Social Sciences Department Feature

Saint Joseph's Social Sciences courses are characterized by cooperative learning, problem-solving and critical thinking.

By Mr. Chad Walsh
Social Sciences Teacher
December 2021

The Saint Joseph’s Social Sciences Department consists of a rigorous, challenging curriculum that has been carefully constructed to build on itself over the course of a four-year period. Students have the option of taking two AP courses in their high school career, along with other subjects that are designed to promote critical thinking in solving real-world social issues that our graduates will encounter beyond these walls.

Social Studies Faculty

Mrs. Amy Sharp and Mr. Chad Walsh, Social Sciences Teaching Faculty

As Freshmen, Saint Joseph’s students take Intro to Humanities, a survey course that delves into the basics of human development, social constructs, government and economic systems, and western philosophy.

Sophomores move into the U.S. History portion of the curriculum, choosing Foundations of United States History or AP United States History.

Junior year comes with yet another choice between Contemporary World History (Renaissance-21st Century) and AP European History.

Finally, Senior year is a combination of Intro to Economics, Civics, and Global Issues. We think of it as all of the things they will need as they go out onto their own as responsible contributors to the economy, society, and political landscape of our world.

Through our courses we emphasize the ability to analyze data, focusing on primary and secondary historical sources to assist in making claims about the decisions that have, and continue to shape our society. Students conduct research assignments, designed to locate evidence that support and/or refutes arguments, presentations to hone their interpersonal and soft skills, and group initiatives focused on cooperative learning, problem-solving and critical thinking. Each of these vital skills are built upon year-by-year so that by the time they are seniors they feel confident and comfortable in their readiness for the next step in their academic career.

Our alumni have consistently given feedback that when they arrive on their respective college campuses after graduation, they have felt prepared to take on, not only the challenges in the classroom, but also leadership roles within their university communities in order to effect positive change on campus. At the end of the day, that is the goal of our department... We work to introduce our students to the tools to know what questions to ask, where to find the answers, and how to use those answers to contribute in meaningful ways to the future of our society.


Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy

901 Boalsburg Pike, Boalsburg, PA 16827
(814) 808-6118