Course Descriptions

Civics 9

Under a democratic system, the power of government rests with the people, and its success relies on citizen participation and an understanding of how government operates. Students in this course will learn about the rights and duties of U.S. citizens and what it means to live in a democracy. They also will gain an understanding of basic economic principles that will help them become responsible, informed citizens.

Honors Civics 9

This course covers all the required content of the regular Civics course but at an accelerated pace. It is designed for motivated students seeking challenging activities, in-depth discussion, and the opportunity to enhance their writing and critical thinking skills. 

World Studies 10

In this course and in a format that integrates geography and history, students study major world regions (Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia, and Latin America). The course introduces students to the interrelationships between physical, cultural and historical environments, and explores the impact these relationships have on the lifestyles and values of groups living in the regions studied. Students also will study contemporary world problems — war, racism, environment and poverty — from this regional perspective. 

Honors World Studies 10

As an interdisciplinary course, Honors World Studies/Geography I/II integrates literature into the study of world history and geography. The course emphasizes chronological history, especially of the Western world. Course pace is designed to challenge and stimulate motivated students.

American History 11

In this course, students will learn about political, economic and social events that shaped U.S. history. The class offers students a mixture of thematic and chronological units throughout two semesters. In addition to gaining an understanding of U.S. history, students will learn how to use lessons from the past to analyze the present and prepare for the future.

Advanced Placement American History 11

AP American History works in tandem with the AP English Language and Composition I/ II course. This challenging course, a two-semester survey of American history from the age of exploration and discovery to the present, provides students with the opportunity to earn college credit. To succeed in the course, students will need solid reading and writing skills along with a willingness to devote considerable time to homework. The course requires critical and evaluative thinking skills, essay writing, interpretation of primary sources and participation in group discussions/debates.

Economics 12

Students in this course will learn to integrate economic principles with their real life experiences. The course, which requires problem solving and critical thinking skills, combines microeconomics with macroeconomics to provide students with a variety of perspectives — citizen, consumer, employee and business owner — on economic issues.

College Microeconomics 12

This intensive, college-level course is offered to seniors who meet CIS criteria (top 30 percent) for entrance to the University of Minnesota. The course will cover economic concepts including theory of the household and firm, supply and demand, price determination, role of government, market structures and the global economy. Students also will attend  a university-sponsored field day to meet their peers, practice skills they have learned in class and explore the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus.

In addition to HHS credit, completion of the course with at least a C grade point average will result in four college credits.

College Macroeconomics 12

This is an intensive college-level course offered to seniors who meet the CIS criteria (top 30 percent) for entrance to the University of Minnesota. It covers economic topics including unemployment, inflation, measures of national income, fiscal policy, monetary and banking policy, and international trade and exchange rates.

In addition to HHS credit, completion of the course with at least a C grade point average will result in three college credits.

Principles of Law 12

This course provides students with an overview of the U.S. criminal justice system. It introduces criminal, civil and constitutional law structures and procedures, while placing an emphasis on democratic values. Students will use critical thinking and evaluation and decision-making skills to explore the material. To reinforce the interaction between society and the law, the course includes guest speakers from the law enforcement community and a field trip to the Dakota County Jail.

Psychology 12

This course is designed to help students learn about human behavior and thinking. Students will develop research and analytical skills as they investigate topics including stress, teenage suicide, environment and heredity’s effect on development, drug abuse, and theories of learning. Topics covered include personality, reasoning, thinking and forgetting, and conflict and adjustment.

College Psychology 12

This intensive college level course introduces the terms, methods, theories and findings of psychology in the 20th century. Topics include the following: research methods, interacting influences of nature and nurture on behavior, major schools of thought in psychology, development, learning, memory, health & stress, personality, motivation, abnormal behavior and social influence.

An additional objective of this course is to address these various facets of psychology with respect to how they relate to our day-to-day lives. With this in mind, class instruction will involve a combination of discussion and small group exercises. There will also be some lecture. Various out-of-class assignments will also provide you with opportunities to apply concepts discussed in class.

In addition to HHS credit, completion of the course with at least a C grade point average will result in three college credits: Psychology 101

Sociology 12

In this course, students will learn about group behavior, social relationships and social institutions. They will discuss and evaluate many current social problems including the breakdown of the family, deviance and social control, problems facing teenagers, racial and ethnic diversity, and the influence of the media on U.S. culture. Units of study include society and culture, relationships, socialization, institutions, and problems in a changing society.

Advanced Placement US Government and Politics 12

This course is designed for highly motivated students who wish to earn college credit in Government through the Advanced Placement Examination. Heavily content- oriented and a rigorous course of study, this class will further students’ skill development. Challenging assignments involve reading case studies, analysis, synthesis, writing, speaking and fieldwork. Current problems and practices in government and politics are frequently used to illustrate principles. This course also includes a unit on economics that includes study of fundamental economic systems, characteristics of the U.S. economic system, and the role of the United States in the global economy.