The Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences – Applied Track degree is offered as an online distance learning program to students on the islands of Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i, Lana‘i, Maui, and Moloka‘i. This interdisciplinary program is comprised of courses in three study themes: Human Development, Health, and Healing; Culture and Environment; and Economy and Society.
The program helps students understand social phenomena by integrating information at the individual, social, cultural, and global levels. To further emphasize the applied nature of this field of study, students are required to complete a supervised internship at a local organization for the senior capstone project prior to graduation.
Careers & Earning Potential
Social Sciences – Applied Track graduates pursue careers in social work, law enforcement, teaching, counseling, print and television journalism, human services, museum curation, case management, and other related professions. Positions may also be found at community and environmental organizations, community health centers, international agencies, and local and national governmental offices. UH West O‘ahu graduates have gone on to careers at local non-profit organizations, outpatient clinics, and elementary schools.
The starting salary for individuals with bachelor’s degrees in social science range between $28,800 and $35,570 annually, with the potential to earn much more. Many social science graduates pursue careers in teaching or working in the education field. The starting salary for a Hawai‘i State Department of Education teacher is $43,157 a year. The Social Sciences – Applied Track undergraduate degree program also provides excellent preparation for many graduate programs.
ANTH 448 Micronesian Cultures
This course explores the dozens of distinct cultures and the important historical events and changes to the “little islands” of Micronesia. Micronesian cultures are noted for careful adaptations to their physical environments, some described as “marginal.” They are renowned navigators and have some of the most highly developed chiefdoms and extensive empires within the Pacific.
ECON 311 Hawai‘i’s Economy
This course covers the economic history of Hawai‘i from pre-Captain Cook to the present, current economic problems, trends and alternative economic futures for Hawai‘i
POLS 326 Environmental Politics
This course looks at the current environmental crisis from perspective of the two revolutions in humanity’s relationship with the natural world: the development of agriculture 10,000 years ago, and the development of industrial-urban society beginning 400 years ago. This provides a context for evaluating the environmental politics of the United States, other industrial nations, and multinational corporations. The course concludes with a focus on Hawai‘i and a consideration of alternative approaches.
PSY 373 Counseling Skills
This course helps students develop expertise in aspects of the helping relationship in group and individual models, including listening and reflection; goal setting; handling confrontation; concentration and denial; ethical and boundary issues; determining personal style; and group process.
SOC 411 Aging in Mass Society
This course looks at the study of aging in a socio-cultural context, with emphasis on theories, methodologies, and field-research findings. Topics include: the status and roles of the aged; demography of aging; resources and social services and the elderly; employment and retirement; and personal and societal responses to aging.
Graduates of the Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences – Applied Track program have completed internships at the following community organizations, hospitals, schools and programs:
• Child and Family Services Family Support House
• YMCA Domestic Violence Intervention Program
• Hui Malama Learning Center
• Maui Memorial Hospital
• Haleakala Waldorf School
• Na Pu‘uwai Native Hawaiian Health Care System
• Na‘alehu Elementary School
• Big Island Substance Abuse Council
Dr. Suzanne Falgout, Professor
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