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CEGS Courses


Credits: 6

The CEGS Department provides an innovative curriculum encompassing the study of economics, finance, entrepreneurship and global studies while upholding high standards for our traditional history curriculum. We are committed to developing entrepreneurial thinkers who are able to access a variety of skills from the social sciences to investigate and understand complex global issues. It is the belief of the department that a modern citizenry must have an understanding of the origins of cultures, peoples, and economics across the globe and across time.

In addition to specific subjects and content, our goal is to expand each student’s academic skills including critical reading, note taking, discussion, research, structured writing and academic documentation. These skills are necessary to ensure students’ success in their postsecondary education, as well as in higher social science, business or entrepreneurial endeavors. Courses in the CEGS program are equivalent to social science credits.

Two years of CEGS courses are required, including Global Studies 1 in Grade 9 and U.S. History in grade 11. International students may be placed in U.S. History for ESL Students to fulfill their U.S. History requirement. Courses in the CEGS program are equivalent to social science credits that colleges require. Many colleges prefer to see at least three years of social sciences.

world history

Credits: 3

Level: Introductory, Grade 9 required

Overview: Starting with the emergence of agriculture, this course investigates the development of humans, technology, and the environment. Students will explore world history through themes of power, identity, justice, and moral codes. Using A Compact History of Humankind: The History of the World in Big Eras, the course content includes a combination of broad historical backgrounds and in-depth case studies of specific groups, regions, and people. Throughout the year, we cultivate the necessary skills sets to succeed in a history-based course, including compression of content, research, analysis and interpretation, chronological reasoning, and application of historical concepts. Students develop these skills by critically reading primary and secondary sources, writing, presenting, debating, and working collaboratively.

Prerequisite: none

human geography

Credits: 3

Level: Intermediate, Grade 10

Overview: This course is an in-depth study of geography and emerging themes in globalization, with a focus on key geographic regions of the world, emerging economic issues in globalization, the role of the entrepreneur and leader, and traits inherent in current and past global leaders and their key decisions. The course aims to create an understanding of the interconnectedness of the modern world and to build students’ confidence in their ability to be global citizens and leaders. Students gain skills in critical reading, researching, writing, note taking, outlining, and verbal skills through class discussion, presentations, and written formats.

Prerequisite: none

AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY

Credits: 3

Level: Advanced Placement, Grade 10

Overview: This college level course is an in-depth rigorous study of how geographic interaction has shaped the world in which we live, particularly the themes of globalization and cultural diversity. Students will examine geography from a social science perspective, though physical science will also be emphasized in order to contextualize the region of study. The course is organized into seven units of study: Geography-Its Nature and Perspectives; Population; Cultural Patterns and Processes; Political Organization of Space; Agriculture and Rural Land Use; Industrialization and Economic Development; Cities and Urban Land Use. Students will investigate key geographic, economic and social themes with a focus on improving their critical reading of text and maps, researching, writing, note taking, outlining, and verbal skills through class discussion, presentations and written formats. Students will gain an understanding of the interconnectedness of the modern world and build confidence in their ability to be global citizens and leaders. The AP exam in May is mandatory.

Prerequisite: departmental permission

UNITED STATES HISTORY

Credits: 3

Level: Grade 11

Overview: Students survey American historical development from the colonial period to contemporary times. Topics considered include: nationalism, industrialization, the emergence of the U.S. as a world power, protest and reform movements, and development of the modern U.S. political and economic structure. Students develop critical reading and analytical skills of primary and secondary source materials through research, writing, note taking, outlining, and verbal communication accomplished with a variety of discussion and writing formats.

Prerequisite: none

UNITED STATES HISTORY FOR ESL STUDENTS

Credits: 3

Level: Introductory

Overview: This course is designed to give international students an introduction to the development of America’s social, political, and cultural traditions from colonial times through the American Civil War. Students develop an awareness of the cultural and geographic diversity of the United States and are exposed to differing viewpoints of the American people through the use of textbooks, supplementary readings, relevant websites and current news sources. The class focuses on key research and writing skills including note-taking, outlining, essay preparation and proper source citation. This class fulfills the Academy's United States history requirement.

