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Intro to American Government

by: Hawa Sheriff

Intro to American Government POLS 201

Marketplace > University of Louisville > POLS 201 > Intro to American Government
Hawa Sheriff
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Intro to American Government and Politics
Dr. Sherri Wallace
Study Guide
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This 13 page Study Guide was uploaded by Hawa Sheriff on Thursday September 15, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to POLS 201 at University of Louisville taught by Dr. Sherri Wallace in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 92 views.


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Date Created: 09/15/16
Course Instructor: Dr. S. L. Wallace, Professor Department of Political Science Ford Hall, Room 113 Telephone: 502.852.4432 Email: Office Hours: See Blackboard for contact information. Semester and Year: Fall 2016 Course Number in Schedule: 1242 | 1255 Course ID on Blackboard: POLS201-01-4168 | POLS201-02-4168 Course Section: 201-01 | 201-02 Class Days and Times: MWF, 9:00 to 9:50 AM | MWF 10:00 to 10:50 AM Class Location: Davidson Building, Room 109 Credit Hours: 3 units / Social Science General Education Requirement Prerequisites: None PLEASE NOTE: THIS COURSE UTILIZES EXTENSIVE ONLINE TECHNOLOGY. Consider your enrollment decision carefully. Course Description & Prerequisites: Welcome to POLS 201: Introduction to American Government and Politics. This course is designed for Political Science majors or non-majors who are taking the course to meet the College of Arts & Sciences General Education Program (GEP) degree requirements in the Social and Behavioral Sciences content area. While no prior knowledge of Political Science is assumed, no specific disciplinary background is required. This course is an introduction to the foundations and processes of the American political system. The main focus of the course is on the institutions and activities of the national government. Specifically, we address how we are connected to government, how American government is connected to the world, and why we must think critically about government and politics. Thus, the assignments and lectures in this course are designed to enhance your ability to think critically about politics, political choices, political institutions, and public policies. Page 1 of 13 Course Goals & Learning Objectives: Social and Behavioral Sciences are concerned with understanding human behavior, human interactions, human environment, and the related social structures and forms. To satisfy this content area, students much demonstrate the ability to: 1) communicate an understanding of how social science knowledge is established and how and why it changes over time; 2) evaluate evidence and apply it to solving problems through social science methods; and 3) communicate an understanding of a body of social science knowledge and its disciplinary perspective. Our goal is to practice and develop our critical thinking skills as modeled during class discussions and/or in group problem-solving sessions. Key elements of critical thinking include: identifying the question or problem, analyzing evidence and developing arguments, integrating knowledge and demonstrating an awareness of multiple points of view, and drawing conclusions based upon reasons, arguments, and evidence. To satisfy the GEP requirements, learning objectives and assessments, students should be able to: COURSE GOALS LEARNING OBJECTIVES COURSE ASSESSMENTS JOB READINESS QUALITIES/SKILLS 1. Examine phenomena Examine the theoretical READ for Knowledge Analytical Skills in American and practical Textbook Chapters Flexibility/Adaptability Government and considerations that Initiative Politics by identifying inspired the founding of Strong Work Ethic the question, problem the American political or purpose for such system, particularly its claim(s); major institutions and processes, and how each facilitates democracy; 2. Use credible evidence, Understand the causes ANALYZE and PRACTICE Analytical Skills information, data, and consequences of Critical Thinking Flexibility/Adaptability observations, different forms of political Online interactive Communication Skills experiences and/or participation, the impact exercises, videos, Computer Skills reasons to analyze and of various features of simulations, Pre-Tests Interpersonal Skills develop arguments; government and benefits and Post-Tests (as Problem Solving Skills 3. Make inferences received in everyday assigned) Teamwork Skills (connections) using public life, and how Technical Skills logic and reason; individuals and groups can 4. Integrate knowledge influence American and demonstrate an politics and policy by awareness of multiple “Who gets what, when points of view and how. . .”; (interrogate