University of Maine at Augusta

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Social Science

UMA’s Social Science program provides students with a curriculum and supports to increase their knowledge and skills in the social sciences. The program offers courses supporting UMA’s General Education requirements and in depth training for social science majors. The program is committed to supporting institution-wide research literacy and engaging in applied social science research projects. The program delivers its curriculum using a range of hybrid designs, to students on campuses and at a distance. UMA’s Social Science program is an online degree program.

Degree Offered: Bachelor of Arts
Key strength: Flexibility to meet your unique needs as a student:

  • Cross-disciplinary courses
  • Multiple areas of concentration
  • Classes where you need them, via interactive television, online, and in person on our Augusta, Bangor and statewide University College campuses.

UMA’s Social Science program provides students with a curriculum and extracurricular support to develop their knowledge and skills in the social sciences. The program offers courses supporting UMA’s General Education requirements and in depth training for social science majors. We are committed to supporting institution wide research literacy and engaging in applied social science research projects. To meet student needs, we deliver curriculum with range of designs to students on campuses and at a distance.

A degree in Social Science from UMA qualifies you for important careers requiring decision making, problem solving, evaluation, research, and written or oral communication. Many of our graduates advance to leading roles in government, business, education, social services, and other fields.

Graduates of UMA’s Social Science program have well-developed organizational and interpersonal skills. These skills, along with the related skills listed below, have served our students well as they prepare for careers as teachers, lawyers, social workers, college administrators, and much more.

Others cap the baccalaureate degree with graduate study, yielding opportunities in law, clinical psychology, social sciences, research, college teaching, and much more. Indeed, the Social Science curriculum provides a solid foundation on which ambitious students may build and succeed.

Social Science Bachelor’s Degree Curriculum

The curriculum to achieve a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science can be found here.

Social Science Careers You Can Seek

Social Science majors develop a wide range of skills which they utilize in a variety of occupational areas. The list below showcases a sampling of occupations pursued by our Social Sciences majors. Some positions may require additional specific training.


Human Services

Market Research Interviewer Learning Disabled Student Consultant College Recruiter Adult Education Director Career Counselor Teacher (special education, elementary, secondary educator)* Professor** Statistician** Program Evaluator Program Director Pregnancy Counselor Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Director of Client Services Domestic Violence Victim Advocate Academic Mentor Recreation Department Director Elder Services Coordinator Attorney** Mental Health Rehabilitation Coordinator*



Radio Advertising Account Executive Employment Advisor Web Journalist Travel Guide Financial Adviser* Organizational Consultant Retail Management Federal/State Employee/Civil Servant Lobbyist Social Media Consultant Arbitrator Peace Corps/VISTA Volunteer Museum Guide/Director Technical Writer Probation/Parole Officer Journalist/Reporter Organizational Program Analyst

*With additional certification. **With advanced degree.

The faculty of the Social Science program at the University of Maine at Augusta represent the diversity of subject area, research interest, method of inquiry, and arena for application that is possible within the social sciences.  We build strength through that diversity.

Please use the links below to visit our individual faculty pages and learn more about our work.

What is Social Science?

“Social science” is a term whose origin can be traced back to early efforts to classify the sciences, dividing them into the philosophy of science and three branches (natural sciences, social sciences and the formal sciences). The sciences and related STEM disciplines constitute a major portion of curriculum of contemporary universities.  The term “social science” was itself was accepted into contemporary academe at the emergence in the first half of the 19th century.

The social sciences encompass multiple fields of scholarship, research and professional preparation. While debate about ‘the definitive list’ is endless in any system of classification, the social sciences have in common three basic components: i) a shared history; ii) a commitment to the use of scientific methods; and iii) a focus upon aspects of human nature. Social science research focuses upon the study of societies, cultures, social organizations and the behavior and mind of individuals. Social science disciplines are cornerstones of academic journals, professional organizations and academic institutions to which practitioners belong.

At the conceptual level, social sciences overlap with but are distinguishable from i) behavioral sciences, ii) organizational sciences and iii) cognitive or information sciences. Each of these constructs historically emerged subsequent to the recognition of the social sciences even as the nature of scholarship and scientific inquiry, social systems and academe have evolved.

