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North Idaho College • Coeur d'Alene • Social & Behavioral Sciences • Sociology

Cultural Diversity SOC-103

  • Fall 2012
  • Section 01
  • 3.0 Credits
  • 08/27/2012 to 12/20/2012
  • Modified 09/20/2012

Contact Information

Contact Information: Email address: [email protected]

            Phone: 208-769-3314.

Instructor: Maureen Steinel

Office Hours

  • Monday, Wednesday, 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM, LKH 222
  • Tuesday, Thursday, 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM, LKH 222

Tuesday office hours are internet.

  • Thursday, 1:00 PM to 2:15 PM, LKH 222

and by appointment.

Meeting Times

Thursday 2:30-3:45; LKH 241


This course is designed to increase the awareness and appreciation of diversity within the contemporary U.S. population. It will examine historical and contemporary experiences from perspectives of both women and men of diverse races, ethnicities, social class, religions, sexual orientation, ages, and abilities. Students will explore their particular inherited and constructed traditions, identify communities and significant life experiences while learning from the varied experiences and perspectives of those who are different. Students will become more aware of the nature of personal, institutional, and societal inequalities and the processes leading to a more equitable society. Students will be encouraged to develop a critical consciousness and to explore ways of empowering to help eliminate ideologies of unequal treatment. This course will develop an extended and collaborative dialogue about past, present, and future U.S. democratic aspirations and foster a respect for peoples life experiences while teaching skills needed to function in todays diverse and increasingly interconnected global society. This course fulfills a social science requirement for the A.A. and A.S. degrees or the cultural diversity requirement for the A.A. degree. Lecture: 3 hours per week Recommended: College level reading and writing


Required Texts for the Course:

Koppelman, Kent L. 2011. Perspectives on Human Differences: Selected Readings on Diversity in America. Boston, MA.: Pearson Education, Inc. 

Koppelman, Kent L. and R. Lee Goodhart. 2011. Understanding Human Differences: Multicultural Education for A Diverse America, 3rd Edition. Boston, MA.: Pearson Education, Inc. 

*Please note: Supplemental materials are distributed throughout the course as part of the reading requirements.


Through reading, completing assignments, and participating in our discussion forums, students will demonstrate their ability to reach the following goals and outcomes.

Learning Goal #1 - To increase personal awareness.
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to 

  • connect her/his personal history and social identity to historical and sociological information and concepts found in the course readings and class discussions
  • interact with multiple and comparative narratives of participants in U.S. society.
  • formulate how his/her life is affected
  • become conscious of her/his operating world view.
  • examine alternative ways of understanding the world and social relationships
  • analyze his/her socialization about specific groups

Learning Goal #2 - To expand knowledge and conceptual understanding.
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to

  • identify and apply operational sociological terminology and concepts relative to cultural diversity.
  • describe, discuss, compare, and contrast the experiences and contributions of the many groups that shape American culture.
  • demonstrate the ability to deal constructively with information, ideas, and emotions associated with issues of diversity.
  • examine the sources and impact of misinformation and stereotypes.
  • fill in the blanks of missing history and social invisibility.
  • demonstrate analytical and problem-solving abilities, while acquiring an understanding of cultural diversity issues.
  • provide examples of the origins and perpetuation of prejudices and discrimination that have been directed toward people of diverse backgrounds.

Learning Goal #3 -To encourage action.
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to

  • analyze her/his individual and collective experiences in the light of sociological concepts.
  • identify ideals and principles of a socially just future for all citizens of the United States.
  • identify, practice, and apply intervention strategies.
  • demonstrate a critical consciousness about cultural diversity issues
  • identify, practice, and apply action strategies.
  • create and write a personal action plan.


Methodology: The course design is student-oriented with various pedagogical techniques which include lectures, exams, written work, group work and discussions, films and internet use.

Prerequisites: None.

Course Requirements:

            Class participation: All students are required to participate in class and will be graded accordingly. Class participation is necessary in order to create the proper learning environment. Periodically the class will break into groups during the sessions so it is especially important that all students attend class. (This will assist students meeting the fulfillment of learning goals 1, 2 & 3.)

