• Social Studies

    Social Studies

    Department Course Descriptions

    African American Studies (1/2 credit, single mod)

    This course offers students the opportunity to learn about the various cultural experiences and contributions of African Americans within the U.S. and abroad. It includes enriching cultural experiences such as field trips, music, dance, debating, panel discussions, oral and written expression, film reviews and dramatic presentation. Students are able to view the African American experience from different perspectives and increase their own self awareness.

    Required courseworkMust be in grade 10, 11 or 12

    Criminal Justice (1/2 credit, single mod)

    This course is designed for students who may pursue careers in police work, courts, corrections, law, legal aid and related areas. Several experts in the criminal justice system will speak to the students and a field trip may be planned. Students will be expected to complete a research project as one of the course requirements. Topics covered will include criminal behavior, rule of law, the courts, corrections, community supervision and juvenile justice.

    Required coursework 
    Must be in grade 11 or 12

    Global Issues in Modern U.S. History (1 credit, single mod)

    This year-long course will be required of all 10th grade students in the American History Scholars Program. Students will explore critical global issues from the mid nineteenth century to the present (i.e. imperialism, human rights, nuclear proliferation, etc.) through a variety of resources, including documents and artifacts. This course will complement the required government course. Students will continue the practice of research methodology begun in ninth grade.

    Required coursework and comments 
    Must be in grade 10 
    Must be in American History Scholars Program

    AP Government and Politics (1 credit, single mod)

    This course is comprised of a college level course focused upon the United States Government. The primary focus is upon topics including the Constitution, Political Behavior, Political Institutions, Public Policy and Civil Rights and Liberties. Current and historical events are woven into this framework. This course will prepare students for the Maryland High School Assessment in Local, State and National Government, as well as the AP Exam in Government and Politics-United States .

    Required coursework and comments Must be in grade 10, 11, or 12
    U.S. History
    Strong writing and interpretive skills needed 
    Will meet Local, State, and National Government requirement for graduation

    AP Human Geography (1 credit, single mod)

    The Advanced Placement course in Human Geography is designed to introduce students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of the Earth's surface. Students employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to learn about human social organization and the environmental consequences, and to learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice.

    Required coursework 
    Must be in grade 11 or 12

    Local, State, and National Government (1 credit, single mod)

    This year-long course provides students with a comprehensive examination of the basic concepts and principles of our federal system of government. Course study include a focus on the foundations of government; an overview of the United States political system; study of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government; explanation of citizenship rights and responsibilities; examination of structure and functions of state and local governments; and study of global perspective on governmental relationships. This course will prepare students for the Maryland High School Assessment in Local, State and National Government.

    Required coursework and comments 
    U.S. History 
    Will meet Local, State, and National Government requirement for graduation 

    Practical Law (1/2 credit, single mod) 

    This course examines two areas of concern to all Americans: rights and crime. It is a discussion-oriented class with practical application. An opportunity exists for students to work with on-campus law enforcement officers on a regular basis, to hear guest speakers from many divisions of the criminal justice system and to visit and observe the Maryland District and Circuit Courts, U.S. District Court, the Greenbelt police station.

    Required coursework 
    Must be in grade 11 or 12

    AP Psychology (1 credit, single mod) 

    This college level course introduces students to the scientific study of human behavior. Topics include biological bases of behavior, sensation and perception, learning developmental psychology and psychological disorders. Even students not seeking college credit will benefit from the academic skill development in areas of note taking, essay writing and critical thinking.

    Required coursework 
    Must be in grade 11 or 12

    Psychology (1/2 credit, single mod)

    This course provides an introductory study of the various theories of the mind and the mind's relationship to behavior. Major areas of study include definition of concepts, historical development and modern perspectives. However, emphasis will be placed upon demonstrations, experiments and the application of these principles and theories in daily life.