Common to nearly all definitions of the social sciences are sociology, anthropology, communications, economics, history, political science and psychology. More inclusive lists have included disciplines as varied as journalism, jurisprudence, law, education, geography, linguistics, criminology, developmental studies, and demography. At the heart of debates about the boundaries of all scientific disciplines are the basic questions of 1) when does inquiry become scientific investigation; and 2) when does applied research become ‘action research’? These debates invigorate research and teaching in the social sciences.


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The central campus of the University of Maine at Augusta is located in our state’s capital city, placed conveniently near the Augusta Civic Center and a vital commercial district.  The Social Science program offers a variety of in-person courses that, in combination with our online and Interactive Television (ITV) offerings, allow students to obtain their B.A. in Social Science while maintaining an active life in Central Maine.

The courses we are teaching live on the Augusta campus in the Spring of 2015 include:

COL 100: Introduction to the College Experience

COM 101: Public Speaking

COM 102: Interpersonal Communications

COM 104: Communication in Groups and Organizations

PSY 100:  Introduction to Psychology

PSY 308:  Human Development

PSY 345: Problems and Interventions in Childhood

PSY 415: Cross-Cultural Psychology

SOC 101:  Introduction to Sociology

SOC 201:  Social Problems

SOC 301:  Social Theory

Additional program coursework can be completed online, at our companion Bangor campus, in the statewide centers of the University College system, or through our ITV system.


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Although the central campus of the University of Maine at Augusta is located in our state’s capital city, we also maintain a strong presence on our 43-acre Bangor campus.  The Social Science program offers a variety of in-person courses that, in combination with our online and Interactive Television (ITV) offerings, allow students to obtain their B.A. in Social Science without leaving the Queen City.

Our specific in-person course offerings at Bangor vary from semester to semester.  The courses we are teaching live on the Bangor campus in the Spring of 2015 include:

COL 100:  Introduction to the College Experience

COM 101: Public Speaking

COM 102: Interpersonal Communications

EDU 328: Creative Development and Art for Young Children

EDU 352: Interventions for Families with Children

PSY 100: Introduction to Psychology

PSY 308: Human Development

SOC 101: Introduction to Sociology

SOC 201: Social Problems

SSC 332: Addiction and the Family

Additional program coursework can be completed online or through our ITV system.


The Social Science Program is pleased to offer a full complement of courses delivered online to match students’ demanding schedules. Online courses in the Spring of 2015 include:

ANT 102: Cultural Anthropology

COL 214:  Professionalism in the Workplace

COM 102:  Interpersonal Communication

COM 104:  Communication in Groups and Organizations

EDU 250:  Foundations of Education

EDU 329:  Science and the Project Approach for the Young Child

EDU 366: Children and Young Adult Literature

EDU 380: Literacy and Technology Across the Curriculum

EDU 387: Teaching the Exceptional Child in the Regular Classroom

EDU 390: Methods of Teaching

EDU 401: Educational Psychology

PSY 100: Introduction to Psychology

PSY 229: Models of Addiction

PSY 302: Psychology of Childhood

PSY 304: Psychology of Adolescence

PSY 308:  Human Development

PSY 345: Problems and Interventions in Childhood

PSY 362: Language and Literacy in Early Childhood

PSY 364: Psychology of Men and Boys

PSY 400: Abnormal Psychology

PSY 401: Educational Psychology

SOC 101: Introduction to Sociology

SOC 201: Social Problems

SOC 360: Sociology of the Family

SSC 110: Introduction to Human Sexuality

SSC 318: Adolescence, Substance Abuse and Criminality

SSC 364: Human Rights Violation: Torture and Trauma

SSC 420: Social Science Senior Projects

SSC 450: Conflict Resolution


The Social Science Program delivers courses to statewide centers beyond Bangor and Augusta, both through Instructional Television (ITV) and in person.

ITV courses are available every semester in each of our disciplines.  In-person and videoconference courses being taught at Centers and Sites during Spring 2015 include:

COM 101, Public Speaking

COM 102, Interpersonal Communications

COM 104, Communication in Groups and Organizations

EDU 261, Early Childhood Curriculum

EDU 328, Creative Development and Art for Young Children

PSY 100, Introduction to Psychology

PSY 308, Human Development

PSY 345, Problems and Interventions in Childhood

PSY 400, Abnormal Psychology

SOC 101, Introduction to Sociology

SOC 201, Social Problems

SOC 370, Sociology of Culture

SSC 317, Leadership Seminar

SSC 318, Adolescence, Substance Abuse and Criminality

SSC 450, Conflict Resolution

This page describes the expected learning outcomes for students completing the Social Science program.  The learning outcomes below, developed by the Social Science faculty in 2011, describe the knowledge and skills that students should be able to demonstrate upon completing a social science major.  It is our hope that by publishing these learning outcomes:
  • Social Science students will better understand the standard of accomplishment expected of them, helping them to succeed in their studies,
  • Social Science faculty will continue to focus on the core set of achievements we expect of our students when designing courses, and
  • Prospective employers will better understand the capabilities of Social Science graduates from the University of Maine at Augusta.

