Course Abstract Details

POLS-101, American Government

Credits: 3

This is a General Education Course

Course Description

POLS-101, American Government, examines the principles, structures, and decision-making processes at the national government level in the United States with the patterns in other nations. The course centers on the role of government, political parties, pressure groups, and individuals in shaping the policies which affect society. Emphasis is placed on contemporary political issues. Prerequisite: exemption/completion of READ-099. Credit by exam available. Three hours lecture each week. Three credits. Three billable hours. GENERAL EDUCATION

Course Objectives and Grading Information

COURSE OBJECTIVES: The course has the following broad content and general education objectives: 

1. Students will understand the founding principles, structure, and operation of American government. 

2. Students will explore how the ideals of American government expressed in the Declaration of Independence and other founding documents have been approximated in the realities of American political history. 

3. Students will understand how the American political economy reflects the complementary and conflicting demands of capitalism and democracy. 

4. Students will evaluate how ideology, leadership and personalities, political parties, interest groups, the media, public opinion, electoral politics, economic power, organizational and bureaucratic dynamics, and the shared powers of the executive, legislature, and judiciary influence American politics. 

5. Students will learn that politics involves not just competing interests but conflicting values. 

6. Students will interpret the principles, operation, and outcomes of the American political system in the global context. 

7. Students will enhance their attainment of the preceding objectives through examination of specific contemporary issue area(s) of their choosing. 

8. In examination of specific contemporary political issues, students will employ effective research skills by identifying and using appropriate information resources including print, periodical, and Internet based resources. 

9. Students will demonstrate good listening and communications skills by attentive participation and valuable contributions to class discussions. 

10. Students will demonstrate good writing skills through responses to essay questions on examinations. 

11. Students will demonstrate elementary data analysis skills by interpreting tabular and graphical displays of political and social information.    

Learning Goals

The abbreviations in parentheses represent Learning Goals which have been identified for this course and program of study:

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