Art—Elementary

The broad instructional concept of Art Education is to integrate the components of art history, art criticism, and studio art courses, university courses, and Western's Gallery Exhibition Program and permanent collection. Students learn to interpret, analyze and make intelligent judgments about art, and the skills and concepts of the studio. A grasp of the dynamic nature of a culture and the continuing extension of its visual language is a fundamental objective.  

Western's Elementary Art program prepares students to teach at the elementary grade level. The program introduces curricular design in the arts and the four components of Discipline Based Art Education — criticism, history, aesthetics, and art studio. Art education prepares students to become either elementary classroom teachers or art specialist. Elementary classroom teachers must specialize in one area in addition to the elementary education courses.  

This major satisfies the academic major requirement for teacher certification with an endorsement in Elementary Education and must be accompanied by the professional program in elementary education. See Elementary Education for program admission, completion, and teacher certification requirements. 

Western’s Art Department is part of the College of Fine and Performing Arts

Western’s Elementary and Secondary Education departments are part of the Woodring College of Education.

Beyond the Classroom

Art students have unique opportunities to gain hands-on, practical experience for a future career in the art world. Faculty assist students in handling and installing artworks, learning and expanding research skills, or improving critical analysis and essay-writing abilities. 

Western Art Galleries

Students play an active role in the operations of Western’s three galleries, including the Western Gallery and two student run galleries — the Viking Union and B galleries. 

Research

Art Faculty encourage students to explore the academic world through research assistantships — an invaluable experience for students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in the field.

Study Abroad

The Department of Art offers many opportunities to travel abroad and domestically. Students participate in unique, life-changing encounters with art and art history.

“I couldn’t have asked for better experiences in teaching students and creating work. The authentic instruction in art taught at Western will keep graduates in the forefront of the job market.” – Mariah Klemens, Student

 

Careers and Graduate Studies

Western Art alumni have gone on to pursue their passions, including:

  • Robert McCauley: National Endowment for the Arts fellowship recipient and professional painter
  • Eugenie Tung: Head Teacher for the Joan Mitchell Foundation Education Program
  • Jim Goldberg: Author of seven books, National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, and professional photographer
  • Virginia Troy: Associate professor of Art History at Berry College

 

Sample Careers

  • Art Educator 
  • Art Therapy

Sociology—Elementary

Sociologists examine subjects encompassing a vast array of human behavior: crime and punishment, the formation and dissolution of families, bureaucracy in organizations, conflicts between classes, and global inequalities. Sociology focuses on the way individuals’ lives are embedded within multiple social contexts that facilitate and constrain the range of possible actions. These contexts include generation, occupation, gender, religion, sexual orientation, family, health, nation, race, and ethnicity among many others. Students study and examine these phenomena with a variety of scientific tools, including collecting and analyzing statistical data and conducting surveys, focus groups, and in-depth interviews.

As a Sociology major at Western, students learn how humans behave and interact in groups — whether small groups like families or large groups like religious organizations, and how one’s position in the larger society shapes life chances and experiences. Sociology students develop an aptitude for critical thinking, improve their writing ability, and gain competence with statistical computing that will enhance their future career options. The department is dedicated to providing quality instruction in several specialized areas of study in Sociology. The four major specializations in our department include Family and the Life Course, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Population Studies, and Social Organization/ Social Inequality. 

The Sociology — Elementary Education major satisfies the academic major requirement for teacher certification with an endorsement in elementary education and must be accompanied by the professional preparation program in Elementary Education provided by Woodring College of Education.

The Sociology Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

“I am interested in public policy and making things better at a zoomed out broader level. Sociologists just like to do that!” 

–Batu Dashnyam, Student

 

“I love how much Sociology is in everyday life — every aspect of how society is constructed and how people interact is part of sociology, and I love learning how and why people act the way they do.”

–Jasmine Strode-Elfant, Student

 

Beyond the Classroom

Sociology students have the opportunity to participate in faculty-led study abroad programs, gain applied skills through service learning internships, and coauthor research papers with our faculty. 

The sociology department actively encourages students to pursue learning opportunities abroad, particularly through faculty-led programs. The department believes a global perspective is critical to understanding core sociological concepts, but to also better understand their own culture. Faculty-led study abroad programming often counts for upper-level major requirements, and travel courses may serve as a student’s capstone project on programs led by Sociology faculty — to places like Kenya, China, and India.   

Sociology students are also encouraged to pursue internships placements for credit towards the major. Data show that sociology students who take part in internships have enriched learning experiences and find it much easier to find employment later.

