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Social Studies

  • 3.5 credits of social studies are required for graduation. Seniors must take US Government and one other social studies elective to fulfill their senior social studies requirements.
  • Students must take economics as part of their social studies requirement.
  • Honors courses are not required and are taken in place of the standard course.


World History 
(10) (1 credit; sophomores may take AP European history or AP World History instead) 
This survey course utilizes a thematic approach to world his tory beginning with early civilizations and progressing towards the 21 st century. Each semester unit projects, research, and writing skills are applied.

Advanced Placement European History 
(10) (1 credit; fulfills world history requirement for sophomores) 
The Advanced Placement program in European history is designed to provide students with the factual knowledge and the analytical writing skills necessary to deal critically with the rise of Western Civilization through the study of people, places, events , trends, obstacles, and materials of European history from 1450 to the present. The course answers perhaps the most critical question which is why Western Civilization surpassed all others during this period. Students are expected to take the AP exam administered in May.

Advanced Placement World History
(10) (1 credit; fulfills sophomore social studies requirement)
In AP World History, all students will cover a curriculum beginning with Human Origins and ending with the Cold War. Course information will be separated into 6 units: Unit 1 Prehistory-600 B.C.E, Unit 2 600 B.C.E.-600 C.E., Unit 3 600-1450, Unit 4 1450-1750, Unit 5 1750-1900, and Unit 6 1900-Present. All students must also learn to view history thematically. The AP World History course is organized around 5 themes that serve as unifying threads throughout the course, helping students relate to what is particular about each time period or society to a "big picture" of history. The themes also provide a way to organize comparisons and analyze change continuously over a prolonged period of time. The 5 Specific themes are Social, Political, Interaction, Cultural, and Economic. The goal of the course is not only full comprehension of an event's significance at the time it occurred, but rather to show its connection to modern society. Finally, AP World History will examine our world geographically, frequently referencing a variety of major continents, countries, states, oceans, and rivers. All students taking the course are expected to take the AP World History exam in the spring.

United States/Arizona History 
(11) (1 credit) 
United States/Arizona History is a chronological, topical study of the history of our nation and state. It is designed to provide the student with analytical skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the history of both the state and the nation. This course is divided into two sections, one per semester: beginnings to Reconstruction (1877); and the industrialization of America to contemporary United States.

Advanced Placement United States History 
(11) (1 credit; fulfills the state requirement for US/AZ History) 
Prerequisite: AP European History, 80% in English or recommended by their World History teacher. 
The AP program in United States history is designed to provide students with the analytical skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and the materials in United States history. This class prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands upon them equivalent to those made by introductory college courses. Students are expected to take the AP exam administered in May.

(11,12) (.5 credit — required ) 
Economics is the social science dealing with the study of how people satisfy seemingly unlimited and competing wants with the careful use of scarce resources. Economics studies a variety of topics covering both macro and microeconomics. Money and banks, economics systems, international policy, and how economics affect your everyday life are closely examined throughout the semester. The class also has two projects for the semester.

Advanced Placement Macroeconomics
(12) (.5 credit; this course satisfies the economics requirement)
The purpose of the AP course in macroeconomics is to give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole. The course places particular emphasis on the study of national income and price-level determination, and develops students' familiarity with economic performance measures, the financial sector, stabilization policies, economic growth, and international economics. All students taking the course are expected to take the AP Macroeconomics exam in the spring.

United States/Arizona Government 
(12) (.5 credit — required unless taking the AP Government Politics: United States course) 
US/AZ Government is an introduction to political science for the high school senior. The student will investigate the workings of our federal, state, and local governments with an emphasis on the U.S. Constitution.

Social Studies Electives

  • These “elective” courses are meant to be taken opposite American government.

Advanced Placement Government & Politics: United States
(12) (1 credit; year – long. This course satisfies both the government and elective requirements for graduation.)
Prerequisites: At least a 75% average in AP US History and teacher approval. 
AP US Government and Politics is a two – semester college level course that examines American government, politics, and public policy. The course specifically targets student mastery of the College Board’s AP US Government and Politics Curricular Requirements and thoroughly prepares students for the AP exam in May. Additional emphasis is placed on in – depth analysis of major areas of public policy. Students are expected to commit to a substantial amount of reading and preparation. Topics include but are not limited to the historical and philosophical foundations of the United States Constitution, formal institutions of government, civil liberties and civil rights, political behavior, and various public policy areas ranging from economic policy to foreign and defense policy.

Advanced Placement Psychology 
(12) (1.0 credit) 
This is a full – year course that is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. Students are expected to take the AP exam administered in May.

Honors Philosophy 
(11,12) (.5 credit)
Seton Hill University (dual enrollment available for 3 college credits through Seton Hill University, PL100) 
Prerequisites: An A or B in both semesters of the previous year's Social Studies course and teacher approval.
An introductory survey of Western philosophy through the 20th century, the course examines ontological and epistemological claims made by philosophers from ancient, medieval, modern, and postmodern eras. Special emphasis is placed on the intersection of philosophy and theology and its impact on Western understandings of the Christian faith.

Principles of Leadership
(11,12) (.5 credit; this course is offered in the fall)
Students in Principles of Leadership will study leadership theory and skills expressed in communication and management styles of prominent figures. Students will work to hone their own skills at leading in their daily lives, understanding communication, as well as giving and receiving effective feedback. Finally, students will study what being a transformative leader. A central focus of the course is participation in a student-led service-learning project.

(12) (.5 credit) 
This is an overview of contemporary psychology, which introduces the students to the following areas: human development, sensation, perception, motivation, learning, emotion, psychological measurement, personality, different types of therapies and biological basis of behavioral and clinical psychology.