Topics in Social Science

I.     Course Prefix/Number: SSC 290

       Course Name: Topics in Social Science

       Credits: 1-4 (1-3 lecture; 1-4 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Varies depending on the specific topic

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course explores major issues currently facing the United States and other nations of the world.  Socioeconomic, political and other social-scientific perspectives are considered in the study of these global topics.  Course has a different focus and/or scope from other courses currently offered in the department and can be repeated on different topics up to three times for up to nine credits.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Identifications, descriptions, definitions, and comparisons of major concepts, programs and issues related to the topic(s) will be studied.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

One major topic or several minor topics relating to an overall theme will be selected for study. A sample outline is represented below. The exact outline of topics is contingent on the nature of the course:

  1. Roots of a War: Vietnam and the outside world up to the end of World War II
  2. The First Vietnam War: Vietnam vs. the French (1946-1954)
  3. America's Mandarin: Growing U.S. support for the government of South Vietnam (1954-1963)
  4. L.B.J. Goes to War: 1964-1965
  5. America Takes Charge: The escalation of U.S. involvement (1965-1967)
  6. America's Enemy: A view from Vietnam (1954-1967)
  7. Tet: The turning point in U.S. public opinion (1968)
  8. Vietnamizing the War: 1968-1973
  9. Cambodia and Laos: The secret war
  10. Peace is at Hand: 1968-1973
  11. Homefront, U.S.A.
  12. The End of the Tunnel: Getting out of Vietnam (1973-1975)
  13. The Legacies of the War

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Instructional methods vary with the instructor and may involve any of the following:  lectures, discussions, readings, papers, audio-visual resources, group projects, simulation games, guest speakers, case studies, exercises, group interaction, role playing.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

This course relies on the student's ability to read and understand college-level text material.  Students will be required to write for the class the equivalent of 12-15 typed pages of material that will be graded.  This writing may take the form of a research or term paper, summaries of journal articles, and/or a series of shorter, analytical papers.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

The typical materials for a social science course (textbooks, library materials, movies, sound/slide programs, media based course materials) will be used.  Materials will be assigned according to the specific topic requirements.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Exams (objective, short answer, essay), analyses of books, research papers, group work, and student presentations are likely strategies to be used in evaluating student learning.

XI.   Other Course Information


Class policy on make-up exams, late assignments, etc.

Important dates

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.