Academics
Curriculum

Social Studies

The Social Studies Department encompasses a broad array of subjects both historical and non-historical. 
Mullen history courses are designed to help students comprehend the world in which they live with reference to cultural, political and economic forces and events. Non-history based courses, e.g. Geography and Psychology, are designed to further the student's knowledge of self, others and the physical world by way of scientific or philosophic inquiry. The department aims to foster the development of independent and critical abilities, effective communication skills, organizational competence and self-discipline. More importantly, the Department is committed to inculcating the ethics of Catholic-Christianity so that our students can become people of both faith and reason.

Essential Outcomes

List of 4 items.

  • Skills

    Students will be able to use the historical methods of inquiry to evaluate sources, critically analyze and synthesize data from primary and secondary sources. (Grad at Grad: Excellence in Education) 
    Students will:
    1. Read, take notes on, analyze, and evaluate a variety of sources
    2. Present information clearly in written, spoken, or electronic forms using analysis and detailed, research based, evidence from varied sources
  • Content

    Students will be able to understand the concepts of continuity and change, connectedness of people and places, cause and effect, and unity and diversity over time. (Grad at Grad: Excellence in Education) 
    Students will:
    1. Make connections and comparisons between people, places, cultures, ideas, and events
    2. Analyze the causes and effects of major events in history
    3. Identify major themes and ideas that have united and divided societies
  • Citizenship

    Students will be able to understand how ethics, social justice, citizenship, and economic choices are essential components of successful communities. (Grad at Grad: Concern for the Poor and Social Justice, Excellence in Education, Respect for all People, Participation within Inclusive Community) 
    Students will:
    1. Explain using examples the role economics play in a successful community.
    2. Evaluate social justice, citizenship, and ethics as they relate to society
  • Role of Faith

    Students will be able to Understand the role of faith in shaping the world. (Grad at Grad: Faith in Presence of God, Excellence in Education, Respect for all People, Participation within Inclusive Community)
    Students will:
    1. Explain how religion is a force that guides actions
    2. Compare and contrast the affect of religion on world societies

Faculty

List of 9 items.

  • Tammy Christensen

    Department Chair
    tammy.christensen@mullenhigh.com
    BA in Social Science, University of Southern Colorado 
    MA in Education, University of Southern Colorado
    Bio
  • Devon Brady

    devon.brady@mullenhigh.com
    BA in Economics, University of Arizona
    Bio
  • Liz Castellano '05

    liz.castellano@mullenhigh.com
    BA in History & Education, Regis University
    MA in Linguistically Diverse Education, Regis University
    Bio
  • Tim DeNezza

    tim.denezza@mullenhigh.com
    AB in Government, Harvard College
    MA in Secondary Education, Seattle University
    Bio
  • Britt Gusmus

    britt.gusmus@mullenhigh.com
    MA Humanities, Regis University
    MEd Education, Regis University
    Bio
  • Chaye Gutierrez

    chaye.gutierrez@mullenhigh.com
    BA in History, University of Denver
    MA in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Special Education, University of Denver
    Bio
  • Matthew Petrone

    matthew.petrone@mullenhigh.com
    BA in History, Fresno State
    MA Secondary Education, Loyola Marymount University
    Bio
  • Katie Schneringer '95

    katie.schneringer@mullenhigh.com
    BA in History & Education, Lake Forest College
    MA in Cross-cultural Education & ESL, Lake Forest College
    Bio
  • Heidi Trevithick

    heidi.trevithick@mullenhigh.com
    BA History / Political Science, Colorado College
    Bio

Course Offerings

List of 26 items.

  • Economics

    This course teaches students how society manages its scarce resources, how people make decisions, interact in the domestic and international markets, and how forces and trends affect the economy as a whole. Students will understand the allocation of scarce resources in societies through analysis of individual choice, market interaction, and public policy. In studying macroeconomics, they will analyze how government activities influence the economy through comparing and contrasting the monetary and fiscal policies of the U.S. government to stabilize the economy. They will analyze the role of corporations in U.S. political history. Students will study command markets, socialism, communism, and market capitalism along with the market structures of pure competition, oligopoly, and monopolies. (NCAA Course)
  • Forensics: Law

