Social Studies

The study of history and the social sciences involves far more than the recall of dates and names. It is our goal to challenge students to apply the lessons of the past to the issues of the modern world, especially in light of the values of our faith. From World History to Psychology, all of our classes utilize learning activities that build toward a student’s ability to think critically, communicate, both verbally and in writing, effectively and to engage in thoughtful discourse and debate.

World History-Foundations (S1) (S2)

One Semester, one credit.

First semester is required of all sophomores who did not enroll as a freshman. Second semester is open to freshmen meeting the enrollment requirements*

World History is a year-long required survey course that explores key events and global historical developments since 1450 AD that have shaped the world we live in today.

The first semester of World History places a special emphasis on the development of Modern Europe. Our study begins during the Renaissance and Reformation and ends with Nationalism and the Age of Imperialism. Students will uncover patterns of behavior, identify historical trends and themes, and explore historical movements and concepts. Students will conduct critical analysis, build and refine their ability to read for comprehension, compare, categorize, summarize, and evaluate information. The curriculum and study skills lay the foundation for the continued exploration of various themes in world history.

*Freshmen enrolling in World History should have a strong work ethic, established foundation in critical thinking skills, and above average reading level (e.g. a reading level in the top 20% on a nationally recognized reading test).

World History-Thematic (S1) (S2)

One Semester, one credit.

Sophomores who completed World History-Foundations as a freshman must enroll in S1 of this course.

World History-Foundations is the prerequisite to World History-Thematic. Concurrent enrollment in both courses is not an option.

Prerequisite: World History-Foundations.

The second semester is a thematic study of world history. Areas of study include Global War, International Communism, Independence and Nationalism in the Developing World, Global Terrorism, and the United Nations. Each student will apply the research, writing, and critical thinking skills developed during the first semester in his or her continued study and as they conduct a case study exploring a contemporary global issue or topic.

American Studies/Social Studies (S2)

One semester, two credits, open to juniors.

Prerequisite: Sophomore English and Social Studies with a grade of “B” or higher in both and first quarter junior year English and Social Studies classes.

Students must enroll in first semester United States History. Semester two students must enroll in American Studies English and American Studies Social Studies. This course fulfills the second semester United States History Social Studies requirement. 

This course blends US historical events and themes in American literature to provide students with a comprehensive social, political, economic, and literary history. Five time periods each reflecting different epochs will be team taught: Great Depression, World War 2, Civil Rights, Cold War Conflict, and Challenges of Modern American Society. Having both literary and historical figures illuminating the human experience, American Studies fosters a deeper understanding of the principles, problems, and issues basic to the establishment of our country. This understanding is essential for students to fully appreciate the complexities of history as it unfolds in modern times. Students enrolled in this course will meet two consecutive class periods.

United States History (YR)

Two semesters, two credits, required of all juniors.

This course is designed to give students an understanding of the problems of our evolving democracy and a realistic knowledge of our past through basic themes in United States history: states’ rights and nationalism, expansion and economic growth, Civil War, industrialization and trade, domestic issues, and wars. Within these themes, selected topics are dealt with: political parties, slavery, immigration, reform, the Depression, the New Deal, imperialism, alliances, the Cold War, Vietnam, Civil Rights, conservatism, and constitutional crisis. The content is presented in chronological order from the pre-Civil War era to the present. Ongoing skill development in reading comprehension, critical thinking, critical research, historic writing, and integrative technology compliment the content of this course.

United States Government and Politics (S1)

One semester, one credit, opem to seniors.

This course consists of a survey of political thought and experience in the United States. American government at local, state, and federal levels will be studied, with an emphasis placed upon the institutions of the federal government. Course topics include the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States of America, political process, political philosophy, civil rights, the role of government, current events, and the duties of a United States citizen.

Economics (S2)

One semester, one credit, open to seniors.

This survey course covers macro- and microeconomic theory, and it is designed to prepare students for an introlevel college economics course. Students will study the fundamental concepts of economics and the national economy and their links to the changing global economy. Course work will include the study of "consumerism," decision-making, various product markets, economic models and, the student’s role in the factors of production and consumption. An ongoing analysis and discussion of current economic policies and trends is also a significant aspect of this course.

Psychology (S2)

One semester, one credit, open to seniors.

This course is a survey of the science of human behavior. Topics include psychology as a science, the psychology of learning, and biological influence on behavior, personality development, and abnormal psychology. Students will discover the many applications that psychology has on their life.

