Curriculum & Courses
Individualized curriculum choices
Pathways Academy Charter School Adult Education offers an online program for almost all courses through the award winning Edmentum curriculum. All courses meet California State Standards and are mastery based. Highly qualified, credentialed teachers support students in the completion of required courses and provide support through weekly feedback, one-on-one support, and instant course feedback.
History / Social Science
Providing students with the opportunity to learn about the historical events, philosophers, and topical issues that helped create the democratic foundations of this nation, Government is an engaging one-semester course that will introduce high school students to the Founding Fathers and expose them to the ideas that shaped the nation. Students will identify important political leaders and trace the development and organization of federal, state, and local government. In addition, students will explain the political process and analyze the United States’ role as a global, political, and economic participant. The course specifically targets the philosophies and foundations of the United States government, the organization of the branches of government, government on a state and local level, and civil liberties and laws. Full of timely and interesting content, this course will inspire students to be more informed citizens and equip them to understand how the United States compares economically and politically on a global scale.
*denotes semester long course
This course provides a broad view of the social science of economics. It builds on real-world economic applications to create a basic understanding of economic concepts and our economic system. It includes a range of both macro and microeconomic concepts with an emphasis on the American Free Enterprise System. This course relates economic principles through real-world situations students are familiar with.
Students will be introduced to the basics of economic principles, and they will learn the importance of understanding different economic systems. They will also investigate how to think like an economist. Students will explore different economic systems, including the American Free Enterprise System, and they will analyze and interpret data to understand the laws of supply and demand. Students will also be presented with economic applications in today’s world. From economics in the world of business, money, banking, and finance, students will see how economics is applied both domestically and globally. Students will also study how the government is involved in establishing economic stability in the American Free Enterprise System as well as the how the U.S. economy has a global impact.
Beginning with topics from prehistory and culminating in the events of the 21st century, World History provides interactive course content that will challenge high school students to learn about the political, economic, and social aspects of world history. This highly engaging, two-semester course encourages students to explore the major revolutions and social movements that have influenced different nations and eventually spread throughout the world. During this course, students will be exposed to a variety of pressing issues that have created opportunities for both conflict and cooperation in the modern world.
This one-year high school course presents a cohesive and comprehensive overview of the history of the United States, surveying the major events and turning points of U.S. history as it moves from the Era of Exploration through modern times. As students examine each era of history, they will analyze primary sources and carefully research events to gain a clearer understanding of the factors that have shaped U.S. history. In early units, students will assess the foundations of U.S. democracy while examining crucial documents. In later units, students will examine the effects of territorial expansion, the Civil War, and the rise of industrialization as they assess the outcomes of economic trends and the connections between culture and government. As the course draws to a close, students will focus their studies on the causes of cultural and political change in the modern age. Throughout the course, students will learn the importance of cultural diversity while examining history from different perspectives.
This freshman-year English course engages students in literary analysis and inferential evaluation of great texts both classic and contemporary. While critically reading fiction, poetry, drama, and literary nonfiction, students will master comprehension and literary-analysis strategies. Interwoven in the lessons across two semesters are activities that encourage students to strengthen their oral language skills and produce clear, coherent writing. Students will read a range of classic texts including Homer’s The Odyssey, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game.” They will also study short but complex texts, including influential speeches by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan. Contemporary texts by Richard Preston, Julia Alvarez, and Maya Angelou round out the course.
Focused on application, this sophomore English course reinforces literary analysis and twenty-first century skills with superb pieces of literature and literary nonfiction, application e-resources, and educational interactives. Each thematic unit focuses on specific literary analysis skills and allows students to apply them to a range of genres and text structures. As these units meld modeling and application, they also expand on training in media literacy, twenty- first century career skills, and the essentials of grammar and vocabulary. Under the guidance of the eWriting software, students also compose descriptive, persuasive, expository, literary analysis, research, narrative, and compare-contrast essays.
This junior-year English course invites students to delve into American literature from early American Indian voices through contemporary works. Students will engage in literary analysis and inferential evaluation of great texts, the centerpieces of this course. While critically reading fiction, poetry, drama, and expository nonfiction, students will master the comprehension and literary analysis strategies that the Common Core State Standards require. Interwoven in the lessons across two semesters are tasks that encourage students to strengthen their oral language skills and produce creative, coherent writing. Students will read a range of short but complex texts, including works by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Martin Luther King, Jr., F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sandra Cisneros, Amy Tan, and Dave Eggers.
