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Blinn College • Bryan • Social Sciences • Government - GOVT


American Government GOVT-2305

  • Fall 2018
  • Section 306 CRN-14321
  • 3 Credits
  • 08/27/2018 to 12/13/2018
  • Modified 08/29/2018

Meeting Times


Lecture

  • MWF, 8:00 AM - 8:50 AM
  • Room: A - 106

Contact Information


Instructor: Mr. Michael Burnside

Office Hours

  • M, W: 1:30-2:30 PM; TU: 3:00-4:00 PM
  • Office: A-276

Description


Government 2305 is a study of the organization, functions, and administration of the several branches and agencies of the national government, including a study of the federal constitution. The primary factors considered relate to the three branches of government -- judicial, executive, legislative -- major historical documents, the events that shaped the nation, and current events. Emphasis will be placed on the interaction of these subsystems. 48 contact hours. Credit: Three semester hours.

Requisites

Student must be college reading ready according to Texas Success Initiatives Standards (TSI). Please see the Catalog section under Texas Success Initiative.

Core Curriculum Statement


Through the Texas Core Curriculum, students will gain a foundation of knowledge in human cultures and the physical and natural world, develop principles of personal and social responsibility for living in a diverse world, and advance intellectual and practical skills that are essential for all learning. For details relating to this core course, please see:

http://www.blinn.edu/academics/core_curriculum.html

Outcomes


Explain the origin and development of constitutional democracy in the United States.

Demonstrate knowledge of the federal system.

Describe separation of powers and checks and balances in both theory and practice.

Demonstrate knowledge of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the federal government.

Evaluate the role of public opinion, interest groups, and political parties in the political system.

Analyze the election process.

Describe the rights and responsibilities of citizens.

Analyze issues and policies in U.S. politics.

Materials


WE THE PEOPLE 2017 PKG

REQUIRED |By GINSBERG

  • EDITION:   11E
  • PUBLISHER:   NORTON
  • ISBN:   9780393622850

 

Scantron (narrow)

882-E or 882-E compatible

Course Requirements


Major Exams

There will be 4 major exams during the semester.  The lowest grade will be dropped.

Writing Assignments

There will be 2 writing assignments.  Students will receive detailed instructions later in the course.  The due dates are noted on the schedule.  Students who turn in their papers early will receive bonus points.  One week early = 7 bonus points; six days early = 6 bonus points, etc.  Late papers are not accepted.

Participation

Participation will be based upon attendance.  Excused absences will not lower the participation grade. Roll will be taken at the beginning of class.  Students who are not present will be counted absent.  Students who arrive late must inform the instructor that they were in class.  Roll may be taken at the end of class.  Students who miss over half of the class will be counted absent.  Students who develop a pattern of leaving just past the midway point will be counted absent for the those days.

Final Exam

The final exam is comprehensive, including the lectures in the last week of class. The final exam cannot be dropped.

Quizzes

There will be one graded quiz over the syllabus.  10% of the grade will be added to final Participation grade.

Example:

A student has perfect attendance and, therefore, has a Participation grade of 100.

The same student scores 100 on the syllabus quiz.  Ten points will be added to the final Participation grade, changing the final grade to 110.

 

Evaluation


Breakdown

Resulting grade and related performance levels
Grade Range Notes
A 900-1000
B 800-899
C 700-799
D 600-699
F <600

Criteria

Major Exams (150 points each)   3 of 4  Exams           450 points

Final Exam                                                                    200 points

Writing Assignments      (125 points each)                   250 points

Participation                                                                  100 points

 

 

Blinn College Policies


All policies, guidelines, and procedures in the Blinn College CatalogBlinn College Board Policies, and the Blinn College Administrative Regulations are applicable to this course.

Specific information on civility, attendance, add/drop, scholastic integrity, students with disabilities, final grade appeal, alternative retailers, campus carry and proctoring arrangements and cost.

Notice of any action taken under these protocol and procedures, by Blinn College or its employees, may be delivered by hand, through the U.S. Postal Service, or electronically to the student’s Blinn Buc e-mail account. Notice shall be deemed received upon actual receipt, on deposit in the U.S. Mail, or upon entering the information processing system used by Blinn College for Blinn Buc e-mail accounts, whichever first occurs.

