Courses by Department » Social Studies

Social Studies

Social Studies




Course Code: 6120            

Grade Level: 9                    Credits: 5                 UC/CSU: No

Prerequisite: All ninth grade students will take the course. Any other students who have not completed Health will take their course as a graduation requirement.

Health Education is a one‐semester course which is required of all 9th grade students, designed to give students instruction in certain areas required by the State of California. Instruction may include orientation, public safety, accident prevention, nature and effects of the use of alcohol and narcotics, conservation of natural resources, first aid, life saving and guidance.  



Course Code: 7380                       

Grade Level: 9                    Credits: 5                 UC/CSU: Yes

Prerequisite: None.

This course is designed to engage students in the process of developing geographical understanding of their world. Emphasis will be placed on developing the five themes of geographic education (place and location, character, interaction and movement, and similarities and differences) and on linking those themes to the major world regions. Basic map skills, fundamental concepts of physical and cultural geography, and place name identification will be taught. 



Course Code: 7383                    

Grade Level: 9                     Credits: 10                UC/CSU: Yes

Prerequisite:  None

The Advanced Placement course in geography gives students the opportunity to earn college credit in geography while still in high school. More importantly, the content of an AP Human Geography course helps students develop critical thinking skills through the understanding, application and analysis of the fundamental concepts of geography. Through AP Human Geography, students are introduced to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of the Earth’s surface. Students will employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to analyze human social organization and its environmental consequences. Students will meet the five college-level goals as determined by the National Geographic Standards.  They also learn the methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice. 



Course Code: 7090                       

Grade Level: 10, 11, 12        Credits: 10                UC/CSU: Yes

Prerequisite: None

World History is a study of the development of the modern world from the late 18th Century to the present. The course focuses on the rise of democratic ideas with an emphasis on the following: Industrial Revolution, Imperialism, Colonialism, Nationalism, Totalitarianism, and World War I and II. The course also includes a focus on modern world crisis and the historical interactions of regions of the world through a detailed study of China, Japan, India, Middle East, and Latin America. 



Course Code: 7040                       

Grade Level: 10, 11, 12        Credits: 10                UC/CSU:

Prerequisite:  AP US History/Exemplary Performance in US History

The purpose of the AP World History course is to develop greater understanding of the evolution of global processes and contacts in different types of human societies.  This understanding is advanced through a combination of selective factual knowledge and appropriate analytical skills.  The course highlights the nature of changes in global frameworks and their causes and consequences, as well as comparisons among major societies. It emphasizes relevant factual knowledge, leading interpretive issues, and skills in analyzing types of historical evidence.  Periodization, explicitly discussed, forms an organizing principle to address change and continuity throughout the course.  Specific themes provide further organization to the course, along with consistent attention to contacts among societies that form the core of world history as a field of study.   College world history courses vary considerably in the approach used, the chronological framework chosen, the content covered, the themes selected, and the analytical skills emphasized. The material in this Course Description presents the choices that the AP World History Development Committee has made to create the course and exam.  These choices themselves are compatible with a variety of college level curricular approaches. 



Course Code:  7210                       

Grade Level: 11                   Credits: 10                UC/CSU: Yes

Prerequisite: None

United States History examines the history of the United States from 1865 to the present. The course focuses on key themes and turning points in American history in the 19th and 20th centuries, including ideological origins, economic, political and social change, civil rights, and domestic and foreign policy. 



Course Code: 7220                       

Grade Level: 11                   Credits: 10                UC/CSU: Yes

Prerequisite: Junior standing; A or B grades in 10th grade, college preparatory courses, English and U.S. History teacher recommendations, and counselor approval.

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 materials in United States history. The program prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands upon them equivalent to those made by full‐year introductory college courses. Students should learn to assess historical materials (their relevance to a given interpretive problem, their reliability, and their importance) and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship. Students will develop the skills necessary to arrive at conclusions on the basis of an informed judgment and to present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in an essay format. This level of course content and instruction has been identified by the University of California System as meeting the criteria for designation as a UC‐Certified Advanced Placement course. 



Course Code: 7240                       

Grade Level: 12                   Credits: 5                 UC/CSU: Yes

Prerequisite: None

Students pursue a deeper understanding of the institutions of American government. They compare systems of government in the world today and analyze the life 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. These standards represent the culmination of civic literacy as students prepare to vote, participate in community activities and assume the responsibilities of citizenship. 



Course Code: 7305                       

Grade Level: 12                   Credits: 10                UC/CSU:

Prerequisite: AP US History/Exemplary performance in US History

A well-designed AP course in United States Government and Politics will give students an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States.  This course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. government and politics and the analysis of specific examples. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. government and politics. While there is no single approach that an AP United States Government and Politics course must follow, students should become acquainted with the variety of theoretical perspectives and explanations for various behaviors and outcomes. Certain topics are usually covered in all college courses. 



Course Code: 7444                       

Grade Level: 12                   Credits: 5                 UC/CSU: Yes

Prerequisite: None

Students will deepen their understanding of the economic problems and institutions of the nation and work in which they live. They will learn to make reasoned decisions on economic issues as citizens, workers, consumers, business owners and managers, and members of civic groups. In this course students should add to the economic understanding they acquired in previous grades and apply tools (such as graphs, statistics, and equations) learned in other subject fields to their understanding of our economic system. 



Course Code: 7415            

Grade Level: 10, 11, 12        Credits: 5 (elective)            UC/CSU: Yes

Prerequisite: Juniors and seniors should have priority. Tenth grade students who have recommendations from teachers and counselors will be considered. Students should be academically oriented and possess good reading skills.

Students will be introduced to psychology. There will be a focus on animal and human behavior. The focus of the class will be on the scientific study of human development, learning, motivation, and personality. Students will develop some basic concepts in the study of psychology and a historical perspective on the fields of psychology. The class will present the theories of the major schools of psychology. The ideas of Freud, Watson, Skinner, Maslow, Pavlov, and Rogers will be among the many that will be studied. The course will provide the class with the chance to explore a scientific perspective on human behavior and the functions of the brain. 



Course Code: 7416            

Grade Level: 11, 12               Credits: 10                UC/CSU: Yes

Prerequisite: Completion of Psychology

AP Psychology 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 and will learn psychological facts, principles, phenomena, major subfields of psychology, and the ethics and methods psychologists use.

An AP Psychology course can help students realize the positive outcomes of an authoritative parenting style, the effectiveness and humanity of positive reinforcement to modify behavior, the value of a clinical psychologist as compared to a friend, an understanding and compassion for individuals with psychological disorders, and a greater capacity to resist implicit and explicit group pressure through understanding research on conformity and obedience.  An underlying theme of the course is the importance of understanding empirical methods of collecting and interpreting data, including a basic knowledge of descriptive and inferential statistics.  



Course Code: 7420                       

Grade Level: 10, 11, 12        Credits: 5 (elective)            UC/CSU: Yes

Prerequisite: Juniors and seniors should have priority. Tenth grade students who have the recommendation of teachers and/or counselors may be included. Students should be academically oriented and have good reading skills.

Students are introduced to sociological concepts, theories, and procedures. Student learn how sociologists analyze the basic structures and functions of societies and of groups within societies, discover how these societies became organized, identify the conditions under which they become disorganized, and predict the conditions for their reorganization. The topics studied include the family as the basic unit of society; the structure of groups; group phenomena; the role of the individual in groups; society and communication; personality and the socialization process; social relations and culture; demography and human ecology; social processes; and social control. Social issues as crime, poverty, and the problem of discrimination toward the aged and minorities are explored.