Social Studies


Social Studies Graduation Requirements:  3.0 Credits 

 

The Social Studies curriculum is designed to provide all students with a program that addresses individual interests and abilities. The present graduation requirement is the completion of three credits for graduation.  


It is recommended that college bound students take four credits of Social Studies course to be competitive in the college admissions process.  Four or more Social Studies credits are highly recommended for students that anticipate a career in the human services field (Law, Government, Education, Law Enforcement). Placement within Dual Enrollment, Advancement Placement (AP), and/or a specific course level is based, to a great extent, upon the recommendation of the previous year’s Social Studies teacher and the student’s academic performance.

 

SAMPLE SOCIAL STUDIES PATHS


Grade 9

Grades 10, 11, and 12

College Pathway

with opportunity 

for early college credit* 

US History 

Part II 

L1 or Honors


Select 2-3 credits:

AP US History*

AP World History*

AP/Macroeconomics*

AP Microeconomics*

AP Psychology*

AP US Government*

Anthropology, HACC*

World History,  1

World Geography & Global Issues, L1 

College & Career Pathway

US History, 

Part II, L1


Select 2-3 credits:

World History, Level 1

World Geography & Global Issues, L1 

American Citizenship & Government, L1 

Economics, Level 1 

Women’s Studies 

Comparative World Religions 

Psychology 

Sociology 

American Studies  – Junior Year only

Career Pathway

US History 

Part II, L2 

Select 2 credits:

World History, L2 

World Geography & Global Issues, L2 

American Citizenship & Government, L2 

Economics, L2 

Women’s Studies 

Comparative World Religions 

Psychology

Sociology


US HISTORY II - LEVEL 1
111051
1 Credit      1.01 Weight
NCAA

This course is designed to introduce students to the second half of the United States history. The content of this course includes information in the post-Civil War era (1865) to the present day.  Students will be introduced to the fundamental principles of historical research, interpretation and evaluation.  This course is recommended for those students planning to enter college or seek a more challenging social studies course.

US HISTORY II  - HONORS
111057
1 Credit      1.03 Weight

Prerequisite(s):  Teacher Recommendation and Assessment Data or Placement Test Required

This course is designed to introduce students to the second half of the United States history. The content of this course includes information in the post-Civil War era (1865) to the present day. Students will be introduced to the fundamental principles of historical research, interpretation and evaluation. This course is recommended for those students planning to enter college or seek a more challenging social studies course. The honor's distinction for this course indicates a greater emphasis on critical reading and writing skills as well as higher order analytical skills. The class is rooted in group discussion with a focus on interpretation and evaluation of historical documents using a wide variety of source material.  

US HISTORY II - LEVEL 2
111052
1 Credit      1.0 Weight
NCAA
This course is designed to introduce students to the second half of the United States history. The content of this course includes information in the post-Civil War era (1865) to the present day. Student will be introduced to the fundamental principles of historical research, interpretation and evaluation.

WORLD HISTORY - LEVEL 1
111416
1 Credit      1.01 Weight
NCAA
Students will examine the advent of the modern world through an exploration of global events beginning with the period around 1500 CE. The course will put a global context on Europe’s role in shaping world events leading up to and including the 19th and 20th centuries. Students will analyze the causes and effects of industrialization worldwide, including imperialism and global conflict. The course will conclude with the emergence of Asia and Africa in the post-colonial world. In addition to historical content, the course will enhance the student’s critical thinking skills through the analysis of primary source documents, the composition of position papers and the application of cause and effect assessment. This course is recommended for those students planning to enter college or seek a more challenging social studies course.  


111417
1 Credit      1.0 Weight
NCAA
Students will examine the advent of the modern world through an exploration of global events beginning with the period around 1500 CE. The course will put a global context on Europe’s role in shaping world events leading up to and including the 19th and 20th centuries. Students will analyze the causes and effects of industrialization worldwide, including imperialism and global conflict. The course will conclude with the emergence of Asia and Africa in the post-colonial world. In addition to historical content, the course will enhance the student’s critical thinking skills through the analysis of primary source documents, the composition of position papers and the application of cause and effect assessment.  