            Critical Thinking Online Discussions: As this is a hybrid course, part of the class time is spent through online engagement and discussion. Students are required to write responses within the online discussion section to the weekly assigned supplemental readings from Koppelman's compilation, Perspectives on Human Differences and other supplemental material that I will provide. In addition to the required postings, students must respond to at least three fellow students' postings for full credit. Responses should encourage discussion. Comments such as "I agree" or similar brief statements will not count for credit. Responses are deducted one point for each missing reply post.

Students will complete the following in each entry to demonstrate critical thinking skills: (1) Students will discuss the topic using sociological terms and concepts while applying statistical information reviewed in class that is relevant; (2) Students will connect the experiences of culturally diverse groups to major social institutions in U.S. society (or globally if relevant) by applying their sociological imagination; and (3) Students will develop their own suggestions for resolutions to the social issues presented in the readings. Entries must be related to weekly assigned readings. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the material by directly citing from the author within their response. Incomplete answers will only receive partial credit. Any offensive or inappropriate responses will immediately be removed from the forum and result in a grade of “F” for the assignment. Due dates for discussion posts are posted each week below under the "Reading Schedule" unless otherwise stated.

Each response is worth 10 points for a total of 100 points (10 entries required for full credit). There are a total of 13 CTR assignments posted with only 10 counting for credit for students who wish to make-up missed work. Late work is not accepted as a result of this policy. Students who successfully complete all 10 postings will not receive additional credit for the three other postings. Students have the option to drop the lowest grade by completing additional assignments. Once the forum reaches the due date, the assignment is closed and will not be opened again under any circumstances.  (This will assist students meeting the fulfillment of learning goals 1, 2 & 3.)

             Exams: There will be a midterm and final exam for this course. The midterm exam and the final exam are worth 75 points each for a total of 150 points toward the final grade. Make-up exams for the midterm/final are only given under special circumstances. The final exam is not comprehensive. Exams include weekly reading assignments, films, class lectures and supplemental handouts. Exams may be administered online or in class. (This will assist students with the fulfillment of course objectives #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10.)

            Group Project:  The group project is divided into two sections. The first section for the hybrid part of the course involves online postings ("Team Postings") related to the group’s progress throughout the semester. The second part of the assignment is the actual presentation given in class. Students will form groups to work collectively on the group project. Students will select one popular television program to watch regularly and will develop a 15-minute presentation for the class based on the sociological aspects of the program as it relates to cultural diversity. Groups are encouraged to be creative with their projects such as using power point, skits, internet, reenactments, film clips and so forth. Groups are expected to answer questions from fellow students during the last 5 minutes of the presentation for a Q & A session. A reference list (APA format) of all sources utilized for the project is required to be turned in on the day of the presentation. Students are graded as a group for the presentations. Students will present their projects during class time meetings toward the end of the semester. Exact dates will be assigned during the second week of class. Groups are encouraged to regularly discuss the sociological phenomena present in their television shows with other groups through the online discussion board. The group project is worth 250 points not including the points from the Team Postings reviewed below.

             Team Postings Online: Each member of the group is required to individually post their responses for the team post assignments ten times (i.e., ten different responses) throughout the semester. Entries are worth a total of 100 points or 10 points each. There will be one additional team posting available to make-up a lower grade or missing assignment. Team postings must be completed by the due dates listed below in the “Reading Schedule”. Postings should include intelligent use of sociological findings relevant to class. Please do not post anything that may be offensive to others. This is the opportunity for each group to share their findings with the class in an ongoing discussion throughout the semester. Late posts are not accepted.

This project is an observational analysis of cultural diversity as it is represented through television as a major part of American culture. Television is a primary agent of socialization and maintains a significant role in our understanding of others based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, class and religion within our society. The goal of this project is for students to work collaboratively as a group to measure the degree of cultural diversity represented through the media, discuss possible social causes and effects from their findings, and develop skills to critically view the media. Students will take notes during each program as the method of analysis. Students will record all “field notes” in their journal during observations. Students will then compare/contrast their findings with the course text and supplemental course materials. Detailed instructions concerning the project will be reviewed during the first few weeks of the semester. (This will assist students meeting the fulfillment of learning goals 1, 2 & 3.)



Midterm and Final Exams, 75 pts. each = 150 pts.

