BULGARIAN LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE DEPARTMENT
Bulgarian Language and Literature
The Bulgarian language and literature program at American College Arcus® - Veliko Tarnovo meets the standards of the Bulgarian Ministry of Education, Youth and Science as well as the fundamental requirements of high school language and literature courses in the United States and other countries. The primary objective of teaching Bulgarian literature is to stimulate and improve students linguistic, communicative, and social skills. We help students to get well acquainted with the structure and functioning of literary works they find in different social spheres. The students acquire skills for correctly employing verbal means when preparing speeches and written argumentative texts. They are taught how to interpret and comprehend literary works. Literature is introduced through the historical and aesthetic approach. Analyses of fictional excerpts are made with respect to the cultural background and the aesthetic values held dear at the specific historical period. The main emphasis is put on tracing the stages of cultural development. We want our students to get an awareness of the role of the Ancient culture as a basis for Universal Human Values; the role of Christianity in creating the European culural model; the role of the Rennaissance in adopting a new viewpoint towards the world, one that focuses on personal virtues; the role of the New Age and its dynamics. Bulgarian literature classes accentuate our national values and unique Bulgarian culture as part of the European literary life. Another aim is to get our students well-acquainted with the structure and functioning of a piece of literary work, and able to correctly employ literary terms. Students must and will know how to write an essay. Following the motto of American College Arcus® – Knowledge, Freedom, Perfection; we encourage both creative and critical thinking, practicing skills of presentation and discussion, and integrating various sources of information. Our students are given the opportunity to express their own views and to develop their creative talent in literature as art. They broaden their aestheitic horizons through meeting face-to-face with contemporary writers and poets.
FOREIGN LANGUAGES DEPARTMENT
English Language and Literature
The mission of the English Language and Literature Department is to help students attain a high level of proficiency in English, close to mother tongue communicative competence, enabling them to use the English language for the specific needs of successfully studying the different school subjects taught in English in grades 9 through 12, when English is the main medium of instruction.
The preparatory year (Grade 8) at American College Arcus® employs the same curriculum for both areas of concentration offered by the College. During the preparatory year students attend eighteen hours of English classes per week. The classes are divided into small groups, according to their level of proficiency, and each group follows a different study program. This enables the teacher to identify and focus on individual students' needs and apply a more personalized approach.
The school management has established a policy of partnership in teaching English. A native speaker of English and a Bulgarian English teacher work together with the same group of students, thus enabling them to benefit from exposure to different modes of teaching and learning. Usually Bulgarian teachers focus on grammar, usage and linguistic accuracy, whereas the native speakers work on fluency and getting students to communicate rather than merely produce grammatically correct sentences.
A student's average mark at the end of grade 8 must exceed 70.5%, to ensure successful learning in the following school years. If a student fails to meet this requirement, he/she is assigned a period of probation and has to attend tutorials, to help him/ her remain at par with his/her classmates.
The program of assessment of students’ development in the English language uses both standardized tests to the course book series as well as tests developed by the teachers.
The literature program for Grades 11 and 12 will locate literature in English historically, and introduce genre including mythology, folk literature, prose, poetry, biography, autobiography, the short story, drama and the novel. Students will gain an understanding of the progression of literature in English by examining texts from the medieval period through to the twentieth century.
The aim of the programme is:
The German language course at American College Arcus® is in accordance with the goals of European language education. The course focuses on enhancing communication competence as well as enabling effective language usage during university education abroad.
The German Language Department offers students German classes from 8th to 12th grade. The course is designed to prepare students for the DaF certificate, as well as for the DSH, which must be taken by any student who will study in Germany.
The courses in German are in accordance with the new standards designed by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education, Youth and Science and the education systems of the German publisher Hueber. The College has the opportunity for multimedia education in every language room.
American College Arcus ® is capable of providing education in Hebrew, Japanese and Chinese from grade 9 to grade 12 for the students with the main area of concentration Foreign Languages. At the end of their education in one of the rare languages students sit an exam developed in accordance with the criteria and requirements set by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science in Bulgaria.
MATHEMATICS AND IT DEPARTMENT
The Mathematics curriculum at American College Arcus® is designed in compliance with the requirements of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science, thus being organized into syllabi for five academic years 8 through 12, and encompasses the subject material of the First Level.
The College offers courses in Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Probabilities and Statistics, and Data Analysis. Studying these subjects enables the students to develop the skills necessary for drawing conclusions based on logical connections. Modern methods and approaches are applied in the process of learning, which help the students develop and improve personal qualities such as independence, orderliness, assertiveness, and consistency.
Assessment is based on results from tests, term tests, quizzes, homework and presentations.
Students with a significant interest in Mathematics are offered additional classes as elective courses, providing thorough preparation for participating in national and international projects, competitions and Olympiads.
Students who have difficulties in studying can keep up by attending pre-arranged tutorials.
Computer Science and Information Technologies
The Computer Science course at American College Arcus® is taught in three computer labs containing modern hardware and software. Students study the fundamentals of Computer Science and Information Technologies such as, C++ programming language, Web-based technologies, computer graphics and animation.
Participating in various regional and international projects gives the students the opportunity to practice the acquired knowledge.
HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES DEPARTMENT
History and Civilization
History courses are offered from grades 9 to 12. The educational program and the number of classes are in accordance with the state education requirements of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science. The History classes strive for the following objectives:
The students will gain an overall concept of European civilizations and their development while simultaneously practicing their spoken and written English. Students will learn by obtaining information from original and derivative sources and by applying analytical and critical thinking. As a result, students will learn to form educated opinions while improving and practicing their problem-solving skills.