Sociology students have completed internships with:

  • Allied Arts
  • Bellingham Planning Commission
  • Bellingham Police Department
  • Bellingham School District
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Brigid Collins
  • Catholic Community Services
  • Division of Children and Family Services
  • Law Offices in Bellingham
  • Northwest Youth Services
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Whatcom County Drug Court
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Corrections
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Court
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Probation
  • Whatcom County Public Defender's Office
  • Whatcom County Sheriff
  • Whatcom Crisis Services Sexual Assault Program
  • Women Care Shelter

 

Dr. Jay Teachman
Professor

Awarded the  2015 Paul J. Olscamp award for Outstanding Scholarship

Professor Teachman follows two interrelated lines of inquiry:  changes in family demographics and the consequences of military service for young veterans.  His research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, and he routinely coauthors his research with our majors.  

Careers and Graduate Studies

Many Sociology graduates enter professions such as law, education, social services, and criminal justice work.

Employers of Recent Western Graduates:

  • Bellingham School District
  • Five Acre School

Western graduates who pursue graduate studies are doing so at such schools as: 

  • University of Hawaii at Hilo: Education
  • Western Washington University: Rehabilitation Counseling

Sample Careers

  • Elementary Teacher

Sociology/Social Studies

Sociologists examine subjects encompassing a vast array of human behavior: crime and punishment, the formation and dissolution of families, bureaucracy in organizations, conflicts between classes, and global inequalities. Sociology focuses on the way individuals’ lives are embedded within multiple social contexts that facilitate and constrain the range of possible actions. These contexts include generation, occupation, gender, religion, sexual orientation, family, health, nation, race, and ethnicity among many others. Students study and examine these phenomena with a variety of scientific tools, including collecting and analyzing statistical data and conducting surveys, focus groups, and in-depth interviews.

As a Sociology major at Western, students learn how humans behave and interact in groups — whether small groups like families or large groups like religious organizations, and how one’s position in the larger society shapes life chances and experiences. Sociology students develop an aptitude for critical thinking, improve their writing ability, and gain competence with statistical computing that will enhance their future career options. The department is dedicated to providing quality instruction in several specialized areas of study in Sociology. The four major specializations in our department include Family and the Life Course, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Population Studies, and Social Organization/Social Inequality.

Completion of the BA Sociology/Social Studies major leads to an endorsement in social studies. To receive a recommendation for state of Washington certification for secondary education, students must complete the “teacher certification” program. See Secondary Education for program admission, completion, and teacher certification requirements.

The Sociology Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

 “I am interested in public policy and making things better at a zoomed out broader level. Sociologists just like to do that!”  

-Batu Dashnyam, Student

 

Beyond the Classroom

Sociology students have the opportunity to participate in faculty-led study abroad programs, gain applied skills through service learning internships, and coauthor research papers with our faculty. 

The sociology department actively encourages students to pursue learning opportunities abroad, particularly through faculty-led programs. The department believes a global perspective is critical to understanding core sociological concepts, but to also better understand their own culture. Faculty-led study abroad programming often counts for upper-level major requirements, and travel courses may serve as a student’s capstone project on programs led by Sociology faculty — to places like Kenya, China, and India.   

Sociology students are also encouraged to pursue internships placements for credit towards the major. Data show that sociology students who take part in internships have enriched learning experiences and find it much easier to find employment later.

Sociology students have completed internships with:

  • Allied Arts
  • Bellingham Planning Commission
  • Bellingham Police Department
  • Bellingham School District
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Brigid Collins
  • Catholic Community Services
  • Division of Children and Family Services
  • Law Offices in Bellingham
  • Northwest Youth Services
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Whatcom County Drug Court
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Corrections
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Court
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Probation
  • Whatcom County Public Defender's Office
  • Whatcom County Sheriff
  • Whatcom Crisis Services Sexual Assault Program
  • Women Care Shelter

 

Dr. Glenn Tsunokai
Professor

Awarded the  inaugural  Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award

Professor Tsunokai was recognized for the 50 students he has mentored through Senior Thesis projects, several of whom have published research articles with Professor Tsunokai.

Careers and Graduate Studies

Many Sociology graduates enter professions such as law, education, social services and criminal justice work while others pursue graduate training in Sociology.  