    This course should follow Forensic Science. Using the jurisprudence system in criminal law, they will understand the criminal statutes, exclusionary evidence, procedural and substantive due process, and the rights of defendants charged with first degree/second degree murder. They will study high profile cases and critically analyze the evidence, and issues regarding testimony and admissibility of evidence in court from the standpoint of the prosecution and the defense. Students will learn basic court rules and protocol to conduct a mock trial as a major course project. (NCAA course)
  • Holocaust

    This course provides students with an interdisciplinary treatment of literature, history, art, music, and the immorality of Hitler and the Nazis during the Shoah. The historical approach will include the history of anti-Semitism, pre and post World War I, Jewish life in pre-war Europe, the Holocaust, trials at Nuremberg, the development of the state of Israel, genocide since the Shoah, and present day relations between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Literary works include fiction and nonfiction accounts from survivors, victims, and perpetrators through poetry, short stories, personal accounts, and biographies. Theological issues covered include racial and ethnic prejudice, Jewish and Christian heritage, and the moral decision making for those involved in the Holocaust during the Final Solution. (NCAA Course)
  • Psychology II

    Psychology II continues to explore the various, complex factors that help describe and explain behavior and mental processes. With a focus on memory, social psychology, and research methods, Psychology II helps students better understand both themselves and the world around them. Additionally, it introduces students to the research methods and techniques psychologists use to better understand the incredibly complex world of human behavior and mental processes.
  • Human Geography College Prep

    This course is designed to introduce students to the study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth's surface. Students learn to employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human socioeconomic organization and its environmental consequences. The course is a required class and must be taken before graduation. (NCAA Course)
  • Human Geography AP

    AP Human Geography introduces high school students to college-level introductory human geography or cultural geography. The content is presented thematically rather than regionally and is organized around the discipline’s main subfields: economic geography, cultural geography, political geography, and urban geography. The approach is spatial and problem oriented. Case studies are drawn from all world regions, with an emphasis on understanding the world in which we live today. Historical information serves to enrich analysis of the impacts of phenomena such as globalization, colonialism, and human–environment relationships on places, regions, cultural landscapes, and patterns of interaction. Exam Fee Required.
  • Psychology I

    Psychology I acquaints students with the fundamentals of human behavior and mental processes. As a science, psychology requires a systematic approach to comprehending human thought and behavior. With a focus on the various psychological perspectives, neuroscience, learning, and abnormal psychology, students work to better understand the complex factors that shape human behavior and mental processes. Therefore, grasping how and why people act and think as they do is the overriding objective of Psychology I.
  • Recent American History

    This course is designed to provide students with an overview of America's most important historical and cultural developments between 1945 and 1987. This course will focus heavily on both the foreign and domestic issues, which have shaped the attitudes and expectations of the American people. Study of the Cold War, the civil rights movement, the modern welfare state, Vietnam, the counter-culture, pop culture, and the Reagan Revolution will enable students to comprehend both who they are and what it means to be an American. Each theme includes a variety of essential questions that will challenge the students to think critically about both the past and the present. Within each theme a variety of approaches will be used to both teach and assess the essential concepts. (NCAA Course)
  • U.S. Government and Politics AP

    AP U.S. Government and Politics provides a college-level, nonpartisan introduction to key political concepts, ideas, institutions, policies, interactions, roles, and behaviors that characterize the constitutional system and political culture of the United States. Students will study U.S. foundational documents, Supreme Court decisions, and other texts and visuals to gain an understanding of the relationships and interactions among political institutions, processes, and behaviors. They will also engage in disciplinary practices that require them to read and interpret data, make comparisons and applications, and develop evidence-based arguments. In addition, they will complete a political science research or applied civics project.  Exam Fee Required.
     
  • U.S. Government A College Prep

    This class covers the basic structure of the American government with particular emphasis on the U.S. Constitution and the electoral process. The course will introduce the six principles of Constitutionalism; federalism, rule of law, popular sovereignty, judicial review, checks and balances, and separation of powers, and closely examine the election process from local caucuses through the nominations and elections of candidates. Students will be expected to master a comprehensive civics vocabulary, learn to effectively use a variety of sources to support political positions and arguments, and further improve their analytic writing and speaking skills as they participate in civic discourse. The course uses a variety of methods for instruction including class readings, lecture, mock elections, discussion, group projects, and written essays tests and quizzes. This course also requires students to fulfill a contract of outside interviews and visits to govt., community and civic orgs.
  • U.S. Government A Honors

