The Social Studies curriculum is designed to give students a critical perspective of history, politics and government. In addition, the courses are intended to acquaint the students with the reality of the world in which they live. Students must appreciate current events and ideas occurring throughout the world, as well as within their own country and locality, and understand that these events and ideas have a direct effect upon their lives. They must also recognize that the events, concepts and ideas of the past in both their own culture and the cultures of the world, have shaped society as it is today on both a national and global level. As she becomes aware of the multicultural dimensions of her society, the student develops an awareness of the diversity and universality of the human person and then learns to celebrate that diversity. Finally, lessons taught in all courses promote Catholic social teaching and reflect a just structure of sharing in the world community. The goals of the department encourage all students to develop the following cognitive skills:
- Analyze and appreciate the human struggle involved in the creation of the great documents of history
- Understand and respect religious, ethnic & cultural diversity
- Develop an awareness of the need to protect human rights
- Perceive the progress of society as involving struggles, including wars, natural disasters, epidemic plagues, economic crisis & ethnic strife
- Identify, evaluate, and appreciate the unique values which underlie the culture of the United States
In this course students examine major turning points in the shaping of the modern world from the eighteenth century to the present. The focus of this study is on the expansion of the West, the study of nationalism in the contemporary world, and the growing interdependence of people and cultures throughout the earth. Each unit examines the relationships between historical, geographic, political, technical, economic, social, and cultural developments of the time and their impact on the present. UC Approved
Prerequisite: B in Honors English I or A in English I and HSPT scores. A passing score on the placement essay is required for all non-honors students.
This course provides a comprehensive analysis of the historical ideas, people, and forces that have served as turning points shaping the modern world. The course broadens student understanding of the foundation and development of democratic ideas and provides an understanding the historical roots of current world issues and events. Through writing, critique, and primary and secondary source evaluation, students consider multiple accounts of events and corroborate information to create complex and comprehensive accounts of historical events and how they relate to the present. UC Approved
This course provides a one-year survey of American History from the Colonial Period and the American Revolution to the 21st Century. Students learn about the several political, social, religious, and economic developments that have shaped and continue to shape the United States. Emphasis is placed on developing higher-order inquiries of comparison, contextualization, causation, and change over time. UC Approved
Prerequisite: B in Honors World History or A in World History (B in Honors English II or A in English II). A passing score on the placement essay is required for all non-honors students.
Honors United States History is an in-depth study of American History and the critical events that have shaped our country. Students will develop a greater understanding of the history and development of our country leading to the United States becoming a dominant world power in the 20th and 21st Centuries. Students will study the ethnic diversity, citizenship, civil rights, women’s rights, the role of the federal government in daily life, and the U.S. as a major world power. The goal is a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of the values of the Framers and how their influence is shown in contemporary society. Students will analyze the role of the Constitution, its original intent and its current interpretations of the freedoms, rights, and responsibilities it guarantees. This course provides a writing-intensive preparation for college-level coursework. UC Approved
Prerequisite: B in Honors World History, A in Honors English II, A in AP European History, and concurrent placement in AP English Language & Composition or Honors English III. A passing score on the placement essay is required for all non-honors students.
This is a college-level course in American History that allows students to investigate significant events, individuals, developments, and processes across nine historical periods from approximately 1491 to the present. Students develop and use the same skills and methods employed by historians: analyzing primary and secondary sources; developing historical arguments; making historical connections; and utilizing reasoning about comparison, causation, and continuity and change—skills important to successful college study. The course prepares students to take the AP U.S. History exam administered in the Spring Semester. The College Board charges a fee for this exam. UC Approved
This one-semester college-preparatory course is required of all seniors. The course is designed to develop an insight, awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the governing process unique to the United States of America. The course integrates theory with practical experience. Instruction includes study trips, guest speakers, films, and work experience with campaign organizations and political parties. The Constitution, with a special emphasis on the Bill of Rights, will be studied with an in-depth examination of the three branches of American government. UC Approved
This one-semester course is required of all seniors. The course is designed to familiarize students with basic economic concepts. Students explore the basic concepts of macroeconomics, microeconomics, and international economic principles and explore topics such as the stock market, personal finance, credit, and business ethics through films, projects, and guest speakers. The course provides students with information and analytical tools useful in developing a personal and responsible regard for the global economy. UC Approved
Prerequisite: B or higher in AP US History or Honors US History or A- or better in US History. A passing score on the placement essay is required for all non-AP or Honors students.