Learning Outcomes for UMA Social Science Majors

Learning outcomes at the University fall into two categories — general education outcomes expected of all students and social science outcomes expected particularly of social science majors.

General Education Outcomes

As a graduate of the University of Maine at Augusta, you will be able to:

  1. write clearly and effectively in multiple forms
  2. speak effectively in diverse settings and in a manner appropriate to different audiences
  3. find, evaluate and use information from digital and non-digital sources
  4. use digital technologies and demonstrate digital literacy
  5. comprehend and competently apply quantitative concepts and analytic tools
  6. apply scientific methods and knowledge to solve practical and theoretical problems
  7. demonstrate understanding of the elements of at least one area of the fine arts
  8. demonstrate knowledge of the role language and culture play in shaping societies
  9. demonstrate understanding of cultural diversity and the limitations of your own cultural perspective

Social Science Outcomes

As a graduate of the Social Science program at the University of Maine at Augusta, you will be able to:
  1. articulate the defining characteristics of social sciences within the scientific community
  2. describe the professional standards of the social sciences and articulate a developing professional identity
  3. communicate effectively using the language of the social sciences
  4. understand and apply the theoretical perspectives of the social sciences
  5. engage in research in at least one of the social sciences
  6. demonstrate insight regarding, and apply problem-solving strategies to, the behavior of individuals and small groups
  7. assess the sociocultural contexts that influence individual and collective behavior and collaborate effectively across social and cultural divides

Social Science Professor Ken Elliott Invests Expertise in Gen Ed, Reaccreditation Work

Professor of Psychology Kenneth ElliottAs a veteran member of the Social Science program at the University of Maine at Augusta, Professor of Psychology Ken Elliott has been involved for many years in the development of general education standards and the organization of reaccreditation efforts at UMA.  In the 2016-2017 academic year, Professor Elliott is investing his considerable expertise in guidance for future generations at the University and in expert review for another institution.

Over the summer, Professor Elliott has completed work on a report reviewing student perceptions of Gen Ed at UMA. He indicates that the experience has led him to change his teaching methods and he hopes the report will encourage the Senate and its relevant committees to review UMA’s current approach to developing and assessing Gen Ed at UMA. Among other recommendations, he advocates for student memberships on the UMA Gen Ed committee.

Professor Elliott is also engaged in studying new NEASC standards in anticipation of being a member of a site visiting team. In October of 2016 the team will be visiting an institution seeking reaccreditation, Charter Oaks State College in Connecticut. Charter Oaks is a school of 900 students with an emphasis on distance education in the state of Connecticut.  Professor Elliott looks forward to the opportunity to apply his knowledge regarding NEASC standards to the benefit of a sister institution.

In New Book, Social Science Professor tells Teens: “I’m Rooting For You.”


Before she was a psychologist, a researcher, and a professor, Dr. Laura Kati Corlew was a troubled teen who poured her heart into her poetry. Dr. Corlew’s new book, a Song from Silence (poetry from when I was young), contains a selection of these writings, addressing topics like identity development, depression and suicide, love and heartbreak, and gender, sex, and sexuality. Sometimes incisive and beautiful, sometimes clumsy and cringe-worthy, the poems reveal the honest struggles of an adolescent and young adult seeking to find herself when she is lost, seeking to redeem herself when she feels damned, and seeking to survive when there seems no point in life.

Book of Teen Poetry analyzed from an Adult Perspective: Dr. Laura Kati Corlew's Finally, A Song From SilenceInterspersed throughout are passages of commentary in which the adult psychologist remembers and analyzes her life as “a former at-risk youth.” Dr. Corlew defines terms and concepts from developmental psychology and explores how developmental themes common in Adolescence (~age 12 to 18) and Emerging Adulthood (~age 18 to 25) are illustrated in her young writings. She discusses memories of emotions and experiences from her high school and college years. Any young person trying to make it through or any adult trying to make sense of what they once survived will appreciate the bald honesty and compassionate clarity found in this book.