Employers of Recent Western Graduates:

  • AmeriCorps VISTA
  • Bellingham School District
  • College Forward
  • MSR Communications
  • Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe
  • SDL, Inc.
  • SeaMar Visions Youth Treatment Center
  • State of Washington Juvenile Rehabilitation Center

Western graduates who pursue graduate studies are doing so at such schools as: 

  • Pennsylvania State University: Sociology (PhD)
  • University of Hawaii: Education (MA)
  • University of Nevada-Reno: Criminal Justice (MA)
  • Western Washington University: Rehabilitation Counseling (MA)

Sample Careers

  • Teacher: Secondary Education

Sociology

Sociologists examine subjects encompassing a vast array of human behavior: crime and punishment, the formation and dissolution of families, bureaucracy in organizations, conflicts between classes, and global inequalities. Sociology focuses on the way individuals’ lives are embedded within multiple social contexts that facilitate and constrain the range of possible actions. These contexts include generation, occupation, gender, religion, sexual orientation, family, health, nation, race, and ethnicity among many others. Students study and examine these phenomena with a variety of scientific tools, including collecting and analyzing statistical data and conducting surveys, focus groups, and in-depth interviews.

As a Sociology major at Western, students learn how humans behave and interact in groups — whether small groups like families or large groups like religious organizations, and how one’s position in the larger society shapes life chances and experiences. 

Sociology students develop an aptitude for critical thinking, improve their writing ability, and gain competence with statistical computing that will enhance their future career options.  

The department is dedicated to providing quality instruction in several specialized areas of study in Sociology. The four major specializations in our department include Family and the Life Course, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Population Studies, and Social Organization/ Social Inequality.

Students pursuing the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Sociology are required to complete a math-intensive course of study. They develop an aptitude for critical thinking and improve their writing abilities. Students will obtain substantial experience with statistical computing, including programming and data analysis.

The Sociology Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

 

Jay Teachman
Professor

Awarded the 2015 Paul J. Olscamp award for Outstanding Scholarship.

Jay Teachman has been a professor in the Department of Sociology since 1998. He graduated from Western in 1974 and received his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1978. Teachman has a longstanding interest in families and how families change over time. He has published a number of articles concerning topics such as military service, divorce, remarriage, child support and cohabitation. Teachman is co-principal investigator on several grants: “Determinants and Consequences of Military Service: 1940-1988;” “Military Service and Patterns of Marriage, Cohabitation and Union Dissolution;” “Impact of Military Service on Health,” all funded by the National Science Foundation; and “Stimulating Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Research in Population and Health,” funded by the National Institute on Aging.

Beyond the Classroom

Sociology students have the opportunity to participate in faculty-led study abroad programs, gain applied skills through service learning internships, and coauthor research papers with our faculty. 

The sociology department actively encourages students to pursue learning opportunities abroad, particularly through faculty-led programs. The department believes a global perspective is critical to understanding core sociological concepts, but to also better understand their own culture. Faculty-led study abroad programming often counts for upper-level major requirements, and travel courses may serve as a student’s capstone project on programs led by Sociology faculty — to places like Kenya, China, and India.   

Sociology students are also encouraged to pursue internships placements for credit towards the major. Data shows that sociology students who take part in internships have enriched learning experiences and find it much easier to find employment later.

Sociology students have completed internships with:

  • Allied Arts
  • Bellingham Planning Commission
  • Bellingham Police Department
  • Bellingham School District
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Brigid Collins
  • Catholic Community Services
  • Division of Children and Family Services
  • Law Offices in Bellingham
  • Northwest Youth Services
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Whatcom County Drug Court
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Corrections
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Court
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Probation
  • Whatcom County Public Defender's Office
  • Whatcom County Sheriff
  • Whatcom Crisis Services Sexual Assault Program
  • Women Care Shelter

 

“I love how much Sociology is in everyday life — every aspect of how society is constructed and how people interact is part of sociology, and I love learning how and why people act the way they do.”  

–Jasmine Strode-Elfant, Student

“I am interested in public policy and making things better at a zoomed out broader level. Sociologists just like to do that!” 

–Batu Dashnyam, Student

 

Careers and Graduate Studies

Many Sociology graduates enter professions such as law, education, social services and criminal justice work while others pursue graduate training in Sociology.  

Employers of Recent Western Graduates:

  • AmeriCorps VISTA
  • Bellingham School District
  • College Forward
  • MSR Communications
  • Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe
  • SDL, Inc.
  • SeaMar Visions Youth Treatment Center
  • State of Washington Juvenile Rehabilitation Center

Western graduates who pursue graduate studies are doing so at such schools as: 

  • Pennsylvania State University: Sociology (PhD)
  • University of Hawaii: Education (MA)
  • University of Nevada-Reno: Criminal Justice (MA)
  • Western Washington University: Rehabilitation Counseling (MA)

Sample Careers

  • Business Manager

  • Consumer Researcher

  • Human Resources Manager

  • Advertising Manager

  • Data Analyst

  • Research Analyst

  • Demographic Analyst

 

Journalism—Visual Journalism

Journalists are responsible for gathering information, analyzing and editing it for a mass audience, and dispensing it using some form of media platform. Increasingly the methods of distribution have become more complex, but the basic mission of a journalist remains the same: to serve the public by finding, defining, writing, and editing information. 

