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Academics

Social Studies

The Social Studies Department reflects Althoff’s mission by providing a diverse selection of social studies courses enabling students to examine the issues which shape contemporary society. Its staff has appreciable classroom experience and academic preparation to encourage students' academic development.

The required U.S. History and World History courses are supplemented by a selection of varied electives. The goals of the electives are to offer a deeper and more intense study of selected content and to help students discuss, evaluate and analyze contemporary issues.

Freshmen whose entrance test scores and grade school achievement indicate a potential for successes in Honors World History may register for this accelerated, weighted course.

Courses offered

AHG 111 CIVICS   (Fr, Soph, Jrs, Srs) NCAA Required SEM 1 .5 Credit AHG 112 ACCELERATED CIVICS (Fr, Soph, Jrs, Srs) NCAA Required       SEM 1     .5 Credit 

Prerequisite: Freshman – Placement is based off of the grade school history and English grades. The scores on the placement test are also considered. All students are required to study American History and Government. American History and Government is a required course that examines the forces and issues that lead to the creation of the United States. Students analyze history through political, economic, intellectual, social, religious, technological and economic developments and trends. The study of the US Constitution, Illinois Constitution, and the historical developments that inspired it are central to this course. The course will begin with an exploration of the first “Americas” and end before the Civil War.

The Accelerated American History & Government class will move at a faster pace and will go into further depth of content.

Student Activities: Course work includes reading and comprehension (in text and primary sources), note taking ability, map analysis, lecture, small group work, and classroom discussion.

Student Evaluation: Assignments (completion and correctness) quizzes, in class activities and research projects.


AHG 113 HONORS CIVICS  (selected Fr) NCAA                               Required SEM 1 .5 Credit
Prerequisite: Freshman – Placement is based off of the grade school history and English grades. The scores on the placement test are also considered. All students are required to study American History and Government. This is a writing based course with a heavy emphasis put on critical thinking and analysis. This is a required course that examines the forces and issues that lead to the creation of the United States.

Students analyze history through political, economic, intellectual, social, religious, technological and economic developments and trends. Students consider the impact of individuals and groups on our society with an emphasis on multicultural studies. The study of the US Constitution, Illinois Constitution, and the historical developments that inspired it are central to this course. The course will begin with an exploration of the first “Americas” and end before the Civil War.

Student Activities: Class work consists of many writing activities - including notes and projects. Each student will be required to complete three independent learning projects throughout the semester. Lectures, group work, debates, and classroom discussion will also be regular. Primary source activities as well as documentaries will also be used regularly.

Student Evaluations: Assignments (completion and correctness) quizzes, in class activities, papers, and ILP’s


GEOG 121 GLOBAL GEOGRAPHY (Fr, Soph, Jrs, Srs) NCAA Required SEM 2 .5 Credit  GEOG 122 ACCELERATED GLOBAL GEOGRAPHY  (Fr, Soph, Jrs, Srs) NCAA Required SEM 2 .5 Credit

Prerequisite: Freshman – Passing grade in American History and Government. All students are required to study Global Geography. This course focuses on the physical and cultural geography of selected regions of the world. Students will study the different eco-systems and climates of the earth and learn about the main components of the earth's resource base. It includes an emphasis on fundamental geographic concepts, including the use of a variety of maps. The class analyzes materials portraying lives and lifestyles of other cultures and compares the different cultures of the world with our own way of life.

The Accelerated Global Geography class will move at a faster pace and will go into further depth of content.

Student Activities: reading comprehension ability with primary and secondary sources, note taking ability, writing assignments, map work, individual and partner work

Student Evaluation: Map work, writing assignments, group and individual work, quizzes, topic assignments, and chapter test


GEOG 123 HONORS GLOBAL GEOGRAPHY (Select Fr, Soph, Jrs, Srs)  NCAA Required SEM 2 .5 Credit

Prerequisite: Freshman – “A” or “B” in Honors American History and Government and also in their Honors English course semester 1.

All students are required to study Global Geography. This course focuses on the physical and cultural geography of selected regions of the world. Students will study the different eco-systems and climates of the earth and learn about the main components of the earth's resource base. It includes an emphasis on geographical concepts including in depth map work. The class analyzes materials portraying lives and lifestyles of other cultures and compares the different cultures of the world with our own way of life. This course is a fast pace course intended for the upper percent of the class. Honors Global Geography is a writing based course with a heavy emphasis put critical thinking and analysis. Student Activities: Primary and secondary readings, writing assignments, map work, individual and partner work, note taking, documentary reviews

Student Evaluation: In depth writing assignments, group and individual projects, quizzes, topic assignments, and chapter tests


WHIS 201 WORLD HISTORY (Soph, Jr, Srs) NCAA Required All Year 1 Credit

WHIS 202 ACCELERATED WORLD HISTORY (Soph, Jr, Srs) NCAA Required All Year 1 Credit

Prerequisite: Passing grade in Global Geography, American History and Government and teacher recommendation.

