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VLA Social Studies Course Descriptions (Grades 9-12)


1 Semester: 18 Units

In this course, students will focus on current events and recent history while being allowed to choose topics of particular interest. Students demonstrate skills necessary for active, effective citizenship.


1 Semester: 18 Units

In this course, students will learn the personal economic responsibilities highlighted in this course. General topics addressed include: effects of shortages and surpluses, incentives; inflation, components of the economic system, supply and demand, purchasing power of money, comparative advantage, trade, exchange rates, taxes, role of individuals, and consequences of economic choices.

Financial Literacy

1 Semester: 18 Units

Financial Literacy is designed to help students make the most of their money.  Students will learn personal financial planning, budgeting, banking, using credit wisely, how to protect their money, consumerism, investing and philanthropy.  More specifically, it examines the ability of individuals to use knowledge and skills to manage limited financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial security.


1 Semester: 18 Units

In this course, students will have the opportunity to study the interaction of people and cultures, as well as natural and physical environments in the major areas of the world. The course is designed to familiarize students with the world and how they, along with their community, can play a role in the development of the world. Students will also study and develop an understanding of various regions of the world and will focus on several geographic topics in each region. In addition, students should develop an understanding of how physical geography impacts the way humans live and interact with their world and how humans have changed the world’s physical geography.  As citizens our lives are greatly impacted by the rest of the world and this is our opportunity to learn about many of these places and issues.


1 Semester: 18 Units

In this course, students will focus upon the historic roots of the political system and how it has changed over time. It also continues to develop an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

OGT Social Studies

1 Semester: 18 Units

The Ohio Graduation Test prep course will provide a concise review of high school level social studies to help prepare students for the OGT. The course begins with a diagnostic test, followed by study skills for the OGT. Students will then focus on sections of history, people in societies, geography, economics, government, citizenship rights and responsibilities, and social studies skills and methods that are included in Ohio’s social studies curriculum. The units and tests follow the style and format of the OGT sample test items and OGT Practice Test in social studies.


1 Semester: 18 Units
The Study of Psychology is a fascinating look at human development and behavior. Psychology is a social science like criminology and sociology. It is a study of what makes us unique as human beings. There are mental processes or procedures that humans use to interact and function successfully. As children grow physically, emotionally and psychologically, they are influenced by many factors. Psychologists and psychiatrists are people who can directly affect the lives of children in need. A study of the types of psychologists and psychiatrists is included in unit one. Also studied are key vocabulary words used in psychology. There is a study of a family and its interactions with each other that allows students to see a character as he or she develops into adulthood.

1 Semester: 18 Units

This course is an introduction to the field of Sociology. Students will have the opportunity to explore the study of social relationships in a variety of areas. The students begin by understanding what sociology is, then learn how sociology applies to real life. Students examine topics that they can relate to, such as cultural diversity, adolescent development, and society’s rules. Students gain an understanding of society’s functions and how people function in society. At the conclusion of this course, students will have insight to themselves, to other people in their lives, and to their world as a whole.

AP World History 
2 Semesters: 36 Units 
Welcome to AP World History. You have just embarked on an exciting and challenging journey. World History can be one of the most interesting and strange subjects around. For example, did you know that the Mongols had one of the largest and most successful empires in all of history? Did you know that Great Britain, an island off the coast of Europe once controlled almost ¼ of the world? That’s pretty impressive for just about anyone. World History can also be very challenging as there are many people, places and events that you need to remember and understand if you hope to succeed in the course.
As you go through each unit, just remember to relax and pace yourself. Each unit will start with a short introduction and some questions you should keep in mind as you read and complete the assigned work.
World History

2 Semesters: 36 Units

Why are students required to study world history when they have already read the history of their own country? The answer is both simple and complex. Knowledge of local history is not sufficient for people who will spend their lives on a relatively small interconnected planet. This class examines many of the events from 1750 to the present era and considers their ongoing impact on the world community. The course also addresses economic, political, social and cultural developments which shape our thoughts and values. In short, to understand world history is to understand our past, present and future.

Student Leadership

1 Semester: 18 Units

The course is designed to prepare students for leadership roles and responsibilities. Students should be able to apply leadership principles and skills in their everyday lives.

U.S. History

2 Semesters: 36 Units

Successful republican government depends on a well-informed and knowledgeable electorate, and the purpose of this course is rooted in this theme. Students examine the events, political philosophies and social movements that shaped United States history from 1877 to the 21st century. The analyses of both primary and secondary sources provide opportunities to apply basic concepts of historical thinking and to examine alternative courses of action with their possible repercussions. Significant documents pertinent to the development of the United States as we know it are featured and are studied in their original text. Students also consider the challenges facing future generations of Americans.

American Government Test Prep

1 Semester: 18 Units 
This course will explore the government of the United States of America. How the American people govern themselves at national, state and local levels of government is the basis for this course. Students will examine the basic principles of the Constitution, the structure and functions of the federal government, the role of the people, and the importance of the economy. 

American History Test Prep

1 Semester: 18 Units
This course examines the history of the United States of America from 1877 to the present. The federal republic has withstood challenges to its national security and expanded the rights and roles of its citizens. The episodes of its past have shaped the nature of the country today and prepared it to attend to the challenges of tomorrow. Understanding how these events came to pass and their meaning for today’s citizens is the purpose of this course. The concepts of historical thinking introduced in earlier grades continue to build with students locating and analyzing primary and secondary sources from multiple perspectives to draw conclusions. 
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2023 Sunset Blvd. Steubenville, OH 43952
Tel: 740-283-3347 Fax: 740-283-2709

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