Students who are considering taking a principles of economics course at ACC need to be aware of what is required if they want to successfully complete it. By reading over the information listed below, prospective students will be better able to evaluate their readiness for enrolling in either the Principles of Macroeconomics (ECON 2301) or the Principles of Microeconomics (ECON 2302) course.


  1. Successful students will have completed at least an intermediate algebra course in high school. Students should be able to read and interpret graphs—both factual, based on data, and theoretical, showing only general relationships. A rudimentary knowledge of probability and statistics is also helpful. In addition, students should have some knowledge of the scientific method--of how hypotheses and theories are checked against data to see how well they explain and predict.


  1. Both economics courses assume that students have successfully completed the basic high school U.S.  History and American Government courses.  Students are expected to have a prior knowledge of the fundamentals of U.S. history and of the function and structure of the federal government. It is also helpful if students are interested in and informed about current economic, business, and political news.


  1. Economics courses include substantial reading assignments. Each course will cover around 400 pages from the assigned textbook.  Students are expected to be familiar with the material to be covered in each class and to have read the appropriate sections of the text PRIOR to the class period. Students should not expect to pass these courses by just taking good lecture notes. Taking good notes AND reading the assigned textbook material are both essential.  It is not unusual for students to read each chapter over two or three times in order to fully understand what is being explained.


  1. In most classes, some type of writing assignment is a requirement for successfully completing the course.  Many classes include essay questions on each exam.  In addition, many classes require homework assignments drawn from end-of-the-chapter questions, written analyses of newspaper articles covering business and economic news, or research papers. 


  1. The normal mode of delivery is lecture.  While many classes include class discussions as well as class activities, the predominant mode of delivery is lecture.  The student has a responsibility to read the assignments prior to class and to be able to take notes based on the reading assignment and class presentation, lecture, or discussion.  Successful students revise and edit their notes as soon as they can after the lecture. 


  1. Students should plan on studying for at least 3 hours outside of class for every hour (50 minutes) they are in class. In a normal 16 week fall or spring semester, these classes meet 3 hours per week. This means that students should be allocating 9 hours per week of study time to each of them outside of class.


  1. Students must adhere to attendance policies and class behavior policies established by the instructor. Successful students are rarely absent from class, they arrive on time and stay for the entire class—regardless of their other activities and responsibilities, they prepare for class by doing the assigned reading, and they treat their classmates and instructor with respect.


  1. Because college courses usually meet only two times per week (in some cases only once each week) in a normal 16 week fall or spring semester, high school students and recent high school graduates may not be accustomed to the faster pace of these courses. This pace is substantially accelerated in the 8 week fall and spring sessions and in the 4 week, 5.5 week, and 11 week summer sessions. The same amount of material is covered no matter what the length of the session in which the courses are offered.


  1. Students enrolling in Distance Learning courses will need maturity, ability, and self-discipline to successfully complete the requirements. The student will be required to complete the same amount of work at the same level of difficulty as students enrolling in the in-class sections. Distance Learning courses are designed for mature and capable students endowed with a great degree of self-discipline and responsibility. If this description does not sound like you, then you should enroll in an in-class section of the course.


  1. All students enrolled in these courses will be treated as college students regardless of the location at which the class meets.  Students are protected by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.  In compliance with this Act, instructors will not discuss student grades, academic progress, or class attendance and participation with a student’s parents (or high school counselors) unless the student is present.



Our instructors are dedicated, trained teachers and are excited about the subject matter and the opportunity to share it with their students.  They are eager to participate in a collaborative learning experience with their students in order to achieve mastery of the principles of economics as well as improvements in reading, writing, and critical thinking skills.  In addition, students who complete these courses will be far better prepared to understand the debates surrounding current economic problems and will be better able to assume the responsibilities of citizenship in a participatory democracy.  Paraphrasing the Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset, “When there is a shortage of bread, the first thing people (who have not taken an economics course) do is burn down the bakeries.”


Taking an economics course can be a challenging and rewarding experience. 


We look forward to traveling this path with you.