Course Policies


Exams

Students who arrive after the tests have been distributed may be given a different exam that will consist largely, if not exclusively, of short answers.  

Scantrons - Students will submit their answers on the "narrow" Scantron (Scantron 882-E or 882-E compatible).  Students who do not use the correct Scantron will lose 5 points

Every student will also provide their name, the test form, and their class section on the scantron. 

Scantrons without a name will not be graded.  However, in the rare instance where it can be determined with absolute certainty that an 'unnamed' Scantron belongs to a particular student, the exam will be graded, but 5 points will be deducted from the grade. 

An exam without the correct test form will receive an automatic deduction of 3 points, and the final grade for the exam will be based upon the key used in the grading process. 

If a student asks for their exam to be graded by hand, there will be a further deduction of 5 points and the re-grade by hand will be final  grade (minus the deductions)   There is one exception.  If a student's exam is marked wrong in error (by the key), the student may request a review of specific questions without fear of any deductions. 

Failure to provide the correct section will also be a deduction of 3 points, and a possible delay in the return of the exam. 

Absences

If a student is not present when roll is taken, then the student is assumed to have an unexcused absence.  Any student who arrives in class after roll has been taken must meet with the instructor after class to assure that their attendance is properly recorded.

 

Four types of excused absences are recognized by Blinn College.  In addition, students who are absent for medical or legal reasons may also receive an excused absence when documentation from a third party professional is provided. 

It is the student's responsibility to initiate the request for an excused absence.

Make-Up Exams

Make-up exams are allowed for excused absences only.  The student must provide documentation to support a request for an excused absence no later than the second class meeting after returning to class.  Unless otherwise approved, students must complete any make-up exam no later than 10 days after the original test date.

 

If, under extraordinary circumstances, a student is allowed to take an exam later than 10 days after the original test date, the student will be given a short answer exam.

Writing Assignments

LATE PAPERS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED

If it is not possible for a student to make it to class because of "dire circumstances," the paper may be submitted via e-mail (through blinn.edu only).  The paper will NOT BE GRADED until the student has provided documentation from a 3rd Party professional that substantiates their inability to appear in class on the due date due to a legal or medical issue.

Note that this policy does not extend the due date; it only permits an alternate means of submitting the paper in extraordinary circumstances.

 

Schedule


Course calendar and related activities
When Topic Notes
 

Date of Class

Topic or Activity

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Aug 27, 2018

Pre-Test / Syllabus Review

50

3

Wednesday, Aug 29, 2018

Syllabus Review continued

50

Friday, Aug. 31, 2018

1st Paper Handout / DOI & Its Theory

(read Declaration of Independence before class)

50

Week Two

Topic or Activity

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Sept 03, 2018

HOLIDAY – NO CLASS

50

3

Wednesday, Sept 05 2018

Syllabus Quiz / DOI and Political Theory

50

Friday, Sept 07, 2018

Review Syllabus Quiz; DOI & Political Theory

50

Week Three

Topic or Activity

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Sept 10, 2018

DOI & Political Theory / Ch. 2 – DOI as Applied Theory (41-44, read  section on DOI)

50

3

Wednesday, Sept 12, 2018

DOI as Applied Theory ; America’s Two Constitutions (44-56)

50

Friday, Sept. 14, 2018

Principles & Ratification of the Constitution (Articles V, VI, and VII of the US Constitution; 56-68)

50

Week Four

Topic or Activity

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Sept 17, 2018

Ch. 3 – Federalism – Origin & Nature of Federalism

(Article IV, the 10th Amendment and pages 77-85)

50

3

Wednesday, Sept 19, 2018

Transforming Federalism: The Impact of the Civil War (85-9 and 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments)

50

Friday, Sept 21, 2018

Transforming Federalism: The Impact of Progressivism on the Constitution (Amendments: 16-21)

50

Week Five

 

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Sept 24, 2018

1st Paper Accepted for bonus points; Transforming Federalism through the Supreme Court and “Cooperative Federalism” (89-98)

50

3

Wednesday, Sept 26, 2018

EXAM 1 (DOI, Political Theory, Ch. 2 & 3)

