As part of our school’s commitment to personalized academic success, we are proud to offer a selection of almost thirty elective courses. These online, semester-long offerings allow students to pursue areas of interest outside their traditional core subjects, providing opportunities to extend learning and meet elective credit requirements. With titles such as Forensic Science, Global Commerce, Digital Photography, and Anthropology, our elective courses help students create unique educational experiences and strong high school transcripts. Click on the course title to view its description.
Anthropology I: Uncovering Human Mysteries
The aim of anthropology is to use a broad approach to gain an understanding of our past, present and future, and in addition address the problems humans face in biological, social and cultural life. This course will explore the evolution, similarity and diversity of humankind through time. It will look at how we have evolved from a biologically and culturally weak species to one that has the ability to cause catastrophic change. Exciting online video journeys to different areas of the anthropological world are just one of the powerful learning tools utilized in this course.
Anthropology II: More Human Mysteries Uncovered
Anthropology has helped us better understand cultures around the world and through different time period. This course continues the study of global cultures and the ways that humans have made sense of their world. We will examine some of the ways that cultures have understood and gave meaning to different stages of life and death. The course will also examine the creation of art within cultures and examine how cultures evolve and change over time. Finally, we will apply the concepts and insights learned from the study of anthropology to several cultures found in the world today.
Archaeology: Detectives of the Past
George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The field of archeology helps us to better understand the events and societies of the past that have helped to shape our modern world. This course focuses on this techniques, methods, and theories that guide the study of the past. Students will learn how archaeological research is conducted and interpreted, as well as how artefacts are located and preserved. Finally, students will learn about the relationship of material items to culture and what we can learn about past societies from these items.
Astronomy: Exploring the Universe
Why do stars twinkle? Is it possible to fall into a black hole? Will the sun ever stop shining? Since the first glimpse of the night sky, humans have been fascinated with the stars, planets, and universe that surrounds us. This course will introduce students to the study of astronomy, including its history and development, basic scientific laws of motion and gravity, the concepts of modern astronomy, and the methods used by astronomers to learn more about the universe. Additional topics include the solar system, the Milky Way and other galaxies, and the sun and stars. Using online tools, students will examine the life cycle of stars, the properties of planets, and the exploration of space.
Criminology: Inside the Criminal Mind
In today’s world, crime and deviant behavior rank at or near the top of many people’s concerns. In this course, we will study the field of Criminology – the study of crime. We will look at possible explanations for crime from the standpoint of psychological, biological and sociological perspectives, explore the categories and social consequences of crime, and investigate how the criminal justice system handles not only criminals, but also their misdeeds. Why do some individuals commit crimes why others do not? What aspects in our culture and society promote crime and deviance? Why are different punishments given for the same crime? What factors…from arrest to punishment…help shape the criminal case process?
Digital Photography I: Creating Images with Impact!
Have you ever wondered how photographers take such great pictures? Have you tried to take photographs and wondered why they didn’t seem to capture that moment that you saw with your eyes? The Digital Photography I course focuses on the basics of photography, including building an understanding of aperture, shutter speed, lighting, and composition. Students will be introduced to the history of photography and basic camera functions. Students will use the basic techniques of composition and camera functions to build a portfolio of images, capturing people, landscapes, close-up, and action photographs.
Digital Photography II: Discovering Your Creative Potential
In today’s world, photographs are all around us, including in advertisements, on websites, and hung on our walls as art. Many of the images that we see have been created by professional photographers. In this course, we will examine various aspects of professional photography, including the ethics of the profession, and examine some of the areas that professional photographers may choose to specialize in, such as wedding photography and product photography. We will also learn more about some of the most respected professional photographers in history and we will learn how to critique photographs in order to better understand what creates an eye catching photograph.
Forensic Science I: Secrets of the Dead
Fingerprints. Blood spatter. DNA analysis. The world of law enforcement is increasingly making use of the techniques and knowledge from the sciences to better understand the crimes that are committed and to catch those individuals responsible for the crimes. Forensic science applies scientific knowledge to the criminal justice system. This course focuses on some of the techniques and practices used by forensic scientists during a crime scene investigation (CSI). Starting with how clues and data are recorded and preserved, the student will follow evidence trails until the CSI goes to trial, examining how various elements of the crime scene are analyzed and processed.
Forensic Science II: More Secrets of the Dead
Although the crime scene represents the first step in solving crimes through forensic science, the crime laboratory plays a critical role in the analysis of evidence. This course focuses on the analysis of evidence and testing that takes place within this setting. We will examine some of the basic scientific principles and knowledge that guides forensic laboratory processes, such as those testing DNA, toxicology, and material analysis. Techniques such as microscopy, chromatography, odontology, entomology, mineralogy, and spectroscopy will be examined.
