The academic program at Bridgton Academy is designed to meet the specific needs of the postgraduate student. The goals, both of the curriculum and of the teaching methods, are to foster intellectual curiosity, to spark an excitement for learning, and to initiate a desire to fulfill individual potential.
The Academy provides a core curriculum which emphasizes writing, computation, and critical reading. This curriculum offers a range of courses, from college credit courses, like calculus, to basic writing. Students work with the Academic Dean to design a course of study which meets the needs and desires of the individual student.
To view course descriptions for our classes, scroll below.
The standard full-year English course emphasizes English grammar and vocabulary. Students read in various genres of literature: short story, novel, non-fiction, and drama. Writing includes the development, over the year, of various essay styles, from descriptive and process through narrative and research. Class discussions and writing assignments are also linked to the reading. Students will produce a major research paper.
II. English Composition/English Literature
This level of English is taught as two sequential semester-long courses; students earn separate semester grades. First Semester (English Composition): During the first semester, the course is taught fairly uniformly, with an emphasis on writing and grammar; during the second semester, the emphasis shifts to literature (please see next paragraph). During the fall semester, students will also read selections from various genres, including short stories, novels, and dramas. Class discussions and frequent writing assignments are related to the reading, and all students are required to produce a research paper.
Second Semester (English Literature): Following successful completion of the first semester, English Comp/Lit students will choose among the following second semester electives: Contemporary Literature (CAP), Literature of the American Pastime, Murder, Mayhem, and Madness: the Literature of Cormac McCarthy, Our Story in Verse: Modern American Poetry, Race and Gender.
III. Cap English
A full year of college-level English (CAP is short for College Articulation Program) is available for exceptionally strong students. In the first semester, College Writing is the equivalent of St. Joseph’s College of Maine’s College Writing (EH 101). In the second semester, students who successfully complete Composition will be eligible to enroll in a literature-based course that will also carry college credit through St. Joseph’s College of Maine. As with English Composition/Literature, this level of English is taught as two separate courses.
Fall Semester-Composition (CAP)
Offered in the first semester, this course focuses on the student’s ability to develop a strong thesis, to write clear prose, and to contact and persuade an audience through the expository and critical essay forms. Research methods and persuasive writing are used in the preparation of several research papers. As in the same course at St. Joseph’s College, students write a variety of compositions, study grammar, and explore the interrelationships among writing, thinking, and speaking. In addition to weekly written assignments, the course requires long-term projects that necessitate careful planning. Successful completion of this course qualifies a student for three (4) hours of transferable college credit from St. Joseph’s College of Maine.
Spring Semester-Literature (CAP)
Offered in the second semester as part of the CAP sequence, this course explores literature through the examination of specific texts in this area. Students work to improve their abilities to appreciate, understand, and interpret literature, and are given extensive practice in reading and writing analytically. Successful completion of this course qualifies a student for three (4) hours of transferable college credit from St. Joseph’s College of Maine.
Advanced Algebra II and Trigonometry
This is a full-year course. The course begins with a review of algebra during the first quarter. Topics will include: Properties of and operations with real numbers, algebraic expressions, operations with polynomials including expansion and factoring, solving linear algebraic equations and inequalities, modeling with linear equations and graphing. The second quarter will begin with an introduction to functions and their graphs, including combinations of functions, inverse functions, quadratic and polynomial equations, and rational equations. During the second semester, exponential and logarithmic equations and the properties of logarithms, and multivariable systems of equations and inequalities will be explored. Also during the second semester, an extensive study of trigonometry will be covered, including right and non-right triangle trigonometry, trigonometric functions and their application to periodic phenomena, and analytic trigonometry.
This is a full-year course. To ensure students have the necessary mathematical background to be successful in this course, the course begins with a review of algebra during the first quarter. Topics will include: Properties of and operations with real numbers, algebraic expressions, operations with polynomials including expansion and factoring, solving linear algebraic equations and inequalities, modeling with linear equations and graphing. The probability and statistics portion of this course begins during the second quarter. It is designed to acquaint students with statistical methods of data analysis. Topics include: descriptive statistics; probability and probability distributions; hypothesis testing and statistical inference; analysis of variance; and regression. Successful completion of this course may qualify a student for college credit through the University of Southern Maine.