Courses in the Visual Journalism sequence prepare students in the concepts, professional practices and course work applications of visual components of news: photojournalism, information graphics, video and audio clips, mapping, and typography. Visual Journalism majors study theoretical and practical communications in a liberal arts setting. Students gain practical experience on Western’s award-winning student media, and majors additionally take field internships with newspapers, magazines, broadcast stations, public relations agencies, and other professional organizations. 

Western’s Journalism Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

 

“[Visual Journalism] provides opportunity upon opportunity to not just study the subject matter, but to get out into the real world and experience it. With all the writing, photography, multimedia, and design skills I’ve acquired throughout my experience in the sequence, I feel prepared and versatile enough to succeed in today’s rapidly changing journalism landscape.”

– Carey Rose, Alumni

Beyond the Classroom

While enrolled in the Journalism program, students are offered a number of learning opportunities including working as writers, photographers, or editors on university publications; learning from industry professionals; and working hands-on with community organizations to gain experience in the field. 

Student publications at Western include the weekly newspaper, The Western Front; the quarterly magazine, Klipsun; and the quarterly environmental magazine, The Planet. Policy for the publications is set by the Student Publications Council, and the majority of the funding is from student fees. All Western students are eligible to participate in publications staff work.

Careers and Graduate Studies

Few fields of study prepare students for as wide a range of interesting and challenging careers. Journalists first and foremost learn to write, to accumulate, and analyze information. Skills from the Journalism major are in demand in a host of fields beyond traditional mass media.

Sample Careers

  • Reporter 
  • Editor 
  • Customer Service Representative 
  • Public Relations Specialist 
  • Community Relations Director 
  • TV News Anchor 
  • Speech Writer 
  • Advertising Copywriter 
  • Copywriter 
  • Market Research Analyst 
  • Lobbyist 
  • Photojournalist 
  • Designer 
  • Multimedia Producer 
  • Communication Specialist

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Humanities—History of Culture

The Humanities include the study of philosophy, religion, history, literature, and the arts. The Humanities — History of Culture program supports study of religions and of cultural history in Europe and the Americas, China, Japan, South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and in predominantly Islamic areas with attention to historical development and cross-cultural interaction, both in the past and modern period. Western’s Humanities program attracts students who want to major in more than one humanities discipline, using interdisciplinary methods of investigation.

Students acquire a substantial knowledge of religious, philosophical, literary and aesthetic movements in the history of Western culture. Students also study works of the humanities in at least one other culture, and that culture’s history. Using methods from different humanities disciplines, students learn to analyze individual works of the humanities and to relate them to social and cultural developments. Learning how to understand cultural differences and cultural change helps students exercise leadership in a more closely knit, global world. 

The Liberal Studies Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

“What grabbed my attention in the Liberal Studies Department were the passions that I had with world cultures and its religions. Humanities gave me the binoculars of history, literature, philosophy, and religion. These lenses enabled me to view other cultures and to empathize and understand others.” 

-Vivian Kwan, Student

Beyond the Classroom

The small size of classes and seminars in the Humanities program encourages close relationships between students and faculty. Students conduct independent research on topics of their own choosing. Working closely with faculty, students learn to formulate problems clearly; to consider and evaluate different methods and concepts; to do efficient and thorough research; and to write clearly, concisely and effectively.

Careers and Graduate Studies

The Humanities — History of Culture major has proved to be excellent preparation for professional careers in teaching, law, libraries, museums, or archive administration, and for research and administrative positions with a wide variety of businesses and non-profit organizations.

Graduates have gone on to a variety of professional graduate schools, including law, library and information science, and conflict resolution. Students who have done excellent work in the department have succeeded in graduate academic programs in literature, history and the study of religion.

 

Sample Careers

  • Attorney 
  • Teacher
  • Professor 
  • Librarian 
  • Writer 
  • Business Administrator 
  • Historian 
  • Non-Profit Organization Administrator 
  • Congressional Aid 
  • Research Assistant 
  • Editor 
  • Lobbyist

Department of Liberal Studies

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