This senior-level English course offers fascinating insight into British literary traditions spanning from Anglo-Saxon writing to the Modern Period. With interactive introductions and historical contexts, this full-year course connects philosophical, political, religious, ethical, and social influences of each time period to the works of many notable authors, including Chaucer, William Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth I, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Virginia Woolf. Adding an extra dimension to the British literary experience, this course also exposes students to world literature, including works from India, Europe, China, and Spain.
This full-year course focuses on five critical areas: relationships between quantities and reasoning with equations, linear and exponential relationships, descriptive statistics, expressions and equations, and quadratic functions and modeling. This course builds on the foundation set in middle grades by deepening students’ understanding of linear and exponential functions and developing fluency in writing and solving one-variable equations and inequalities. Students will interpret, analyze, compare, and contrast functions that are represented numerically, tabularly, graphically, and algebraically. Quantitative reasoning is a common thread throughout the course as students use algebra to represent quantities and the relationships among those quantities in a variety of ways. Standards of mathematical practice and process are embedded throughout the course, as students make sense of problem situations, solve novel problems, reason abstractly, and think critically.
This course focuses on functions, polynomials, periodic phenomena, and collecting and analyzing data. The course begins with a review of linear and quadratic functions to solidify a foundation for learning these new functions. Students make connections between verbal, numeric, algebraic, and graphical representations of functions and apply this knowledge as they create equations and inequalities that can be used to model and solve mathematical and real-world problems. As students refine and expand their algebraic skills, they will draw analogies among the operations and field properties of real numbers and those of complex numbers and algebraic expressions. Mathematical practices and habits of mind are embedded throughout the course, as students solve novel problems, reason abstractly, and think critically.
This course formalizes and extends middle school mathematics, deepening students’ understanding of linear relationships. The course begins with a review of relationships between quantities, building from unit conversion to a study of expressions, equations, and inequalities. Students contrast linear and exponential relationships, including a study of sequences, as well as applications such as growth and decay. Students review one-, two-, and multi-step equations, formally reasoning about each step using properties of equality. Students extend this reasoning to systems of linear equations. Students use descriptive statistics to analyze data before turning their attention to transformations and the relationship between Algebra and Geometry on the coordinate plane.
This course begins with a brief exploration of radicals and polynomials before delving into quadratic expressions, equations, and functions, including a derivation of the quadratic formula. Students then embark on a deep study of the applications of probability and develop advanced reasoning skills with a study of similarity, congruence, and proofs of mathematical theorems. Students explore right triangles with an introduction to right triangle trigonometry before turning their attention into the geometry of circles and making informal arguments to derive formulas for the volumes of various solids.
This course formalizes what students have learned about geometry in the middle grades with a focus on reasoning and making mathematical arguments. Mathematical reasoning is introduced with a study of triangle congruency, including exposure to formal proofs, and geometric constructions. Then students extend what they have learned to other essential triangle concepts, including similarity, right triangle trigonometry, and the Laws of Sines and Cosines. Moving on to other shapes, students justify and derive various formulas for circumference, area, and volume, as well as cross-sections of solids and rotations of two-dimensional objects. Students then make important connections between geometry and algebra, including special triangles, slopes of parallel and perpendicular lines, and parabolas in the coordinate plane, before delving into an in-depth investigation of the geometry of circles. The course closes with a study of set theory and probability, as students apply theoretical and experimental probability to make decisions informed by data analysis.
This compelling two-semester course engages students in the study of life and living organisms and examines biology and biochemistry in the real world. This is a yearlong course that encompasses traditional concepts in biology and encourages exploration of new discoveries in this field of science. The components include biochemistry, cell biology, cell processes, heredity and reproduction, the evolution of life, taxonomy, human body systems, and ecology.
Students enrolled in this dynamic course will explore the scope of Earth sciences, covering everything from basic structure and rock formation to the incredible and volatile forces that have shaped and changed our planet. As climate change and energy conservation become increasingly more prevalent in the national discourse, it will be important for students to understand the concepts and causes of our changing Earth. Earth Science is a two-semester course that will provide a solid foundation for understanding the physical characteristics that make the planet Earth unique and will examine how these characteristics differ among the planets of our solar system.