This is a full-year course. This course provides the mathematical background necessary for calculus. Topics include: equations and inequalities; functions and graphs; exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions; and identities and inverse functions.
This is a full-year course. This course is modeled on a college freshman calculus course taught at University of Southern Maine (USM). The topics include: analytical geometry; functions; continuity; limits; derivatives and applications; and integrals and applications. This course is the equivalent of USM’s MAT 152D and carries 4 college credits.
Accelerated Calculus (CAP)
This is a full-year course. This course parallels the two-semester sequence course taught at University of Southern Maine, Calculus A (MAT 152D) and B (MAT 153), for 4 credit hours for each semester.
This one-semester computer science course introduces students to creating, acquiring, editing, and delivery of computer-generated media. Work includes graphics, photography, sound, music, video, and interactive hypermedia. Students will use a range of tools to acquire, manipulate, and store their original content. The equivalent of CO 110 at St. Joseph’s College, this course carries four credit hours for successful completion.
This is an introductory robotics course designed to give students the opportunity to become familiar with all aspects of automation, from physically building the units (Lego Mindstorms and JD Humanoids) to programming every aspect of their respective movement. Topics covered include, but are not limited to: automation in the workplace, the future of robotics, design, function, kinesthetic movement, and programming structures. Students are given access to all physical materials and technology in order to program introductory – intermediate automation processes. Class time will be heavily lab-based with an emphasis on an experiential learning model.
Anatomy and Physiology
This is a full-year course. Anatomy and Physiology is an introductory level course in the human sciences that includes examination of the following areas: cytology, histology, genetics, and the major systems of the body. The object of this course is to give each student a basic, working knowledge of the human body’s parts and how this anatomy functions to create the living condition. Anatomy and Physiology is a lab class and includes a dissection lab. Practical application of the scientific knowledge is stressed.
This single-semester science elective provides an understanding of the kinds of questions that science can and cannot address, while exploring topics in cellular biology, the structure and function of genes, and biotechnology. Discussions probe the bioethical implications of our growing knowledge and application of technologies involving manipulation of cellular and genetic processes. Also includes experiences in a laboratory setting to conduct basic experiments that elucidate the structure of cells and the function of genes. This college level course should NOT be your first course in Biology. A strong high school science background is strongly recommended. Successful completion of this course qualifies a student for four hours of transferable college credit from Plymouth State University.
Principles of Human Nutrition
Nutrition is a one-semester elective that covers the scientific principles of human nutrition in maintaining health and preventing disease Nutrient requirements of the human body, biochemical functions, and interrelationships of nutrients are examined. Athletes learn how to fuel their bodies for building muscle, optimal sports performance, and for general health and well-being. Nutritional misconceptions and controversies are evaluated using readings, discussions, and hands-on lab experiences.
Advanced Human Nutrition (CAP)
This second semester, college-level nutrition course focuses on the interrelationship between nutritional practices and human physical performance in sports and fitness. Topics covered include the role of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water on both everyday eating and physical performance. This course provides a foundational science background in chemistry, anatomy and physiology, and microbiology in the context of human nutrition, as well as hands-on lab experiences. This course carries four hours of credit, upon successful completion, from St. Joseph’s college.
Introduction to Environmental Science
Environmental Issues examines, in a one-semester elective, the origins of and solutions to pressing current environmental issues. A comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to environmental problem-solving is stressed, and students will explore the scientific, legal, economic, and social aspects of the issues in order to better understand the complexity of these problems. Successful completion of this course may qualify a student for four hours of credit as the equivalent of ES 2400 from Plymouth State University.
Introduction to Astronomy
What is the sun made of and how long will it keep shining? How are black holes formed? Introduction to Astronomy will explore, in a one-semester elective, the birth and death of stars and provide answers to these questions and more. The major topics of astronomy will be covered through interactive, hands-on investigations. The course will pay special attention to the history of modern astronomy, from Galileo’s crude refracting telescope to the futuristic James Webb Space Telescope, and explore the numerous exciting discoveries over the past decade. We will be using a variety of multi-media in this classroom, including on-line interactive labs, videos, and the Starry Night (6th ed.) software program. Finally, the course will take advantage of the dark, clear Maine night skies for evening observation sessions on campus and at a local observatory.
