In this book-based seminar we will delve into the Sociological perspective on the undergraduate experience at both the level of the students and the institution. Our investigation will cover a broad range of schools including big and small, private and public, elite and non-elite. We’ll look at what makes for a successful undergraduate education and what students do and do not learn in college. How students approach their time in school and how colleges and universities respond to that approach will also be studied. Stratification in higher education will be investigated via the reproduction of inequality and how schools attempt to climb prestige rankings. Town-gown relationships and student crime and victimization are also on the agenda. Finally, we’ll study the place of big-time sports in higher education for schools and students.

Randall Smith is Associate Professor of Sociology. He has taught courses in Higher Education and Society, Intercollegiate Athletics, and Sociology of Sport among others. His current research looks into what big-time sports bring to the host institution including (perhaps) more applications, better students, more donations, and greater student retention. His most recent project is a study of student fandom at football games.