    This class covers the basic structure of the American government with particular emphasis on the U.S. Constitution and the electoral process to introduce the six principles of Constitutionalism and closely examine the election process from local caucuses through the nominations and elections of candidates. Students will be expected to master a comprehensive civics vocabulary, learn to effectively use a variety of sources to support political positions and arguments, and further improve their analytical writing and speaking skills as they participate in civic discourse. Honors students will be required to complete Summer reading on the Founding Brothers. The course also requires students to fulfill a contract of outside interviews and visits to government, community and social organizations, and a second contract requiring the collection and analysis of weekly current events. Summer reading assignments required.
  • U.S. Government B College Prep

    This class covers the judicial branch along with a more advanced study of the Presidency, the influence of the media, the power of special interest groups, the federal bureaucracy, and the development of foreign policy. Two areas of focus will include the tracking and analysis of current or recent legislation and an introduction to the court system, civil liberties and due process. . The course uses a variety of methods for instruction including class readings, lecture, mock trials , discussion, group projects, and written essays tests and quizzes. Students must also complete a contract of outside interviews and visits to the judicial and criminal justice system of their state or county and a second contract requiring the collection and analysis of weekly current events. The will research and write a position paper on a landmark decision. (NCAA Course)
  • U.S. Government B Honors

    This class covers the judicial branch, the state and federal jurisdictions, civil liberties and due process of law. Students must complete a contract of outside interviews and visits to the judicial and criminal justice system of their state, county, and municipality finding weekly current events on criminal and civil court cases. They will critically analyze various readings and views concerning judicial restraint versus judicial activism as it applies to the Supreme Court. Honors students will be required to read and submit chapter summaries of the book The Case Against the Supreme Court and write evaluative research paper on the Supreme Court’s effectiveness over time. Students will be required to complete additional outside reading on the appeal process and/or the current social issues involved in Civil Rights.  (NCAA Course)
  • U.S. History A

    This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the economic, political, Social, geographic and cultural forces that shaped the development of the United States between 1754 and 1887. Students will study the political and social elements of the American Revolution, the struggles and social injustices of the young Republic, the causes, actions and results of the Civil War, and the growth and expansion of the US and its economy. Supportive texts, teacher modelling and graphic organizers assist students in researching, note-taking, creating and defending ideas, analyzing various texts, exploring the historical methodology and preparing for deeper understanding the social sciences. (NCAA Course)
  • U.S. History A College Prep

    This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the economic, political, social, geographic and cultural forces that shaped the development of the United States between 1754 and 1887. The A trimester will include a larger focus on the political and social elements of the American Revolution, the struggles and social injustices of the young Republic, the causes, actions and results of the Civil War, and the growth and expansion of the US and its economy.
  • U.S. History A Honors

    This course is designed to provide students with the analytical skills and factual knowledge to deal critically with the problems and issues in American History. Students will learn to assess historical materials, their relevance to a given interpretive problem, their reliability and their importance. The course will focus on the political, geographic, and cultural forces that have shaped the development of the United States between 1754 and 1887. The A semester will include a larger focus on the political and social elements of the American Revolution, the struggles and social injustices of the young Republic, the causes actions and results of the Civil War, and the growth and expansion of the US and its Economy
  • U.S. History AP

    The AP U.S. History course is designed to provide students with the analytic skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in U.S. history. The class prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands upon them equivalent to those made by full-year introductory college courses. In the class, students will learn to assess historical materials and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship. This three trimester course is taken in place of the U.S. History core classes. Exam Fee Required
  • U.S. History B

    This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the economic, political, social, geographic and cultural forces that shaped the development of the United States between 1880 and 1980. The students will study the industrial and military growth in the US, the Great Depression, the World Wars, Cold War, Vietnam War and the struggle for Civil Rights.  Supportive texts, teacher modelling and graphic organizers assist students in researching, note-taking, creating and defending ideas, analyzing various texts, exploring the historical methodology and preparing for deeper understanding the social sciences. (NCAA Course)
  • U.S. History B College Prep

    This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the economic, political, social, geographic and cultural forces that shaped the development of the United States between 1880 and 1980. The B trimester will include a larger focus on Industrial and Military Growth, The Rise of Progressivism, The Great Depression, the World Wars, The Cold War, the Vietnam War, and the struggle for Civil Rights.
  • U.S. History B H

