Aquinas offers twelve honors courses for students who desire greater challenge in their coursework and would like to better prepare themselves for college-level work.
The honors level courses currently offered include:
Prerequisites: AB or better in Band, Chamber, or Choir and approval of their current music instructor.
Must be taken concurrently with Concert Band, Chamber Ensemble or Robed Choir.
The purpose of this course is to inspire music participation, create enthusiasm, stimulate a desire to render service, and promote leadership in the music students at Aquinas High School.
Junior Honors English: American Literature
Intended for students who excel in analytical and writing skills, this course is a survey of American Literature from Native American Literature to the present. Critical thinking and writing with attention to the nuances of tone, form, stylistic distinction, theme, and symbolism will be the backbone of the course. Consistent participation in classroom discussion and completion of a major research paper are mandatory.
Senior Honors English: World Literature
Eligible students may apply for Saint Mary’s University college credit, which is transferable to other colleges and universities (See school counselors for information). This course is a discussion and essay-based class that examines World Literature. Critical thinking with attention to the nuances of tone, form, stylistic distinction, theme, and symbolism will be the backbone of the course. Consistent participation in classroom discussion and completion of projects, essays, and other papers is mandatory.
College Prep Writing I
University writing involves critical reading, writing, and thinking as students practice the types of academic writing they may expect in their college careers. Students will utilize steps in the writing process such as invention, research, organization, drafting, revision, and editing. This course is designed to help students develop a clear thesis in a written paper and support that thesis with appropriate evidence, sources, and documentation. The main goal of this course is to focus on improving writing skills through practice, analysis, and assessment. Students will use the skills they have developed in their English classes, but they will be asked to explore topics more critically and to express themselves more fluently.
College Prep Writing II
This course is a continuation of College Prep Writing I. Students will be asked to focus more on revision with a stronger emphasis on grammar and vocabulary. Students will also work on timed essay writing, producing well-developed and well-organized responses using effective language and voice appropriate for audience and purpose.
French V Honors
Honors French V Honors is an advanced course designed to prepare students for advanced placement and/or entry into 300 level college French courses. Weekly readings lead up to the reading of a novel. Conversation, composition and internet communication with the French-speaking world are required. Students are also expected to take the National French Exam, Level V and/or the AP French Exam.
Spanish V Honors
This yearlong course will build upon the skills learned in Spanish III and IV. It will provide the students with additional opportunities to use the language in many oral and written situations. The students will study vocabulary used extensively in various cultural settings. The students will gain a deeper appreciation of the Hispanic cultures of Central and South America. Students will practice the requirements of the National Spanish Exam, and they will have the option to take the National Spanish Exam and / or the AP exam.
This full year course includes all topics in the course description for Geometry. Topics to be extended include: proofs, graphing, trigonometry and three-dimensional space.
Algebra II & Trigonometry Honors
This course extends the topics from Algebra I and Geometry. Topics studied include: simplifying algebraic expressions, solving equations, algebraic transformations, inequalities and systems, linear programming, operations on polynomial equations, real and complex numbers, exponential and logarithmic functions, an introduction to analytic geometry, trigonometry and trigonometric identities. Algebra II topics are covered in depth, applied Math skills are emphasized and graphic calculators are used. This course is required of students intending to study Calculus and AP Physics. Students successfully completing this course are eligible for Pre-Calculus.
Psychology II Honors
Students will study mental health and Abnormal Psychology. They will also gain experience of psychological research, testing and experimentation. Students will discuss adolescent emotional health issues and problem solving techniques based on techniques of Reality Therapy.
Christian Vocations Honors
This course supplements the basic outline of the regular Christian Vocations course with a greater level of informed classroom discussion, additional readings, and writing assignments.
Catholic Apologetics Honors
An adult Catholic needs a solid foundation in which to live and defend his or her faith. This course answers the practical questions of our faith that need to be answered before heading off to college and the rest of the world. More in-depth reading and discussion distinguishes Honors students within this course.
World Religions Honors
This course studies other Christian and world religions in depth, such as other major Christian denominations, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. It prepares students to interact with other religions they may encounter once they graduate. More in-depth reading and discussion distinguishes Honors students within this course.