx, Durkheim, Pareto, Weber and others.
SO401 Sociological Research I (3, 0) 3
Working under the guidance of a sociology faculty member, the student develops and conducts a sociological research project, analyzes the data, prepares a written report in journal format and gives a formal presentation of the results.
(Prerequisites:  SO202 and SO303)
SO402 Sociological Research II (3, 0) 3
In this course, students completing a more extensive research project will complete and present the project which they initiated in SO401.
(Prerequisite:  SO401)
TE422 Social Studies Methods for Elementary Teachers (2,0) 2
A student of strategies and methodologies to facilitate effective social studies instruction.  Students learn to plan and present social studies lessons and units using contemporary methods.  Students use national and state standards and benchmarks in planning instruction and assessment.  Integrated technology component.  Fieldwork required.  Prerequisites:  TE150, TE250, TE301 and admission to the teacher education program.
TE444 Social Studies Methods for Secondary Teachers (3,0) 3
Curriculum, objectives, content, materials, organization, methods and assessment of teaching social studies to diverse secondary learners.  Students use national and state standards and benchmarks in planning instruction and assessment.  Integrated technology component.  Fieldwork required.  Prerequisites:  TE150, TE250, TE301 and admission to teacher education program.



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Section 11 Syllabi


Provide a representative syllabus for each required course (those listed on Application Attachment 3 and referenced in the standards matrix).




 Compilation of all Sociology Syllabi




    Introduction to Sociology



    Social Problems


    Cultural Diversity



    Social Psychology


    Social Research Methods


    Statistics for Social Sciences.


    Contemporary Sociological Theory


    Development of Sociological Theory


    Social Stratification


    Sociological Research I


    Sociological Research II



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