Group Project = 250 pts.

Team Postings Online, 10 points each = 100 pts.

Critical Thinking Online Discussions, 10 points each = 100 pts.

Total Points = 600 pts.

Grading Scale: Letter grades will be assigned based upon the following percentage/point breakdown:
92.5-100% (555-600 pts.) = A
90.0-92.4% (540-554 pts.) = A-
87.5-89.9% (525-539 pts.) = B+
82.5-87.4% (495-524 pts.) = B
80.0-82.4% (480-494 pts.) = B-
77.5-79.9% (465-479 pts.) = C+
72.5-77.4% (435-464 pts.) = C
70.0-72.4% (420-434 pts.) = C-
67.5-69.9% (405-419 pts.) = D+
60.0-67.4% (360-404 pts.) = D
Below 60.0% (359-0) = F


Course Policies

Additional Information: All work submitted must be typed, 12 point font, double-spaced, Times New Roman. Supplemental reading assignments and videos are required as part of the course material and are distributed throughout the semester. Late work is not accepted.

                        Internet Accessibility: Students need to have access to the Internet and check their school email regularly. Notifications, announcements and additional supplemental readings are distributed to students via email. Students are encouraged to engage in online discussions concerning course material. This course is hybrid and students are expected to divide the course time between face-to-face interaction and internet. Exams may be administered in class or online.

                        Online Discussion Policy: Students are expected to complete all online assignments by the due date. Student responses should reflect material that is appropriate in an academic learning environment. Offensive or inappropriate postings will automatically be removed from the forum and result in a grade of “F”. It is especially important to be considerate of other students when posting online. Responses with more than three spelling errors will be removed and students are expected to post the response correctly to receive credit for the assignment. Students are not permitted to use terms such as “LOL” or other abbreviations within the online forums. Only academically accepted websites should be accessed to retrieve material for course requirements (e.g., Wikipedia is unacceptable).

                        Attendance: Students are required to attend all class sessions and must follow the standards concerning attendance as stated in the North Idaho College Catalogue. Students are deducted one letter grade after three absences. Please contact me via email if you are unable to attend class. Excused absences are granted for illness, official college activities and immediate family illness or death.

                     Technology in the classroom: Students are encouraged to utilize technology within the classroom. Laptops, iPads, and other computers are acceptable materials in the classroom under the agreement that the computers are only being used for course note-taking or class discussion-related research. Students are not permitted to use cell phones in class unless there is a personal emergency. Distracted students who become disengaged in the class as a result of online activities will be marked absent.

                           Other: Students are encouraged to meet with me during posted  office hours or by appointment. Students should email me through Blackboard to schedule an appointment. 

Academic Dishonesty:

Students are expected to adhere to academic honesty policies as stated in the North Idaho College catalogue. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and students who violate this policy will be penalized by failing the course. Plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration on research papers, cheating on exams, submitting the same work from a previous course,  citing sources which were not properly used in paper development or incorrect credit given to sources, unethical behaviors while conducting research, and use of illicit material are all examples of academic dishonesty.

Additional Items

Online Discussion Rules:

Please remember this is an academic environment. All online responses need to reflect academic learning and respect. Disrespectful, insulting or harrassing comments will not be permitted. Students are expected to complete spell check prior to online entries and minimize grammatical errors. Abbreviations or emoticon terms such as "LOL" are not permitted for any required assignments. Please remember to be considerate toward the perspectives held by your fellow students. This is an online space for conversation and engagement of course material.

Division Policies

For a complete explanation of the North Idaho College Statement on Academic Honesty & Academic Integrity please ferfer to Policy 5.06 & Procedure 5.06.01: 

Academic Dishonesty
Violations of academic integrity involve using or attempting to use any method that enables an individual to misrepresent the quality or integrity of his or her work at North Idaho College. These violations include the following:

Cheating: using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study in any academic exercise.
Fabrication: falsifying or inventing any information or citation in an academic exercise.
Plagiarism: knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one's own in an academic exercise.
Violation of Intellectual Property: stealing, altering, or destroying the academic work of other members of the community or the educational resources,materials, or official documents of the college.Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: knowingly helping another to attempt to violate any provisions of this policy.

