Welcome to Social Studies

Overview

The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) defines social studies as "the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence." For students to become fully empowered participants in democracy, attention must be paid to this "civic competence." The social studies, including history, geography, economics, political science, sociology, psychology, anthropology, are central to the mission of public schools.

Utah Core Standards

The Utah Standards for Social Studies reflect the content, concepts, and skills considered essential for all students.The newly revised secondary social studies standards were adopted in the December 2016 Utah State Board of Education meeting.

With the additional adoption of the Utah Core Standards for English Language Arts (ELA) and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects came an opportunity to ensure a seamless connection between the content and concepts in the existing social studies standards and the literacy skills in the ELA core.

The term "literacy" is too often considered solely an ELA term. In fact, literacy is a term that transcends disciplines. We must have historically literate students, with all the skills essential to understand and appreciate the rich tapestry of human history. We must have geographically literate students able to understand the world around them. Clearly economic literacy is essential for the well-being of our students and nation. Civic literacy is essential for the sustaining of our democratic republic.

Grades K-2

Core Standards for Social Studies: Grades K-2

Online Resources

Kindergarten | Grade 1 | Grade 2
Utah Education Network (UEN)

Grades 3-6

Core Standards for Social Studies: Grades 3-6

Online Resources

Grade 3 | Grade 4 | Grade 5 | Grade 6
Utah Education Network (UEN)

Grades 7-12

Utah Core State Standards for Social Studies: Grades 7-12

Anthropology

While Anthropology is not a core requirement for High School graduation it is often taught as an elective course in Utah. Course outlines created by teachers will often refer to national standards.

Economics

While Economics is not a core requirement for High School graduation, it is often taught as an elective course in Utah. Course descriptions created by teachers will often follow national standards.

Psychology

While Psychology is not a core requirement for High School graduation it is often taught as an elective course in Utah. Course descriptions created by teachers will often follow national standards.

National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula
American Psychology Association

Sociology

While Sociology is not a core requirement for High School graduation it is often taught as an elective course in Utah. Course descriptions created by teachers will often follow national standards.

Note: If you need this information in an accessible format contact the department directly.

Educator Endorsements

There are nine separate social studies endorsements. For information on endorsement options and requirements, please refer to the following: 

Online Endorsement Courses

The Utah State Board of Education, in partnership with the Utah Education Network (UEN), offers a full slate of social studies endorsement courses designed to provide Utah educators with rigorous course content eligible for higher education credit, while allowing maximum flexibility for participants.

Online Social Studies Endorsement Course Schedule

These courses demand considerable work per week per course. Therefore, educators may only register for two courses per term. However, with careful planning, it should be possible to complete endorsement requirements in a timely manner.

Programs

Capitol Field Trips

Dear Administrators and Educators,

The Capitol Preservation Board is thrilled to share good news about ongoing legislative transportation funding for tours.

Educators may bring students to the Capitol during the legislative session, or anytime during the school year to join in a docent led tour, or a self-guided tour and request for reimbursement of transportation costs. Requests for reimbursement can be submitted to the Capitol Preservation Board.

Field Trip Funding
To submit a request. Requests will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Schedule a Tour
To schedule a docent led tour.

United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP)

Covid-19 Update

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to affect the safety of travel, indoor gatherings, and access to government buildings, the 2022 USSYP week will be held online during the March 5-10, 2022 timeframe. The program will be a comprehensive public service, leadership and education experience including speakers from the three branches of government and the national media, and each delegate will receive the $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship in the name of the United States Senate. Additional details will be made available upon selection.

Overview

The USSYP is an amazing opportunity for motivated student leaders to have direct contact with the highest-level elected and appointed officials in the nation. Sponsored by the Senate and funded and administered by The Hearst Foundations since 1962, the USSYP mission is to encourage the best and brightest students in America's high schools to pursue careers in public service.

Two student leaders from each state will participate in Washington Week online. In addition, each delegate will also be awarded a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate studies, with encouragement to pursue coursework in history and political science.

High school juniors and seniors may qualify to apply through leadership positions they currently hold per the USSYP official criteria for the current 2021-2022 academic year. All student leadership qualifying positions are subject to the judgement of the state selection administrator and will be verified and confirmed.

To apply, students must be nominated by their school. Each Utah high school is invited and encouraged to nominate two exceptional high school juniors or seniors serving in an elected or appointed position with a strong interest in government and history.

United States Senate Youth Program Fifty-Ninth Annual Washington Week Online March 14-17, 2021

Important Dates

The nomination and application deadlines for 2022 has now passed. Please check back again in August 2022 for information on the program for 2023.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021
Time: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Student nominees will meet with judges to vie for a $10,000 scholarship and an invitation to participate in Washington Week

Saturday, March 5, 2022 - Thursday, March 10, 2022
Washington Week

Helpful Resources

United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP)

Hearst Foundations

For a link to the school nominee submission form, or for additional questions or information school representatives should contact Brenda McMurtrey at brenda.mcmurtrey@schools.utah.gov.

Resources

Utah Educational Network (UEN)

Online Endorsement Courses

The Utah State Board of Education, in partnership with the Utah Education Network (UEN), offers a full slate of social studies endorsement courses designed to provide Utah educators with rigorous course content eligible for higher education credit, while allowing maximum flexibility for participants.

Online Social Studies Endorsement Course Schedule

These courses demand considerable work per week per course. Therefore, educators may only register for two courses per term. However, with careful planning, it should be possible to complete endorsement requirements in a timely manner.

Civics Assessment Graduation Requirement

In 2015 the Utah Legislature passed the American Civics Education Initiative, which requires the successful passage of a basic civics test as a condition of graduation. Below is a link to frequently asked questions, sample assessments, and additional supports, including a resource that shows how teachers can raise the cognitive rigor of the assessment content in their classroom.

American Civics Education Initiative
Utah Education Network (UEN)

Social Studies Team

Robert Austin
Responsible Officer, Exchange Visitor Program
K-12 Social Studies, International Initiatives, Utah Teacher of the Year (UTOY) Program Specialist
Phone: (801) 538-7575 | E-mail

Joanna Sorensen
Elementary Social Studies Specialist
Phone: (801) 538-7534 | E-mail

Brenda McMurtrey
Executive Secretary
Phone: (801) 538-7891 | E-mail