The core component of the public sociology program is community engagement. Our program aims to develop the professional skills that complement the sociological imagination; skills that take into account the ability to understand how individual and group behavior is shaped by society's historical development, how personal problems are connected to public issues of social structure, and how to work with others to improve social conditions.
The program also encourages the practice of public sociology, which applies the sociological imagination to public affairs in the form of community engagement that develops citizenship skills. To align with Missouri State's public affairs mission, the sociology program develops cultural competency through examining how social categories and social systems—such as race, gender, sexuality, class, age, and citizenship status—interact to structure social action and create human diversity. Finally, it promotes ethical leadership by demonstrating how responsible citizenship is informed by issues of social justice.