own assumptions) 5. Evaluate implications, Recognize how the ASSESS for Mastery Analytical Skills conclusions and structures and activities of Combined Chapter Flexibility/Adaptability consequences based Congress, the Presidency, Exams Communication Skills on logic and reason, and the Judiciary foster (if applicable) Computer Skills credible arguments, democratic government to Initiative and evidence. appreciate that “Politics is Problem Solving Skills relevant and participation Strong Work Ethic matters.” Technical Skills Page 2 of 13 Class Policies and Privileges (How to succeed in this course): A key component of college education is to prepare students for their eventual workplace and lifelong experiences. Whether one pursues a career in Political Science or any other field, s/he will be evaluated, in part, on “professionalism,” which means to demonstrate professional status, methods, character, or standards while engaging in a source of livelihood or career. I am committed to holding the highest standards of excellence in preparing and helping students to reach their maximum potential in their chosen fields. In order to be exemplary members of any profession, students must possess the basic dispositions and behaviors expected. Additionally, students must actively seek to acquire a set of professional competencies and abilities in their disciplines through courses and field experiences throughout their college career. Thus, it is incumbent upon students to know the expectations, policies and privileges in my classroom and at the university. Please review the Classroom Policies online: Some observable professional behaviors suggest that an individual will perform well in an academic setting and will leave ready for their chosen professions. These behaviors include:  Deference to and respect for authority of faculty and staff in expressed and written communication (i.e. addressing faculty as “Dr. Wallace,” “Professor Wallace,” or “Professor” and adherence to English composition rules using proper grammar – spelling, punctuation, syntax – and respectful content in all written emails or memorandums),  Consistent class attendance,  Active participation in or contribution to class, group or field exercises,  Awareness that some materials and media may contain profanity and disturbing images, and although it may be difficult, one can critically analyze what is read and/or observed, even if s/he do not always agree,  Maintenance of professional confidentiality,  Promptness in completion of all assignments,  Competence, respect and genuine understanding of diversity and exceptionality,  Demonstrated knowledge of chosen field-related issues and research,  Demonstrated knowledge of community, state, and inter/national events in field of study and its impact,  Commitment to building collegiality among peers, faculty and staff, and  Involvement in student or professional organizations or activities both on and off campus. While expecting positive personal dispositions and professional behaviors, certain behaviors are considered unprofessional, inappropriate, unacceptable and/or perhaps, even dangerous. Demonstration of these behaviors on a consistent and on-going basis threatens to damage the integrity of the individual, the profession and university overall. These behaviors include, but are not limited to:  Inappropriate or disruptive behavior in class, group or field exercises, Page 3 of 13  An inappropriate attitude toward learning and supervision such as a hostile, disrespectful or resistant attitude towards faculty, peers, or staff, and engaging disruptive personal electronic media during class (i.e. cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, My Space, etc.),  Repeated failure to perform effectively or carry out assignments,  Repeated use of personal situations or circumstances as an excuse for missed assignments and class,  Repeated tardiness to class and/or early departures from class,  Chronic absenteeism from class, group or field exercises,  Behavior that is irresponsible, damaging, harmful or dangerous to peers in group/field exercises,  Observable and/or documented chemical dependency or use of illegal drugs,  Breaking (campus) laws or conviction of a criminal activity during the course of study, and  Consistent mental or physical health issues that affect the student’s performance repeatedly. Often times, faculty and staff are asked for feedback on a student’s performance, and students usually need written recommendations from faculty or staff for academic programs or employment. Thus, concerns or uneasiness regarding any of the above dispositions or behaviors may be detrimental to the growth and progression of a student’s career. Course Email Protocol: Email: Every student is issued a UofL email account, which is one of the major means of communication from