WORLD GEOGRAPHY AND GLOBAL ISSUES – LEVEL 1
111898
1 Credit      1.01 Weight
NCAA
Students will explore the physical and cultural geography of the many regions of the earth as well as the important events that made and keep each region unique. Students will develop a global perspective by analyzing the events and issues that affect the United States and other world nations. This course is recommended for those students planning to enter college or seek a more challenging social studies course.


111897
1 Credit      1.0 Weight
NCAA
Students will explore the physical and cultural geography of the many regions of the earth as well as the important events that made and keep each region unique. Students will develop a global perspective by analyzing the events and issues that affect the United States and other world nations.

111146
.5 Credit      1.01 Weight
NCAA
This semester-long course is intended to develop an understanding and appreciation of the American Government. This course will expose students to the important principles and documents of our government. Students will examine the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in our society; as well as, how our federal, state and local governments work. Students will develop the skills to be engaged and politically active citizens. This course satisfies 0.5 credits of the 3.0 Social Studies credits necessary for graduation. Students may select to take this course and Economics in place of a full-year Social Studies course. American Citizenship and Economics may be taken during different school years. Students may also take American Citizenship as an elective.  

111147
.5 Credit      1.0 Weight
NCAA
This semester-long course is intended to develop an understanding and appreciation of the American Government. This course will expose students to the important principles and documents of our government. Students will examine the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in our society; as well as, how our federal, state and local governments work. Students will develop the skills to be engaged and politically active citizens. This course satisfies 0.5 credits of the 3.0 Social Studies credits necessary for graduation. Students may select to take this course and Economics in place of a full-year Social Studies course. American Citizenship and Economics may be taken during different school years. Students may also take American Citizenship as an elective.



ECONOMICS - LEVEL I

111144
.5 Credit      1.01 Weight
NCAA
This semester-long course is designed to produce an economically literate citizen. Topics to be investigated include: the market system, supply and demand, types of businesses, the stock market, business cycles, government economic policies, and how to successfully enter the American workforce. Students will also complete a consumer economics unit designed to teach basic credit and money management skills. This course satisfies 0.5 credits of the 3.0 Social Studies credits necessary for graduation. Students may select to take this course and American Citizenship in place of a full-year Social Studies course. American Citizenship and Economics may be taken during different school years. Students may also take Economics as an elective.

ECONOMICS - LEVEL 2
111145
.5 Credit      1.0 Weight
NCAA

This semester-long course is designed to produce an economically literate citizen.  Topics to be investigated include:  the market system, supply and demand, types of businesses, the stock market, business cycles, government economic policies, and how to successfully enter the American workforce.  Students will also complete a consumer economics unit designed to teach basic credit and money management skills.  This course satisfies 0.5 credits of the 3.0 Social Studies credits necessary for graduation.  Students may select to take this course and American Citizenship in place of a full-year Social Studies course. American Citizenship and Economics may be taken during different school years. Students may also take Economics as an elective.  

PSYCHOLOGY
111312
.5 Credit      1.01 Weight
NCAA

This course is designed to help those students who want to understand human behavior. Topics include biological bases of behavior, learning and memory, states of consciousness, motivation, personality and abnormal disorders. Psychology is a recommended elective for those students going on to higher education.


111847
.5 Credit      1.01 Weight
NCAA

This course provides a basic understanding of how society affects people's lives. Sociology focuses on issues such as gender, race, social class, diversity, interdependence, and change. Where psychology attempts to explain behavior from the perspective of the individual within society, sociology focuses on how society molds the individual. Sociology is a recommended elective for those students going on to higher education.


WORLD RELIGIONS
111880
.5 Credits      1.0 Weight

The historical origins, central teachings, and devotional practices of the major religious traditions Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are considered in relation to common themes of human experience: the holy or sacred, evil and suffering, love and compassion, wisdom and justice, death and deliverance.  Interpretive skills appropriate to religious studies will be explored through opportunities to write and revise descriptive and critical essays.


