Course Catalog: Social Science Department


Government Selectives: 

Each government selective will use a different lens to explore government and politics in the United States. The Social Science Department will offer five government selectives for 2017-2018: the Black Experience, Constitutional Law, Criminal Justice, San Francisco Politics, and Social Movements. Future government selectives may include The Asian-American Lens, Chicanx Studies, Women and Government, and Queer Politics. Seniors are required to take at least one of the five government selectives, but they are highly encouraged to enroll in as many government selectives that interest them.

Students may apply to take government selectives for honors. By taking honors, they commit to completing additional assignments (e.g. a college-level research paper) and participating in outside experiences (e.g. a city council meeting).

If students wish to take the AP US Government and Politics Exam, students are highly encouraged to take at least two government selectives that cover different topics on the exam. For students’ reference, the AP exam has six topics: I. Constitutional Underpinnings (10%); II. Political Beliefs and Behaviors (15%); III. Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media (15%); IV. Institutions of National Government (40%); V. Public Policy (10%); VI. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (10%). Please pay close attention to which topics are covered by each of the following government selectives. 

THE BLACK EXPERIENCE (5451)

Grade Level — 12
Length — One Semester (Fall or Spring)

Type of Course — Fulfills US Government requirement
Prerequisite — World History I and II, U.S. History
Criteria for Enrollment – None

UC/CSU Subject A Pending Approval

Course Description — The Black Experience is an in-depth examination of how legal structures of inequality in the U.S. affect the lived experiences of Black individuals, families, and communities. This course will use a lens of Critical Legal Studies to understand and critique the ways in which local, state and federal laws in the U.S. have been created to codify and naturalize systemic racism. Students will learn to engage with and analyze the long-term effects of these laws on American society; highlighting how Black communities have persisted and resisted in the face of these processes.

Black Experience will cover the following topics on the AP US Government and Politics Exam: I. Constitutional Underpinnings (10%); II. Political Beliefs and Behaviors (15%); V. Public Policy (10%); VI. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (10%). 

THE BLACK EXPERIENCE HONORS (5461)

Grade Level — 12
Length — One Semester (Fall or Spring)

Type of Course — Fulfills US Government requirement
Prerequisite — World History I and II, U.S. History
Criteria for Enrollment – None Students must apply to enroll.  To be accepted, students must have demonstrated history of academic achievement.

UC/CSU Subject A Pending Approval
Class receives honors weighting in SI weighted GPA and UC/CSU GPA calculations

Course Description — The Black Experience is an in-depth examination of how legal structures of inequality in the U.S. affect the lived experiences of Black individuals, families, and communities. This course will use a lens of Critical Legal Studies to understand and critique the ways in which local, state and federal laws in the U.S. have been created to codify and naturalize systemic racism. Students will learn to engage with and analyze the long-term effects of these laws on American society; highlighting how Black communities have persisted and resisted in the face of these processes.

Black Experience will cover the following topics on the AP US Government and Politics Exam: I. Constitutional Underpinnings (10%); II. Political Beliefs and Behaviors (15%); V. Public Policy (10%); VI. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (10%). 

The honors curriculum for this course will include additional assignments (e.g. a college-level research paper) and participating in outside experiences (e.g. a city council meeting).

 

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (5452)

Grade Level — 12
Length — One Semester (Fall or Spring)

Type of Course — Fulfills US Government requirement
Prerequisite — World History I and II, U.S. History
Criteria for Enrollment – None 

UC/CSU Subject A Pending Approval

Course Description — Constitutional Law challenges students to become experts on the United States Constitution. With just 4,543 words on four pages of parchment paper, the original Constitution established a framework with competing values that endures to this day. More specifically, this course will focus on the policymaking institutions established in first three Articles of the Constitution: Congress, the Presidency, and the Federal Judiciary. Furthermore, this course will examine how the media, interest groups, political parties, and elections serve as linkage institutions between the American people to the federal government. Students will examine case studies involving domestic policy (e.g. the federal budget) and foreign policy (e.g. wars and armed conflicts).

Constitutional Law will cover the following four topics on the AP US Government and Politics Exam: I. Constitutional Underpinnings (10%); III. Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media (15%); IV. Institutions of National Government (40%); V. Public Policy (10%). 