Professor Corlew will appear at the Nottage Library on UMA’s Bangor campus at Noon on Tuesday, September 20 2016 and at the Katz Library on UMA’s Augusta campus at Noon on Thursday, September 22 2016 for book talks at which she will read and sing from her book and discuss the poem’s relation to developmental psychology. Copies of the book will be available for sale, and Professor Corlew will be happy to sign copies.

Social Science pairs with Art in New UMA Travel Course “Cuba: Culture + Change”

The Social Science program at UMA may have a home in Maine, but we are citizens of the world. In a move to strengthen our program’s global connections, Associate Professor of Social Science Lorien Lake-Corral worked with Associate Professor of Art Robert Rainey to develop and deploy a new travel course — Cuba: Culture + Change — in the Spring semester of 2016. Full details regarding the course are available at

UMA Cuba course offers a 100-level fine art course + a 300-level SOC elective

This six-credit course combined credits in Art and Social Science and brought together a group of UMA students, faculty and staff for an intense academic experience. The group prepared intellectually and practically before traveling to Cuba, visiting historic sites, experiencing Cuban culture and placing it in social context. While there, they also made a point to follow the historic footsteps of the President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, who had traveled to the country in a historic visit the week before.

Representatives of the UMA Social Science program with other members of the UMA community on an academic visit to the island nation of Cuba, Spring 2016

The practical experience of travel to Cuba at a historically and culturally unique moment provided an opportunity for students to take the words of Clifford Geertz, finding culture in action:

“Believing, with Max Weber, that man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun, I take culture to be those webs, and the analysis of it to be therefore not an experimental science in search of law but an interpretive one in search of meaning.”

~Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures (1973)

Social Science Students Shine at 2016 UMA Interdisciplinary Conference

Social Science majors offered a strong presence at the 2016 University of Maine at Augusta Interdisciplinary Student Conference in April of 2016. The presentations of these students reflected a renewed emphasis on student research in the Social Science Program curricula and included work completed as part of a class, in conjunction with faculty research activities, or as independent projects. They also reflect the significant organizational work of Social Science faculty member Dr. Kati Corlew in conjunction with Professor Sarah Hentges, coordinator of the Interdisciplinary program at the University of Maine at Augusta.

2016 UMA Interdisciplinary Student Conference features strong work by Social Science majors

Among social science participants, Junior Emma-Marie Banks described her applied work with fellow undergraduates in the UMA Writing Center, Senior Paul Cote shared his findings and recommendations regarding the history and future of tribal-state relations in Maine, and Dan Oulette presented a model of Interdisciplinary Measures & Designs for Group Dynamics based in part on work in the new Social Science course Cultivating Community (SSC 334). Jason Palmer highlighted findings from two multivariate research projects describing variability in the design of political campaign signs and explaining the expression of happiness over social media.  During the conference, a Twitter backchannel discussion was maintained (and can still be reviewed) via the #UMAINT hashtag.  The social structure of interactions over #UMAINT was charted during the day using techniques taught in the Social Science program’s Social Media Certificate curriculum.  The network graph of virtual ties preserves a visual record of stimulating intellectual conversation during the day.

A social network graph of social interaction via the #UMAINT hashtag channel on Twitter

Student Research Conference Coming to UMA Bangor in 2015


Students at the University of Maine at Augusta are carrying out a surprising amount of innovative research.  It’s time to celebrate that fact.

As part of an ongoing push by the Social Science Program to support student research (in classes, independent study, internships, capstones, and/or with faculty), the Social Science Program will launch a Student Research Conference in the Spring 2015 semester.

The conference theme will be “Celebrating Student Research” and will highlight students who have participated in or conducted research as part of a class, in conjunction with faculty research activities, or as independent projects. Students will be provided an opportunity to present their activities to other students and faculty. This conference will take place on the UMA-Bangor Campus. Students of the Social Science Program as well as all UMA students will be invited to present their research and research skills development and attend to support their peers. Students from the Augusta Campus will be offered transportation to attend at the Bangor campus. A guest speaker will be invited.

As the Spring 2015 semester gets underway, look for updates and a call for participants.  For more information, please contact Assistant Professor Kati Corlew (207-262-7752|

University of Maine at Augusta