The numerous methods of evaluation include: homework assignments, in-class work, group work, research projects, current events summaries, oral and written quizzes, essays and the semester exams.
There is an opportunity for active participation in elective classes and academic clubs for those students who show a significant interest in expanding their knowledge of history. Those who have difficulties in History may visit the preliminary assigned consultation classes and tutorials.
Geography and Economics
Assoc. Prof. Galin Petrov
The Geography and Economics courses offered at American College Arcus® are in accordance with the educational requirements of the Bulgarian Ministry of Education, Youth and Science. They are obligatory for the students from 9th to 12th grade. The main areas of study are:
By studying Geography and Economics in English students enrich their vocabulary by learning new geographical terminology. Along with the traditional methods of teaching, such as lectures, discussions, observation of natural objects and phenomena, and working with maps, the class encourages an atmosphere of active learning through brainstorming, content analysis, and case research. With the help of these methods students become more active in class and develop their initiative. Thus they are not just passive listeners but active participants in the educational process.
The Geography and Economics courses enrich not only to the students’ knowledge in Geography but are also significant in supplementing the realization of their relation to the rest of the world. The College offers elective classes for those who show significant interest in Geography.
Psychology and Logic
Ethics and Law
The World and You
As part of the compulsory subjects, the Social Sciences courses are directed at:
The syllabus is designed with regard to the educational requirements of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science. The course centers around the following Psychology and Logic, Ethics and Law and Philosophy textbooks by the following authors: S. Gerdjikov, Tihomir Dimitrov, P. Manolova and D. Dobreva. They have been chosen with regard to the various Social Sciences subjects that must be taught within a consistent and holistic concept. Their textbooks and workbooks combine modern theories on philosophical problems with a variety of methodological practices, which enable students to acquire the minimum required knowledge and skills and open up new points of view and communication between teachers and students.
NATURAL SCIENCES AND ECOLOGY DEPARTMENT
Biology and Health Education
Chemistry and Environmental Protection
The Biology and Chemistry courses at American College Arcus® correspond to the contemporary Bulgarian and European education requirements for topicality along with the high theoretical and technological level that is expected from high schools around the world. The course syllabi for grades 9 through 12 are in accordance with the requirements of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science as well as the American education system.
The instruction, which is in English, prepares the students for applying to Bulgarian and foreign universities.
The courses are directed at the students’ acquiring knowledge and practical skills in modern spheres such as Biochemistry, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Medicine and Ecology. American College Arcus® has a biochemistry lab with modern equipment, where students can conduct research to solve theoretical and practical problems. The lab has a multimedia projector and constant Internet access.
Students with a significant interest in these subjects can be part of specialized study groups and attend academic clubs, as optional elective courses, to prepare them to sit for University admission tests in Bulgaria and abroad.
Physics and Astronomy
The Physics and Astronomy subject is part of the cultural and educational field Natural Sciences and Ecology. At First Level the Physics and Astronomy curriculum is set on a fundamental experimental and conceptual ground. Quantitative relations are given only for the most fundamental physical regularities, values and their units of measurement. The curriculum for the First Level includes studying the relation between motion and energy, heat, electricity, magnetism, oscillations and waves, optics, the atom, observations concerning the universe, experimentation, and investigation. The essence and the content of the First Level curriculum are scientifically and practically directed. The students of American College Arcus® take Physics and Astronomy at First Level as a compulsory subject to ensure a basic knowledge of physics on a fundamental level. Those who choose to study Physics and Astronomy as an elective subject may continue at a higher level.
FINE ARTS DEPARTMENT
The Arts and Music courses focus on providing and developing the artistic and aesthetic values of the students while stimulating their creativity. Both subjects are integrated through common topics, issues and concepts. The art and music courses activate the students’ interest in a variety of modern art genres and styles.
The Music course at the College combines the requirements of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science with modern international trends in Music teaching and instruction. The College has a room with modern equipment and recordings of classical works in various music genres.
The Music teaching process at the College is directed at developing the students’ individual talents and interests. The course stimulates their artistic talents and imagination and focuses on providing extensive training in music, its origins, and appreciation for the richness of music.
The College offers additional classes and extracurricular activities to students who show a significant interest in music and/or have exceptional musical abilities.
The Art course is in compliance with the programs and standards of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science and aims at introducing students to universal artistic values. The Art course focuses on providing a background and appreciation for the various art forms and genres, such as fine arts, applied arts, decorative arts, and design.
The College organizes exhibitions for its students on a regular basis. The College supports students when participating in exhibitions and competitions, individually and as a group, and in national and international contests.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND SPORTS DEPARTMENT
Physical Education and Sport
The sports program is an indispensable element of the educational program at American College Arcus®. The knowledge and skills students acquire and develop during their sports classes are an important element of their overall education. Students develop their physical abilities through various exercises and games. Ultimately, students are taught and encouraged to apply the knowledge and skills they learn in school to their everyday lifestyle, so they may live a longer, healthier life.
Teachers have been carefully chosen according to their credentials, performances with proficiency exams, and professional experience. Each teacher possesses necessary qualifications, justifying his/her rights to teach, and ability to work with others. Teachers are Bulgarian and foreign educators.