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RELLIS · Social Sciences · Government - GOVT

American Government

  • Spring 2019
  • Section 207 CRN-25622
  • 3 Credits
  • 01/14/2019 to 05/09/2019
  • Modified 01/12/2019

Meeting Times

We have class meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Schwartz 210 on the RELLIS Campus from 1:25-2:40pm. Through eCampus, students will access course materials and complete some assignments.  

Contact Information

Professor Jeff Lee, Schwartz Building 430L on the RELLIS Campus, 979-209-8893

Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays from Noon-1:15pm.

Email: There are two ways to email me: (1) within the eCampus system, thus from your eCampus address - ending in - to my eCampus address, or (2), at [email protected]. Please remember to include your specific class section (GOVT 2305.207) somewhere in your email. I will reply within 24 hours on weekdays and 36 hours on weekends.

When you have questions, feel free to talk to me before or after class, come by my office during office hours, set up an appointment if my office hours conflict with your schedule, call my office, or email me.


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The primary factors considered relate to the three branches of government -- judicial, executive, legislative -- major historical documents, the events that shaped the nation, and current events.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


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:


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.




  • EDITION:   11E
  • ISBN:   9780393622850


Course Requirements

Participation: Students will participate with preparedness, attentiveness, quality, and civility.  

1. Disrespectful participation in class, being a distraction in class (including use of electronic devices, lack of emotional and verbal filter, consistently arriving late and leaving early), and lack of shared responsibility on group assignments are examples of reasons for participation grade deductions. 

2. Regarding electronic devices – Silence your electronic devices (phone, smart watch, tablet, and/or laptop), put them away, and do not use them in class. Messaging in class is rude, dismissive behavior. Laptops and tablets are too often used in class for non-class purposes. In the rare occasion that you anticipate an important message or call during class, simply come tell me before class.

3. Participate in class discussions showing you have come to class having completed homework assignments and can contribute to completion of lecture outlines and policy discussions. 

All students begin the semester with a 100 for Participation. This is 10% of the overall grade. When a deduction occurs for use of electronic devices, the deduction will be noted on the student’s grade book and the student will see anywhere from a twenty to fifty-point deduction, depending on the severity of the action or if the action has already occurred with the individual student. Any additional deduction will occur at the end of the semester based on the student's preparedness and contribution to completion of lecture outlines and policy discussions.

Minor Assignments: Students will complete a small number of minor assignments. Instructions for these minor assignments are posted on eCampus. Minor assignment grades will be posted within 48 hours of the given assignment closing for the class. 

Major Essays: Students will complete two major essays that build on class discussions on public policy. Essay grades will be posted within 48 hours of in-class evaluation exercises. 

Major Exams: For each exam, students will need an Accuscan DataLink 1200 answer sheet. The Midterm Exam will have 40-45 answer sheet questions and 1-2 short-answer questions. The Final Exam will have 70-80 answer questions and 2-3 short-answer questions. Exam grades will be posted within 48 hours of exam completion. 

Bonus - Service Learning Project: This is not a required assignment. You may earn up to five bonus points on your overall grade by completing the following instructions:

1. Complete 5 volunteer hours with your choice of organization from the list provided at Click this link, then on the left side of the page you will the link for Community Partners. For class credit, your volunteer hours must be with one of these Community Partners approved by Blinn College. 

2. One email from your chosen organization's supervisor to [email protected] in which the supervisor confirms the hours you volunteered and that you represented Blinn College well.

3. One paper - Write a one-page reflection on your experience overall; on page two you will include at least two pictures of you working at the organization's facility as you completed your volunteer hours (The photos do not have to include other people. If they do, make sure to get the permission of the people around you while you are volunteering if they mind being photographed.)

4. Confirmation email and hard-copy of paper may be submitted anytime before, but no later than, the beginning of our Final Exam class meeting.

Service Learning bonus points will be posted on the grade book within 48 hours of the instructions above. 



One or more of these requirements will address the Student Learning Outcomes above.




Participation - 10% of overall grade

Minor Assignments – 10% of overall grade

Essay Average - 20% of overall grade

Exam Average - 60% of overall grade


Service Learning - up to five bonus points added to final overall grade


A - 100-90%, B - 89-80%, C - 79-70%, D - 69-60%, F - 59 and below

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

Absence Policy Applied to This Class

Blinn Administration requires faculty to drop students for excessive absences. When students accumulate two weeks of unexcused absences they will be dropped from the course. 

  • To be 'present' is to be in class on time and leaving when dismissed. An attendance record is taken at the beginning of the class meeting. Students leaving early without a documented reason meeting one of the four excused absences recognized by the College (above) or a medical note will be counted absent even if they were counted present at the beginning of the class meeting. 

After one week of unexcused absences, a warning email is sent by Blinn Administration to the student's student email account (thus it is vital to check that account). After a second week of unexcused absences, a second absence will be recorded with Blinn Administration signifying the student should be dropped from the course for absences.   

Electronic Devices

Silence your electronic devices (phone, smart watch, tablet, and/or laptop), put them away, and do not use them in class. Messaging in class is rude, dismissive behavior. Laptops and tablets are too often used in class for non-class purposes. In the rare occasion that you anticipate an important message or call during class, simply come tell me before class, and quietly excuse yourself outside of the classroom to complete the communication.

Make-Up Assignment Policy

Students may make up assignments when they have a documented reason meeting one of the four excused absences recognized by the College (above) or a medical note. The student has three business days to provide documentation and schedule make-up assignment. Make-up exams may be in a different format than the original version completed by the rest of the class.

Copyright Notice

"Some of the materials utilized in this course are copyrighted. They are intended for use only by students enrolled in this course and only for instructional activities associated with and for the duration of the course. They may not be retained in another medium or disseminated." - Blinn College Distance Education


See eCampus weekly modules for specific assignment open/close details.

Please note that Blinn College is in the US/Central Time Zone. eCampus assignments are due according to the Central Time Zone.

Professor Lee will announce any changes to the schedule in class meetings and/or through eCampus posted announcements. 

Friday, April 26, is last day to drop with a 'Q'

16 weeks x 3 contact hours = 48 contact hours

Course calendar and related activities
When Topic Notes
Week 1
Course Orientation

3 contact hours

Week 2
The U.S. Constitution of 1787

3 contact hours

Week 3

3 contact hours

Week 4
Major Assessment

3 contact hours

Week 5
Populace Participation, pt1

3 contact hours

Week 6
Populace Participation, pt2

3 contact hours

Week 7
Separation of Powers

3 contact hours

Week 8
Major Assessment

3 contact hours

Week 9
Legislative Power

3 contact hours

Week 10
Executive Power

3 contact hours

Week 11
Judicial Power

3 contact hours

Week 12
Major Assessment

3 contact hours

Week 13
Public Policy, pt1

3 contact hours

Week 14
Public Policy, pt2

3 contact hours

Week 15
Public Policy, pt3

3 contact hours

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 @12:45pm
Final Exam

3 contact hours