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Social Sciences Department

Social Science is the field of study concerned with society. “Social Science” is commonly used as an umbrella term to refer to a plurality of fields outside of the natural sciences, usually excluding the administrative or managerial sciences.

These include: anthropology, archaeology, criminology, economics, government, linguistics, international relations, political science, sociology, geography, history, law, and psychology.

Select your academic  option below to view more details.

Academic Options

Associates in Arts – DTA Anthropology

Through its various sub-disciplines, anthropology provides a holistic approach to studying humans as cultural and biological animals. The anthropology courses taught at YVC allow students to develop a solid grounding in the discipline.

Students choosing to pursue a degree in Anthropology should follow a program leading to the Associate in Arts degree (AA-DTA) and then transfer to a college or university that offers Anthropology as a major.

Student, please note: To ensure that your degree requirements for graduation have been met, you need to review the degree planning guide with an advisor or counselor.

Degree Requirements

Associates in Arts – DTA Chican@ Studies

Note:  The symbol “@” represents the education industry standard replacing “a/o”. 

The Chican@ Studies program focuses on the history, contributions, and contemporary experiences of people of predominantly Mexican heritage in the U.S. It is an interdisciplinary academic field which bridges traditional academic boundaries by drawing from areas of scholarly inquiry such as history, sociology, political science, arts and humanities, trans-national, and gender studies. Intensive community involvement and the training of future leaders are also emphasized.

Students pursuing a degree in the Social Sciences should follow a program leading to the Associate in Arts degree (AA-DTA) and then transfer to a college or university that offers Chican@ Studies as a major or minor.

Student, please note: To ensure that your degree requirements for graduation have been met, you need to review the degree planning guide with an advisor or counselor.

Degree Requirements

Associates in Arts – DTA Economics

Economics is the study of how people and their social systems use scarce resources for the decision-making process of production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The study of economics has become relevant for understanding the financial, political, and social changes taking place daily in our modern world. Courses taught at YVC provide introductory-level exposure to economic principles and applications relevant for degree-seeking and transfer students and for members of business and the community.

Students pursuing a degree in Economics should follow a program leading to the Associate in Arts degree (AA-DTA) and then transfer to a college or university that offers Economics as a major.

Student, please note: To ensure that your degree requirements for graduation have been met, you need to review the degree planning guide with an advisor or counselor.

Degree Requirements

Associates in Arts – DTA Ethnic Studies

The Ethnic Studies program examines the social, political, and economic forces that have shaped the historic experience of diverse ethnic communities in the United States over the last 500+ years. An interdisciplinary, comparative and transnational approach to studying race relations and the intersectionality of race, gender, class, sexuality, and globalization utilized. The program also provides the opportunity for students to identify, question, and challenge unjust structures and systems and to identify strategies that nurture civic-minded and culturally informed students who strive to strengthen their communities.

Student, please note: To ensure that your degree requirements for graduation have been met, you need to review the degree planning guide with an advisor or counselor.

Degree Requirements

Associates in Arts – DTA Geography

Geography is an integrative discipline that unites the physical and social sciences in the study of people, places, and the environment. Major themes geographers explore are the interaction of human and natural environments, movement, and regions. Geography studies the where-and-why factors that shape our world and our lives in spatial terms.

Students pursuing a degree in Geography should follow a program leading to the Associate in Arts degree (AA-DTA) and then transfer to a college or university that offers Geography as a major.

Student, please note: To ensure that your degree requirements for graduation have been met, you need to review the degree planning guide with an advisor or counselor.

Degree Requirements

Associates in Arts – DTA History

The historian analyzes human events and social/political organizations, attempting to establish an accurate perspective of the past. History provides us with an identity. It allows us to place current events into a perspective which gives us a sense of context and sequence. The patterns of civilizations can be discerned. History courses are taught at YVC by instructors known for their knowledge and provocative presentations. Courses may be taken out of sequence (e.g. HIST& 117 before HIST& 116 or HIST& 137 before HIST& 136).

Students pursuing a degree in History should follow a program leading to the Associate in Arts degree (AA-DTA) and then transfer to a college or university that offers History as a major.

Student, please note: To ensure that your degree requirements for graduation have been met, you need to review the degree planning guide with an advisor or counselor.

Degree Requirements

Associates in Arts – DTA Political Science

Political Science is the study of government and public policy and of the political behavior of individuals and groups. Political Science uses both humanistic and scientific methods of analysis to examine individual and group behaviors and outcomes at the local, state, national, and international levels of politics (source: American Political Science Association). The Political Science program at YVC offers most of the fundamental courses in the discipline that prepare students for a declared major or minor in political science at a four-year college or university. Political Science courses at YVC also contribute toward general education requirements for a bachelor’s degree in any Liberal Arts discipline.

