Internet Explorer 7, 8, and 9 are no longer supported. Please use a newer browser.
Concourse works best with JavaScript enabled.
Blinn College District logo

RELLIS · Social Sciences · Government - GOVT

American Government
GOVT-2305

  • Fall 2020
  • Sections 50K CRN-19257, 50L CRN-19259
  • 3 Credits
  • 10/19/2020 to 12/10/2020
  • Modified 10/29/2020

Welcome to American Government.  Like the political system of this country, this course's policies are spelled out in a constitutional document- but in this case, we call it a syllabus. 

The policies explained below are intended to ensure that all students are offered an equal opportunity to earn the best possible grade in the course.  For that reason, this course's policies are non-negotiable.

Meeting Times

Each week consists of two class meetings.  For one, you will have the option of attending in person or logging in via Zoom.  For the other, you will only have the option of logging in via Zoom.  This is organized by course section- be aware of which section you enrolled in, and follow the attendance guidelines for your section.

STUDENTS IN SECTION 50K:

  • Mondays: 9:10 AM - 10:25 AM in ACB I Room 123, or via Zoom
  • Wednesdays: 9:10 AM - 10:25 AM, via Zoom only 

STUDENTS IN SECTION 50L:

  • Mondays: 9:10 AM - 10:25 AM, via Zoom only
  • Wednesdays: 9:10 AM - 10:25 AM in ACB I Room 123, or via Zoom

Contact Information

INSTRUCTOR: J.P. WINSTON, MPA

EMAIL: [email protected]

Due to current distancing requirements, traditional office hours will not take place this semester.  However, you may send me an email to discuss your issues at any time.  Response times may be slower outside of normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM).

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The primary factors considered relate to the three branches of government -- judicial, executive, legislative -- major historical documents, the events that shaped the nation, and current events.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

REQUIRED | By GINSBERG

  • EDITION:  12E
  • PUBLISHER:   NORTON
  • ISBN: 9780393431261

The textbook is essential for completing most of this course's discussion question assignments.  You may get the book in print form or digital form, but it must be of the correct edition (12th) and it must be the full version.  Older editions and core/essentials versions are not guaranteed to conform with this course.

Course Requirements

QUIZZES – 5% of overall grade

  • Orientation Quiz - Week 1 (2.5%)
  • Nolan Chart Quiz - Week 7 (2.5%)

ARTICLE SUMMARIES – 10% of overall grade

  • First Article Summary - Week 3 (5%)
  • Second Article Summary - Week 5 (5%)

WEEKLY DISCUSSION QUESTIONS – 35% of overall grade

  • Week 1 Discussion Question (5%)
  • Week 2 Discussion Question (5%)
  • Week 3 Discussion Question (5%)
  • Week 4 Discussion Question (5%)
  • Week 5 Discussion Question (5%)
  • Week 7 Discussion Question (5%)
  • Week 8 Discussion Question (5%)

PROCTORED EXAMS – 50% of overall grade

  • Exam: Concepts, Culture, and Constitution - Week 2 (10%)
  • Exam: Federalism, Factions & Parties, and Politics - Week 4 (10%)
  • Exam: Congress, Presidency, Foreign Affairs - Week 6 (10%)
  • Final Exam: Judiciary, Public Finances, and other comprehensive questions - Week 8 (20%)

Evaluation

A = 90.0% - 100.0%

B = 80.0% - 89.9%

C = 70.0% - 79.9%

D = 60.0% - 69.9%

F = 0.0% - 59.9%

REMINDER: There is no automatic entitlement for any student's grades to be rounded up to the next integer.  In this course, your final calculated grade will only be considered for adjustment if it is between .1 and .5 below the next integer.  This is a non-negotiable prerequisite. 

Even if your grade meets the mathematical criteria to be rounded upward, there are still other factors to consider: whether you have zeroes in the gradebook and whether you've completed extra credit opportunities if any are offered.  A full effort to earn the maximum possible grade must clearly be demonstrated before any grade adjustment is considered.

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.

Information about the changes Blinn has made to the Fall semester: Back with Blinn.

Course Policies

ALERT:

Please read: Fall 2020 General Course Policies.

ATTENDANCE:

Students are expected to attend both required course sessions each week. 

When applicable, students will NOT automatically be dropped from the course by the instructor. If a student chooses to drop the course, it is the student’s responsibility to do so at the Office of Admissions and Records. Failure to do so will result in a grade of “F” for the course.