Prerequisite: ESL Department permission

Honors Government and Diplomacy

Credits: 3

Level: Honors, Grade 11 and above

Overview: This course focuses on the institutions, issues and challenges present in the global realm of diplomacy and foreign policy. Using both the United States and other nations as case studies, students will examine how power is created, attained and shared. Components of study will include both Institutions (executive, legislature, courts, bureaucracy, media) and processes (elections, interest groups, grass roots movements). Students will also study specific contemporary issues of diplomacy compiled annually by the Foreign Policy Association. Each week (or two) students will discuss and analyze a reading dealing with a current issue in global foreign policy. Examples include Russia’s foreign policy, the relationship between China and America, South Africa’s fragile democracy, and the media and foreign policy. Finally, students will study specific skills inherent in successful diplomacy: tact, negotiation, discretion and communication. Readings, quizzes, exams, oral presentation and debates will all be components of skill development and assessment. Periodic short position/advocacy papers will be assigned, and a longer format paper will culminate coursework.

Prerequisite: The successful completion of a sophomore year history course with a grade of B+ or higher and the recommendation of the instructor

AP UNITED STATES HISTORY

Credits: 3

Level: Advanced Placement, Grade 11 or above

Overview: This course focuses on the development of historical thinking skills (chronological reasoning, comparing and contextualizing, crafting historical arguments using historical evidence, and interpreting and synthesizing historical narrative) and an understanding of content learning objectives organized around seven themes, such as identity, peopling, and America in the world. In line with college and university U.S. history survey courses’ increased focus on early and recent American history and decreased emphasis on other areas, the AP U.S. History course expands on the history of the Americas from 1491 to 1607 and from 1980 to the present. The course will explore nine different periods of U.S. history. Students develop ability in distinguishing fact from opinion, using primary sources, analyzing and synthesizing information, relating cause and effect, and presenting and defending personal perspectives based upon historical information. Students also learn to integrate cultural and social history to literature of the times. Research/reading beyond the text is often required and is expected for many assignments.

Prerequisite: departmental permission

AP WORLD HISTORY

Credits: 3

Level: Advanced Placement, Grade 11 or above

Overview: AP World History is a college level survey of world history from the perspective that ever increasing trade and interconnectedness between societies, nations and cultures is the driving force of historical change. This course focuses on historical reasoning skills, allowing students to find and interpret primary source historical data; compare and contrast societal developments across time, geography and culture; and analyze change in history as a process with causes and consequences. Students in AP World History should expect a high volume of reading and writing, as well as periodic tests measuring baseline historical content. Students are also expected to undertake two research projects through the course of the year. Students exiting the course will have a strong understanding of how historians organize history, how to develop a complex thesis driven response to historical questions, and how to tie regional historical events into the context of world history.

Prerequisite: departmental permission

AP MACROECONOMICS: THE GLOBAL ECONOMY

Credits: 3

Level: Advanced Placement

Overview: The purpose of the AP course in macroeconomics is to provide students with a learning experience equivalent to a typical college introductory macroeconomic course and prepare them for the AP exam in the spring. Students will be taught economic principles that apply to an economic system as a whole. Emphasis is placed on the study of national income, price determination, the financial sector, stabilization policies, economic growth, and international economics. Through lectures, class discussions, class activities and homework assignments, students define terms, calculate and interpret tabular data, conduct graphical analysis, analyze hypothetical scenarios, and develop skills in explanatory diagrams and technical writing. The course utilizes the text Principles of Economics by Gregory N. Mankiw in addition to supplementary reading and listening material. The AP exam in May is mandatory.