This course is designed to provide students with a critical perspective on politics and government in the United States. This course is an in-depth study of general concepts used to interpret American politics combined with the analysis of specific case studies. It requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that make up the American political reality. Students are required to take the AP American Government exam in May. The College Board charges a fee for this exam. UC Approved
Prerequisites: A in Honors English I, and concurrent enrollment in Honors English II. A passing score on the placement essay is required for all non-honors students.
The study of European history since 1450 introduces students to cultural, economic, political, and social developments that played a fundamental role in shaping the world in which they live. This course provides the context for understanding the development of contemporary institutions, the role of continuity and change in present-day society and politics, and the evolution of current forms of artistic expression and intellectual discourse. In addition to providing a basic narrative of events and movements, the goals of AP European History are to develop (a) an understanding of some of the principal themes in modern European history, (b) an ability to analyze historical evidence and historical interpretation, and (c) an ability to express historical understanding in writing. The College Board charges a fee for this exam. UC Approved
This course focuses on the study of human behavior. As an introduction to the field of psychology, this course includes consideration of psychological principles, terminology, major theories, careers, methods of experimentation, and practical applications. Topics include personality development, problem-solving, group dynamics, and motivation. Students will also study individual behavior and why an individual think, feels, and reacts to certain stimuli. Major emphasis will be placed on research methods, stages in childhood and adolescence, how the brain works, altered states of consciousness, psychological testing, and psychological disorders. This course is taken in conjunction with Sociology. UC Approved
Prerequisites: B or better in most recent science class, B or better in most recent English class.
This year-long advanced placement course studies the general field of psychology focusing on the reliability of research, an understanding of the principles of psychology, and their application to real-life situations. Students are required to take the AP Psychology exam in May. The College Board charges a fee for this exam. UC Approved
This course uses food as a lens to explore the social, cultural, economic, and political history of the United States. The class examines the history of agriculture, food production, eating, and taste from the Colonial period to the age of the food blogger. Key to this is discourse regarding the origins of food production, changes in agricultural techniques, the industrialization of food production, debates about nutrition, development of food safety laws, culinary fads, and poverty and hunger. The class investigates the contributions of the diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural groups within the United States and its growing food culture. It will highlight eating as an indispensable human activity and how the drive to obtain food operates as a catalyst for human existence. UC Approval Pending.
This course is designed to familiarize students with various cultures and the problems resulting from people living in groups. Topics covered include the nature of societal culture, subcultures, social institutions, collective behavior, social change, social deviation, the family, religion, racial and ethnic minorities, poverty, and crime. It will also explore the pressing problems of our society, their causes, and possible solutions. This course is taken in conjunction with Psychology. UC Approved
This course moves through the chronology of American history to examine the broad themes that have shaped the lives of women in the United States from the Pre-Colonial Era to the Present. Students investigate the major events of American history from the perspective of women and discuss the changing notions of “proper” roles for women and the struggles for women to gain political and civil rights over time. UC Approved
This semester course is designed to provide students with both theoretical and practical knowledge about the legal system in the United States. It will introduce students to the ways in which legal professionals interpret, create, and modify legal rules in our common-law system. Emphasis will be placed on many aspects of law in the United States from U.S. Constitution to contemporary interpretations of legal matters. Areas of focus will include those fields considered foundational to the study of law: Criminal Law & Procedure, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Property, Contracts, Tort Law, Trial Advocacy & Procedure, Rules of Evidence, and Legal Research & Reasoning. Students will also examine the distinctions between law as it popularly perceived and the actual practice of law. UC Approved
This course is designed to introduce students to the study of crime and the criminal justice system. Students will examine the history of criminal justice system and the theories of crime in order to gain a better understanding of the current status of crime in the United States. This course investigates all aspects of crime, including causes, types, offenders, victims, and trends through both the study of criminology theories and the examination of case studies. Students will also evaluate how criminology can be used to analyze contemporary issues with the criminal justice system and develop policies for social change.
Prerequisite: B or higher in Honors English or A in English.
AP Art History is an intense study of global art, its forms, and interpretations that attempts to place artistic works in historical and cultural contexts. Students investigate a cannon of 250 works of art that span diverse artistic traditions from prehistory to the present, developing a holistic understanding of the history of art from a global perspective. Particular emphasis is placed on preparing students for the rigors of the AP Art History exam administered in the Spring Semester. This includes the application of visual, contextual, and comparative analysis through written responses to in-depth questions. The College Board charges a fee for this exam. UC Approved