The Donald Everett Axinn Division of Social Sciences

Southern Vermont College offers the following degrees in The Donald Everett Axinn Division of Social Sciences:


  • criminal justicE (bachelor of science)

  • healthcare and community advocacY (bachelor of science)

  • history and politicS (bachelor of science)

  • human services (new fall 2016)

  • psychologY (bachelor of science)


  • psychology

    The Mission

    The Southern Vermont College Donald Everett Axinn Division of Social Sciences  focuses on the social, psychological and political aspects of human beings. The Division strives to help students understand social structure and the contribution of the individual in an effort to develop a sense of empowerment and the desire to actively address social issues. Building on a strong liberal arts foundation, study in each of the majors provides students with preparation for both professional employment and graduate study. Students majoring in The Donald Everett Axinn Division of Social Sciences are encouraged to pursue service-learning as part of their course work. In this way, students will recognize the connection between their academic work and their role as citizens in a democratic society.

    The Curriculum

    The curriculum for the majors within this Division focuses upon students developing the skills necessary to be contributing members of their chosen profession. Students are encouraged to explore how social science theory informs our understanding of everyday events. Through both experiential learning in the classroom and practicum, students experience how such theory translates into behaviors that impact our daily lives. The curriculum focuses upon issues of social justice and students are encouraged to explore their own beliefs and proposed methods to address issues of social inequality. Each major includes a Capstone course where students will demonstrate their understanding of their area of study. 

    social sciences communication requirement

    All majors in the Division emphasize the critical-thinking process and the clear communication of the outcome of that process. All courses within the Division have a writing component designed to teach students how to successfully use existing research and literature to support their thoughts and positions. Students will complete writing assignments appropriate to the course level. Each 200-level course will require students to write descriptively about topics. There will be short, regular writing assignments, essays on exams and a short research paper. Literature reviews in 300-level courses will emphasize analysis and building an argument with regular writing assignments, essay exams and a research paper. All 400-level courses will continue this emphasis on writing while requiring students to take and defend positions on controversial issues in the social sciences using the primary literature. All assignments will emphasize the communication of material through the American Psychological Association (APA) writing style.

    Students are also expected to be effective oral communicators. Many courses include assignments that require students to present material orally using PowerPoint and/or other presentation media.

    Career Opportunities and Graduate Study

    Depending on their major, students are prepared to enter careers in fields such as human services; human services management; federal, state and local law enforcement; education; government service; nonprofit organizations; and business. Students are also prepared for graduate study in psychology, social work, history and politics, and criminal justice and law school.