The Social Studies Department offers a wide range of electives for juniors and seniors. The word “Elective” emerges from the verb “to Elect” meaning “to choose or to select.” These courses are not requirements in any way and are intended to be populated by students who wish to go further in their study of a particular aspect of the social sciences. The Department actively discourages students from simply filling their schedule by randomly selecting Electives; those students who take this approach will not find success in these classes. Students should sign up only for classes in which they have a strong interest or passion.
In general, the Electives are to be taken by students who have completed or who are about to complete their Core curricular requirements, as they assume that students have mastered the skill sequence offered in the Core courses. Several of the Electives also deal with subject matter that assumes the students have already been exposed to the content covered in the Core courses.
Electives in the Department are modeled on collegiate-level classes. They generally adhere to a seminar-style format unless noted otherwise by being titled “Intro to…” in which case they tend to be structured more like an introductory-level course in that subject at the collegiate level. In some cases, there is a Dual Enrollment option for students, whereby they may receive college credit for completing the course that the department offers. Most college credit is issued under the auspices of Middlesex Community College, and is recognized by and accepted as transfer credits for the University of Massachusetts system.
Technically the AP courses offered by the Department are Elective courses, as they are not required. However, APUS may substitute for USII, AP World History may substitute for World History II, making them more than simply Electives.
Lastly, some Electives are offered at either the CPI or the Honors level. Where there is a distinction made in level of course, students who have not completed World History II at the Honors level, or who have not taken AP World History, should not sign up for an Honors level elective. Juniors seeking to take an elective at the Honors level should currently be in good standing in an Honors level course. In Elective courses that do not have differentiated sections, there is often an option of taking the course at the Honors level, but students need to speak with the specific teacher of the Elective to learn about the Honors-level expectations for that course, and then work with their Guidance Counselor to be sure to enroll at the appropriate level of the course.
In following pages, the different Elective course offerings of the Department are described in greater detail. Students interested in enrolling in these Electives are encouraged to learn more about them before making their selections.