departments such as the Office of Academic Records, Student Affairs and the Business Office. All students are responsible for checking their UofL email accounts regularly, and are accountable for information disseminated to their email accounts. Failure to read university communications sent to UofL email accounts does not absolve students from knowing and complying with the content of these communications. I will attempt to address only emails sent via your university email accounts within 24 hours of receipt. PLEASE NOTE: Email sent via a different email account may or may not receive a response. Students should consult the syllabus and/or Blackboard for questions regarding the reading schedule and due dates prior to emailing the professor about such queries. Also, students who request changes – due to emergencies or unforeseen circumstances – to class assignments, grades or any other pertinent class materials via email should not assume any changes have been made until written confirmation has been received. Also in order to assist you with developing your professional email communications, I have set the following email protocol to avoid the casual, erratic instant messaging culture that is inundated with shorthand and word codes that permeate our society. . . Example of Proper Email Protocol: RE: Request for an Appointment (Please be clear and succinct) Salutation: “Dr. Wallace” or “Professor Wallace” NOT “Ms.” or “Mrs.” Body: State in full sentences with proper grammar and punctuation the purpose of the email (Please no shorthand or all lower caps). Closing: Student’s Name, Course Title, Time Period Page 4 of 13 University Policies and Resources: Students who observe particular religious work-restricted holy days must notify me within the first two weeks of the semester. For more information, please the university’s website. Students with physical impairments or previously diagnosed learning, different abilities (disabilities) that may make it difficult to carry out the course work as outlined and/or require special accommodations, please contact the Disabilities Resource Center, Stevenson Hall, Room 119, 852.6938 or visit the web site: . Arrangements must be made within the first two weeks of the semester with DRC. For individual and/or group-based tutoring please contact the UofL’s REACH Program: Resources for Academic Achievement office located in Strickler Hall, room 126. For more information, call 852.8105 or visit the web site: . In addition, students who desire to improve their writing skills are encouraged to visit the University Writing Center, located in Ekstrom Library. For appointments and operating hours, please call 852.2173 or visit the website at: Writing Center consultants and professional staff are available to assist you with brainstorming, organizing your ideas, constructing your thesis, responding to rough drafts, and assisting in writing, revising and editing and proofreading your final drafts by empowering you to become a better editor on your own. The UofL Diversity Vision Statement: “The University of Louisville strives to foster and sustain an environment of inclusiveness that empowers us all to achieve our highest potential without fear of prejudice or bias. We commit ourselves to building an exemplary educational community that offers a nurturing and challenging intellectual climate, a respect for the spectrum of human diversity, and a genuine understanding of the many differences-including race, ethnicity, gender, age, socio-economic status, national origin, sexual orientation, disability and religion-that enrich a vibrant metropolitan research university. We expect every member of our academic family to embrace the underlying values of this vision and to demonstrate a strong commitment to attracting, retaining and supporting students, faculty and staff who reflect the diversity of our larger society.” Page 5 of 13 Notice to UofL Military and Veteran Students: UofL's mission is "to smooth the transition from military life to student life by devoting individualized support to veteran students and their families in providing a broad range of services, coordinating with VA, university departments, and other community organizations." To better serve your needs and for more information, please visit: UofL’s Title IX/Clery Act Notification: Students please be aware that any disclosure to University faculty or instructors of sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, or sex discrimination occurring on campus, in a University-sponsored program or involving a campus visitor or University student or employee (whether current or former) is not confidential under Title IX. Faculty and instructors must forward such reports, including names and circumstances, to the University Title IX officer. For more information, see the Sexual Misconduct Resource Guide: Ground Rules for Class Discussion: (Adapted from a Diversity Workshop Handout) We know that racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism and other institutionalized forms of oppression exist. We know that one of the mechanisms of institutionalized racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, among others is that we are all systematically taught misinformation about our own group and about members of other groups. This is true for members of privileged and stigmatized groups. With these conditions in mind: o We agree not to blame ourselves or others for the misinformation we have learned about the past, but accept responsibility for not repeating misinformation after we have learned the facts. o We agree not to project blame on members of other groups for the conditions of their lives. o We assume that people – both the groups we study and the members of the class – always do the best they can. o We will actively pursue new and accurate information about our own groups and those of other groups. o We will share information about ourselves and groups with members of the class, and never demean or devalue ourselves and/or other people for their experiences. All personal comments will be confidential and kept inside the classroom. Page 6 of 13 o We agree to actively combat the myths and stereotypes about our own groups and other groups so that we can break down the walls which prohibit group cooperation and progressive action. OUR ULTIMATE GOAL is to create a SAFE ATMOSPHERE for OPEN DISCUSSION. Course Web Sites: All communication will be sent via Blackboard, which requires UofL student registration for access. PLEASE REMEMBER that Blackboard @ UofL Maintenance System will be UNAVAILABLE WEEKLY during these times: Fridays 10 PM - 2 AM EST Course Copyright: Copyright law protects nearly all of the learning materials and resources used in this course and prohibit further distribution and dissemination of them. These materials and resources are provided solely for use by students enrolled in the course, and those students are solely responsible for complying with copyright law. Thus, reproduction, distribution, or publication (on-line or otherwise) of transcribed or taped versions of my lectures and materials is not permitted. Further information about copyright is available on the web from the United States Copyright Office: Class Attendance and Participation: Attendance and active participation in class are expected. The score is used to reward students for dedication and consistency in class attendance and discussion. I recognize the university excused absences policy [ policies/] that includes “events in which a student represents the university to external constituencies in academic or extra-curricular activities,” and personal medical emergencies and tragedies as excused absences. It is incumbent upon each student to get notes and class information from other students in class when absent. Students, who are voluntarily absent from class meetings, assume responsibility for sanctions imposed. PLEASE NOTE: The US Department of Education Academic Credit Hour Definition: A 3-credit hour course requires 2,250 instructional minutes total, which breaks down to 45 (50-minutes) or 30 (75-minutes) Face-to-Face (F2F) contact hours in class with an average of 6 hours (2 hours for each 1 contact hour) of study, homework and review time outside of class each week. This equals to about 90 hours spent on outside academic work in an average 15-week course. Page 7 of 13 Course Text and Materials: Title: We the People: An Introduction to American Politics Publication Date & Edition: 2015, 10e (CORE) Authors: Benjamin Ginsberg, Theodore J. Lowi, Margaret Weir and Caroline Tolbert ISBN: 978-0-393-93704-6 Publishers: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. Estimated Student Price:  Print, new $128.00  Print, new rental, $83.20  Print, used rental, $57.60 eBOOK and InQuisitive Product download at: The eBook version of this book offers the full content of the print version at half the price. Course Grading Scale, Rubrics and Requirements: Course Grading Scale: In borderline cases, students demonstrating consistency in attendance and performance will be given due consideration when final grades are posted. Using the plus/minus (+/-) scale of 100, final grades will be computed as follows: 94.00 – 100 = A 77.00 – 79.99 = C+ 90.00 – 93.99 = A- 74.00 – 76.99 = C 87.00 – 89.99 = B+ 70.00 – 73.99 = C- 84.00 – 86.99 = B 60.00 – 69.99 = D 80.00 – 83.99 = B- 59.99 – Below = F Course Rubrics: See Critical Thinking Guides and Writing Guidelines on Blackboard. Page 8 of 13 Course Requirements: Students must do the following to meet the course requirements. ASSIGNMENTS ATTEMPTS POINTS POSSIBLE Unlimited until Due Date Video (Highest Grade Calculated) 46 Unlimited until Due Who are Americans? 