AP Courses
Advanced Placement Human Geography (YR)

Two semesters, two credits

Enrollment in this year-long course fulfills the sophomore World History requirement. Students should self-motivated to complete the nightly homework and must be willing and able to read and write at a college level. A score in the top 20% in the English and Reading sections of a national standardized test taken in the past year is highly recommended. A summer assignment will be required.

Geographers examine the world by asking three main questions: where, why, and how does it impact us today? In this class, we will apply these questions to some of the most pressing issues of the day: population growth and decline, migration, political borders, terrorism, industrial location, and urbanization. Much of the class will focus on current events around the world and in the United States as we examine these topics in depth. This course is a college-level course designed for students who intend to take the college board exam in May for the potential of receiving college credit

Advanced Placement United States History (YR)

Two semesters, two credits, open to juniors.

Prerequisite:  Approval from the teacher of most recent social studies course recommended. Students should expect a summer assignment. 

This college-level course is designed for juniors who have strong academic abilities, time management and study skills, along with a keen interest in United States History. The course is presented in chronological order from the Colonial Period to the Present. Various topics and events will be examined with an emphasis being placed on in-depth analysis of cause and effect relationships. Students are expected to actively participate in debates, simulations, speeches, presentations, and other classroom activities. The course will also focus on the “Course Themes” and “Historical Thinking Skills” required by the College Board for the APUSH class. Special emphasis is placed on learning the writing skills needed for the different types of essays required for the AP exam.

Advanced Placement European History (YR)

Two semesters, two credits, open to seniors.

Prerequisite: United States History with a grade of “B+” or higher in both semesters OR AP United States History with a grade of “B-”or higher in both semesters. Approval from the teacher of most recent social studies course recommended.

Advanced Placement European History is designed to provide the student with a fundamental understanding of the development of Western Society and culture from 1450-present. The course focuses on the politics, social, economic, intellectual, and diplomatic history of Europe. Critical thinking and writing skills are emphasized as students analyze historical documents and utilize historical thinking skills.

This course is taught at a level commensurate of an introductory college course, and it is expected that the student comes prepared for that level of commitment. A significant amount of reading and writing are requirements for the course, and all course work is geared toward preparation for the AP exam in May. Students with acceptable scores on this exam may be awarded college credit for this course.

Advanced Placement Microeconomics (S2)

Two semesters, two credits, open to seniors.

Prerequisite: United States History with a grade of “B+” or higher in both semesters OR AP United States History with a grade of “B-” or higher in both semesters along with approval of teacher of most recent social studies course.

Advanced Placement Microeconomics is a course designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of the principles of economics as they apply to individual decision-making units, including individual households and firms. Students taking the course will spend time examining the theory of consumer behavior, the theory of the firm, and the behavior of profit-maximizing firms under various market structures. They will evaluate the efficiency of the outcomes with respect to price, output, consumer surplus, and producer surplus. Students will have an opportunity to examine the behaviors of households and businesses in factor markets, and learn how the determination of factor prices, wages, interest, and rent influence the distribution of income in a market economy. Students will also consider instances in which private markets may fail to allocate resources efficiently and examine various public policy alternatives aimed at improving the efficiency of private markets.

Advanced Placement United States-Government and Politics (S1)

One semester, one credit, open to seniors.

Prerequisite: United States History with a grade of “B+” or higher in both semesters OR AP United States History with a grade of “B-”or higher in both semesters along with approval of teacher of most recent social studies course.

The United States government is a complex organization of structure and theory. This course combines both general concepts and specific institutions to develop an understanding of the government and political environment of the United States and why it functions as it does. Six areas of emphasis are covered in the course: constitutional underpinnings, political beliefs and behaviors, political parties, special interest groups, and mass media: governmental institutions (including the three branches); public policy; and civil rights and civil liberties. This course will analyze both the theoretical and practical components of our political system and government structure through discussion, analysis, and fluency. Analysis of current news, reports, blogs, and debates will guide discussion of theory and practice.

Advanced Placement Comparative Government and Politics (S2)

One semester, one credit, open to seniors.

Prerequisite: United States History with a grade of “B+” or higher in both semesters OR AP United States History with a grade of “B-”or higher in both semesters along with approval of teacher of most recent social studies course.

Comparative politics is the study of other countries’ political and economic systems and why they function as they do. Since this course examines the current systems of various countries, a strong emphasis is placed on current events in the course. The study of comparative government enables students to have a deeper understanding of global politics and U.S. foreign policy. Students will explore the impact of democratization, globalization, and marketization on the development of government and politics. Six core countries are studied, as well as general concepts, such as political culture and political socialization, democracy, communism and post- communism, the political economy, and supranational organizations such as the EU, UN, IMF and World Bank.