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History of the Department
Dr. Krassowski was the first full-time sociologist at SCU. He was hired by the University in the Fall of 1957. He taught a wide variety of courses in Sociology and was given the assignment to establish the Sociology Department with an academic program leading to a B.S. degree in Sociology. In May 1958, both the department and sociology as a major were approved by the SCU Board of Trustees.
The advent of co-education at SCU, in 196l, brought a sharp increase in student enrollment to the university and a significant increase in the number of students who were taking sociology courses. In response to student demand, additional sociologists were hired and the department also began to offer anthropology courses. A separate Anthropology major was approved in the Spring of 1978. The Anthropology and Sociology programs functioned in an integrated way until 1997-98. In the Fall of 2005, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Atom Yee announced to the department that the President, Rev. Paul Locatelli, S.J. had approved the setting up of two separate departments. Once again Sociology became its own department.
Santa Clara's Sociology program combines a strong liberal arts orientation with an Applied Sociology component emphasizing private sector business and human service organizations. The Sociology curriculum combines the benefits of a good liberal arts education with an unambiguous understanding of what sociology is, how it can be used, and why it is important. In conferring the 1998 Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award on Santa Clara's Sociology program, the American Sociological Association spokesperson said: "In selecting the Program for the award, the Selection recognizes that the Program could well serve as a national model of purposive, effective curriculum design."