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Brenham · Social Sciences · Government - GOVT


American Government
GOVT-2305

  • Spring 2019
  • Section 018 CRN-25640
  • 3 Credits
  • 01/14/2019 to 05/09/2019
  • Modified 01/10/2019

Meeting Times


Lecture

  • Tuesday, Thursday, 1:25 PM to 2:40 PM, Old Main 302

Contact Information


Instructor: Mr. Michael Beauregarde Smith

Office Hours

  • Monday, Wednesday, 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM, Old Main 113

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The primary factors considered relate to the three branches of government -- judicial, executive, legislative -- major historical documents, the events that shaped the nation, and current events.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


ALL:

Ginsberg, Lowi and Weir. We The People, 11th full edition. Norton Publishing, 2017. Special custom edition for Blinn College.

 

Course Requirements


Evaluation


The student will take three (3) exams, one (1) cumulative final exam, and four (4) class participation writing exercises exercises.

Each student will be responsible for providing a Scantron (Form 882, small scantron with 50 answers on each side), #2 pencil(s), and eraser for each exam.  It is highly recommended that the student bring the textbook, paper, and writing instrument for class lectures and discussions.

Criteria

This course will consist of three (3) 50 question exams.  Each exam will consist of multiple choice, fill in the blank, and true/false types of questions.  Each exam will count 50 points towards your final grade.

 

There is a 100 question cumulative final.  The final exam will count towards a maximum of 100 points towards your final grade.

 

The four (4) participation writing assignments will count as a maximum of 40 points toward your final grade.  The assignments will be posted on E-campus.  The assignments must be typed (Double spaced, 12 font), printed, and turned in when class starts on the date due.

 

Breakdown

Three (3) 50 question exams:         150 points

One 100 question final:                   100 points

Four Participation assignments         40 points

 

There are a total of 290 points available for you to earn this semester in this course.  The breakdown for final grades is as follows:

 

261 - 290 points = A

232 - 260 points = B

203 - 231 points = C

174 - 202 points = D

Less than 174    = F

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


Attendance

Blinn requires attendance to be taken on a daily basis.  To meet this requirement I will call roll at the beginning of each day.  If you are not in class when the roll is called, you are considered absent for the day.

You must stay for the whole class. If you leave early without getting permission from me, you will be counted absent for the day.

The only excused absences are those recognized by Blinn.  I do not accept notes from the doctor or anything of this sort.  If you miss a day you should get the lecture notes from a classmate.

Remember, this is a T/TH class.  After 4 unexcused absences you can be dropped from the course.

Electronics

There are no laptops, I phones, I pads, or anything like that allowed in the classroom.  All notes must be handwritten.

Reviewing test

I will not return tests, only the scantron.  If you wish to review your old exams you may do so during office hours.  In an effort to prevent numerous students from waiting until the last minute to review their exams (and therefore not allow me to give individual attention to the students who would like to ask questions) I am limiting the time frame in which you can review your old exams.  You can only review your old exams before the next exam takes place.  For example, you can only review test 1 after you complete test 1 but before you complete test 2.  After you complete test 2, you may not review test 1, but can review test 2 as long as we have not completed test 3.

E-mails

E-mails have become very important and one of the main ways of communicating with others.  This means we need all e-mails to be professional.  To this end if you send me an e-mail there are certain things I expect this e-mail to have.  If the e-mail does not meet these requirements, I will not respond.

 

The first thing that should be in your e-mail is something in the re: or subject line.  Provide a short description of what the e-mail is about.

The second thing is a greeting.  Mr. Smith, Prof. Smith, or something to this extent is appropriate.  Howdy is not an appropriate greeting for a professional e-mail.

I have approximately 200 students.  This means I may or may not know you by name.  Help me help you and tell me your name and what class you are in.

In the body of your e-mail, please be succinct.  Do not send me a 4 paragraph e-mail stating you are going to miss class tomorrow.  If you are going to send me an e-mail, please just say something to the extent of "I am going to miss class tomorrow, thank you".

Sign your e-mails.  Sincerely, Thank you, or something to this extent and type your name.

 

These may seem like simple things but there are many people who do not know to follow these rules.  Remember, for some people the only contact (and the only way you make an impression on them) is through e-mails.  Look professional and always give a good impression of yourself.

 

Please allow up to 48 hours for an e-mail response.

Late work

Late work is not accepted.

Exams

Exams are expected to be completed on the day they are scheduled.  There will be no make up exams.

Leaving class early

I understand there may be days when you need to leave early.  This is not a problem as long as you tell me before hand.  Letting a professor know you need to leave early before hand is just common courtesy.

If you leave early without letting me know you will be counted absent for the class period.

Schedule


Week One

Meeting Details

Lecture Minutes

Weekly Hours

Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019

Introduction to Class

75

3

Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019

Begin Types of Government

75

Week Two

 

LEC

Weekly

Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019

Finish Types of Government

75

3

Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019

Begin The Constitution

75

Week Three

 

LEC

Weekly

Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019

Finish the Constitution

75

3

Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019

Begin Federalism

75

Week Four

 

LEC

Weekly

Tuesday, Feb. 05, 2019

Finish Federalism

75

3

Thursday, Feb. 07, 2019

Begin Congress

75

Week Five

 

LEC

Weekly

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019

Finish Congress

75

3

Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019

Test 1 over Types of Government, The Constitution, Federalism, and Congress

75

Week Six

 

LEC

Weekly

Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019

Begin The Executive Branch

75

3

Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019

Finish The Executive Branch

75

Week Seven

 

LEC

Weekly

Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019

Begin Political Parties

75

3

Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019

Finish Political Parties

75

Week Eight

 

LEC

Weekly

Tuesday, Mar. 05, 2019

Begin Interests Groups

75

3

Thursday, Mar. 07, 2019

Finish Interest Groups

75

Week Nine

 

LEC

Weekly

Tuesday, Mar. 12, 2019

Spring Break

 

 

Thursday, Mar. 14, 2019

Sring Break

 

Week Ten

 

LEC

Weekly

Tuesday, Mar. 19, 2019

Begin Public Opinion

75

3

Thursday, Mar. 21, 2019

Finish Public Opinion

75

Week Eleven

 

LEC

Weekly

Tuesday, Mar. 26, 2019

Test 2 over The Executive Branch, Political Parties, Interests Groups, Public Opinion

75

3

Thursday, Mar. 28, 2019

Begin Modern Bureaucracy

75

Week Twelve

 

LEC

Weekly

Tuesday, Apr. 02, 2019

Finish Modern Bureaucracy

75

3

Thursday, Apr. 04, 2019

Begin The Judiciary

75

Week Thirteen

 

LEC

Weekly

Tuesday, Apr. 09, 2019

 Finish The Judiciary

75

3

Thursday, Apr. 11, 2019

Begin Civil Liberties

75

Week Fourteen

 

LEC

Weekly

Tuesday, Apr. 16, 2019

Continue Civil Liberties

75

3

Thursday, Apr. 18, 2019

Finish Civil Liberties

75

Week Fifteen

 

LEC

Weekly

Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2019

Begin Civil Rights

75

3

Thursday, Apr. 25, 2019

Finish Civil Rights

75

Friday, Apr. 26, 2019

Drop Date

 

 

Week Sixteen

 

LEC

Weekly

Tuesday, Apr. 30, 2019

Exam 3 over Modern Bureaucracy, The Judiciary, Civil Liberties, and Civil Rights

75

3

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Review Day

75

Week Seventeen – Finals Week

 

LEC

Weekly

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

12:45 PM – 3:00 PM cumulative final

 

 

 

Total Contact Hours

 

48 hrs.