World History presents a chronological and in-depth approach to the history and daily life of the ancient cultures of our global society. This course starts with the beginning of the human civilization and ends after the Industrial Revolution. There is a strong emphasis on Greece and Rome since they laid the foundation for many other civilizations that followed. Anthropology, archeology and geography accompany the cultural study of ancient Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Related issues and current affairs are also discussed.

The Accelerated World History class will move at a faster pace and will go into further depth of content.

Student Activities: Course work includes a heavy focus on reading comprehension (text and primary sources), note taking ability, primary sources, map analysis, lecture, small group work, and classroom discussion. Regular World History will be a slower paced course.

Student Evaluation: Assignments (both completion and correctness), tests, quizzes, and research projects.


WHIS 203 HONORS WORLD HISTORY (Selected Soph) NCAA Required All Year 1 Credit Prerequisite: “A” or “B” in Honors Global Geography and Honors American History and Government, and Honors English 1 and/or teacher recommendation

Honors World History is a writing based course with a heavy emphasis put on critical thinking and analysis. This class tailors to high level students. World History presents a chronological and in-depth approach to the history and daily life of the ancient cultures of our global society. This course starts with the beginning of the human civilization and ends after the Industrial Revolution. There is a strong emphasis on Greece and Rome since they laid the foundation for many other civilizations that followed. Anthropology, archeology and geography accompany the cultural study of ancient Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Related issues and current affairs are also discussed.

Student Activities: Course work includes majority writing based activities including notes and projects. Lectures, small group work, primary sources, and classroom discussions will also be used. Factual and critical thinking questions are also assigned. In addition to the text World History will use primary sources, documentaries, and internet activities.

Student Evaluation: Assignments (both completion and correctness), tests, quizzes, and research projects, papers and documentaries.


USH 301 UNITED STATES HISTORY    (Jrs, Srs) NCAA Required All Year 1 Credit

USH 302 ACCELERATED UNITED STATES HISTORY (Jrs, Srs) NCAA Required All Year 1 Credit

USH 303 HONORS UNITED STATES HISTORY (Jrs, Srs) NCAA Required All Year 1 Credit

Prerequisite: Honors US History: An “A” or “B” in Honors Global Geography, Honors American History and Government and Honors World History, and Honors English 1 & 2, and/or recommendation from the student’s World History teacher

Accelerated US History: Students need a passing grade in accelerated or honors American History and Government, accelerated or honors Global Geography, and accelerated or honors World History, and/or teacher recommendation.

US History: Passing grade in any level of American History and Government, Global Geography, and World History.

Overview: U.S. History is a required course that examines the forces and issues that shape and affect our lives. Students analyze history through political, economic, intellectual, social, religious, technological and economic developments and trends. Students consider the impact of individuals and groups on our society, with an emphasis on multicultural studies.

Student Activities: Much attention is given to critical thinking skills, development of reading comprehension, writing skills and analysis of   primary sources. Honors US History is a writing based course with a heavy emphasis put critical thinking and analysis. It tailors to the high level students.

Student Evaluation: Grades are based on assignments, test, quizzes, book reviews, research projects, and class participation.


CAFF 211  CURRENT AFFAIRS I (Soph, Jrs, Srs) NCAA SEM 1 .5 Credit

CAFF 221  CURRENT AFFAIRS I  CAFF 311  CURRENT AFFAIRS II (Soph, Jrs, Srs) (Soph,Jrs, Srs) NCAA NCAA SEM 2

SEM 1 .5 Credit

.5 Credit

CAFF 321  CURRENT AFFAIRS II (Soph,Jrs, Srs) NCAA SEM 2 .5 Credit

Prerequisite: NONE

To be an informed and intelligent citizen, a person should study events that occur throughout the world. Current affairs class helps students to become informed about news events and also provides an environment for them to actively discuss the events that impact our society. Students follow world, national, state, and local events, and identify key players within these situations.

Student Activities: Course work includes examination of newspapers, TV news, internet websites, and appropriate videos. Teacher presentations and class discussions provide analysis of current issues.

