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RELLIS · Social Sciences · Government - GOVT

American Government
GOVT-2305

  • Fall 2021
  • Section B28 CRN-19260
  • 3 Credits
  • 10/25/2021 to 12/16/2021
  • Modified 11/29/2021

Meeting Times

DAYS: Mondays and Wednesdays

LOCATION: TAMUS Rellis Campus, Academic Complex Building I, Room 124

TIME: 10:35 AM - 11:50 AM

This course's blended format consists of face-to-face meetings and online coursework.  There is no live Zoom attendance component, and class meetings are not ordinarily recorded.

Contact Information

INSTRUCTOR: J.P. WINSTON

EMAIL: [email protected]

You may send me an email at any time.  Response times may be slower outside of normal business hours.  Be sure to include your section number in the subject line when emailing.

OFFICE HOURS: I will be available for office hours via Zoom, on Mondays and Wednesdays, between 4:30 PM-5:30 PM.  Please confirm with me in advance so that I can make any necessary arrangements.

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The primary factors considered relate to the three branches of government -- judicial, executive, legislative -- major historical documents, the events that shaped the nation, and current events.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

https://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:  13E
  • PUBLISHER:   NORTON
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-53902-8

First Day Inclusive Access

Print upgrade ISBN 978-0-393-87633-8

The textbook is required for successful completion of many of the course's assignments.  

As of Fall 2021, students need not purchase access or an eBook as access to both is included in each student's course fees. Thus, all students will have access to publisher materials on the first day of the course.
 
For more information, or if you wish to purchase a physical textbook, please contact the Blinn College bookstore.  Other versions of this book, such as "core" and "essentials" will not be sufficient, nor will older editions of the book.

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 6 Discussion Question (5%)
  • Week 7 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: Legislature, Governor & Executive, and Local Government - Week 6 (10%)
  • Final Exam: Judiciary, Taxation, 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%

The instructor retains final discretion on whether to round a borderline grade to the next integer.  Rounding will not be considered for any students who have zeroes in the grade book, or for those who have not completed extra credit opportunities (if extra credit is offered).

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

ATTENDANCE:

Students are expected to attend all 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                  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.

Please note that eCampus often displays due dates alongside availability dates for many assignments.  The due date is the one that counts for the purpose of grading.

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.

USE OF GROUP MESSAGING APPS:

Can your use of group messaging apps get you in trouble? The answer is YES. Participating in or joining a Group Messaging App is not an academic misconduct violation; however, the exchange of answers to graded work and the exchange of copyrighted materials (instructors’ exams are considered copyrighted material) are examples of academic misconduct.

Examples of appropriate group messaging activities are questions related to due dates or specific instructions about assignments or where to find materials on eCampus. Again, if you distribute answers to quizzes/tests to everyone in a group chat, that is academic misconduct. If you upload answers to quizzes/tests to a file-sharing service and then allow people to access those notes, then that is academic misconduct.

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 Friday, December 3, 2021.

Schedule

WEEK

CLASS MEETING DATES

TOPICS

GRADED ASSESSMENTS

CONTACT HOURS

1

MONDAY, OCT 25

WEDNESDAY, OCT 27

BASIC CONCEPTS

POLITICAL CULTURE

DQ & Replies

Orientation Quiz

3

2

MONDAY, NOV 1

WEDNESDAY, NOV 3

THE U.S. CONSTITUTION

REVIEW WEEKS 1-2

DQ & Replies

Exam

3

3

MONDAY, NOV 8

WEDNESDAY, NOV 10

FEDERALISM

FACTIONS & PARTIES

DQ & Replies

Article Summary

3

4

MONDAY, NOV 15

WEDNESDAY, NOV 17

POLITICAL PROCESS

REVIEW WEEKS 3-4

DQ & Replies

Exam

3

5

MONDAY, NOV 22

NO CLASS NOV 24

THE U.S. CONGRESS

PRESIDENCY/CABINET

DQ & Replies

Article Summary

3

6

MONDAY, NOV 29

WEDNESDAY, DEC 1

FOREIGN POLICY

REVIEW WEEKS 4-5

DQ & Replies

Exam

3

7

MONDAY, DEC 6

WEDNESDAY, DEC 8

FEDERAL JUDICIARY

TAXATION/FINANCE

DQ & Replies

Nolan Chart Quiz

3

8

MONDAY, DEC 13

WEDNESDAY, DEC 15

CATCH UP AND COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW

FINAL EXAM

3

 

TOTAL CONTACT HOURS: 24