One of the important influences on the course of human history has been the outbreak of infectious diseases. From the Plague of Athens during the Peloponnesian War, to the Bubonic Plague of the European Middles Ages, to Yellow Fever during Napoleon’s campaign to control his new world possessions, infectious diseases have often been a major factor in determining the outcome of human events. Focuses on infectious disease outbreaks through history, including modern outbreaks such as AIDS, H1N1 Flu, and West Nile. The emphasis is on the diseases and the way in which they enter the human experience, as well as their direct impact on human populations to influence the course of history. Political, social and cultural forces are considered. Upon successful completion, this course carries four hours of credit from Plymouth State University.
Ecology of the Lake Region
Ecology of the Lake Region provides students with a broad understanding of the science of both ecosystems and evolutionary ecology. The study of ecosystems integrates information from physics, chemistry and biology to provide the necessary information to understand controls on photosynthesis, decomposition, and nutrient cycling across diverse terrestrial and aquatic landscapes. Students will get outside and examine the local environment as a model for the study of symbiosis, biodiversity, animal behaviors, mechanisms of evolution, and basic models of population genetics.
Physics of Movement
Physics of Movement is a semester-long course which aims to teach principles of physics through the complex physical movements of the human body. As such, this is a course with significant lab and hands-on experience, as well as real world examples. Students gain an understanding of the use of quantitative analysis to explain how mechanical principles govern human motion. Upon completion of this course, each student should understand how body mobility can be used to quantify human motion, and understand the cause and effect relationship between force and the kinds of movement/motion that human beings are capable of. The class consists of regular quizzes and labs; major assessments are given in the form of exams and projects.
The American Civil War
The course begins with the study of the causes of the Civil War, and moves through an exploration of the war, its battles, and the social climate of America during the War. As we celebrate, seemingly daily, the 150th anniversaries of a multitude of momentous events that occurred during this pivotal era, this class will look to put these events into a usable current context. The course format combines lectures and discussion. Reading is expected both in the text and in outside sources.
Sport Psychology examines the psychological aspects of sport participants, athletes, teams, and competition in sport situations, including personality, motivation, performance level, achievement, and behavioral change strategies, social factors, training events, and measurement techniques.
World War II
This elective examines the period between the World Wars and the various causes of the Second World War before focusing on the war as it developed and ended in both the European and Pacific Theaters. The course format combines lectures and discussion.
The Geography class offers a regional survey of Earth’s geography and cultures, with particular focus given to the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Among topics covered are country locations and their physical, political, economic, and cultural landscapes. Students will complete numerous hands-on assignments/projects ranging from “Creating Your Own Culture” to a “Country Case Study Project” (a format currently used by the U.S. military).
Current Political Issues
Current Political Issues examines contemporary issues and events in the political arena. The focus of the course is to create a dialogue shaped around the “hot-button” issues that seem to be so prevalent in the twenty-first century. Student evaluation is based upon a genuine effort to grapple with the issues, generate a portfolio of quality written work, and contribute to a positive exchange in the classroom.
Sport and Society
Sport and Society will introduce students to a broad range of topics within the academic discipline of sports sociology, while also focusing on some of the most significant issues facing the athletic world today, such as youth sports, sports and the media, sport and symbols, performance-enhancing drugs, sport and race, sport and gender, and the issue of the globalization of sports. The class will also monitor current events in the sports world as they relate to these issues.
Introduction to Psychology
This course will serve as an initial overview of the field of psychology and introduce students to many prevalent historical and current topics. Through a combination of audio-visuals, lecture, and discussions, students will better understand the foundations of psychology and its application in our world today. Topics may include motivation, learning, memory, cognition, personality, and social behavior.
Introduction to Economics
Introduction to Economics explores the principles and basic theories of economics in order to teach students how to think like an economist. The course focuses heavily on micro-economics, which will teach students to understand and analyze the economic reasons behind decision making. Some of the main topics covered in the course are: supply and demand, elasticity, efficiency, externalities, economics for policy decisions, trade, and behavioral economics. Students will be asked to complete assignments, take exams, partake in a stock investing simulation, and write a thesis paper on an economic study of their choosing.