Prerequisite: departmental permission

AP EUROPEAN HISTORY (online only)

Credits: 3

Level: Grade 10 and above

Type: Online

Overview: During this full-year course, students will investigate the broad themes of interaction between Europe and the World, Poverty and Prosperity, Objective Knowledge and Subjective Visions, States and Other Institutions of Power, and the Individual and Society, while making crucial connections across four different chronological periods ranging from 1450 to the present. In addition, the course is focused toward 19 key concepts, which enable students to better understand, organize, and prioritize historical developments within a chronological framework. As students learn to analytically examine historical facts and evidence, they will gain deeper conceptual understandings of critical developments in European history and will understand issues from multiple perspectives. Solid reading and writing skills, along with a willingness to devote considerable hours to homework and study, are necessary to succeed in this rigorous course. The challenging and stimulating curriculum requires much more time than other high school courses. This course specifically encourages the development of students’ skills in the categories of chronological reasoning, comparison and contextualization, construction of evidence-based arguments, and interpretation and synthesis of historical narratives, all competencies essential for college and career success. This course has VHS fees.

Prerequisite: World History and department permission required

Economics/Entrepreneurship Electives

INTRODUCTION TO MARKET ECONOMIES

Credits: 1

Level: Introductory, Grade 10 or above

Overview: This course is an introduction to the core principles of economics and how market economies all over the world function. Topics considered include the four goals of economic policy: productivity and growth, price stability, full employment and exchange stability. The course introduces the laws of supply and demand, measurements of economic performance, tools of the financial sector, productivity, stabilization policies, international trade and the contribution of the entrepreneur to economic development and management. It is a prerequisite to CEGS advanced electives in economics, finance and entrepreneurship. Students gain skills in analytical reading and writing, research, note taking, and verbal presentation through class discussions.

Prerequisite: none

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Credits: 1

Level: Intermediate, Grade 10 or above

Overview: Students prepare for becoming responsible, enterprising entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial thinkers who contribute to economic development and sustainable communities. The curriculum follows the framework of the National Standards for Entrepreneurship Education. Students will use strategies for idea generation and assessment of feasibility of ideas; learn to understand basic free market economy and the entrepreneur's role in the economy; expand their awareness of social responsibility and the entrepreneur's contribution to society; demonstrate an understanding of financial management and basic accounting principles; and understand steps essential in business startup. Students will read related literature, including case studies, and create new model ventures with a focus on opportunity recognition, resource management, and team building.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Market Economies or departmental permission

GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Credits: 1

Level: Intermediate, Grade 10 or above

Overview: This course is designed to develop a basic understanding of some of the variety of business systems in Asia (or Europe) and the opportunities/pitfalls of operating a business in one or more of these societies. Students will understand the evolution and development of business in global societies; how and why they are different/similar; the relationship of the business system to the culture and history of that nation; the special advantages of different nations and their prospects for the future; economic strengths and weaknesses; and the relationship to the global economy.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Market Economies or departmental permission

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Credits: 1

Level: Advanced, Grade 10 or above

Overview: The Social Entrepreneur is someone who creates and runs a specialized nonprofit or public sector enterprise. In this course, students will explore ways to apply the basic business concepts learned in Entrepreneurship to solve the world’s toughest social and environmental problems. The students will create a model business that will raise funds for a social or environmental cause of their choice and then dissolve the business at the end of the trimester with monies earned going to a nonprofit of that cause. These individual projects will weave issues of accounting, finance, organizational management, and marketing with social and ethical responsibility.

