In order to be a more informed and actively involved citizen, the Social Studies Department at Olean High School and the New York State Education Department have designed a sequence of courses that analyze global socio-economic, political and religious institutions. By understanding how these institutions evolve, students can make better choices throughout their lives

    To fulfill these goals all students must successfully complete courses 7-12 in sequence.




    (1 UNIT for each course)

    This is a two-year course in global studies designed to develop perspectives on Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia ( India and Pakistan), East Asia ( China and Japan) and the Middle East, Western Europe and Eastern Europe. The emphasis in both years will be on the geographic and cultural context of these regions. The interactions and linkages among nations and peoples are explored within specific time periods to ascertain how the past influences the present. Global issues and problems in our changing world are also examined.

    The intent of these two years of global studies is to prepare the student for GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP. Students are introduced to cultural areas and peoples throughout the world to encourage their understanding of, and tolerance towards their global citizens.

    To achieve these goals, and to remain in compliance with New York State Standards, the following concepts are emphasized and applied throughout the course: change, interdependence, political systems, culture and intellectual life, justice and human rights, physical and human geography, economic systems, urbanization, imperialism, nationalism, movements of people and goods, belief systems, and science and technology.

    A comprehensive regents examination is given at the end of two years.


    This 11th grade course will include a chronological survey of United States history, with emphasis on the United States as a developing industrial and post-industrial nation. Constitutional and legal issues will be explored in depth, as will be the problems of a technology-oriented world. As should be true in any good learning situation, previous historical knowledge will be utilized for background, and to compare and contrast historical topics. The New York State Regent’s exam is given at the end of this one-year course.

    The following concepts and themes in United States History are emphasized:


    Change Immigration and Migration

    Citizenship Individuals, Groups and Institutions

    Civic Values Interdependence

    Constitutional Principles Physical Systems

    Cultural and Intellectual Life Diversity Places and Regions

    Economic Systems Reform Movements

    Environment Presidential Decisions and Actions

    Factors of Production Science and Technology

    Foreign Policy Human Systems


    This 11th grade course is designed as a survey of American History from colonial times to the present. In preparation for college, advanced placement students will engage in a variety of learning activities to promote writing and research skills essential for today's college-bound students. It is suggested that students in this course have general knowledge of United States History and a desire to get a head start on college requirements. This course provides an excellent opportunity for history students to probe American History in greater depth while at the same time satisfying the New York State Regents requirement. Through the College and High School Connections Program offered through Jamestown Community College and Olean High School, students may earn up to 6 college credits.

    Students in this course are required to take the New York State regents exam and have the option to take the advanced placement exam in May.

    Selection for this course is determined by a pre-test given by the social studies department and by teacher recommendation. To qualify for the JCC credits, students must meet the requirements set by the college.



    This 12th grade, one semester course, will emphasize the interaction between citizens and government at all levels: local, state and federal. The course will encourage students to understand and participate in the democratic process. The course will be developed on several different levels, from the study of how political decisions are made to the provision of opportunities for students to participate in political decision-making. Throughout the course, key civic values and analytical concepts will be developed and reinforced. Students will be encouraged to become actively involved with many local government officials and agencies. Activities and projects will provide students with experiences of citizen participation. The course will also center on various issues and how these decisions are made with these society problems.


    This 12th grade, one semester course, includes the basic economics concepts which all persons will need to function effectively as citizens and participants in the economy of the United States and the world. The course will be based on three units of study: Economic, Theory, Finance, Enterprise Systems and Entrepreneurship. The course will emphasize the United States and the elements of its free market economy. The course will also include units dealing micro-economics and macro-economic theory.



    The course is an elective for seniors and designed for seniors who want to gain a better understanding of why people behave as they do. The many factors that influence human behavior will be explored. Topics will include: historical background, methods, human growth and development, personality and intelligence, principles of learning and thinking, emotions, abnormal psychology, and social behavior. Sign up and find out more about why you do what you do!


    This course is and elective for seniors and designed to develop an awareness of the structure and dynamics of various groups. Man, being a social animal, joins different groups, some universal, some unique to specific cultures. Some groups we join voluntarily; some groups we belong to because of our heritage and heredity. The groups we become a part of influence our life in many ways. The course will focus on the scientific study of our social behavior and investigate the theories proposed to explain group behavior. The course will also identify both global and American problems facing contemporary societies.


    Both sociology and psychology electives have classes that are part of the College and High School Connections Program and are offered through Jamestown Community College and Olean High School. Those students eligible may earn up to 6 college credits.





    This program is operated by BOCES and provides students with an opportunity to work with a county legislator, to see county government in action, research topics relevant to local government, and perform a mock legislative session in Little Valley in the legislative chamber. For this half-year program students are excused all day on Wednesdays from September to December. It is the student's responsibility to keep up with their assignments in their regularly scheduled classes. Successfully completing this course fulfills the 1/2 credit for the senior Participation in Government course, a required course. Participation in the County Government Program is voluntary and students must meet the requirements established by BOCES.