Students pursuing a degree in Political Science should follow a program leading to the Associate in Arts degree (AA-DTA) and then transfer to a college or university that offers Political Science as a major.

Student, please note: To ensure that your degree requirements for graduation have been met, you need to review the degree planning guide with an advisor or counselor.

Degree Requirements

Associates in Arts – DTA Psychology

YVC offers a core of basic psychology courses which will provide a sound introduction to the discipline. Psychology is the science of human behavior and experience, and includes perspectives examining abnormal behavior, the biological bases of behavior, social interaction, and cognitive processes. These psychology courses are offered for general education, personal enrichment, and for students pursuing a career in Psychology or related fields. They serve as prerequisites for several campus programs.

Students pursuing a degree in Psychology should follow a program leading to the Associate in Arts degree (AA-DTA) and then transfer to a college or university that offers Psychology as a major.  It is important for students planning to major in Psychology to meet with a psychology instructor when selecting courses to meet the AA-DTA degree.

Student, please note: To ensure that your degree requirements for graduation have been met, you need to review the degree planning guide with an advisor or counselor.

Degree Requirements

Associates in Arts – DTA Sociology

Sociology is the systematic analysis of the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists study social interaction, social structure, and social change. Contemporary American society is the focus but comparative and historical perspectives are included. The college offers basic courses that introduce the student to the fundamental principles, theories, and approaches of the discipline.

Students pursuing a degree in Sociology should follow a program leading to the Associate in Arts degree (AA-DTA) and then transfer to a college or university that offers Sociology as a major.

Student, please note: To ensure that your degree requirements for graduation have been met, you need to review the degree planning guide with an advisor or counselor.

Degree Requirements

Areas of Interest

Anthropology

People have always been curious about their origins and in the cultural diversity of the past and present. The discipline of anthropology attempts to describe and explain human uniqueness in an integrated way. Physical/Biological anthropologists focus on the biological development of our species. Attention is paid to our relationship to other primates and the mechanics of evolution as it applies to the physical and cultural development of humans through time. Cultural anthropologists seek to describe and understand each present day culture within its own context and from a comparative perspective. Archaeology uses scientific field and laboratory work to investigate past societies and the processes of cultural change through the study of artifacts and other material remains. It is the “cultural anthropology” of the human past. Anthropological linguistics focuses on how humans use language.

Students choosing to study anthropology as a major or minor would normally choose to follow a program leading to the Associate of Arts Degree at YVC, and then transfer to a college or university that offers anthropology as a major. Anthropology courses taught at YVC offer students a solid introductory foundation.

Chican@ Studies

Yakima Valley College Chican@ Studies Program promotes a critical understanding of the roles of Chican@s in the history, culture, and politics of the United States. Developing and strengthening critical thinking, writing, and verbal communication skills are a focus of the program.

The Chican@ Studies courses address contemporary and historical issues that arise in response to political, economic, and cultural realities of Chican@s in the United States. Courses critically engage in themes and methods of study about:

  • Race & Ethnicity
  • Culture
  • Power
  • Sexuality
  • Gender
  • Class
  • Social Transformation

Economics

Economics is the study of how individuals and groups, including companies and governments, make decisions about using limited resources to produce and distribute goods and services in order to best satisfy their needs and wants. Economics uses unique methods to analyze and predict individual behavior based on past decisions and the range of possible courses of action under different circumstances. Most simply stated, Economics is the study of making choices.

An understanding of basic terminology and concepts of economics is a foundation for further study in most business courses. Also, knowledge of the fundamentals of economics is becoming more important for programs of study outside the field of business, such as education and medicine. The classes at Yakima Valley College are designed to provide introductory-level study for transfer students and to provide business/community members with information that can be used in daily decision making.

Ethnic Studies

Ethnic Studies focuses on the historical and contemporary experiences of people of color in the United States, including Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanic/Latino(a), and Asian Americans. Emphasis is placed on their achievements and contributions to American society as well as on their roles within the complex dynamics of racial and ethnic relations. Introductory ethnic studies courses are offered, as are more specialized courses focusing on one ethnic group or a specific topic.

In addition, students of all levels are encouraged to pursue independent study and research under the guidance of the ethnic studies faculty. Ethnic studies courses provide new and different perspectives on American society, making them an appropriate and necessary addition to any course of study.