Prerequisite: Entrepreneurship or Global Entrepreneurship

PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT

Credits: 1

Level: Intermediate, Grade 10 or above

Overview: This one trimester course provides an overview of how an individual would build a portfolio over time and manage a portfolio based on the fundamental principles of portfolio management. Emphasis will be placed on techniques to develop a portfolio, researching mutual funds and stocks, and the evaluation of portfolio performance. Topics will include portfolio diversification, investment analysis, risk, financial literacy and asset allocation. Projects include researching a mutual fund company and preparing a personal investment plan.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Market Economies or departmental permission

STOCK MARKET ANALYSIS

Credits: 1

Level: Intermediate, Grade 10 or above

Overview: This one trimester course provides advanced study of the stock market and interpreting financial statements in order to select stocks for a portfolio. Students will learn the application of technical analysis and fundamental analysis in selecting stocks that matches risk tolerance. Long-term stock investment analysis and trading strategies will be examined in relation to portfolio theory and cycles in the stock market.

Prerequisite: Portfolio Management

HONORS MICROECONOMICS

Credits: 2

Level: Advanced, Grade 11 and above

Overview: Students will be taught economic principles that apply to the functions of individual decision makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system. Emphasis is placed on the nature and functions of product markets and factor markets, and of the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy. Through lectures, class discussions, class activities and homework assignments, students define terms, calculate and interpret tabular data, conduct graphical analysis, analyze hypothetical scenarios, and develop skills in explanatory diagrams and technical writing. The course utilizes the text Principles of Economics by Gregory N. Mankiw in addition to supplementary reading and listening material. The AP Microeconomics exam is in May is not mandatory, but is an option.

Prerequisite: departmental permission

AP macroeconomics: The global economy

Level: Advanced Placement.

Overview: The purpose of the AP course in macroeconomics is to provide students with a learning experience equivalent to a typical college introductory macroeconomic course and prepare them for the AP exam in the spring. Students will be taught economic principles that apply to an economic system as a whole. Emphasis is placed on the study of national income, price determination, the financial sector, stabilization policies, economic growth, and international economics. Through lectures, class discussions, class activities and homework assignments, students define terms, calculate and interpret tabular data, conduct graphical analysis, analyze hypothetical scenarios, and develop skills in explanatory diagrams and technical writing. The course utilizes the text Principles of Economics by Gregory N. Mankiw in addition to supplementary reading and listening material. The AP exam in May is mandatory.

Prerequisite: departmental permission

Global Studies/History Electives

Public Speaking & Diplomacy

Credits: 1

Level: Introductory

Overview: This course will begin as a traditional introduction to public speaking, discovering and drawing upon necessary skills to achieve confidence and clarity in anything from a class presentation to a speech in front of a large audience. We will work on vocal technique and stamina, physical presence, and overcoming stage fright. In the second marking period we incorporate this work with the study of diplomacy. The class will utilize acquired skills to engage in a variety of negotiation scenarios. Students will ultimately develop diplomatic skills in speaking, tact, mediation, discretion, communication and consensus building.

Prerequisite: none

INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY

Credits: 1

Level: Grade 11 or above

Overview: This seminar-based course offers an introduction to the field of sociology, followed by an investigation of some of the issues and currents of contemporary American life from numerous sociological perspectives. The initial work will present some fundamental concepts and perspectives. These will include the definition of sociology, culture, and socialization as well as how sociologists conduct their work. Students will gain a general understanding of sociologists’ methodology and sociological paradigms with some in-depth examination of certain issues such as gender, race, and deviance.

Prerequisite: none

THE VIETNAM EXPERIENCE

Credits: 1

Level: Grade 11 or above

Overview: This trimester elective examines the American involvement in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. The course introduces students to the history, writing, cinematography and music of the Vietnam War and time period. Texts utilized include The Vietnam War, A Rumor of War and The Things They Carried. The class is a seminar- discussion based exercise, which requires student preparation and active participation.

Prerequisite: none

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Credits: 1

Level: Advanced, Grade 10 or above

Overview: This unique elective introduces students to the United Nations experience while investigating topics of national and international significance. Students represent international diplomats for an assigned country at Harvard University’s Model United Nations in January. Students will develop and refine research, writing, oral presentation, and time management skills. This course has a $350 fee.

Prerequisite: Application Process