WOMENS STUDIES
111885
.5 Credit      1.0 Weight
Prerequisite(s):  Satisfactory Completion of Grade 9 Social Studies and English Requirements

This half year course will focus on the experiences of those whose stories have been traditionally overlooked in the study of US History. Taking a humanities approach to social studies, the course is divided into themes revolving around women’s suffrage, sexism and especially women’s emerging sense of agency over time.   This course, explores the condition of diverse people through triumph, innovation, identity, and conflict. It will incorporate a blend of personalized learning, which will include projects, papers, multi-media production, and literature circles. Students will explore each of the course themes and demonstrate their learning through individual and collaborative assessments.  Students will participate in seminar discussions, engage in critical reading, purposeful writing, extemporaneous speaking, and formal individual and group presentations. By the end of the course, students will understand and be able to communicate the unique struggles and triumphs of those who voices have been silent, both past and present.

 

AMERICAN STUDIES - HONORS
111744
1 Credit     1.03 Weight
Prerequisite(s):  Satisfactory Completion of Social Studies courses

Students must enroll in English III–American Literature–Honors and Emerson School-Visual Arts 

This full-year course runs concurrently with English III–American Literature-Honors and Emerson School-Visual Arts and will focus on the American experience, from settlement by Europeans to the present day.  Taking a humanities approach to social studies, the course is divided into guiding themes revolving around philosophical, intellectual and aesthetic developments. This course, along with English III American Lit. Honors and Emerson School-Visual Arts, explores the American condition through triumph, innovation, identity, and conflict.  It is distinct from the traditional classroom in that it is project driven. Students will independently explore each of the course themes and justify their learning through formal presentations. Students will participate in in seminar discussions, engage in critical reading, purposeful writing, extemporaneous speaking, and formal individual/group presentations.  By the end of the course, students will understand and be able to communicate what it means to be an American, including the personal and collective struggles/triumphs of the American people throughout the centuries.  The course is offered to students from both high schools but is taught at Cedar Cliff.

 

ADVANCED COURSEWORK IN SOCIAL STUDIES
111130
1 Credit      1.06 Weight
CC
Prerequisite(s):  Satisfactory Completion of Social Studies courses and Teacher Recommendation.  Students must enroll at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) and pay tuition and required fees

This half-year course allows students to pursue college credit in the Social Sciences while still enrolled in high school.  This class is a blending of dual-enrollment and independent study.  Each student would select to either enroll in an online course offered through Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) or independently study one of the Advanced Placement courses not currently offered within WSSD.  This approach allows students to personalize their learning while engaging in subjects with which they have a deep interest.  Students would have a dedicated class period each day built into their schedules to work and meet with others who are pursuing similar paths.  The classroom teacher will monitor students’ progress, keep students engaged in their studies, and help guide them through the rigors of college level work.  The role of the classroom teacher will be more of a facilitator/mentor rather than a direct instructor.  A sample of potential HACC courses includes: Contemporary American History, America in Vietnam, American Civil War & Reconstruction, Introduction to Philosophy, Comparative Religion, and Introduction to American Government.  Students opting to take an online HACC course would be responsible for paying HACC tuition.  Advanced Placement courses include AP Comparative Government & Politics, AP European History, AP Human Geography, and AP US Government & Politics.  Students would be asked to take the AP exam for their designated area of study in May.  The course is offered to students from both high schools but is taught at Cedar Cliff.


ADVANCED PLACEMENT US GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
111150
.5 Credit      1.06 Weight
AP      
Prerequisite(s):  Satisfactory Completion of US History II and Teacher Recommendation 

This semester length course adheres to the College Board’s published AP US Government and Politics curriculum.  In brief, this class will cover (but not limited to) the following topics:  foundations of American democracy, interactions among the branches of government, civil liberties and civil rights, American political ideologies and beliefs, and political participation.  By the end of the course, students will be prepared to take the AP US Government and Politics exam.  


