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Social Studies

Three years of Social Studies are required for graduation. World History, US History, and American Government/Economics are required for graduation

Social Studies courses may be taken either in freshman or sophomore years. Social Studies is required in both junior and senior years.

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SOCIAL STUDIES COURSE CATALOG

American Government - Grade 12

Students in grade twelve pursue a deeper understanding of the institutions of American government. They compare systems of government in the world today and analyze the history and changing interpretations of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the current state of the legislative, executive, and judiciary branches of government. An emphasis is placed on analyzing the relationship among federal, state, and local governments, with particular attention paid to important historical documents such as the Federalist Papers. These standards represent the culmination of civic literacy as students prepare to vote, participate in community activities, and assume the responsibilities of citizenship.

  • Semester
  • 5 Credits
  • UC Approved

Ancient World History - Grade 9

This is a freshman-level World History class that studies the development of civilization through the mid-19th century. It correlates the study of ancient cultures such as Rome, Greece, Egypt, the Middle East, and the Far East with current problems being experienced in the world. An in-depth analysis of religion, geography, art, and political institutions provides students with insights, respect and ultimately an enhanced appreciation for different cultures and their attributes. In-depth critical thinking skills are focused upon and developed through the extensive use of primary resources, supplementary materials, slides, and power points. As a result, students develop a basic understanding of culture, institutions, and the nature of humankind in the context of world history.

  • Year
  • 10 Credits
  • UC Approved

AP American Government - Grade 12

Prerequisite: A grade of A in both semesters of previous social studies course or a B in previous honors or AP social studies course. Students must have earned an A in both semesters of previous English course or a B in previous AP English. Students must complete a required summer assignment with an acceptable passing grade.


Teacher approval required. All AP students who complete these classes are required to take college grade examinations prepared by the College Entrance Examination Board. This course also requires a summer assignment to be completed by the first day of school.

AP American Government and Politics is a year-long, college-level survey course designed for the academically accelerated senior. Upon completion of this class, students will have a firm grasp on the theory, organization, politics, function, and problems of US government. The bulk of instruction in this class is lecture based, though students are expected to engage in regular classroom discussion. This course includes substantial reading and writing components. In the writing assignments, emphasis is placed on the student’s critical thinking skills. Ultimately, students will be prepared to take the AP College Board exam at the end of the year in May. Course will include a fundamental economic component in order to satisfy graduation requirements. There is a fee of $100 for AP exam.

  • Year
  • 10 Credits
  • UC Approved

AP European History - Grade 10

Prerequisite: A grade of A in social studies course if taken freshman year. Students must have earned an A in both semesters of previous English course or a B in previous English Honors course. Students must possess an overall GPA of 3.5 or above. Students must pass an AP pre-test and complete a required summer assignment with an acceptable passing grade. All AP students who complete these classes are required to take college grade examinations prepared by the College Entrance Examination Board. This course also requires a summer assignment to be completed by the first day of school.


This college-level course in European History prepares the students to take the AP European exam in May. The chronological scope of the course ranges from the Renaissance to the recent past and covers political, cultural, economic and social themes in the history of modern Europe. Students will do research, write papers, and evaluate key historical figures and literature. This class emphasizes both critical thinking and analysis and requires substantially more individual planning and effort with daily assessments. Students are expected to maintain a B average to remain in the class. There is a fee of $100 for AP exam.

  • Year
  • 10 Credits
  • UC Approved

AP Macroeconomics - Grade 12

Prerequisite: A grade of A in both semesters of previous social studies course or a B in previous honors or AP social studies course. Students must have earned an A in both semesters of Algebra II. Teacher approval required. All AP students who complete these classes are required to take college grade examinations prepared by the College Entrance Examination Board.


This course will study the theory and operation of the economy as a whole, with special emphasis placed on government attempts to achieve domestic and international economic goals through the use of monetary and fiscal policies. Emphasis is placed on the broad overall performance (macro-analysis) of the economy with concentration in such areas as aggregate supply and demand, business cycle fluctuations, money and banking, income, employment, inflation, output, economic stability and growth, fiscal and monetary policy, and international trade and finance. Students will take an abbreviated U.S. Government component in order to satisfy graduation requirements. There is a fee of $100 for AP exam.

