AP/DC Course Description

Course Description

            This is a college-level surveycourse designed to satisfy both the requirements of the College Board forAdvanced Placement U.S. History and U.S. History 1301/1302 at Palo Alto College.  It also meets the Standards established by the StateBoard of Education for U.S. History, as well as preparing students to pass theSTAAR End-of-Course Exam required for graduation.   
AP/DC U.S. History is a rigorousclass due to the enormous amount of content and the short time frame.  Students are expected to read and write extensively,to conduct independent research, and to be motivated and disciplined.  The student’s primary responsibility is toread the required text to ensure they have a full understanding of the requiredcurricula.  Students will be required to read one or twochapters per week in addition to other required readings projects, essays, anddiscussion.  Each reading assignment isaccompanied by notes recorded in a Journal, followed by a Quiz over thematerial and a Journal Check.  CumulativeTests over this material are given periodically.  Thesingle most important contributor to student success is completing each readingassignment and its accompanying work. There is no substitute.        

It is the instructor’sresponsibility to organize the curriculum to meet the requirements of theCollege Board, Palo Alto College, the State Board of Education, and to assisteach student to succeed in this class.  Todo this, the course is organized into Thematic andChronological Units reflecting historic eras and key issues.  Students will be taught historical thinkingskills, comparison and contextualization, historical interpretation and synthesis,and how to craft historical arguments from historical evidence.  Students will also learn to use technology toassist with their workload and will practice presentation skills in class.   

Access to a computer and theinternet is required.  Students who donot have a computer or internet access need to come to campus before or afterschool or to find access off campus.   

One goal of the class is to assist studentsto pass the AP Exam with a 5 or better.  All students will take the AP Exam.  Students who score a 5 on the AP Examgenerally receive an A for college credit (4 = B; 3 = C).  Dual Credit Students who pass the class witha C or better will earn 3 hours of college credit at Palo Alto.  For Dual Credit students, this grade maydiffer from the student’s Semester Grade because the college term ends inDecember, while the Semester ends in January. Students also receive credit toward high school graduation.  A grade of 80 or above is part of Districtrequirements for a Distinguished Graduate.  Students are expected to pass theEnd-of-Course Exam.                      

Course Grading Policy

Grades are based on student performance.  Formative grades (Daily grades, Quiz grades,etc.) count as 50% of the Nine Weeks Grade. Summative grades (Tests, Projects, etc.) comprise the remaining 50% ofthe Nine Weeks grade (27 Formative and 3 Summative grades are required each 9weeks).  District Progress Reports willbe handed out every three weeks:

Grading Key:  A = 90-100      B = 80-89        C = 75-79        D = 70-74            

Class Expectations:

·        Be present and ontime.  It is easy to get behind in thisclass.

·        Be prepared.  Bring completed homework and supplies: pen(blue or black only), pencil, paper, highlighters, thumb drive, small pencilsharpener, and a binder with dividers.

·        Follow directions, bothverbal and written.  It is important tounderstand exactly what is expected.

·       Late work will be NOT be accepted.  DON'T make excuses. Ifyou were absent, you have three class days to make up Formative grades uponyour return to class.  A missed Test mustbe taken before or after school.  Writingassignments and projects are due on the Due Date. 

·        Extra Credit is offered only to the entire class.  There is no individual Extra Credit.

·        DON'T plagiarize!  Plagiarism(copying from the internet, a book, or from another student’s paper withoutgiving credit) will be rewarded with a "zero." 

·        Observe District andClass Rules for behavior and dress. Class Rules are posted in the room.

·        DON'T tell me youcan't get to a computer.