This rigorous full-year course engages students in the study of the composition, properties, changes, and interactions of matter. The course covers the basic concepts of chemistry and includes 18 virtual laboratory experiments that encourage higher-order thinking applications. The components of this course include chemistry and its methods, the composition and properties of matter, changes and interactions of matter, factors affecting the interactions of matter, electrochemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, nuclear chemistry, mathematical applications, and applications of chemistry in the real world.
Environmental science is a captivating and rapidly expanding field, and this two-semester course offers compelling lessons that cover many different aspects of the field: ecology, the biosphere, land, forests and soil, water, energy and resources, and societies and policy. Through unique activities and material, high school students connect scientific theory and concepts to current, real-world dilemmas, providing them with opportunities for mastery in each of the segments throughout the semester.
Language Other Than English
Students in high school begin their introduction to French with fundamental building blocks in four key areas of foreign language study: listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Each unit consists of an ongoing adventure story, a new vocabulary theme and grammar concept, numerous interactive games reinforcing vocabulary and grammar, reading and listening comprehension activities, speaking and writing activities, and multimedia cultural presentations covering major French-speaking areas in Europe and across the globe.
Students continue their introduction to French in this second-year, high school language course with review of fundamental building blocks in four key areas of foreign language study: listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Each unit consists of an ongoing adventure story, a new vocabulary theme and grammar concept, numerous interactive games reinforcing vocabulary and grammar, reading and listening comprehension activities, speaking and writing activities, cultural presentations covering major French- speaking areas across the globe, and assessments.
Students begin their introduction to high school Spanish with fundamental building blocks in four key areas of foreign language study: listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Each unit consists of an ongoing adventure story, a new vocabulary theme and grammar concept, numerous interactive games reinforcing vocabulary and grammar, reading and listening comprehension activities, speaking and writing activities, and multimedia cultural presentations covering major Spanish-speaking areas in Europe and the Americas.
High school students continue their introduction to Spanish with fundamental building blocks in four key areas of foreign language study: listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Each unit consists of an ongoing adventure story, a new vocabulary theme and grammar concept, numerous interactive games reinforcing vocabulary and grammar, reading and listening comprehension activities, speaking and writing activities, cultural presentations covering major Spanish-speaking areas in Europe and the Americas, and assessments.
In this expanding engagement with Spanish, high school students deepen their focus on four key skills in foreign language acquisition: listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. In addition, students read significant works of literature in Spanish, and respond orally or in writing to these works. Continuing the pattern, and building on what students encountered in the first two years, each unit consists of a new vocabulary theme and grammar concept, numerous interactive games reinforcing vocabulary and grammar, reading and listening comprehension activities, speaking and writing activities, and multimedia cultural presentations covering major Spanish-speaking areas in Europe and the Americas.
This two-semester course introduces high school students to the study of psychology and helps them master fundamental concepts in research, theory, and human behavior. Students analyze human growth, learning, personality, and behavior from the perspective of major theories within psychology, including the biological, psychosocial, and cognitive perspectives. From a psychological point of view, students investigate the nature of being human as they build a comprehensive understanding of traditional psychological concepts and contemporary perspectives in the field. Course components include an introduction to the history, perspectives, and research of psychology; an understanding of topics such as the biological aspects of psychology, learning, and cognitive development; the stages of human development; aspects of personality and intelligence; the classification and treatment of psychological disorders; and psychological aspects of social interactions.
Providing insight into the human dynamics of our diverse society, this is an engaging one-semester course that delves into the fundamental concepts of sociology. This interactive course, designed for high school students, covers cultural diversity and conformity, basic structures of society, individuals and socialization, stages of human development as they relate to sociology, deviance from social norms, social stratification, racial and ethnic interactions, gender roles, family structure, the economic and political aspects of sociology, the sociology of public institutions, and collective human behavior, both historically and in modern times.
*denotes semester long course
Introducing high school students to the working world, this course provides the knowledge and insight necessary to compete in today’s challenging job market. This relevant and timely course helps students investigate careers as they apply to personal interests and abilities, develop skills and job search documents needed to enter the workforce, explore the rights of workers and traits of effective employees, and address the importance of professionalism and responsibility as careers change and evolve. This one-semester course includes lessons in which students create a self-assessment profile, a cover letter, and a résumé that can be used in their educational or career portfolio.
*denotes semester long course