 

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW HONORS (5462)

Grade Level — 12
Length — One Semester (Fall or Spring)

Type of Course — Fulfills US Government requirement
Prerequisite — World History I and II, U.S. History
Criteria for Enrollment – Students must apply to enroll. To be accepted, students must have a demonstrated history of academic achievement.

UC/CSU Subject A Pending Approval
Class receives honors weighting in SI weighted GPA and UC/CSU GPA calculations

Course Description — Constitutional Law challenges students to become experts on the United States Constitution. With just 4,543 words on four pages of parchment paper, the original Constitution established a framework with competing values that endures to this day. More specifically, this course will focus on the policymaking institutions established in first three Articles of the Constitution: Congress, the Presidency, and the Federal Judiciary. Furthermore, this course will examine how the media, interest groups, political parties, and elections serve as linkage institutions between the American people to the federal government. Students will examine case studies involving domestic policy (e.g. the federal budget) and foreign policy (e.g. wars and armed conflicts).

Constitutional Law will cover the following four topics on the AP US Government and Politics Exam: I. Constitutional Underpinnings (10%); III. Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media (15%); IV. Institutions of National Government (40%); V. Public Policy (10%).

The honors curriculum for this course will include additional assignments (e.g. college-level research papers) and participating in outside experiences (e.g. city council meetings).

 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE (5453)

Grade Level — 12
Length — One Semester (Fall or Spring)

Type of Course — Fulfills US Government requirement
Prerequisite — World History I and II, U.S. History
Criteria for Enrollment – None 

UC/CSU Subject A Pending Approval

Course Description — Criminal Justice evaluates the origin and application of due process rooted in British law and found in the United States Constitution. The course will analyze issues related to the federal and state criminal justice systems including: policing, arrest, arraignment, trial, sentencing, and incarceration/alternative rehabilitation. At the federal level, students will evaluate the impact of federal laws such as the 1994 Crime Bill and precedents set by Supreme Court cases. At the state level, students will examine key California laws such as the Three Strikes Law.  Case studies will include recent trials, and the coursework will include field trips and guest experts from the Bay Area.

Criminal Justice will cover the following four topics on the AP US Government and Politics Exam: I. Constitutional Underpinnings (10%); IV. Institutions of National Government (40%); V. Public Policy (10%); VI. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (10%).

 

 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE HONORS (5463)

Grade Level — 12
Length — One Semester (Fall or Spring)

Type of Course — Fulfills US Government requirement
Prerequisite — World History I and II, U.S. History
Criteria for Enrollment – Students must apply to enroll. To be accepted, students must have a demonstrated history of academic achievement.
 
UC/CSU Subject A Pending Approval
Class receives honors weighting in SI weighted GPA and UC/CSU GPA calculations

Course Description — Criminal Justice evaluates the origin and application of due process rooted in British law and found in the United States Constitution. The course will analyze issues related to the federal and state criminal justice systems including: policing, arrest, arraignment, trial, sentencing, and incarceration/alternative rehabilitation. At the federal level, students will evaluate the impact of federal laws such as the 1994 Crime Bill and precedents set by Supreme Court cases. At the state level, students will examine key California laws such as the Three Strikes Law.  Case studies will include recent trials, and the coursework will include field trips and guest experts from the Bay Area.

Criminal Justice will cover the following four topics on the AP US Government and Politics Exam: I. Constitutional Underpinnings (10%); IV. Institutions of National Government (40%); V. Public Policy (10%); VI. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (10%).

The honors curriculum for this course will include additional assignments (e.g. college-level research papers) and participating in outside experiences (e.g. city council meetings).

 

SAN FRANCISCO POLITICS (5454)

Grade Level — 12
Length — One Semester (Fall or Spring)

Type of Course — Fulfills US Government requirement
Prerequisite — World History I and II, U.S. History
Criteria for Enrollment – None 

UC/CSU Subject A Pending Approval

Course Description — This course will analyze the changing demographics of San Francisco from a Gold Rush town to a blue-collar manufacturing and shipping center to a technology hub, and how those changes impacted the City’s politics. Students will learn about the evolution of the “strong mayor” system of government and the relationship between the executive (Mayor’s Office) and legislative (Board of Supervisors) branches of City government. Students will also examine San Francisco as a case study in federalism by evaluating how the national government (e.g. the Hetch Hetchy water system and the New Deal programs) and the California state government (e.g. the “great freeway revolt”) have shaped the City and County of San Francisco. Furthermore, students will study how San Francisco became a center of the civil rights, free speech, anti-war, and gay rights movements, particularly from the 1960s to the present.