50

Friday, Sept 28, 2018

For chapter 4, read the corresponding amendment as well as the pages assigned; Ch. 4 – Civil Liberties – Incorporation; 1st Amendment: ‘Free exercise,’ and ‘establishment’ clauses (115-23)

50

Week Six

 

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Oct 1 , 2018

1st Paper Due, no bonus points, no late papers

1st Amendment – Free speech and free press (123-31)

50

3

 

Wednesday, Oct 3, 2018

2nd & 3rd Amendments; 4th Amendment (131-6)

50

Friday, Oct 5, 2018

4th Amendment continued; begin 5th Amendment (136-8)

50

 

Complete 5th Amendment; 6th Amendment

 

 

Week Seven

 

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Oct 8, 2018

5th Amendment continued; 6th Amendment (138-9)

50

3

Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018

6th Amendment continued; 7th and 8th Amendments (139-40)

50

Friday, Oct 12, 2018

9th     and 10th Amendments (140-5); Ch. 5 – Civil Rights (155-74)

50

Week Eight

 

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Oct 15, 2018

Handout for Second Paper;  Civil Rights (174-91)

50

3

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018

Ch. 8 - Voting - Voting Rights & Qualifications (289-94; 314-9, Article I, Section 4, Amendments 24 and 26)

50

Friday, Oct 19, 2018

Voting Patterns (299-311)

50

Week Nine

 

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Oct 22, 2018

Ideology and Party Identification (Ch. 9: 342-9)

50

3

Wednesday, Oct 24, 2018

EXAM 2 (Ch. 4, 5, 8 & part of 9)

50

Friday, Oct 26, 2018

Ch. 12 –Congress – Creating Laws (Article I, 27th Amendment, 459-60; 465-478)

50

Week Ten

 

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Oct 29, 2018

Congress – Other Powers & Responsibilities (480-97)

50

3

Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018

Ch. 13-The Presidency – Characteristics, Critical Elections (Article II, Amendments 12, 22, 23, 25)

50

Friday, Nov 2, 2018

Constitutional Powers of the President (509-21)

50

Week Eleven

 

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Nov 5, 2018

Second Papers Accepted for Bonus Points;

The Modern Presidency (521-36)

50

3

Wednesday, Nov 7, 2018

Ch. 15-The Federal Judiciary – Legal terms (Article III, 11th Amendment,  587-92)

50

Friday, Nov 9, 2018

The Federal Judiciary – Organization of the Courts and Selection of Judges (592-8)

50

Week Twelve

 

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Nov 12, 2018

Second Papers Due; no bonus, no late papers

The Federal Judiciary-Arriving at Opinions (598-614)

50

3

Wednesday, Nov 14, 2018

 EXAM 3 (Ch. 12, 13 & 15)

50

Friday, Nov 16, 2018

Ch. 14 – The Federal Bureaucracy – Its Nature and the Challenge to the Republic (547-55; 558-65)

50

Week Thirteen

 

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Nov 19, 2018

Ch. 16 – Economic Policy – Political Economy and Fiscal Policy (629-42)

50

3

Wednesday, Nov 21, 2018

Thanksgiving Holiday

50

Friday, Nov 23, 2018

Thanksgiving Holiday

50

Week Fourteen

 

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Nov 26, 2018

Economic Policy – Monetary Policy & the Great American Real Estate Meltdown (645-59)

50

3

Wednesday, Nov 28, 2018

The Great American Real Estate Meltdown (642-4)

50

Friday, Nov. 30, 2018

Ch.18–Foreign Policy –Out of Isolationism     (713-24)     LAST DAY FOR AUTOMATIC ‘Q’ DROP

50

Week Fifteen

 

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Dec 3, 2018

Foreign Policy–Tools of Foreign Policy (732-41)

50

3

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2018

EXAM 4 (Chapters 14, 16, & 18)

50

Friday, Dec 7, 2018

Ch.17 – Social Policy – The Welfare State (673-84); review sheet for Ch. 17

50

Week Sixteen - Finals Week

 

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Dec 10, 2018

7:45 AM - 10:00 AM

 

3

 

Total Contact Hours

 

48.0