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Bryan · Social Sciences · Government - GOVT


American Government
GOVT-2305

  • Spring 2019
  • Section 312 CRN-24876
  • 3 Credits
  • 01/14/2019 to 05/09/2019
  • Modified 01/24/2019

Meeting Times


Lecture

  • 10:00-10:50 AM, MWF
  • A-109

Contact Information


Instructor: Mr. Michael Burnside

Office Hours

  • Office: A-276

MW: 1:30-2:30 PM

TU: 8:00-8:30 AM

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The primary factors considered relate to the three branches of government -- judicial, executive, legislative -- major historical documents, the events that shaped the nation, and current events.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

AccuScan 882-E or compatible - at least 5

Course Requirements


Major Exams

Four (4) major exams as noted on the schedule

Lowest grade will be dropped

Writing Assignments

Two (2) as noted on the schedule

Both will be counted for the final grade

Participation

Based upon attendance; "excused absences" do not count against the grade

Final Exam

Will account for 20% of the grade; it cannot be dropped and it must be cumulative

Evaluation


Criteria

Major Exams - 15% each (or 150 points of 1000) - 4 exams - top 3 are counted   Total grade 45%

Writing assignments - 12.5% each (125 of 1000)   2 assignments                           Total grade 25%

Participation - 10% (100 of 1000)                                                                             Total grade 10%

Final exam - 20% (200 of 1000)                                                                                 Total grade 20%

Breakdown

90% (900+ points of 1000) = A

80% (800-899 points of 1000) = B

70% (700-799 points of 1000) = C

60% (600-699 points of 1000) = D

< 60% (< 600 points)       = 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


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

The Scantron must be capable of being graded by the machine.  If a scantron cannot be graded by the machine, then five (5) points will be deducted from the overall test grade.

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 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 7 days after the original test date.

 

If, under extraordinary circumstances, a student is allowed to take an exam later than 7 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 for legal or medical issues.

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, Jan. 14, 2019

Syllabus Review

50

3

Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019

Syllabus Review continued; 1st Paper Handout

50

Friday, Jan. 18, 2019

DOI & Its Theory

(read Declaration of Independence before class)

50

Week Two

Topic or Activity

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Jan. 21, 2019

HOLIDAY – NO CLASS

50

3

Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019

 DOI and Political Theory: Aristotle to Locke

50

Friday, Jan. 25, 2019

 DOI  as applied theory; (Ch. 2: 41-45)

50

Week Three

Topic or Activity

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Jan. 28, 2019

Ch. 2 – America's Two Constitutions

(pages 45-51)

50

3

Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019

Basic Constitutional Principles (51-9)

50

Friday, Feb. 1, 2019

Principles & Ratification of the Constitution (Articles V, VI, and VII of the US Constitution; 60-65)

50

Week Four

Topic or Activity

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Feb. 4, 2019

EXAM 1: Syllabus, DOI, Political Theory, Chapter 2

50

3

Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019

Ch. 3 - Federalism: Origin and Nature of Federalism (77-82, Article IV and the Tenth Amendment)

50

Friday, Feb. 8, 2019

The Impact of the Civil War on Federalism (82-9 and the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments)

50

Week Five

 

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Feb. 11, 2019

1st Paper Accepted for bonus points;

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

50

3

Wed., Feb. 13, 2019

Transforming Federalism through the Supreme Court and "Cooperative Federalism" (89-100)

50

Friday, Feb. 15, 2019

Ch. 4 – Civil Liberties – Incorporation; 1st Amendment: Freedom of religion (117-23, 1st Amendment)

50

Week Six

 

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Feb. 18, 2019

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

1st Amendment – The Establishment clause, and free speech  (123-31)

50

3

 

Wed., Feb. 20, 2019

2nd, (3rd) and 4th Amendments (131-6)

50

Friday, Feb. 22, 2019

5th Amendment (136-8 Fifth Amendment)

50

 

 

 

 

Week Seven

 

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Feb. 25, 2019

6th Amendment; (138-9, 6th Amendment)

50

3

Wed., Feb. 27, 2019

8th and 9th Amendments (139-45, Amendments 7, 8 and 9)

50

Friday, Mar. 1, 2019

EXAM 2: Ch. 3 (Federalism) and Ch. 4 (Civil Liberties)

50

Week Eight

 

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Mar. 4, 2019

Handout for Second Paper;  Ch. 5 - Civil Rights (155-74, "Civil War Amendments")

50

 

 

3

Wed., Mar. 6, 2019

Civil Rights - Extending Civil Rights

(174-91)

50

Friday, Mar. 8, 2019

Ch. 15 - Federal Judiciary: The Legal System & Org. of the Courts (587-94, include SC, Article III)

50

Week Nine

 

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Mar. 18, 2019

Selection of Judges, Judicial Review and Activities o f the Court (594-602, 606-14)

50

3

Wed., Mar. 20, 2019

Ch. 6 - Public Opinion and Ideology (201-8)

50

Friday, Mar. 22, 2019

Ch. 8 – Voting Participation (299-310)

50

Week Ten

 

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Mar. 25, 2019

Second Papers Accepted for Bonus Points;    Ch. 12 - Congress - Composition & Organization; Creating Laws (459-70; 472-80)

50

3

Wed. Mar. 27, 2019

Congress: Creating Laws (480-91)

50

Friday, Mar. 29, 2019

Congress - Other Powers & Responsibilities (495-7)

50

Week Eleven

 

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Apr. 1, 2019

Second Papers Due; no bonus points, no late papers

Exam 3 (Ch. 5, part of 6, part of 8, 12 and 15)

 

50

3

Wednesday, Apr. 3, 2019

Ch. 13-The President - Characteristics; Powers of the President (509-16)

50

Friday, Apr. 5, 2019

"Delegated Powers" and Relationship  to the Other Branches (516-26)

50

Week Twelve

 

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Apr. 8, 2019

Ch. 14 - Federal Bureaucracy - Nature of the federal bureaucracy; the "fourth branch" of government

50

3

Wed., Apr. 10, 2019

Federal Bureaucracy: Challenge to the Republic (556-61, 573-8)

50

Friday, Apr. 12, 2019

Ch. 16 – Economic Policy - Basic Concepts, the Federal Reserve and Monetary Policy (629-33, 645-8)

50

Week Thirteen

 

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Apr. 15, 2019

The Great American Real Estate Meltdown (642-4)

50

3

Wed.,  Apr. 17, 2019

Economic Policy - Fiscal Policy (648-57)

50

Friday, Apr. 19, 2019

Holiday

50

Week Fourteen

 

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Apr. 22, 2019

Ch. 18 - Foreign & Defense Policy - Creating Policy; Isolationism (713-24)

50

3

Wed., Apr. 24, 2019

Foreign & Defense Policy - The US as an International Power (725-38)

50

Friday, Apr. 26, 2019

EXAM 4 (Chapters 13, 14, 16 and 18) 

LAST DAY FOR AUTOMATIC ‘Q’ DROP

50

Week Fifteen

 

LEC

Weekly

Monday, Apr. 29, 2019

Ch. 17 - Social Policy - The Welfare State (673-84)

50

3

Wed., May 1, 2019

Social Policy -Education Policy (685-9)

50

Friday, May 3, 2019

Political "Animals"

50

Week Sixteen - Finals Week

 

LEC

Weekly

 Wed., May 8, 2019

  10:15 AM - 12:30 Noon

 

3

 

Total Contact Hours

 

48.0