Summer Guide – Course Descriptions


Before selecting your courses for the first semester, please refer to the two-page Course Selection Letter from the Dean of Academics that accompanies these descriptions. The Course Selection Letter will detail the course sign-up procedure, including the recommended course load, entrance exams and distribution requirements. Finally, please note these courses represent those we have historically offered and specific courses offered in the first semester may vary. Thank you.

To Register for your courses: As a part of this packet, you will find a set of course descriptions for fall and spring courses. A link for course registration will be live July 31 (see the link at the beginning of the Summer Guide). As you read through these course descriptions, please take careful notes of what interests you. As soon as the link is live, you will be able to register for your elective courses, as well as SAT Prep and Focused Academic Coaching.

(A) Students will register for second-semester elective courses in early November.
(B) Courses marked with an asterisk (*) are not approved by the NCAA Eligibility Center; this designation has no bearing on the academic value of the course or the way in which the course is viewed by colleges; it is noted only for those incoming students who need certain courses to qualify for NCAA Division I or II eligibility (please refer to the our NCAA Initial Eligibility Guidelines For Potential Student-Athletes).


The number of credit hours, the equivalent course name and number, and the institution granting credit for CAP courses offered at Bridgton Academy are subject to change before the opening of the academic year.


Course Descriptions – English

The English curriculum at Bridgton Academy is committed to giving each student a solid foundation in both literary analysis and writing. As students benefit from discussing literature with their peers, the courses are designed to be interactive. Grammar and vocabulary are taught as well, within the context of improving each student’s writing skills and reading comprehension.

Students may select from one of two course levels (as detailed below) English Composition/Literature or CAP English based upon assessment of their background, skills, and demonstrated ability. Admittance into CAP courses is by invitation only and based upon the outcome of the entrance exam.

This level of English is taught as a sequential semester long course: Students earn separate semester grades for each class. English Composition (first semester): 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. 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.

English Literature (second semester): Upon successful completion of the first semester, students will choose among the following second semester electives: Counter Culture American Literature, Race & Gender in Literature, Transformative Literature, Dystopian Literature, Creative Non-Fiction, The Literature of War, and The Historical Novel.


A full year of college-level English 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 CAP Composition and CAP Literature are taught as two separate courses.


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 essays, 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 4 hours of transferable college credit from St. Joseph’s College of Maine.


Offered in the second semester as part of the CAP English sequence, this course explores literature through the examination of a variety of texts. 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 4 hours of transferable college credit from St. Joseph’s College of Maine.


Course Descriptions – History and Social Sciences

The history/social science curriculum at Bridgton Academy seeks to introduce students to the breadth and complexity of the human experience through engagement with both past and contemporary historical/social issues. Students will engage in rigorous historical inquiry and debate, while also working to develop student skills in the analysis and assessment of various forms of historical evidence and argument. Such exploration helps students to develop empathy, construct intellectual frameworks through which to view the world, and forge interdisciplinary links between events that have already occurred and those happening now. Finally, students will learn to select and more skillfully employ the most effective media through which to articulate their evolving thoughts and conclusions.


CAP America at War looks to relay the impact of the First and Second World Wars on the development of the American nation. To better understand why America became 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. This is a course equivalent of HIDI1204 at Plymouth State University and carries three (3) credit hours upon application for transfer credit.


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.


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 21st century.


Great leaders are people who influence and empower others and are able to think strategically and critically to impact the world around them. This elective course provides students with an opportunity to learn about their strengths and put them to use in on & off campus community programs. We will assess our strengths & weaknesses, learn basic budgeting skills, visit large and small businesses, and explore various leadership philosophies all while developing our group dynamic skills (teamwork). Students in this class will:

Communicate: Students & faculty will discuss ways to build a cohesive program that blends ‘professional skills’ with existing aspects of the Bridgton Academy program. Collaborate: Students, faculty, and the larger community will work together to provide learning opportunities for the entire Bridgton Academy community that will open their minds to the realities of the professional world beyond academics. Create: Students will be exposed to experiential opportunities to see firsthand the direct correlation between academic and professional skills. Celebrate: This class will recognize the efforts of students, faculty and volunteers who are helpful to the program.


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.


This course will serve as an initial overview of the field of psychology and introduce students to many prevalent historical and current topics in the field. Through a combination of 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 Sociology examines the relationship between a person’s private life and the social world around him, specifically that personal, everyday experiences affect and are affected by the larger society in which we live. The true value of sociology lies in this unique ability to show the two-way connection between our personal thoughts, behaviors, and experiences to the groups, organizations, and cultures to which we belong. Further, the purpose of this introductory course is to make the familiar unfamiliar to help you critically examine the commonplace and the ordinary in your own life, and to see how sociology helps us to understand how our everyday lives are connected to society, perhaps in ways that you, as students, have not previously considered. It is impossible to understand what happens to us in our personal lives without taking into account broader social and historical phenomena. Thus we will examine significant past, present, and potential future events that can influence the way we live our everyday lives.


Introduction to Theatre explores 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 also have the opportunity to view local theatres and productions, as well as perform scenes of their own!