  • Year
  • 10 Credits
  • UC Approved

AP US History - Grade 11

Prerequisite: A grade of A in both semesters of previous social studies course or a B in previous honors or AP social studies course. Students must have earned an A in both semesters of previous English course or a B in previous English Honors. Students must pass an AP pre-test. Teacher approval required. All AP students who complete these classes are required to take college grade examinations prepared by the College Entrance Examination Board. This course also requires a summer assignment to be completed by the first day of school.


This is a survey course of American history with an emphasis on the political, social, diplomatic, economic, and intellectual history of the United States. It will ultimately prepare the student for successful passing of the AP US History exam. It is offered as a course that is taught an advanced level, challenging the students to think critically about the important figures, periods, and events of American history as well as their underlying forces. Extensive reading and writing are major components of the course. There is a fee of $100 for AP exam.

  • Year
  • 10 Credits
  • UC Approved

Economics - Grade 12

Economics will provide students with a practical and comprehensive framework of the nation's economy and how it works. Students will explore the fundamental economic concepts of scarcity, opportunity cost and trade-offs, productivity and economic systems. The student will also be exposed to microeconomic, macroeconomic, and international economic concepts.

  • Semester
  • 5 Credits
  • UC Approved

Military History - Grades 11, 12

Military History is a course designed to provide the student with a comprehensive survey of the history, principles, effects, practices, and the profession of armed conflict. Students will use skills in cooperative learning, project development, and excellent standards of technical reading, writing, research, decision-making and public speaking as they study the processes and principles of warfare in the context of the complexities of modern day foreign policy. Students will develop an awareness of the awful realities of war through eyewitness accounts, oral histories, film video, pictures and literature. They will also apply knowledge and skills in tactics and strategy in the context of historical situations, and through the use of computer simulations, to learn the lessons of military history in relationship to today's unpredictable global environment.

  • Semester
  • 5 Credits
  • UC Approval Pending

Psychology - Grades, 10, 11, 12

This semester course will provide the student with an introduction to the concepts, theories and research findings of modern psychology. This survey course will also address the biological bases of behavior, sensory and perceptual processing, learning and memory, human growth and development, social behavior and normal and abnormal behavior.

  • Semester
  • 5 Credits
  • UC Approved

US History - Grade 11

US History is a required course. This survey American history class begins with a review of the colonial period, Civil War, Reconstruction to the present. The course will explore the interactions of people, ideas, innovations, and institutions in the development of American history. Particular emphasis will be place on the forces that brought about the Civil War and the political, economic and social development during and after Reconstruction. The course will examine domestic and foreign conflicts that shaped the lives of Americans today. Students will analyze how the United States has influenced international affairs, especially since the end of World War I and II. Students will have daily reading assignments and should expect to write numerous essays throughout the course.

  • Year
  • 10 Credits
  • UC Approved

World History - Grade 9, 10

World History is a year-long recommended course that begins with the development of democratic ideas, continues to the French Revolution, and ends with the fall of Communism in the former Soviet Union. Students will focus on the influences of the Greeks, Romans, and the monotheistic religions, Renaissance, Reformation and Enlightenment in the development of democratic ideas. They will trace the development of the nation state, formation of political and economic systems, technological innovations, and cultures around the world. Students will investigate the forces that have shaped world history, including the role of ideas versus ideologies. In-depth critical thinking skills will focus on and develop through the extensive use of primary resources, supplementary materials, slides, and power points. As a result, students develop a basic understanding of culture, institutions, and the nature of humankind in the context of world history.

  • Year
  • 10 Credits
  • UC Approved

World History Honors/MUN - Grades 9, 10

Prerequisite: A grade of B or better in both semesters of previous English course. Must be concurrently enrolled in either English 1, English 1 H, English 2, or English 2 H.


The course of study in this class is the same as regular World History, but it is more in depth and presented at a faster pace. The writings of historians are studied; outside and primary sources are beyond the text. Students in this class will also be required to participate in the MUN program on campus and attend offsite MUN conferences as representatives of Jserra Catholic High School. Students will be required to do extensive writing and research as preparation for MUN conferences. Students in this course will be required, as part of their grade, to attend several MUN conferences throughout the school year.

  • Year
  • 10 Credits
  • UC Approved
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