Student Responsibility
As outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, all North Idaho College students have both rights and responsibilities: Please access www.nic.ferpa.StudentCode/index.htm for complete information that pertains to this subject.

North Idaho College, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, provides both services and accommodations to students who meet the guidelines provided in these acts.  For a complete description, please see:

Please contact the North Idaho College Center for Educational Access in Seiter Hall, Room 100 for assistance.  Phone:  208-769-5947

To withdraw from all courses a student must obtain a college withdrawal form from the Registrar's Office, secure the signatures of those persons indicated on the form, and return the form to the Registrar's office. No student may withdraw from the college after the final date of withdrawal from courses except for compelling and extraordinary reasons. In such circumstances a student must petition the Admissions and Academic Standards Committee for late withdrawal from college using the college withdrawal form available in the Registrar's Office.

For complete information regarding student withdrawals, please see the North Idaho College Policy 5.04.01: 

Institutional Policies

Student Responsibilities

As students undertake to fulfill the obligations and duties outlined in this document, the college community of which they are a part undertakes to respect the basic freedoms of students. In recognition of students’ rights and dignity as members of the college, North Idaho College is committed to the principles found in the NIC Student Handbook.

Center for Educational Access/Disability Support Services

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, North Idaho College provides accommodations to eligible students who experience barriers in the educational setting due to learning, emotional / mental, physical, visual, or hearing disabilities.  Instructors will provide accommodations to students only after having received a Letter of Accommodation from the Center for Educational Access. 

If a student would like to request accommodations, he or she must contact the Center for Educational Access so that a Letter of Accommodation may be sent to the instructor.  Students requesting accommodations must contact the Center for Educational Access at the beginning of each semester.


By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You also understand that collection costs and legal fees will be added if the services of a collection agency are utilized.

If you are registered for a class and do not attend, you will still be liable for the tuition unless you drop the class.


Last day for students to withdraw from semester-length classes for the fall term: November 7, 2011. 

Instructor-Initiated Withdrawal: Instructors have the right to withdraw students for academic reasons up until the same date; in doing so, instructors must notify students through NIC e-mail within 48 hours of submitting documentation to the Registrar's office, and students have the right to appeal the instructor's decision. For more information, see the NIC Procedure:

Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy: All withdrawals, whether for individual classes, total withdrawal from school, or instructor-initiated are not considered to be satisfactory progress for financial aid.  See the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy:

Additional withdrawal information:


An incomplete is assigned only if the student has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work to within three weeks of the end of the semester (or proportional length of time for a course of less than a semester in length).  Incompletes are issued only in cases of extenuating circumstances, such as severe illness or injury.  Incompletes are not issued in cases in which the student is simply unable to complete his/her work within the specified semester or session.  If a final grade of "I" is recorded, the instructor will indicate in writing to the Registrar what the student must do to make up the deficiency.  The instructor will indicate in the written statement what permanent grade should be entered if the Incomplete is not removed by the deadline.

All incomplete grades must be removed within six weeks after the first class day of the following term, excluding the summer session.  If the Incomplete is not removed by that date, the grade reverts to the grade indicated by the instructor's written statement authorizing the incomplete.

Discrimination and Harassment

North Idaho College has a zero tolerance policy for any acts of discrimination or harassment of any kind.  For more information, please see the NIC Student Handbook, Code of Conduct Article III and Article VIII. Compliance efforts with respect to these laws and regulations are the responsibility of each member of the campus community and are under the direction of the Dean of Students Office for Student Issues (2nd floor, ESU, 676-7156) and the Human Resources Office (Sherman Administration Building, 769-3304) for employee issues.

Institutional Statement

DROP FOR NON-PAYMENT:  By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You will be dropped from classes if payment is not received by  5 p.m. Pacific Time on the third day of the semester. Students on the waitlist will be given the option to register for classes after students are dropped for non-payment.

DROP FOR NON-ATTENDANCE:  You must attend and participate in the first week of this class. Failure to do so will result in your being dropped from this class and may result in your financial aid award being reduced. For Internet classes, attendance is based on participation in an instructional activity; you must complete the first week’s assignment(s) by the assignment due date. Drop for non-attendance occurs at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on the second Tuesday of the semester.