    Required coursework 
    Must be in grade 11 or 12

    Revolutionaries and Reformers in U.S. History (1 credit, single mod)

    This year-long course is required for ninth grade participants in the Gilder-Lehrman American History Scholars Program.  It provides in-depth instruction in historical research methods.  Students use primary and secondary sources to complete a major project suitable for the National History Day competition.  Using a chronological approach to nineteenth century U.S. History, this course complements and supports the required U. S. History course since 1877.  Students' interest in U.S. History is engaged by focusing on individuals who made a difference in the evolution of our nation's story and through use of resources, especially documents, from the Gilder-Lehrman collection.

    Required courseworkMust be in grade 9 
    Must be in American History Scholars Program

    Social Issues (1/2 credit, single mod) 

    In this course students are encouraged to examine contemporary issues, consider their own concerns and evaluate possibilities. While viewing today's world, the students will share their opinions and listen to their peers. Topics include family, abortion and adoption, drug and alcohol abuse, HIV/AIDS,, homelessness, teen pregnancy, suicide and education. Students may select other topics for their own research project.

    Required courseworkMust be in grade 11 or 12

    Student Government Association (1 credit, single mod) 

    The SGA serves as the voice of the students. This course is designed to allow student government officers the opportunity to take on important leadership roles in the school. Officers plan and implement school programs, including homecoming and class night, organize fundraising and community service projects, and address issues of concern to the student body. The course is required for SGA officers, and is open to class officers and interested, motivated students.

    Required coursework
    Must be in grade 10, 11, or 12 

    AP United States History (1 credit, single mod) 

    This college level course deals with U.S. History from the Revolutionary Period through Mid-Twentieth Century. The main goal is to give students a thorough background in relevant facts and the skills to examine their significance and context. Special attention is paid to polishing skills in note taking and essay writing as well as critical thinking.

    Required coursework and comments Must be in grade 11 or 12 
    Should have strong reading and writing skills

    AP United States History with Seminar (2 credits, double mod) 

    This college level course deals with U.S. History from the Revolutionary Period through Mid-Twentieth Century. The main goal is to give students a thorough background in relevant facts and the skills to examine their significance and context. Special attention is paid to polishing skills in note taking and essay writing as well as critical thinking.

    Required coursework and comments Must be in grade 11 or 12 
    Should have strong reading and writing skills

    U.S. History (1 credit, single mod)

    This course examines how the American political, economic, and social systems developed. Twentieth century content includes issues related to the development of foreign policy, the role of the United States as a world leader, and the domestic response to a diversified population and issues such as reform and civil rights.

    Required coursework 
    None

    U. S. History Through the Arts (1 credit, single mod)

    This year long course will be offered to students in the American History Scholars Program. Students will assess the role of the fine arts, material arts, media and popular culture in United States History from 1789 to the present. They will trace the history and development of the arts and culture and will look at how art and cultural developments reflected the historical trends and movements of the times. They will also assess both the influences the arts have had on American culture and how the American culture, in turn, has influenced the arts. Students will use a variety of resources including hands-on projects to better understand the meaning of American's culture. This course will complement the required World History course for 11th grade students.

    Required coursework and comments 
    Must be in grade 11 or 12
    11th grade students must be in American History Scholars Program

    AP World History (1 credit, single mod) 

    This college level course examines themes of World History from pre-history to present. Themes include the impact of interaction upon major societies, the relationship of change and continuity, the impact of technology and demography on people and the environment, systems of social and gender structure, cultural and intellectual developments, and changes in functions and structures of states. Students will use documents and other primary sources to investigate these themes.

    Required coursework and comments Must be in grade 11 or 12
    Strong reading and writing skills needed
    Meets World History requirement for graduation

    World History (1 credit, single mod)

    This course focuses on modern world history beginning in approximately 1400 A.D. The course is based on four major themes: human interactions; hemispheric interactions; crisis, progress, and change in the 20th century; and the challenges of the 21st century.

    Required coursework and comments 
    U.S. History
    Local, State, and National Government 
    Meets World History requirement for graduation


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     (*) - courses that satisfy the fine art graduation requirement 
    (+) - courses that satisfy the technology education graduation requirement
    (=) - courses that satisfy the advanced technology graduation requirement