United States Government
05/29/2012 - 07/06/2012
MTWTh 10:00AM - 11:50AM
MTWTh 12:00PM - 1:50PM
M T W Th
9:30 - 10AM
2 - 2:30PM
And by appointment
A. ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION: Attendance will be a big part of what you get out of this course. Not only are you expected to be in class, you are expected to participate in class discussion regarding the assigned reading and current events. Please read the assigned readings before class. It is unfair to students who have read and it impairs class discussion.
In addition to taking attendance, several ‘pop’ quizzes may be given throughout the semester. No make‐up quizzes will be given and the grade will count as part of your attendance and participation grade. Other participation considerations will come from mini‐assignments, your engagement in class discussions as well as active participation in any class activities that we do. More than three absences from class will result in a (.5) point deduction from your attendance and participation grade per absence. If you are late it is your responsibility to make sure you were checked off of the roll. Excessive lateness will count as absences. If you miss class it is your responsibility to find out what you missed. I am not responsible for missed assignments that were handed out while you were not in class. (5 pts)
B. TESTING: There will be THREE exams equal in value of 25 points each and will be composed of multiple choice, short answer and essay questions. The final exam is NOT cumulative~ each test will contain material defined in the schedule below. An optional cumulative final will be given on the last day of class to replace a poor or missing test score. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING A SCANTRON TO CLASS ON TEST DAYS. (75 pts)
C. MAKEUP EXAMS: No make-up exams will be given. If you miss an exam you will have the opportunity to
take the cumulative final on the last day of class to make up for the missing exam grade. The cumulative exam
will be all multiple guess, but will contain questions from the entire semester.
D. ASSIGNMENTS: A number of assignments are due throughout the semester. Unless otherwise specified, assignments should be typed (with regular font, font size and margins).
E. LATE WORK: I do not accept late work.If you will be absent on the day an assignment is due, you should turn it in early or email it to me (in MSWord format ONLY, unless otherwise specified).
F. GRADE DISPUTS: You have 7 days from when a grade is issued to talk to me about any issues concerning the assigned grade.
G. CURRENT EVENTS: You will have three (3) of these due throughout the semester and they will count for
5 pts each (total 15 pts).
This is meant to be a fun, engaging project. We will spend the first part of class that an
assignment is due discussing the articles so you should pick articles that interest you. Here are the guidelines:
a. Choose an article from a newspaper source. The newspaper article can be directly cut from a newspaper OR an online copy. I do ask that this be an article from a newspaper and NOT from just any online site such as msnbc.com~ most newspapers are accessible online for free.
b. While using a local paper such as the Austin American‐Statesmanor the Dallas Morning Newsis fine, I encourage you to branch out to newspapers that you may not ordinarily read such as TheWashington Post and the New York Times.You may also want to look at other community newspapers to provide a different perspective, i.e. New Orleans Times Picayune, Miami Harold, SanFrancisco Bee, Boston Globe, or perhaps the community where you grew up.
c. Your article should be no older than 7 days.
d. Please include the name of the newspaper, the title of the article, and the date on which the article appeared, on the heading of your paper.
e. A hard copy of the article should be attached. If you email me the assignment, please include a url (web address) or scanned copy of the article. Please note: You should only email me the assignment if you are absent on the day it is due.
f. What to write about?Well, in a few sentences tell me what the main point of the article is. The rest of the paper should explain its relation to that day’s class topic and why you feel this is an important issue (or not).
g. You are required to write 1‐2 pages‐ typed, double space, 12 font, regular margins, blah blah blah …
h.Grading criteria for current event assignments is as follows:
Proper heading – .5 pt
Included hard copy of article – .5 pt
Current article (no more than 7 days old) – .5 pt
Used a proper source (newspaper) - .5 pt
Length/other directions (margins, spacing, font, etc) – .5-1 pt
Brief description of article – 1 pt
Relation to class topic – 1 pt
Importance of topic to American politics – 1 pt
H. PROFILING PROJECT‐Details to follow. This is a part written/part oral assignment to be completed later in the semester. (5 pts)
I. FINAL GRADE will be based on accumulated points.
A = 100- 89.5 points
B = 89- 79.5 points
C = 79- 69.5 points
D = 69- 59.5 points
F = 59 and below
Edward Greenberg and Benjamin Page; The Struggle for Democracy Tenth Edition
POLICIES and PROCEDURES:
1. Contacting the Instructor: The best way to communicate with me is through email. If I do not respond to you within 24 hours, please try contacting me again. I check my email several times every day.
o When contacting me by email, always include your Class (GOV 2305) and always sign with your first and last name.
o If you email an assignment, I will only accept it in MSWord (.doc or .docx) format.
2. A student may withdraw any time during the semester until MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012. To withdraw from a class, you must do it officially by filling out the required form at Admissions & Records. The responsibility of officially withdrawing rests entirely with the student. If you stop taking the course and do not officially withdraw, you will then receive a grade of “F”.
See http://www.austincc.edu/support/admissions/acacal11.php for a complete ACC Academic Calendar.
3. It is the policy of this instructor that an incomplete will not be given unless there are extraordinary
reasons for such a grade and will be granted on a case‐by‐case basis.
4. Electronics in class. You may use a laptop to take notes in class. Please sit on the last row of the
classroom to avoid distracting other students. If I suspect that you are doing something other than class related work on your computer, you will lose the privilege to use it in class and you will also lose participation points.
o The use of cell phones in class is not permitted. If I catch you texting or playing on your phone, you will lose participation points.
5. Cheating, plagiarism, collusion, and duplicity violate ACC Standards of Conduct and will not be tolerated by this instructor. Any act of scholastic dishonesty will result in academic penalty, including but not limited to a failing grade for the semester.
Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating on an exam or quiz, plagiarism, and collusion. Academic work submitted by students shall be the result of their thought, research and self‐expression. Academic work is defined as, but not limited to tests, quizzes, projects, classroom presentations, papers and homework.
6. Academic Freedom‐Each student is strongly encouraged to participate in class discussions. In any
classroom situation that includes discussion and critical thinking, particularly about political ideas, there are bound to be many differing viewpoints. Students may not only disagree with each other at times, but the students and the instructor may also find that they have disparate views on sensitive and volatile topics. It is my hope that these differences will enhance class discussion and create an atmosphere where students and instructor alike will be encouraged to think and learn from each other. Therefore, be assured that students’ grades will not be adversely affected by any beliefs or ideas expressed in class or in assignments. Rather, we will all respect the views of others when expressed in classroom discussions.
7. Office for Students with Disabilities- Each ACC campus offers support services for students with
documented physical,cognitive, or psychological disabilities. Students with disabilities must request
reasonable accommodations through the Office for Students with Disabilities on the campus wherethey expect to
take the majority of their classes. Students are encouraged to do thisthree weeks before the start of the
Student Learning Outcomes/Learning Objectives
COURSE OBJECTIVE: The Catalogue version of the description of the class would hardly compel anyone to take this class. As I see it, the reason for this class is the great need for citizen understanding and participation in American politics and government. In order for democracy to survive, it must be based upon an enlightened citizenry. Therefore, the objective of the course is for the student to gain an understanding of basic political concepts and principles that relate to the structure, organization and functions of the national government in order for the student to acquire citizenship skills in interpreting contemporary political events and issues.
· Increasing your factual knowledge of the structures, rules, and processes of the major political actors
· Improving one's skills in evaluating current public policy
· Increasing your understanding of the mechanism individuals use to influence their government
· Developing critical skills which are necessary to the decision‐making process in a democratic republic
like the United States