The Client Problem Solving Competition CPSC2020

Hosted at the Association of Applied and Clinical Sociology Annual Conference

What is the Client Problem Solving Competition?

The Client Problem Solving Competition (CPSC) is an annual student team competition held at the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology (AACS) conference every year. The CPSC event provides students with a meaningful use of applied skills they learned in sociology, experience in teamwork and time management, and serves as a valuable networking opportunity for the next generation of practicing social scientists.

A representative of a local agency (chosen by AACS) will present a problem to AACS and participating teams of students from schools across the country. Teams present their solutions to AACS, the agency representative, and conference attendees in the audience on the last day of the conference. Each team has 15 minutes to present their solutions with some time for questions and answers.

How is the work evaluated?

The client, or agency, chooses the team with the best solution based on the presentation of academic context but most importantly, on the application of social sciences to the agency’s needs in order to win the CPSC 2020 award.

The client will answer students’ questions on the first day of the conference so it is important for teams to be present for this. Students attend sessions at the conference and ask sociologists and practitioners in attendance questions in order to solve the problem using the applied sociological insights they gather. There is no need for practice or planning prior to the competition as we want to encourage this process of applied learning and networking. In the spirit of “applied sociology,” the client determines the winning team rather than a customary team of academic professors, which makes it crucial for students to explain using sociological concepts in an understandable manner for the client to follow.

What do the winning teams receive?

A plaque naming the winning teams will be sent to the school winning the CPSC award. Students in the winning teams will be able to see their academic insight applied “in action,” and they will also receive FREE AACS membership for four years or until they graduate, whichever comes first.

What’s different about the virtual Client Competition in 2020?

This year’s competition will be virtual, but we will keep many things the same as competitions of the past. In an effort of familiarity, we will be changing to zoom meetings with virtually the same rules and procedures.

What will the competition be like in a Zoom meeting?

The first night of the competition, our client will present the problem for the students to solve, so it is extremely important to attend. The problem will be presented on Monday October 5, 2020. Students will gather information on possible solutions to the problems in preparation to present their solutions on Wednesday October 7, 2020.

Will the problem be released before the conference?

No. In an effort to keep things fair, the problem will be disclosed via Zoom on the first night of the competition.

More information about the 2020 Virtual Conference is coming soon!

Recent Participating Schools:

  • Oklahoma State University
  • Radford University
  • Winston-Salem  State 
  • University Elizabethtown 
  • College Washington College
  • University of Tampa