It is the student’s responsibility to inform the instructor of any known absence in advance. If an unexpected absence does occur, it is expected of the student to contact the instructor at the earliest possible time to inform them of their situation.

COURSE WORK:

The instructor will provide specific information on how homework assignments are to be completed and the deadline for their completion. It is the student’s responsibility to keep themselves mindful of all approaching dates related to class events. 

Students also bear sole responsibility for making timely, complete file submissions in eCampus.  Please note that unless otherwise stated, all electronic assignment submissions should be in .doc(x) or .pdf format.  Other formats will not be accepted and will be treated as non-submissions.

Likewise, assignments e-mailed to the instructor in lieu of an eCampus submission will not be accepted, and will be treated as non-submissions unless the instructor specifically requests that an assignment file be submitted via e-mail.

LATE ASSIGNMENTS:

Assignments in class are due according to the schedule. All assignments are due as posted and announced by the instructor in class. Out of fairness to other students, if the instructor accepts late work, it will be subject to the following penalties:

  • <24 hours late                            10% grade reduction
  • 24-48 hours late                         20% grade reduction
  • 48-72 hours late                         30% grade reduction
  • Over 72 hours late                           NOT ACCEPTED
  • Submitted during finals week        NOT ACCEPTED

Make-up assignments for full credit will be authorized only under the circumstances of excused absences. Should you need to make up an assignment under these circumstances, please contact the instructor as soon as possible.

EXAM PROCTORING:

Honorlock will proctor your exams this semester. Honorlock is an online proctoring service that allows you to take your exam from the comfort of your home. You DO NOT need to create an account, download software, or schedule an appointment in advance. Honorlock is available 24/7 and all that is needed is a computer, a working webcam, and a stable Internet connection.

To get started, you will need Google Chrome and the Honorlock Chrome Extension. You can download the extension at www.honorlock.com/extension/install.

When you are ready to test, log into D2L, go to your course, and click on your exam. Clicking "Launch Proctoring" will begin the Honorlock authentication process, where you will take a picture of yourself, show your ID, and complete a scan of your room. Honorlock will be recording your exam session by webcam, as well as recording your screen. Honorlock also has an integrity algorithm that can detect search-engine use, so please do not attempt to search for answers, even if it's on a secondary device.

EXTRA CREDIT:

Opportunities for extra credit may be offered, at the instructor's discretion.  If offered, these opportunities will be granted to all students on an equal basis.  Individual extra credit will not be authorized.

OTHER ITEMS:

Blinn College does not tolerate cheating, plagiarism or collusion. Procedures for dealing with these acts are outlined in the Scholastic Dishonesty Policy.

Any unauthorized use or distribution of lecture materials may be considered a violation of classroom etiquette policy as well as intellectual property rights.

DROP DATE:

The last day to drop this class with a "Q" is Monday, November 30, 2020.

Schedule

WEEK

CLASS MEETING DATES

TOPICS

GRADED ASSESSMENTS

CONTACT HOURS

1

MONDAY, OCT 19

WEDNESDAY, OCT 21

BASIC CONCEPTS

POLITICAL CULTURE

DQ & Replies

Orientation Quiz

3

2

MONDAY, OCT 26

WEDNESDAY, OCT 28

U.S. CONSTITUTION

REVIEW WEEKS 1-2

DQ & Replies

Exam

3

3

MONDAY- NOV 2

WEDNESDAY, NOV 4

FEDERALISM

FACTIONS & PARTIES

DQ & Replies

Article Summary

3

4

MONDAY, NOV 9

WEDNESDAY, NOV 11

POLITICAL PROCESS

REVIEW WEEKS 3-4

DQ & Replies

Exam

3

5

MONDAY, NOV 16

WEDNESDAY, NOV 18

CONGRESS

THE PRESIDENCY

DQ & Replies

Article Summary

3

6

MONDAY, NOV 23

(NO CLASS NOV 25)

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

REVIEW WEEKS 5-6

Exam

3

7

MONDAY, NOV 30

WEDNESDAY, DEC 2

FEDERAL JUDICIARY

PUBLIC FINANCES

DQ & Replies

Nolan Chart Quiz

3

8

MONDAY, DEC 7

WEDNESDAY, DEC 9

REVIEW WEEKS 7-8

FINAL EXAM (REMOTE) 

DQ (no replies)

Final Exam

3

 

TOTAL CONTACT HOURS: 24