World Cultures and Civilizations offers a regional survey of Earth’s geography and cultures, with particular focus given to the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Topics covered include: 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).

Course Descriptions – STEM


At Bridgton Academy, we recognize the need for all students to have some appreciation for the wonders of science and technology, and sufficient knowledge of engineering to engage in public discussions on related issues and to understand technological information as it relates to their everyday lives. In addition, our students must acquire the skills to be successful in college in order to enter careers of their choice, including the possibility of careers in science, engineering or technology. Too few workers in the United States currently have the background to enter these fields, and many citizens lack even fundamental knowledge of them. Bridgton Academy’s STEM department offers a wide array of courses in all the STEM areas. Instructors in these disciplines design lessons around common math, science, and engineering core practices to allow students to make connections across these disciplines in order to cultivate scientific habits of mind and to understand how engineering and technologically-based solutions are developed.


All math courses are full-year, two-semester offerings

This is a full-year course. The course begins with a first quarter review of Algebra. Topics will include: patterns and expressions, 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.

Additionally, an introductory study of trigonometry will be covered, including right and non-right triangle trigonometry, trigonometric functions and their application to periodic phenomena.


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. Students are strongly urged to purchase their calculators prior to arrival at Bridgton.


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 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. Students are required to use a TI 89 Titanium or TI Nspire CX CAS graphing calculator. Students are strongly urged to purchase their calculators prior to arrival at Bridgton.


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. Students are required to use a TI 89 Titanium or TI Nspire CX CAS graphing calculator. Students are strongly urged to purchase their calculators prior to arrival at Bridgton.


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. Upon successful completion of this course, students have the opportunity to earn transferable college credit.


This one-semester computer science course introduces students to the creation, acquisition, 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 4 credit hours for successful completion.


CAP 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.


Genetics is a CAP course offered through affiliation with St. Joseph’s College. Most of the topics studied in this course are based on very recent molecular biology discoveries relating to heredity, DNA, genes, and gene expression. At the same time, seminal discoveries throughout history that led us to today are acknowledged and discussed. Extensive laboratory work involves authentic experiments in microbiology, genetic engineering, precision medicine, population genetics and evolution. This course provides a strong foundation of scientific literacy and prepares students for STEM courses in college and beyond. Successful completion of the course earns 4 credits from St. Joseph’s College.


Human physiology is a single semester science elective. Physiology, by definition, is the study of normal function within living creatures. The human body is made up of an integrated set of systems. In this course students examine the cellular and molecular interactions going on inside human body systems. In doing so, it is possible to understand how a body system works and what role each individual type of cell or organ play in the function of the body as a whole. For example, what is happening inside cells, tissues, and organs when a body responds and adapts to disease, or to a change in diet or exercise? The course is excellent preparation for careers in health or biomedical professions, or it can simply serve to inform you about your own body and how it works. Laboratory exercises provide hands-on
opportunities to understand concepts in a more concrete and tactile way.


This is an introductory course that explores the composition, structure and physical properties of the Earth’s atmosphere. Weather phenomena will be studied on both the global and local scale. Major topics include heat balance, atmospheric stability, precipitation processes, cyclonic activity, weather analysis, and very basic weather forecasting techniques. Particular attention will be paid to the causes, structure and impact of tornadoes, hurricanes, thunderstorms and other severe weather systems.


Bridgton Academy students have questions and misconceptions about nutrition concepts. This course provides answers! Some of the most common questions relate to proper hydration methods, whether or not supplements are needed, or simply what should I be eating when I go to the dining hall? By tracking and analyzing intake using an app, and by understanding the macromolecules and other essential nutrients, students soon can make better meal and snack decisions and will be more successful in reaching overall health and fitness goals. This course is a thorough introduction to nutrition science and is the foundation for CAP nutrition which is offered in the second semester.



Focused Academic Coaching is a full-year program for students who want to improve their academic and self-management skills. Typically, students in this program struggle with executive functioning, and most have been diagnosed with a mild to moderate learning disability and/or ADHD. Academic Coaching is a working partnership and the content and structure of each individual session is determined collaboratively by the student and coach. Each week a student in FAC participates in two individual meetings with his coach and two “Get it Done” times, during which a student works on a task list established with the academic coach. The combination of individual and work sessions is designed to promote self-confidence, independent learning, and strengthen academic skills.

Application for Focused Academic Coaching is required through the Academic Support Center. Tuition for coaching is an additional fee separate from other tuition and fees of the Academy. Students who accept an offer of enrollment in Focused Academic Coaching understand that their participation and appointments are treated like any other academic obligation, however this course does not count toward the four required academic courses and does not appear on transcripts.


This series of strategy based classes is offered throughout the first semester and taught by Bridgton Academy instructors. SAT Prep is optional. These classes are designed to help ready students for the October, November, and December SAT tests. The focus is on verbal, math, and writing preparation as well as test-taking strategies. The SAT Prep Course carries an additional fee separate from other tuition and fees of the Academy. These workshops do not count toward the four required academic courses.