Geography

Geography is an integrative discipline that unites the physical and social sciences in the study of people, places, and the environment. Major themes geographers explore are the interaction of human and natural environments, movement, and regions. Geography studies the where-and-why factors that shape our world and our lives in spatial terms.

History

The History Program at Yakima Valley College can help students who know they will major or minor in history at a four-year school, as well as those who just want to learn all they can about history at a community college. The Associate of Arts Degree at YVC offers students a well rounded liberal arts education that will prepare them for the challenges of a four-year institution and /or gainful employment.

The YVC History Program prides itself on being able to offer all the history classes listed in the catalog at least once during each academic year either on the Yakima, Grandview, or both campuses.

Political Science

Political Science is the study of government and public policy and of the political behavior of individuals and groups. Political science uses both humanistic and scientific methods of analysis to examine individual and group behaviors and outcomes at the local, state, national and international levels of politics. The political science program at Yakima Valley College offers most of the fundamental courses in the discipline that prepare students for a declared major or minor in political science at a four-year college or university. Political Science courses at YVC also contribute towards general education requirements necessary for a bachelor degree in any liberal arts discipline.

Associates in Arts – DTA Psychology

Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and of mental processes. Psychologists study a broad range of behavior, which includes the development of language, thinking and physical skills, abnormal behavior, brain functioning, health and well-being, as well as social, cross-cultural and gender perspectives. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

Psychologists also investigate behaviors in species other than humans in an effort to better understand humans. Unlike Anthropology and Sociology, which are other social sciences, the field of Psychology focuses on the individual and the biological, cognitive and social processes that impact an individual’s behavior.

The YVC Psychology Department is pleased to have a variety of expertise represented in our faculty. Their backgrounds include clinical practice, research, and interdisciplinary scholarship. The Psychology Department at Yakima Valley College offers courses that are suited for freshman and sophomore students, who want greater insight into themselves and others, and who might be interested in majoring in Psychology.

Sociology

Sociology is the study of humans in interaction with others. Sociologists study people interacting at work, at school, at worship, in politics, in sports, or within the family. The focus of this broad discipline ranges from the intimate relationship of a romance to multinational corporations doing business around the world. Sociology is interested in children playing happily together or friends recalling “remember the time” stories, as well as organized crime competing for territory in the city or nations engaging in war.

Sociologists study the commonalities of humans but also the divisions of society such as race, class, and gender. As one of the social sciences, sociology is a research-based discipline using a variety of theories and research methods to analyze the patterns and challenges of social life.

Social Sciences Department Contacts

Eric AndersonAnthropology Instructor
Yakima Campus
Glenn Anthon Hall
Building 04, Room 156
Phone: 509.574.4808
Jonathan Byrn Ethnic Studies Instructor
Yakima Campus
Glenn Anthon Hall
Building 04, Room 154
Phone: 509.574.4873
Eliann CarrPsychology Instructor
Yakima Campus
Glenn Anthon Hall
Building 04, Room 147
Phone: 509.574.4828
Maria CuevasChicano Studies Instructor
Yakima Campus
Glenn Anthon Hall
Building 04, Room 161
Phone: 509.574.6800 x3151
Brock EubanksEconomics BA Instructor
Yakima Campus
Glenn Anthon Hall
Building 04, Room 254
Phone: 509.574.6800 x3226
Tim JeskePolitical Science Instructor
Yakima Campus
Glenn Anthon Hall
Building 04, Room 167
Phone: 509.574.4809
Thomas MountPsychology Instructor
Yakima Campus
Glenn Anthon Hall
Building 04, Room 153
Phone: 509.574.4962
John T. MenardPsychology Instructor
Grandview Campus
Main Building
Building 56, Room 136F
Phone: 509.882.7059
Hector Saez NunezEconomics Instructor
Yakima Campus
Palmer Martin Hall
Building 20
Phone: 509.574.4734
Heidi ShawPsychology Instructor
Yakima Campus
Glenn Anthon Hall
Building 04, Room 148
Phone: 509.574.4812
Lois SabolSociology Instructor
Yakima Campus
Glenn Anthon Hall
Building 04, Room 171
Phone: 509.574.4806
Monty WalkerHistory & Geography Instructor
Yakima Campus
Glenn Anthon Hall
Building 04, Room 173
Phone: 509.574.4813
Kenneth ZontekHistory Instructor
Yakima Campus
Glenn Anthon Hall
Building 04, Room 159
Phone: 509.574.4802