This course provides a broad overview of the sports business marketplace and explores the range of skills that sports executives must possess to succeed. Topics include budget creation and management, marketing and promotions, and the creation of business plans, all studies within the context of case studies ranging from professional sports teams to other athletically-based organizations.
Rogues, Rebels, and Revolutionaries
Rogues, Rebels, and Revolutionaries explores the nature of revolution throughout history, focusing on the numerous causes of such actions and the wide-ranging ramifications of both failed and successful revolts. Models will include the American Revolution, the English Civil War, the Cuban Revolution, the Decemberists revolt in Russia, the French Revolution, and American Civil War.
War in U.S. History (CAP)
This course will look to relay the impact of the First and Second World Wars on the development of the American nation. To better understand why America become involved in either war, the class will analyze the roots of American foreign policy and the state of affairs at the end of the 19th century The course will spend a great deal of time using case studies to address the question of why the United States changed its foreign policy from one of isolation to one of intervention; in addition, we will look at the influence of those policies on our current foreign policy.
Cost of Cool: Case Studies in Modern Capitalism
What is a brand? How do we, as consumers, learn to understand brands? What do brands do to gain our loyalty? Why do some people feel so passionately for one brand over another? What can a company do with a strong brand? What can happen to a company when a brand falls? What is the value of a brand- both in terms of dollars and social equity? Can brands evolve? Can brands do good? Can brands do evil?
These are some of the questions that we will explore in this class. We will study the economics of brands and branding. We will study the societal impact of brands. We will study the sociology and the psychology of brands. We will take a look at the rise and fall of brands as well as look at brands that have evolved over time.
Business Technology Applications
Business Technology Applications is a course designed to assist students in developing technological proficiencies in preparing documents for publication, page layout, data structures, spreadsheets, digital presentations, communications, Internet use and ethics. A major emphasis is placed on guiding students through real-world experiences to aid in the understanding of business applications. Simulations and projects promoting teamwork and leadership offer students further opportunities for application of knowledge and skills useful in the workplace.
Journalism is a field of changing skills and presentations. Audience, method, and content have all seen recent developments turn the industry on its head. However, the need for great storytelling has not changed. This course will explore different types of media while focusing on the content created here at Bridgton Academy. The content will be student produced and presented and will include video, podcast, social media, and traditional written work.
Graphic Design (CAP)
Graphic Design is a course designed to introduce students to the design process as it pertains to digital imagery. Focus will be placed on the creation process and the idea of storytelling though digital design. Software applications such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator will be used to facilitate real world labs and design experiences. Techniques such as layering, selecting, enhancement, composting, path and pen skills will be covered, as well as the fundamentals of graphic design. Upon successful completion of this course, students have the opportunity to earn transferable college credit.
Fall Semester - Introduction to Theatre
Introduction to Theatre will explore the historical evolution of drama and theatre from Ancient Greece to modern times. Students will be able to answer the question, “What is theatre?,” identify elements of a theatrical production, analyze scripts, and evaluate how theatre reflects society. Students will also have the opportunity to view local theatres and productions, as well as perform scenes of their own!
Spring Semester - Introduction to Theatre
In this semester-long class, students critically analyze films based on conceptual understanding of types of film and film styles. Students explore the difference between narrative and non-narrative forms, mise-en-scÃ¨ne, types of framing and shots, as well as the impact of editing, sound, and style on cinematic productions. Students also learn film history, from early cinema and the development of classical Hollywood cinema through to modern cinema. In “Introduction to Film” we also spend time exploring film outside of traditional Hollywood-type films.
Experiences in 21st Century Leadership
Great leaders are people who influence and empower others and are able to think strategically and critically to impact the world around them. This one semester elective course provides students with an opportunity to learn about their strengths and put them to use via on & off campus community programs. This course asks students to assess strengths & weaknesses, learn basic budgeting skills, visit large and small businesses, and explore a variety of leadership philosophies all while developing our group dynamic.