Advanced Placement United States History Syllabus (DOC)

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					Advanced Placement United States History Syllabus
Taryn League, Gonzaga Preparatory High School                                       1

                     Advanced Placement United States History Syllabus (AP®)

      Divine, Robert et. al. The American Story, Single Volume Edition.
              Motto: “Read the book, read the book, read the gosh darn book.”
      The Princeton Review for AP US History 2009 or 2010 edition

Course Description

        AP US History is designed for highly motivated and responsible students who have an avid and
earnest interest in US History. This course is also highly recommended for those students pursuing the
most rigorous of our college-bound curriculum. The course is taught over two semesters and fulfills the
equivalent of one quarter/semester’s worth of college-level academic study. The AP course surveys the
history of the United States from the pre-Columbian era to the present. It is designed to provide a
comprehensive overview of the political, economic, social, cultural, diplomatic and intellectual aspects
of US History. Students will build factual knowledge and develop the thinking and writing skills
necessary to assess and analyze historical materials. Writing will be consistently stressed. Students are
required to take the AP Exam in May which may earn college credit in US History depending on the
student’s college of choice. A score of a 3, 4 or 5 is considered successful and the college of your
choice (based on their own requirements) may award credit for a mark of 3 or higher. That said, more
and more private schools are getting increasingly selective about credit awarded, in fact Gonzaga
University will not take anything less than a 5. Most Ivy League colleges will not award credit for the
class but will look on your transcript to see that you have taken AP and have scored well, (a 4 or 5).
Please familiarize yourself with your colleges of interest through their website or catalogue. Successful
Gonzaga Prep AP US History students will be encouraged to enroll in AP US Government and Politics
or AP European History for their senior year.
        This is my third year teaching AP. I learned a lot the past two years and will be implementing
that acquired knowledge into this year’s course. I am hoping that my role as AP coach will assist you in
obtaining a good score but ultimately it is up to you. You control the score, not me. It is up to you to do
your best on the exam, obviously I will not be there to provide help or assistance on the day of the exam
so you need to take this year to acquire the tools that will enable you to do well. All of that said, my
students’ scores were very good last year, the classes had an average of 3.12 which puts AP US History
in with the top scores of the school. Of 58 students who took the exam 70% received a 3 or better. This
is significantly higher than our local public school overall average of a 54% obtaining a 3 or better, or a
2.72! In addition, taking the exam as it is NOT required so those scores reflect the “top” students who
opt to take it.
        Please get acquainted with the College Board’s Advanced Placement website
( This is a comprehensive guide for dealing with all things AP.
Advanced Placement United States History Syllabus
Taryn League, Gonzaga Preparatory High School                                   2

Course Content

Semester 1:           Pre-Columbian Societies
                      Colonial America
                      The Road to Revolution
                      The Early Republic
                      Antebellum America- Economy, Politics and Religion
                      Territorial Expansion and Manifest Destiny
                      Crisis of the Union & Civil War
                      Reconstruction & the New South

Semester 2:           Development of the West & Industrial America in the 19th Century
                      Urban Society
                      Populism & Progressivism
                      America Emerges as a World Power
                      WWI & American Society
                      The Roaring Twenties
                      The Great Depression and the New Deal
                      WWII & American Society
                      The US and the Early Cold War
                      Power & Politics in the Second Half of the 20th Century


Academic Responsibility:
   1) Be prepared. Come to class ready to work; textbook, notebook, homework, pencils, pens, etc. I
      will not let you leave class to go obtain items that you have forgotten.
   2) Be earnest. Participate in the activities presented (both individual and group tasks.) Ask
      questions, respond to questions, listen, look, learn.
   3) Students are expected to be in class on all scheduled test days and project days. Unless it is
      a school-related absence or a major illness with a doctor’s note a make-up test will not be
      available. Parent notes are not accepted.
   4) Quizzes, assignments and projects have scheduled due dates. Failure to hand in an assignment
      by the scheduled time will result in that assignment not being accepted. If you have an excused
      absence, make-up work must be handed in the day after you return to class or you receive a “0”
      grade for the assignment. Please look on the side of the file cabinet for any pertinent handouts
      you have missed.
   5) Quizzes will be given on a near-daily basis. The quizzes will cover the previous night’s
      homework and/or class material covered the previous day. As juniors, you have the ability to
      extract the important information. Daily quizzes will not be made up in the case of an
      absence, excused or unexcused. The quiz will be recorded as a non-grade. You are allowed
      one of these per quarter. After that, the quiz grade will be a zero.
Advanced Placement United States History Syllabus
Taryn League, Gonzaga Preparatory High School                                       3

