High School Social Studies Courses
The Social Studies Department at Saint Thomas Academy designs its courses to provide a challenging learning environment that promotes academic excellence and recognizes the unique abilities of each student.
GEOGRAPHY AND CIVICS - Grade level: 9 Weight 1.0
This course will serve as an introduction to the student's high school social studies experience. The class will focus on Geography and Civics, but will also explore elements of other disciplines within social studies. Geography skills and terminology, political awareness and the application of democratic principles, discussion of socio-economic and diversity issues, investigation of the past and its impact on the present, critical thinking and self-reflection will all have a place in the course.
WORLD HISTORY - Grade Level: 10 Weight: 1.0
World History is a yearlong survey of the record of the human experience from the development of early civilizations to the major crises and accomplishments of the Twentieth Century. World geography and current events are included in the curriculum of this class. All sophomores write a research paper on the World History topic of their choice. This is done in conjunction with their English class as part of the History Day competition.
WORLD HISTORY AP- Grade Level: 10 Weight: 1.2
Prerequisite: Standardized test results and GPA.
AP World History is a rigorous college-level course that requires students to achieve mastery of the broad historical developments that punctuate and drive the march of history from the dawn of civilization to the present. In order to achieve such mastery, students must be prepared to read and write extensively about world history, and acquire and internalize knowledge of a lengthy list of historical concepts, events, and dates, not to mention gaining familiarity with some of the individual men and women who played significant roles in shaping global history during the last ten thousand years. Most students devote around ten hours per week to AP World History. All AP students are expected to take the AP exam. Weight changes to 1.1 if student does not take the AP exam.
U.S. HISTORY - Grade Level: 11 Weight: 1.0
History is a yearlong survey course beginning with the Revolutionary period and ending with the Vietnam War era. The student will explore the forces and individuals that played key roles in the development of the U.S. and examine the causes of the main events in American history. All juniors participate in the History Day competition using a U.S. History topic of their choice.
AMERICAN STUDIES: HISTORY - Grade Level: 11 Weight: 1.0
Prerequisite: Ability and desire to work independently and with a group to succeed in an interdisciplinary class. Satisfies: US History 11.
Students must also register for American Studies: English.
American Studies: History is designed to be a research and project-centered course that studies the history of the United States in a more thematic, less chronological style. Working with the English and Art teachers, each quarter will focus on a different theme in American history: Liberty, Mobility, Prosperity & Security. Emphasis will be given to the period after 1850, and local events will be used where appropriate. Student will have a major project related to each theme, and all 11th grade students will be required to participate in the National History Day competition.
UNITED STATES HISTORY AP - Grade Level: 11 Weight: 1.2
Prerequisite: 3.4 cumulative GPA and sophomore instructor approval.
This course is a college-level survey of U.S. History. Students will combine secondary texts and primary sources to analyze the cause and effect relationships between people, events, and circumstances from the era of colonization to the present. All 11th grade students participate in the History Day competition using a U.S. History topic of their choice relating to the national contest theme. AP U.S. History will require approximately 5-6 hours per week of reading and homework, with somewhat more required when preparing for major tests and projects.
All AP students are expected to take the AP exam. Weight changes to 1.1 if student does not take the AP exam.
ECONOMICS & GOVERNMENT - Grade Level: 12 Weight: 1.0 One semester of this course is devoted to the fundamentals of microeconomics and macroeconomics. The other semester introduces students to American government, law, politics, and civics.
ECONOMICS AP (MICRO & MACRO) - Grade Level: 12 Weight: 1.2
Prerequisite: 3.25 cumulative GPA and/or instructor approval.
Students must register for both Micro and Macro Economics. Students must be responsible for knowing the lecture material and be able to work on the material about 2 hours outside of class time per week. All AP students are expected to take the AP exam. Weight changes to 1.1 if student does not take the AP exam.
Advanced Placement Microeconomics - Semester 1
This course is a college-level introduction to microeconomics. Topics include supply and demand, production and market structure, and factor markets.
Advanced Placement Macroeconomics – Semester 2
This course is a college-level introduction to macroeconomics. Topics include inflation, unemployment, taxation, and money supply.
GOVERNMENT AP (AMERICAN/COMPARATIVE) - Grade Level: 12 Weight: 1.2
Prerequisite: 3.25 cumulative GPA and instructor approval.
This course provides a college-level introduction to political theory and political science. Topics include branches of government, interest groups, elections, parties, and bureaucracy. Special projects focus on lawmaking, major court cases, and political action. One semester is devoted to American government and the other semester to comparative (international) government. AP Government will require approximately 3 hours per week of reading and homework, with somewhat more required when preparing for major tests and projects. All AP students are expected to take the AP exam. Weight changes to 1.1 if student does not take the AP exam.
Social Studies Electives
BOXING, RACE, AND THE UNITED STATES - Grade Level: 11-12 Weight 1.0
This course will use sport, particularly the history of boxing, to delve into issues of race and diversity in the 20th century. Part boxing and part history, students will grow in the area of cultural competency.
CRIME AND JUSTICE - Grade Level: 12 Weight 1.0
Prerequisite: Instructor approval.
This course is designed for seniors who are considering majoring in sociology, behavioral science, social work, political science, or law enforcement. Students discuss crime and justice from a Catholic perspective. Topics include: Catholic Social Doctrine, drug and alcohol abuse, racial profiling, prison reform, prison ministry, the history of crime and punishment in the modern age, mercy and forgiveness, victim’s rights, crime scene investigation, interrogation techniques and crime trends and statistics. The class meets two class periods per week. The course utilizes community experts on various topics and includes several field experiences.
PERSONAL FINANCE AND STOCK MARKET INVESTING - Grade Level: 11-12 Weight 1.0
Students will learn the basics of personal finance and investing and manage a real stock market portfolio. Students will use Microsoft Excel to complete these tasks and will use additional programs to layout their information and findings. Professional experts on this topic will present to the class. As a capstone, students will prepare for and participate in the state competition sponsored by the MCEE, the Finance Decathalon.
PSYCHOLOGY - Grade Level: 11-12 Weight 1.0
This course is an in-depth study of the processes involved in the operation of the human mind and emotions. The areas of study include the development of cognitive processes, theories of personalities and human development, sensation and perception, emotions and motivation, and psychological disorders.