111431
1 Credit      1.06 Weight 
NCAA      AP
Prerequisite(s): Social studies teacher recommendation

This course enables students to take the Advanced Placement test. The course involves the intense study of United States history from 1492 to the present. The course trains students to analyze and interpret primary sources, including documentary material, maps, statistical tables, and pictorial and graphic evidence of historical events, as well as building a strong base of historical content. All Advanced Placement students are required to participate in a summer reading/writing program. Each enrollee completes all assigned readings and responds, in writing, by a predetermined date prior to the start of the new school year.

 
ADVANCED PLACEMENT WORLD HISTORY - MODERN (FULL YEAR)
111413
1 Credit      1.06 Weight
NCAA      AP
Prerequisite(s):  Teacher Recommendation 

AP World History: Modern is an introductory college-level modern world history course. Students cultivate their understanding of world history from c. 1200 CE to the present through analyzing historical sources and learning to make connections and craft historical arguments as they explore concepts like humans and the environment, cultural developments and interactions, governance, economic systems, social interactions and organization, and technology and innovation.  All Advanced Placement students are required to participate in a summer reading/writing program.  Each enrollee completes all assigned readings and responds, in writing, by a predetermined date prior to the start of the new school year.

 

ECONOMICS-MACRO ADVANCED PLACEMENT (SEMESTER) 
111141
.5 Credit      1.06 Weight
NCAA      AP
Prerequisite(s): Teacher Recommendation

This course enables the student to take the Macroeconomics Advanced Placement test. The course examines global economic systems, focusing primarily on the United States’ economy. Topics of study include, but are not limited to, basic economic concepts, economic systems, gross national and domestic products, measurement of economic performance, aggregate supply and demand, and price determination. This course trains students to interpret, analyze, and evaluate economic data. All AP students are required to participate in a summer reading/writing program. Each enrollee completes all assigned readings and responds, in writing, by a predetermined date prior to the start of the school year.  


ECONOMICS-MICRO ADVANCED PLACEMENT (SEMESTER) 
111140
.5 Credit      1.06 Weight
NCAA      AP
Prerequisite(s): AP Macroeconomics

This semester length course enables the student to take the Microeconomics Advanced Placement test. The course examines the key components of the United States’ economic system. Topics of study include, but are not limited to basic economic concepts, laws of supply and demand, consumer choice, production, costs, competition, efficiency and government policy. The course will train students to interpret, analyze and evaluate economic data. Students must successfully complete AP Macroeconomics prior to this course. To increase a student’s chances of success on the AP Micro exam, students are encouraged, but not required, to take AP Macro during the same school year as AP Micro.  


ANTHROPOLOGY
111850
1 Credit      1.06 Weight
NCAA     Dual Enrollment

Prerequisite(s):  Students must enroll at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) and pay tuition and required fees as well as purchase the textbook. 

This half-year course is designed as a college in the high school course with HACC for college credit.  This course provides a holistic approach to the study of humankind over time and space that includes both the biological and cultural aspects of human beings.  This course addresses human evolution, physical anthropology, archaeology, paleoanthropology, primatology, and the significant role that language plays in the understanding of culture.  This course also involves comparing and contrasting individual cultures.  This course satisfies 1.0 social studies credits in the West Shore School District, and three (3) transferable (HACC) credits.


PSYCHOLOGY ADVANCED PLACEMENT (YEAR LONG)
111841
1 Credit      1.06 Weight
NCAA      AP

Psychology AP is a more advanced version of Psychology covering a greater breadth and depth of information. Students will demonstrate a collegiate level of understanding and application of psychological concepts. The coursework of Psychology AP is designed to prepare students to earn college credit. All Advanced Placement students are required to participate in a summer reading/ writing program. Each enrollee is expected to complete all assigned readings and responds, in writing, by a predetermined date prior to the start of the new school year.



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