Student Evaluation: Grades are based on tests, quizzes, assignments and class participation


MUSH 312  HONORS MODERN US HISTORY (Jrs, Srs) NCAA SEM 1 .5 Credit

Prerequisite: An “A” or “B” in honors social studies and Honors English classes and/or a recommendation from the student’s history teacher. This course will expand on the basic U.S. History course, with a concentration on events and trends from World War I to the present. Students are challenged to closely examine major events such as the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, Watergate, the Civil Rights Movement, the issues today in the middle east and trends such as scientific and technological changes, and U.S. foreign policy in the modern era. An analysis of the political, social, artistic, environmental and economic changes of the past sixty years highlights this course.

Student Activities: Teacher presentations, class discussions, small group work, internet activities, documentaries, primary source documents, readings and assignments are utilized.

Student Evaluation: Homework assignments, tests, internet lab activities, in-class group work, and other projects.


GPSYC1 313  GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY 1 (Jrs, Srs)  NCAA SEM 1 .5 Credit
Prerequisite: NONE

This is a general overview of the many areas involved in psychology in hopes of creating interest in one or more of them. The topics will consist of: misbelief about psychology, intelligence, conditioning, statistics, perception, and experimental research.

Student Activities: The coursework includes information about intelligence testing, learning, conditioning, and perception. There are also topic presentations and research from the internet.

Student Evaluation: Topic presentations, quizzes, worksheets and major tests on each section.


GPSYC2 323  GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY 2  (Jrs, Srs)  NCAA SEM 2 .5 Credit
Prerequisite: NONE

This course will extend and continue the General Psychology class. Topics include: development, personality, motivation, personality theories, psychological tests, gender roles, stress, psychological disorders/mental illness and treatment for psychological problems.

Student Evaluation: Quizzes, worksheets, discussions and major tests on each section


AMPOL 422 HONORS AMERICAN POLITICS (Srs) NCAA SEM 2 .5 Credit

Prerequisite: “A” or “B” in honors social studies and honors English courses and/or recommendation from the student’s US History teacher. This honors level course provides an overview of political science and an introduction to the study of American politics, and the foundation of the US government. Students study how political power is derived, restricted and used by the people at the national, state and local level. The course covers voting behavior, elections, public opinion, the media, and American political institutions of the presidency, congress and the courts.

Student Activities: Reading assignments, lecture, discussion, internet projects, research projects, and student presentations.

Student Evaluation: Grades are based on test scores, research projects, and other assignments.


G&RCIV 411  HONORS GREEK AND ROMAN CIVILIZATION  (Srs)  NCAA SEM 1 .5 Credit
Prerequisite: “A” or “B” in honors social studies and honors English courses and/or recommendation from the student’s US History teacher.

This course is a survey of the Classical Greek and Roman Civilizations from the rise of the Minoan civilization around 1600 BCE to the collapse of the Roman Empire in the fifth century CE. This course will allow students to not only look into the most basic outlines of these two great civilizations, but to delve into the complex issues of economics, culture, society, literature and art. Through lectures, class discussions, readings, and an independent research project, students will have the opportunity to do more in-depth study of the two founding civilizations of Western Society. This Greek and Roman Civilization class is designed to be a rigorous, academically challenging course with heavy emphasis placed on developing reading, writing and critical thinking skills.


APEURO 401  HONORS AP EUROPEAN HISTORY  (Srs)  AP NCAA All Year .5 Credit
Prerequisite: “A” or “B” in honors social studies and honors English courses and/or recommendation from the student’s US History teacher. 

The study of European history since 1450 introduces students to cultural, economic, political, and social developments that played a fundamental role in shaping the world in which they live. Without this knowledge, we would lack the context for understanding the development of contemporary institutions, the role of continuity and change in present-day society and politics, and the evolution of current forms of artistic expression and intellectual discourse.

Student Evaluation: Timed quizzes, document based questions, free-response questions, tests, book reviews and exams.


MEDH 401 HONORS MEDIEVAL HISTORY (Srs) NCAA SEM 2   .5 Credit

Prerequisite: “A” or “B” in honors social studies and honors English courses and/or recommendation from the student’s US History teacher. 

This course is a survey of the Medieval European world.  This course will allow students to not only look into the most basics outlines of western civilization but to delve into the complex issues of economics, culture, society, literature and art. Through lectures, class discussions, readings and independent research project, students will have the opportunity to do more in-depth study of Western Society.  This Medieval European History class is designed to be a rigorous, academically challenging course with heavy emphasis placed on developing reading, writing and critical analysis skills.

Student Evaluation: Grades are based on class work, quizzes, tests, Internet research, and class presentations