Specialized Studies


In Specialized Studies, we know that learning is not compartmentalized, but spans across fields of knowledge and areas of study.  Additionally, to be successful in today’s technology-based, global society, students must be able to collaborate, engage diverse perspectives, and approach problems with a positive mindset.  To address this, the Specialized Studies Dept. offers courses in applied mathematics, computer science, business, philosophy, engineering, and other academic fields.  We offer students the opportunity to advance their critical thinking skills, immerse themselves in complex issues, and engage in broader themes and applied problem-solving.
As a graduation requirement, each student must earn at least ½ credits in Specialized Studies.



List of 8 items.


    Credit card or debit card? Buy a car or lease one? Cash value insurance, term insurance, renters insurance or none at all? Which mutual fund for a 401(k)…what is a mutual fund? Tax liability, risk management, fraud, on-line banking, student loans, cost-benefit analysis? Overwhelmed? Personal Finance can help you learn the skills that will lead you to financial success. You can manage your own money using a budget and checkbook; make smart decisions about credit, investing, filing taxes, insurance, and much more. Learn how to be financially independent. Financial success – is it in your future? Work time will be given in class to complete course assignments/projects. Work outside of class may be needed for small homework assignments, research and/or if extra time is needed beyond that given in class.  

    1 semester, grades 10-12, $15 fee
  • ACCOUNTING I – 4010

    Accounting is the key to opening the door to the business world, which is why it is often called the "language of business." Accounting I introduces students to basic accounting concepts, principles, and practices used in completing an accounting cycle. Understanding how accounting data are accumulated through the double-entry procedure and how to use such data are important outcomes of the course. Accounting careers and becoming a CPA will also be discussed. This course is a must for any student considering a business career. Work time will be given in class to complete course assignments, end of chapter activities, and the final simulation. Work outside of class may be needed to study for chapter tests and/or if extra time is needed for assignments beyond that given in class.

    Grades 9-12, 1 semester
  • COLLEGE ACCOUNTING – 4011 and 4012

    Gain an advantage over other students by taking this college-level financial accounting course now! Students will learn how businesses plan for and evaluate their operating, financing and investing decisions. This year-long course covers all the learning objectives of a traditional college-level financial accounting course. Topics include basic accounting principles, accounting information systems, time value of money, accounting for merchandising firms, sales and receivables, fixed assets, and debt and equity. Much like a traditional college course, time must be set aside outside of class to read from the text, create study materials for assessments, and complete homework assignments. On average, students should plan to devote at least 30 minutes a night to this course in order to be successful. 

    ** College Accounting will be offered alternate years; it will be offered in 2017-18, but not 2018-19.
    2 semesters, grades 10-12, $15 fee
  • AP STATISTICS – 4021 and 4022

    AP Statistics is intended for students who wish to complete studies equivalent to a one semester, introductory, non-Calculus based, college course in statistics. This course will introduce students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Broad conceptual themes treated in this course include exploring data by describing patterns and departures from patterns, sampling and experimentation, anticipating patterns using probability and simulation, and statistical inference. Students who successfully complete this course and the AP exam may receive credit, advanced placement, or both for a one-semester introductory college statistics course. All students are expected to take the AP Statistics exam. 

    2 semesters, 10-12 grades, AP preparation material and exam fees
    Prerequisite: Algebra II with Trigonometry or Honors Algebra II or Freshman Algebra II
    Required: TI-84 Plus Silver Edition or TI-84 Plus CE
    Fee: AP preparation materials and exam fee

    This course is designed for students interested in problem solving and real-world applications of engineering principles and serves as a basis for students that may consider engineering as a career. In this project-based course, students will become familiar with the engineering process as they consider the distinct phases of engineering and problem solving. Projects involve structural design, data analysis, 18 computer programming, reverse engineering, and more. Students will meet female engineers from a variety of disciplines. Course fee covers consumables used for project work. 

    1 semester, grades 10-12, $30 fee
  • AP COMPUTER SCIENCE A – 4151 and 4152

    This course will teach computer programming using JAVA, an object-oriented programming language. It is equivalent to a first-semester college level course and will cover programming methodology, algorithm design, testing methods, logical reasoning, and problem solving. Topics include data structures, conditional statements, iteration, arrays, inheritance, recursion, and object-oriented design. The course follows the syllabus recommended by the College Board. Students who successfully complete the AP Computer Science A exam may receive credit for a one-semester introductory college computing course. 

    2 semesters, grades 10-12, AP preparation materials and exam fees
    Required: a computer laboratory will be used for this class. access to a computer outside of school (with administrative privileges) is highly recommended. a very limited number of laptops are available for check-out from the library.
    Prerequisite: successful completion of any Algebra II class
    Fee: AP preparation materials and exam fees

    The Communications/Speech course is designed so that the student, working at her own level, will improve her ability to communicate extemporaneously in public speaking, interpersonal, and group situations. This is accomplished through extemporaneous speeches and discussions of other speeches and the many factors influencing communication success. In addition, the student will learn to organize, research, and select language for effective speech writing. She will also learn to analyze and to evaluate public speakers. Seven speeches are required; extemporaneous style is stressed.

    10th-12th grade, 1 semester

    In this course, students will seek answers to various ethical questions and will learn to appreciate the complexity of ethics. Questions like these will be examined: What constitutes a good life? What is the relationship between individual and communal goods? How can we become better people through our examination of ethical issues? Essentially, this course will introduce students to the philosophical study of morality. Morality is our human concern about the rightness or wrongness of actions which involve the rights of all humans to fair and just treatment. We will begin by establishing a common or shared understanding of the philosophical terms and distinctions needed for comprehending and deciding ethical issues. This vocabulary will then be used to examine and critique the various philosophical views (more conservative, less conservative, and moderating) about ethical or moral behavior.

    11th-12th grade, 1 semester
    Students will be eligible to receive 3 transferable college credits from Cardinal Stritch University by enrolling in the Concurrent Enrollment dual-credit program. - Learn more about AP & Dual-Credit Offerings Here
**Students will be eligible to receive 3 transferable college credits by enrolling in the Concurrent Enrollment dual-credit program.
Learn more about AP & Dual-Credit Offerings Here
Discover some extended and related opportunities outside of the Specialized Studies classroom:

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