    This course is designed to provide students with the analytical skills and factual knowledge to deal critically with the problems and issues in American History. Students will learn to assess historical materials, their relevance to a given interpretive problem, their reliability and their importance. The course will focus on the political, geographic, and cultural forces that have shaped the development of the United States between 1880 and 1980. The B Semester will include a larger focus on Industrial and Military Growth, The Rise of Progressivism, The Great Depression, the World Wars, and the Cold War. 
  • World History A

    This course is designed to acquaint students with World History from the late medieval world to 19th century revolutions. Students will examine the political philosophies that shaped the world, the role of religion, the consequences of interaction on world cultures and economies, and the results of the search for new knowledge. Topics of study will include the Renaissance and Reformation, Age of Exploration and Discovery, the Emergence of Nation-State, the Age of Reason, and the impact of revolutions. Students in this course will receive additional guidance and structure to aid in the development of historical skills. Supportive texts, teacher modelling and graphic organizers assist students in researching, note-taking, creating and defending ideas, analyzing various texts, exploring the historical methodology and preparing for deeper understanding the social sciences. (NCAA Course)
  • World History A College Prep

    This course is designed to acquaint students with World History from the late medieval world to 19th century revolutions. Students will examine the political philosophies that shaped the world, the role of religion, the consequences of interaction on world cultures and economies, and the results of the search for new knowledge. Topics of study will include the Renaissance and Reformation, Age of Exploration and Discovery, the Emergence of Nation-State, the Age of Reason, and the impact of revolutions. This course will also develop historical skills including researching, note-taking, creating and defending ideas, analyzing various texts, exploring the historical methodology and preparing for deeper understanding the social sciences. (NCAA Course)
  • World History A Honors

    This course is designed to acquaint students with World History from the late medieval world to 19th century revolutions. Students will examine the political philosophies that shaped the world, the role of religion, the consequences of interaction on world cultures and economies, and the results of the search for new knowledge. Topics of study will include the Renaissance and Reformation, Age of Exploration and Discovery, the Emergence of Nation-State, the Age of Reason, and the impact of revolutions. This course will also develop historical skills including researching, note-taking, creating and defending ideas, analyzing various texts, exploring the historical methodology and preparing for deeper understanding the social sciences. For a student to thrive in honors, they have a greater responsibility to work independently, provide more complexity and detail in the creation and defense of ideas, read analytic texts from varied sources, and move at an accelerated pace.
  • World History B

    This course is designed to acquaint students with World History from the Industrial Age through the origins of the Cold War. Students will examine the role of technology and conflicting political ideologies as well as the decline of Asian power and the growth of Europe, the impact of economics on world order and the changing role of the church. Topics of study will include the Industrial Revolution, the Age of Imperialism, the world wars and the beginning of the Cold War. Students in this course will receive additional guidance and structure to aid in the development of historical skills. Supportive texts, teacher modelling and graphic organizers assist students in researching, note-taking, creating and defending ideas, analyzing various texts, exploring the historical methodology and preparing for deeper understanding the social sciences. (NCAA Course)
  • World History B College Prep

    This course is designed to acquaint students with World History from the Industrial Age through the origins of the Cold War. Students will examine the role of technology and conflicting political ideologies as well as the decline of Asian power and the growth of Europe, the impact of economics on world order and the changing role of the church. Topics of study will include the Industrial Revolution, the Age of Imperialism, the world wars and the beginning of the Cold War. This course will also develop historical skills including researching, note-taking, creating and defending ideas, analyzing various texts, exploring the historical methodology and preparing for deeper understanding the social sciences. (NCAA Course)
  • World History B Honors

    This course is designed to acquaint students with World History from the Industrial Age through the origins of the Cold War. Students will examine the role of technology and conflicting political ideologies as well as the decline of Asian power and the growth of Europe, the impact of economics on world order and the changing role of the church. Topics of study will include the Industrial Revolution, the Age of Imperialism, the world wars and the beginning of the Cold War. This course will also develop historical skills including researching, note-taking, creating and defending ideas, analyzing various texts, exploring the historical methodology and preparing for deeper understanding the social sciences. For a student to thrive in honors, they have a greater responsibility to work independently, provide more complexity and detail in the creation and defense of ideas, read analytical texts from varied sources and move at an accelerated pace. (NCAA Course)