Gothic Literature: Monster Stories
From vampires to ghosts, these frightening stories have influenced fiction writers since the 18th century. This course will focus on the major themes found in Gothic literature and demonstrate how the core writing drivers produce, for the reader, a thrilling psychological environment. Terror versus horror, the influence of the supernatural, and descriptions of the difference between good and evil are just a few of the themes presented. By the time students have completed this course, they will have gained an understanding of and an appreciation for the complex nature of dark fiction.
Great Minds in Science: Ideas for a New Generation
Is there life on other planets? What extremes can the human body endure? Can we solve the problem of global warming? Today, scientists, explorers, and writers are working to answer all of these questions. Like Edison, Einstein, Curie, and Newton, the scientists of today are asking questions and working on problems that may revolutionize our lives and world. This course focuses on 10 of today’s greatest scientific minds. Each unit takes an in-depth look at one of these individuals, and shows how their ideas may help to shape tomorrow’s world.
Health Science: The Whole Individual
Will we ever find a cure for cancer? What treatments are best for conditions like diabetes and asthma? How are illnesses like meningitis, tuberculosis, and the measles identified and diagnosed? Health sciences provide the answers to questions such as these. In this course, students will be introduced to the various disciplines within the health sciences, including toxicology, clinical medicine, and biotechnology. They will explore the importance of diagnostics and research in the identification and treatment of diseases. The course presents information and terminology for the health sciences and examines the contributions of different health science areas.
Hospitality & Tourism: Traveling the Globe
With greater disposable income and more opportunities for business travel, people are traversing the globe in growing numbers. As a result, hospitality and tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. This course will introduce students to the hospitality and tourism industry, including hotel and restaurant management, cruise ships, spas, resorts, theme parks, and other areas. Student will learn about key hospitality issues, the development and management of tourist locations, event planning, marketing, and environmental issues related to leisure and travel. The course also examines some current and future trends in the field.
Human Geography: Our Global Identity
How do language, religion, and landscape affect the physical environment? How do geography, weather, and location affect customs and lifestyle? Students will explore the diverse ways in which people affect the world around them and how they are affected by their surroundings. Students will discover how ideas spread and cultures form, and learn how beliefs and architecture are part of a larger culture complex. In addition to introducing students to the field of Human Geography, this course will teach students how to analyze humans and their environments.
International Business: Global Commerce in the 21st Century
From geography to culture Global Business is an exciting topic in the business community today. This course is designed to help students develop the appreciation, knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to live and work in a global marketplace.It takes a global view on business, investigating why and how companies go international and are more interconnected.The course further provides students a conceptual tool by which to understand how economic, social, cultural, political and legal factors influence both domestic and cross-border business. Business structures, global entrepreneurship, business management, marketing, and the challenges of managing international organizations will all be explored in this course. Students will cultivate a mindfulness of how history, geography, language, cultural studies, research skills, and continuing education are important in both business activities and the 21st century.
Law & Order: Introduction to Legal Studies
Every society has laws that its citizens must follow. From traffic laws to regulations on how the government operates, laws help provide society with order and structure. Our lives are guided and regulated by our society’s legal expectations. Consumer laws help protect us from faulty goods; criminal laws help to protect society from individuals who harm others; and family law handles the arrangements and issues that arise in areas like divorce and child custody. This course focuses on the creation and application of laws in various areas of society. By understanding the workings of our court system, as well as how laws are actually carried out, we become more informed and responsible citizens in our communities and of our nation.
Music Appreciation: The Enjoyment of Listening
Music is part of everyday lives and reflects the spirit of our human condition. To know and understand music, we distinguish and identify cultures on local and global levels. This course will provide students with an aesthetic and historical perspective of music, covering a variety of styles and developments from the Middle Ages through the Twentieth First Century. Students will acquire basic knowledge and listening skills, making future music experiences more informed and satisfying.
Mythology & Folklore: Legendary Tales
Mighty heroes. Angry gods and goddesses. Cunning animals. Since the first people gathered around fires, mythology and folklore has been used as a way to make sense of humankind and our world. Beginning with an overview of mythology and different kinds of folklore, students will journey with ancient heroes as they slay dragons and outwit gods, follow fearless warrior women into battle, and watch as clever monsters outwit those stronger than themselves. They will explore the universality and social significance of myths and folklore, and see how these are still used to shape society today.
Personal Psychology I: The Road to Self-Discovery
Self-knowledge is the key to self-improvement! More than 800,000 high school students take psychology classes each year. Among the different reasons, there is usually the common theme of self discovery! Sample topics include the study of infancy, childhood, adolescence, perception and states of consciousness. Amazing online psychology experiments dealing with our own personal behavior are featured within this course.
