2021-2022 Catalog 
    May 28, 2024  
2021-2022 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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POLI 240 - American Political System

3 Credit: (3 lecture, 0 lab, 0 clinical) 3 Contact Hours: [Reading Level 3 ]

This course intends to introduce you to your government and help you become better acquainted with its workings. Historical and philosophical underpinnings are examined throughout the course. This is an overview of the structures, processes, and interactions involved in decision making at the national level in this republic.

Politics is the universal effort among people to pursue their own interests in society and better themselves and their communities. This inevitably results in ongoing interaction between individuals, groups, and the institutions they create.  Cooperation, competition, and conflict are all a part of this process and have come to be structured and regulated to facilitate decision making, especially in a large, complex, heterogeneous democracy such as our own. Long ago human beings developed the varied but universal institution of government to try to resolve or at least manage the issues and concerns that underlie and energize people in pursuit of their economic, social, and personal goals. Politics and government are closely related: one a universal human activity, the other a universal human institution. We will explore the relationship between the two.
OFFERED: every semester

Course Goals/ Objectives/ Competencies:
Goal 1: Demonstrate an understanding of the structure and functioning of the American Political System and historical and contemporary issues.

  1. Appraise the historical and philosophical underpinnings of the Constitution.
  2. Characterize the structure and function of the three branches of the federal government.
  3. Identify and evaluate the role(s) played by the extra-constitutional players in the American Political System.
  4. Identify the ways that democracy has expanded since our founding.

Goal 2: Demonstrate critical thinking skills.

  1. Analyze & evaluate the American Political System.
  2. Manifest understanding aspects of the American Political System on quizzes, tests, and exams.

Goal 3: Demonstrate written communication skills.

  1. Write a logical, coherent, critical, essay.
  2. Take and use class notes and outlines.

Goal 4: Demonstrate oral communication skills.

  1. Make a formal presentation featuring results of group research.
  2. Exchange viewpoints in a small group setting and arrive at consensus in response to critical thinking questions.

Goal 5: Demonstrate the interpersonal, organizational, and time management skills needed in the workplace.

  1. Work successfully in groups to conduct research and make a substantial, formal presentation to class.
  2. Employ effective written and oral communication with group members to organize information, concatenate different perspectives, and compromise.
  3. Meet deadlines.

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