   6) There will be a test each unit. A study guide will be given prior to each test. Testable material
       will be from notes, presentations, video, readings and primary source documents. The format
       will provide an opportunity to use the AP-style of testing (MC, DBQ and free response) as well
       as other assessment questions.
   7) There will be a cumulative semester exam at the end of each semester. A study guide will be
       given but you should also use terms.
   8) Assignments should always include your name and date. Failure to do so will result in 1 point
       being taken away 1st Semester and 2 points taken away 2nd Semester.
   9) Projects are due by 3:00pm on the day they are due. Printer failure, computer issues, etc are
       not acceptable excuses for not submitting projects. Save your documents to a flash drive and/or
       your student folder at school. I can access your student folders from my computer. If you are a
       member of a group project all members must be present – see Test Day Policy.
   10) Academic dishonesty: Please refer to your student handbook. I expect that you will keep your
       eyes on your own paper, will do your own assignment work and will demonstrate your personal
       knowledge to the best of your OWN abilities. As AP students, I expect this even more so.
   11) If you have a “D” at the end of 1st quarter you will be moved to a regular US History class
       for 2nd quarter. “D” work is unacceptable for AP level classes. In addition, a D or lower at
       semester will also result in movement.

All students are expected to keep a year-long notebook. You must keep ALL YOUR TERMS!!! The
notebook is imperative and critical to have in order to prepare for the AP Exam as well as regular tests,
semester exams, quizzes, etc. The notebook must consist of class notes, assignments, essays, quizzes,
tests, readings, etc. DO NOT THROW ANYTHING AWAY.


Please see the Student Handbook for policies relating to tardiness and absences. Find a way to get your
assignments in when you are absent – email is the best way. When you are absent email me for specific
assignments you have missed and pick up handouts when you return from the magnet clip on the side of
the file cabinet. It is important to communicate with me as late assignments are not accepted. The work missed is YOUR responsibility, not mine. Please respect that the few
minutes before the bell rings is simply NOT a good time to contact me about being absent, I need that
time to prepare for class and make sure that your day’s lesson is ready to go.
If you need to use the restroom, please pick up a pass located at the front of the classroom. You will
have 4 minutes leave time. Don’t ask, just go. However, if you are caught misusing this privilege you
will earn lunch JUG.
Advanced Placement United States History Syllabus
Taryn League, Gonzaga Preparatory High School                                      4


Grading is a delicate balance between daily assignments, quizzes, papers and tests. Typically a final
exam is worth about 15-20% of your grade, which leaves the emphasis on your daily responsibilities. In
other words, you have the most control over the grade you earn. Letter grades will be assigned in
accordance with school policy. You will NOT receive a better grade in the class if you earn a “5” on
the AP exam. You earn the grades you receive during the year (over 2 semesters) independent of the
exam. I will however be very excited for you! The exam is not the sole focus of the coursework. In
addition, attendance is important and if you miss more than 5 classes your grade will be lowered. Please
see your handbook for specifics.

Classroom Procedures:
    You should be familiar with the student handbook for Gonzaga Prep’s policies regarding dress
       code, absenteeism, tardiness, language, and classroom conduct.
    No food or drink in the classroom. Water is always permitted.
    Please do not sharpen pencils or toss garbage during class.
    It would be wise not to start packing in anticipation of the bell.
    I should NEVER hear or see a cell phone or MP3 player.
    Writing on desks will give you the opportunity to scrub all desks during lunch or after school.
    The teacher and students will treat every person in the class with respect.

A Message From Mrs. League

I am available for help. Do not wait until you are sinking – ask me as soon as you have a question or
     See me before school, break or lunch. I am not here in the afternoons as I only teach 1st -4th
     Email me: or

If you DO NOT see me for help, I assume one of the following:
     You are pleased with your work and your progress in the class.
     You are not doing well but realize that it is due to your own lack of effort and has nothing to do
       with your ability to comprehend the material as presented.

This class is challenging. I will help prepare you for the test but you are largely working through
college material that will not always follow the AP test format. I strongly suggest working on your own
consistently for the test in May. Based on the AP conferences that I have attended it was made clear to
me that the content must be delivered in a college-like atmosphere and that the test preparation was
expected to be secondary. Since you may obtain college credit for this class that seems fitting. You may
have some setbacks along the way but learn from your mistakes and try, try again!
Advanced Placement United States History Syllabus
Taryn League, Gonzaga Preparatory High School                                        5

Students please read the syllabus with your parents/guardians. In addition please share the AP
scoring guide.

                                                             Student Initials   Parent Initials
       I have read and understand this Syllabus, including the
        Course Description, Course Content, Expectations and
        the Message from Mrs. League.                           _________       _________

I have read and understand the requirements for the AP US History Course at Gonzaga Prep and I am
committed to completing all reading and writing assignments and to being present and prepared for

_____________________________                      ______________________________
Student Printed Name                               Student Signature

I have read and understand the requirements for the AP US History Course at Gonzaga Prep including
the sections regarding absences. I will support my child in his/her commitment to completing all
assignments and to being present and prepared for class. I also understand that a “D” or lower grade
will result in my student being moved to regular US History class. In addition, I understand that the
grades earned for the course are INDEPENDENT of the score received for the exam.

_____________________________                      ______________________________
Parent Printed Name                                Parent Signature

                           The AP BOARD interprets the 5-
                             point scale as the following:

                                5 – extremely well qualified
                                4 – well qualified
                                3 – qualified
                                2 – possibly qualified
                                1 – no recommendation