POLI111 American National Government

Department of Social & Behavioral Science: Political Science

I. Course Number and Title
POLI111 American National Government
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Number of Instructional Minutes
IV. Prerequisites
V. Other Pertinent Information

This course meets the General Education requirement for Social Science.
This course meets the General Education requirement for Diversity.

VI. Catalog Course Description
An examination of the workings of American government at the national level. A consideration of who gets what, when, how, and why. An introduction to effective citizenship, suitable for all students.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Course Learning Goals

    Students will:

    1. demonstrate an understanding of the functioning of the policy processes and institutions of the American national government;
    2. demonstrate an understanding of the ideas about government that underlie the American system;
    3. demonstrate an understanding of some of the basic tools used by political scientists to help explain the way governments function;
    4. demonstrate an understanding of the significance of current events on the national political scene [Social Science];
    5. demonstrate an understanding of the diverse perspectives of women and minorities and the contributions these groups have made to American political life [Diversity];
    6. demonstrate an understanding of the political debates over the environment: pollution, regulatory policies, and citizen action;
    7. demonstrate an understanding of the social, cultural, economic, and racial conflicts in American political life [Social Science];
    8. demonstrate a recognition and acceptance of the complexities and the consequent frustrations of participatory politics;
    9. acceptance of responsibility, at personal and public levels, to act in harmony with the natural and social environment
    10. commitment to informed political participation at least at the level of regular voting; and
    11. recognition that a sound knowledge of politics is to simply a matter of civic duty, but an intrinsically rewarding part of the proper study of mankind.
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities

    1. Research the political science way
    2. Historical roots of the new nation: The American Revolution
    3. The New Government: federalism and constitutional rights (civil rights, civil liberties)
    4. The Modern Presidency: powers and limitations
    5. Congress: structure, functions and processes
    6. The Judiciary: judicial review and its use - Marshall to Rehnquist
    7. The Bureaucracy: rule makers and implementers
    8. Participation I: voters and parties
    9. Participation II: interest groups
    10. Participation III: mass media
    11. Economic policy: fiscal and monetary methods
    12. Social policy: health, education and welfare
    13. Environmental policy: contemporary initiatives (since 1970)
    14. Foreign and Defense policy: evolution since 1945
  3. Assessment Methods for Course Learning Goals

    Course learning goals are assessed with in-class exams, electronically administered exams, essays, written assignments, multi-media projects, and/or participation in classroom/online discussions.
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Student:

    See course syllabus.

Review/Approval Date - 5/04; Core Goals/Objectives added 5/04; New Core 8/2015