Personal Psychology II: Living in a Complex World
Enrich the quality of your life by learning to understand the actions of others! Topics include the study of memory, intelligence, emotion, health, stress and personality. This courses features exciting online psychology experiments involving the world around us.
Personal & Family Finance
How do our personal financial habits affect our financial future? How can we make smart decisions with our money in the areas of saving, spending, and investing? This course introduces students to basic financial habits such as setting financial goals, budgeting, and creating financial plans. Students will learn more about topics such as taxation, financial institutions, credit, and money management. The course also addresses how occupations and educational choices can influence personal financial planning, and how individuals can protect themselves from identity theft.
Philosophy: The Big Picture
This course will take you on an exciting adventure that covers more than 2,500 years of history! Along the way, you’ll run into some very strange characters. For example, you’ll read about a man who hung out on street corners, barefoot and dirty, pestering everyone he met with questions. You’ll learn about another eccentric who climbed inside a stove to think about whether he existed. Despite their odd behavior, these and other philosophers of the Western world are among the most brilliant and influential thinkers of all time. As you learn about these great thinkers, you’ll come to see how and where many of the most fundamental ideas of Western Civilization originated. You’ll also get a chance to ask yourself some of the same questions these great thinkers pondered. By the time you’ve “closed the book” on this course, you will better understand yourself and the world around you…from atoms to outer space…and everything in between.
Real World Parenting
What is the best way to care for children and teach them self-confidence and a sense of responsibility? Parenting involves more than having a child and providing food and shelter. Learn what to prepare for, what to expect, and what vital steps parents can take to create the best environment for their children. Parenting roles and responsibilities, nurturing and protective environments for children, positive parenting strategies, and effective communication in parent/child relationships are some of the topics covered in this course.
Social Problems I: A World in Crisis
Students will become aware of the challenges faced by social groups, as well as learn about the complex relationship among societies, governments and the individual. Each unit is focused on a particular area of concern, often within a global context. Possible solutions at both the structural level as well as that of the individual will be examined. Students will not only learn more about how social problems affect them personally, but begin to develop the skills necessary to help make a difference in their own lives and communities, not to mention globally.
Social Problems II: Crisis, Conflicts & Challenges
The Social Problems II course continues to examine timely social issues affecting individuals and societies around the globe. Students learn about the overall structure of the social problem as well as how it impacts their lives. Each unit focuses on a particular social problem, including racial discrimination, drug abuse, the loss of community, and urban sprawl, and discusses possible solutions at both individual and structural levels. For each issue, students examine the connections in the global arena involving societies, governments and the individual.
Sociology I: The Study of Human Relationships
The world is becoming more complex. How do your beliefs, values and behavior affect the people around you and the world in which we live? Students will examine social problems in our increasingly connected world, and learn how human relationships can strongly influence and impact their lives. Exciting online video journeys to an array of areas in the sociological world are an important component of this relevant and engaging course.
Sociology II: Your Social Life
Sociology is the study of people, social life and society. By developing a “sociological imagination” students will be able to examine how society itself shapes human action and beliefs…and how in turn these factors re-shape society itself! Fascinating online videos journeys will not only inform students, but motivate them to still seek more knowledge on their own.
Veterinary Science: The Care of Animals
As animals play an increasingly important role in our lives, scientists have sought to learn more about their health and well-being. Taking a look at the pets that live in our homes, on our farms, and in zoos and wildlife sanctuaries, this course will examine some of the common diseases and treatments for domestic animals. Toxins, parasites, and infectious diseases impact not only the animals around us, but at times…we humans as well! Through veterinary medicine and science, the prevention and treatment of diseases and health issues is studied and applied.
World Religions: Exploring Diversity
Throughout the ages, religions from around the world have shaped the political, social, and cultural aspects of societies. This course focuses on the major religions that have played a role in human history, including Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shintoism, and Taosim. Students will trace the major developments in these religions and explore their relationships with social institutions and culture. The course will also discuss some of the similarities and differences among the major religions and examine the connections and influences they have.
Middle School Photography: Drawing with Light
Students see photographs every day on television, on the Internet, and in magazines and newspapers. What makes a great photograph? How did the artist capture a story? What makes a great picture? What are careers in photography? In this course, students learn and apply fundamental skills to use a camera and take photographs of animals, people, and landscapes. Students gain an understanding of how photography can be a means of documentation or high art. Students examine photographic careers and explore self-reflection to progress their creative growth as they develop a photographic portfolio. This course helps students select subjects, take a photograph, and print and display memories!