Social Sciences

The Social Sciences Department provides students with the opportunity to study the factors that motivate human actions through inquiry into culture, government, economics, geography, and human interaction.

Through investigation of these topics within a Christian worldview, students learn to think critically and communicate clearly about important topics in our ever changing world.


Standard Honors
9th Grade Modern World History Modern World History Honors
10th Grade United States History AP United States History
11th Grade

Elective: History of World War II
American Government
Economics

AP United States History
AP United States Government and Politics
AP European History
12th Grade

Elective: History of World War II 
American Government
Economics

AP United States History

AP United States Government and Politics

AP European History

AP Economics

Course Descriptions

Modern World History

This course is a comprehensive survey of modern world history from the time of the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment through the fall of communism and modern world affairs. Through the use of discussion, lecture, text, primary sources, hands-on projects, and additional outside reading, this course will attempt to identify, clarify, and explore history’s lessons and problems in order to gain a deeper understanding of how our shared past continues to influence our present and future. Special emphasis will be placed on the relationship between economics, social and intellectual evolution, political revolutions (English, American, French, Russian), the rise of nationalism, international conflict, and geopolitical relationships.

Prerequisite: Honors requires teacher referral.
Full-Year Course
Standard and Honors Courses Available

United States History

This course is a survey study of American history from 1607 to the present. In addition to learning the primary historical facts and understanding the major movements in the development of the United States, students will be expected to comprehend the concepts which have distinguished this nation from its founding to the present. The goal of this course is for students to gain a thorough understanding of the events, issues, ideas, and people that have shaped our nation, while learning critical reading and writing skills.

Full-Year Course

Advanced Placement United States History

This college-level course requires students to develop the analytical skills and factual knowledge necessary to critically deal with United States history. This course will enable students to deal with the demands of college-level work, and learn the self-pacing and independent study habits necessary to successfully compete at the collegiate level. Students will learn to assess historical materials and interpret the importance of these materials as they pertain to historical reasoning. Students will be required to analyze and interpret primary sources, including documentary materials, maps, and graphic evidence of historical events. Students will be tested on their grasp of historical knowledge through multiple-choice tests similar to the Advanced Placement exam. This course will emphasize written essays and analytical research papers to teach students to express themselves clearly and precisely and to cite sources and credit the writing and ideas of others.

Prerequisite: Students must complete an application and be approved by a committee of teachers and the department chair.
Full-Year Course
Available to Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors

Elective: History of World War II

This course provides students with an intense and in-depth study of the Second World War, including, but not limited to: its causes; the social, political, economic and cultural effects of the war; the effect of the war on Europe, Asia, and the United States; the major campaigns of both the European and Pacific theaters of war; limited military strategy; the importance and emergence of air power; the introduction of atomic weapons, and a perspective of the war from soldiers themselves. This course is designed for upperclassmen (juniors/seniors) who can understand, appreciate, and discuss the serious and intricate elements of war, as well as handle some graphic and sensitive readings and videos that depict both the reality and nature of war itself. In addition to articles supplied to students by the teacher, students will be asked to read two books: Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides and Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose.

Semester Course
Available to Juniors and Seniors

American Government

This course is a comprehensive survey of the American political system. Through lecture, discussion, supplemental texts, and primary sources, this course seeks to help students understand current world affairs through the application of concepts studied in class. Students will explore the basic principles of government and democracy, and the origin of the United States Constitution. This course also examines the duties and functions of the United States government, using the Constitution as a framework. Students will learn how government policies are made, implemented, and interpreted. Analysis of these processes will include discussion of party politics and political ideologies, the role of interest groups, and the influence of the media.

Semester Course
Available to Juniors and Seniors

Economics

This course is a survey of basic micro- and macro-economic concepts and their application in our everyday life. Through the use of discussion, lecture, text, primary sources, and additional outside reading, this class will help students understand basic micro- and macro-economic concepts, the development of the science of economics, and the utilization of economics in everyday life. As part of the regular curriculum, simulations and in-class group activities will be completed to offer students an opportunity to apply the principles discussed. Upon course completion, students will be familiar with supply, demand, and price, and their application in economic systems. Basic skills required for success in this course include critical thinking and high-level reasoning. Source readings on financial stewardship will be incorporated, and the class may participate in a state-wide stock market competition.

Semester Course
Available to Juniors and Seniors

Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics

The AP U.S. Government and Politics course involves the study of democratic ideas, balance of powers, and tension between the practical and ideal in national policy making. Students analyze and discuss the importance of various constitutional principles, rights and procedures, institutions, and political processes that impact us as citizens.

Prerequisite: Previously demonstrated success in an AP Social Science class or acceptance through an application process that requires the approval of a committee of teachers and the department chair.
Full-Year Course
Available to Juniors and Seniors

Advanced Placement European History

This college-level course requires students to develop the analytical skills and factual knowledge necessary to critically deal with modern European history. This course will cover the time period from 1450 to the present, with an emphasis on the political, cultural, and philosophical trends of each era throughout this time frame. Students will learn to assess historical materials as they pertain to historic reasoning. Students will relate events within a specific time period, and learn how those events affect consequent historical situations. This course reveals the continuing evolution of history and thought as it pertains not only to Europe but to Europe’s effect on the rest of the world. Students will be tested on their grasp of historical knowledge through multiple-choice tests similar to the Advanced Placement exam and will be assigned essays and original source document papers to test their ability to interpret historical data.

Prerequisite: Students must have completed and demonstrated success in a previous AP Social Science class and be approved by a committee of teachers and the department chair through an application process.
Full-Year Course

 

Advanced Placement Economics

The purpose of the AP course in both micro- and macroeconomics is to give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics from each perspective that apply to the functions of individual decision makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system as well as aggregate economic behavior. First semester, the primary emphasis will be on micro-principles such as the nature and functions of product markets, the study of factor markets and the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy. Second semester will focus on macro-principles.Students will learn how the measures of economic performance, such as gross domestic product (GDP), inflation, and unemployment are constructed and how to apply them in order to evaluate the macroeconomic conditions of an economy. The course recognizes the global nature of economics and will provide ample opportunities to examine the impact of international trade and finance on national economies as well as the effects of fiscal and monetary policy. Various economic schools of thought will be introduced as students consider solutions to economic problems such as inflation, unemployment, market failures, and income inequality. Students will be required to take the AP Macroeconomics exam in the spring. They will also have the option to take the AP Microeconomics exam offered on another date in the spring.

Prerequisite: Students must have completed and demonstrated success in a previous AP Social Science class and be approved by a committee of teachers and the department chair through an application process.


Department Guidelines for AP Course Placement

AP United States History


  • Completion of an application and two essays
  • 86% average in Honors World History
  • 93% average in Standard World History
  • 90% average in Standard United States History
  • Latest Social Sciences teacher recommendation
  • Social Sciences department chair recommendation

AP United States Government and Politics


  • Completion of an application and two essays
  • 82% average in AP United States History or AP European History
  • 90% average in United States History
  • Latest Social Sciences teacher recommendation
  • Social Sciences department chair recommendation

AP European History


  • Completion of an application
  • 82% average in AP United States History or AP United States Government and Politics
  • Latest Social Sciences teacher recommendation
  • Social Sciences department chair recommendation

AP Economics

  • Completion of an application
  • 82% average in AP United States History or AP United States Government and Politics
  • Latest Social Sciences teacher recommendation
  • Social Sciences department chair recommendation