San Francisco Politics will cover the following topics on the AP US Government and Politics Exam: I. Constitutional Underpinnings (10%); II. Political Beliefs and Behaviors (15%); V. Public Policy (10%); VI. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (10%). 

SAN FRANCISCO POLITICS HONORS (5464)

Grade Level — 12
Length — One Semester (Fall or Spring)

Type of Course — Fulfills US Government requirement
Prerequisite — World History I and II, U.S. History
Criteria for Enrollment – Students must apply to enroll. To be accepted, students must have a demonstrated history of academic achievement. 

UC/CSU Subject A Pending Approval
Class receives honors weighting in SI weighted GPA and UC/CSU GPA calculations.

Course Description — This course will analyze the changing demographics of San Francisco from a Gold Rush town to a blue-collar manufacturing and shipping center to a technology hub, and how those changes impacted the City’s politics. Students will learn about the evolution of the “strong mayor” system of government and the relationship between the executive (Mayor’s Office) and legislative (Board of Supervisors) branches of City government. Students will also examine San Francisco as a case study in federalism by evaluating how the national government (e.g. the Hetch Hetchy water system and the New Deal programs) and the California state government (e.g. the “great freeway revolt”) have shaped the City and County of San Francisco. Furthermore, students will study how San Francisco became a center of the civil rights, free speech, anti-war, and gay rights movements, particularly from the 1960s to the present.

San Francisco Politics will cover the following topics on the AP US Government and Politics Exam: I. Constitutional Underpinnings (10%); II. Political Beliefs and Behaviors (15%); V. Public Policy (10%); VI. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (10%). 

The honors curriculum for this course will include additional assignments (e.g. college-level research papers) and participating in outside experiences (e.g. city council meetings).

 

 

SOCIAL MOVEMENTS (5455)

Grade Level — 12
Length — One Semester (Fall or Spring)

Type of Course — Fulfills US Government requirement
Prerequisite — World History I and II, U.S. History
Criteria for Enrollment – None

UC/CSU Subject A Pending Approval

Course Description — Social Movements is an introduction to the African-American, Chicanx/Latinx, Asian-American, Native American, Feminist, LGBTQ experiences within the US political system. Students will analyze the origins of a social movement, how it interacts with other movements, and its impact on policymaking at the federal and state levels. This course will use case studies of current events to analyze how each group is seeking to change policies today. This is a unique opportunity to understand the experience of different Americans in today’s political environment.

Social Movements will cover the following four topics on the AP US Government and Politics Exam: I. Constitutional Underpinnings (10%); III. Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media (15%); V. Public Policy (10%); VI. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (10%).

SOCIAL MOVEMENTS HONORS (5465)

Grade Level — 12
Length — One Semester (Fall or Spring)

Type of Course — Fulfills US Government requirement
Prerequisite — World History I and II, U.S. History
Criteria for Enrollment – Students must apply to enroll. To be accepted, students must have a demonstrated history of academic achievement.

UC/CSU Subject A Pending Approval
Class receives honors weighting in SI weighted GPA AND UC/CSU GPA calculations

Course Description — Social Movements is an introduction to the African-American, Chicanx/Latinx, Asian-American, Native American, Feminist, LGBTQ experiences within the US political system. Students will analyze the origins of a social movement, how it interacts with other movements, and its impact on policymaking at the federal and state levels. This course will use case studies of current events to analyze how each group is seeking to change policies today. This is a unique opportunity to understand the experience of different Americans in today’s political environment.

Social Movements will cover the following four topics on the AP US Government and Politics Exam: I. Constitutional Underpinnings (10%); III. Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media (15%); V. Public Policy (10%); VI. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (10%).

The honors curriculum for this course will include additional assignments (e.g. college-level research papers) and participating in outside experiences (e.g. city council meetings).

 

 

 

AMDG
St. Ignatius College Preparatory

Courage to Lead; Passion to Serve

2001 37th Avenue San Francisco, CA 94116
(415) 731-7500
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