Social Studies Course Descriptions
The goal of the social studies department is to foster political and historical understanding, analytical and evaluative thought processes, and enhanced civic participation. Students are encouraged to actively engage in debate and in a group exploration of the events that have shaped our society. Reading, writing, and thinking analytical are required on a daily basis. Classes employ a variety of methods to stimulate student interest and understanding. Some of these techniques include Paideia seminars, fishbowls, structured debates, projects, and district and national competitions.
AP Government and Politics
Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics is an introductory college-level course in U.S. government and politics. Students cultivate their understanding of U.S. government and politics through analysis of data and text-based sources as they explore topics like constitutionalism, liberty, and order, civic participation in a representative democracy, competing for policy-making interests, and methods of political analysis. Students at the Scholars Academy enroll in Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics during their 9th-grade year. The course is provided each day for the entire school year. Students take the Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics exam in May of each school year, and students receive one Advanced Placement credit for successful completion of the course.
AP US History
EOC Course - This course has a state-mandated end-of-course test.
APUSH examines the social, political, and economic forces that have shaped our nation. Students read many different perspectives of those forces and learn to analyze and evaluate the relative importance of many events and movements in our history. The class is intensive, rigorous, and challenging. While the course outline is similar to other US History classes, it differs in its depth of coverage, its reading expectations and levels, and its methods of assessment. Students will earn an Honors credit in the fall semester for AP US History Seminar, and they will earn an AP credit in the spring semester for AP US History. Students in this course will take the South Carolina End-of-Course test in May.
AP World History & AP European History(Combined)
Prerequisite: AP United States History
This year-long course will offer two AP credits and students will take two AP exams in May. The course will begin with a global tapestry of political, social, and economic developments while outlining world religions and state-building throughout the world. Networks of exchange will follow as all areas of the world connect through global trading routes by land and sea. Once the Age of Exploration is covered, the course will delve deeply into the European history that shaped all areas of the modern world.
AP Comparative Government and Politics
Comparative Government and Politics introduces students to fundamental concepts used by political scientists to study the processes and outcomes of politics in a variety of country settings. The course aims to illustrate the rich diversity of political life, to show available institutional alternatives, to explain differences in processes and policy outcomes, and to communicate to students the importance of global political and economic changes. In addition to covering the major concepts that are used to organize and interpret what we know about political phenomena and relationships, the course will cover specific countries and their governments. Six countries that form the core of the AP Comparative Government and Politics course: China, Great Britain, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, and Russia. (Adapted from the AP Comparative Government description at the College Board’s site, AP Central.) Offered on alternating days as a yearlong course and one AP credit.
AP Human Geography
The AP Human Geography course introduces students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of the earth’s surface. Students learn to employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine the human socioeconomic organization and its environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their research and applications. Offered on alternating days as a yearlong course and one AP credit.