By Christian Horta
Students with an interest in social science had the opportunity to explore their career options at an open house.
Dr. Marcel Morales, chair of the Social Sciences Department, began the event with an introduction on Thursday from noon to 1:30 in the G3 Ingalls auditorium foyer.
The Social Sciences Department at East Los Angeles College includes the fields of sociology, history, political science, economics, Asian American studies and African American studies.
During the introduction, assistant professor of sociology LaQuita Jones said the department focuses on helping students understand the social world.
“We h e l p students with the opportunity to increase their k n o w l e d g e of past and present human societies,” said Jones. Additionally, the department offers various courses that are centered around the development of human behaviors.
The courses are transferrable, which meet the requirements of general education plans.
According to Jones , t h e department has 3,300 students with an interest in obtaining an associate degree in the field of social sciences.
This degree would give students the opportunity for priority admission to the California State University system. “ We are cultivating an environment where we are preparing students for transfer, which is something that a lot of students here at ELAC have indicated an interest in,” Jones said.
The department offers the Helen Miller Bailey Memorial Scholarship, which awards anywhere from $500 to $1,000. Jones highly encourages students to take advantage of the scholarship once the application is available.
To qualify for the Helen Miller Bailey Scholarship, students must plan to transfer to a four-year university, have declared social science as a major and have completed at least 12 units at ELAC with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
Jones said, a lot of the information acquired in the classroom setting will be applicable for personal, professional and career objectives in the future.
“Students who take advantage of campus clubs will also cultivate student success through the Social Science Department,” Jones said.
Academic programs such as the Sociology Club, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the History Circle are a few offered by the Social Sciences Department. Juliette Moore, vice president of the Sociology Club, spoke in front of the audience to share how having an officer position in the club furthered her success.
“Even if you’re not a club type, at least getting involved will help out in the long run because you are going to find other people who are interested in the same thing you are. It doesn’t have to be sociology, just whatever you are interested in,” Moore said.
Moore suggested attending a club rush for students who are interested. Being part of the Sociology Club led her to meet professor Jones, which she says helped her grow as a person, as well as academically.
Jones said students should go meet with a counselor. Chris Garcia, the chair of the Counseling Department, provided some useful information to students on how meeting with a counselor would help them.
Garcia encourages students to spend as much time as they need at ELAC, but to ultimately see students at the university level. He said students should know where they are going with their degree, which is the reason he strongly encourages students to make an appointment to see a counselor.
Genevieve Ayala from Career and Job Services provided information on what pathways students can take under social sciences.
The objective of Career and Job Services is to assist students with finding a career goal or choosing a major. Ayala says that she highly encourages students to visit the Career and Job Services office at E1-176 when they can.
“We are all about finding out what is fitting for you. Maybe you think you want to major in economics, but you are unsure which career that would lead to. That’s where a career counselor comes in and can help you explore,” Ayala said.
Additionally, the department offers career assessments to help students choose a career based on personality and interest. Ayala also said that it is normal for students to change their major more than once.
Attendees were given free lunch and a Jansport backpack with a notebook and binder.