53 (Highest Grade Calculated) You Decide Unlimited until Due Date 39 (Highest Grade Calculated) Unlimited until Due Date By the Numbers 51 (Highest Grade Calculated) Post-Test Unlimited until Due Date 289 (Highest Grade Calculated) 1 Attempt Exams 4 @ 100 pts each 400 (Score Constitutes Grade) CLASS ATTENDANCE 36 Classes x 3 Points Each 108 TOTAL POINTS POSSIBLE 986 Time Estimate for Chapter Readings and Online Activities = ~1.5 hours per chapter. Time Estimate for Class Attendance = 50 minutes per class. FOR MORE DETAILS and DUE DATES, SEE Course Schedule on BLACKBOARD. REMEMBER: Blackboard shuts down at 10:00 PM ON FRIDAYS for MAINTENANCE Points Assigned by Chapters: PER EACH CHAPTER Video Who Are You By the Post- TOTAL Americans? Decide Numbers Test 1. American Political Culture 3 5 3 4 24 39 2. Founding and the Constitution 3 3 3 4 22 35 3. Federalism 3 4 3 3 20 33 4. Civil Liberties 3 4 3 4 21 35 5. Civil Rights 4 5 3 4 23 39 6. Public Opinion 5 5 3 4 25 42 8. Political Participation & Votin4 3 3 4 21 35 9. Political Parties 3 4 3 4 25 39 10. Campaigns and Elections 3 3 3 4 24 37 11. Groups and Interests 4 4 3 4 20 35 12. Congress 4 5 3 4 24 40 13. The Presidency 3 5 3 4 20 35 15. The Federal Courts 4 3 3 4 20 34 ONLINE EXAMS 4 @ 100 pts each 400 ATTENDANCE 36 @ 3 pts each 108 TOTAL POINTS POSSIBLE= 986 Page 9 of 13 POLS 201: Fundamentals of American Government Course Schedule PLEASE NOTE: This course is designed to be flexible with the potential to modify the course content to meet the needs and special interests of the students. The instructor at any time without prior notice may modify the schedule, as necessary. Late Assignments, Writing Assignments, & Rubrics: This course is offered in the traditional F2F learning format. However, by combining F2F instruction and online activities, the class covers an extensive amount of content. All assignments must be completed by the due dates. However, in extremely extenuating circumstances (i.e. personal tragedies or medical emergencies where hospitalization is required), late assignments or make-up exams will be allowed with valid & verified written/signed documentation, but such assignments must be completed in full by the time designated in communication or the last day of class. Assignments not received by stipulated dates will risk receiving zero for the assignment. Detailed and additional information for each assignment is on Blackboard. Please visit Blackboard regularly for course updates. DAILY READINGS & ASSIGNMENTS SCHEDULE PART I: FOUNDATIONS Week 1: Aug 22, 24, 26 Class Welcome & Instruction Monday, August 22 READ: Chapter 1 – American Political Culture Classes begin Last day to register ANALYZE: Online interactive exercises on Blackboard PRACTICE: POST-Test Friday, August 26 Last day to drop/add DOWNLOAD RESPONDUS LOCKDOWN BROWSER (RLB) FOR EXAMS Week 2: Aug 29, 31,Sep 2 READ: Chapter 2 – The Founding and the Constitution Optional Readings: The Declaration of Independence, Appendix A1 The Constitution of the United States of America and Amendments, Appendix A8, A14 ANALYZE: Online interactive exercises on Blackboard PRACTICE: POST-Test NO CLASS Professor at APSA Conference in Philadelphia, PA – Sep. 1-4, 2016 Friday, September 2 Page 10 of 13 Week 3: Sep 5, 7, 9 READ: Chapter 3 – Federalism The Federalist Papers, Appendix A20 (Optional reading) NO CLASS Monday, September 5 ANALYZE: Online interactive exercises on Blackboard Labor Day Holiday PRACTICE: POST-Test PRACTICE QUIZZES DUE: CHAPTERS 1-3 BY SATURDAY AT 11:59 PM Week 4: Sep 12, 14, 16 READ: Chapter 4 – Civil Liberties ANALYZE: Online interactive exercises on Blackboard Wed, September 14 Last day to apply for PRACTICE: POST-Test degree Monday – Tuesday, ASSESSMENT: EXAM 1 (Chapters 1-3) September 12 – 13 Availability Time: Opens 12:00 AM & Closes 11:59 PM Requires Respondus Lockdown Browser (RLB) Week 5: Sep 19, 21, 23 READ: Chapter 5 – Civil Rights ANALYZE: Online interactive exercises on Blackboard PRACTICE: POST-Test PART II: POLITICS Week 6: Sep 26, 28, 30 READ: Chapter 6 – Public Opinion ANALYZE: Online interactive exercises on Blackboard PRACTICE: POST-Test Week 7: Oct 3, 5, 7 READ: Chapter 8 – Political Participation and Voting NO CLASS ANALYZE: Online interactive exercises on Blackboard Mon-Tues, Oct 3 - 4 Mid-term Break PRACTICE: POST-Test PRACTICE QUIZZES DUE: CHAPTERS 4-5 BY SATURDAY AT 11:59 PM Page 11 of 13 Week 8: Oct 10, 12, 14 READ: Chapter 9 – Political Parties ANALYZE: Online interactive exercises on Blackboard PRACTICE: POST-Test Monday – Tuesday, ASSESSMENT: EXAM 2 (Chapters 4-5) October 10 – 11 Availability Time: Opens 12:00 AM & Closes 11:59 PM Requires Respondus Lockdown Browser (RLB) Week 9: Oct 17, 19, 21 READ: Chapter 10 – Campaign and Elections ANALYZE: Online interactive exercises on Blackboard PRACTICE: POST-Test Week 10: Oct 24, 26, 28 READ: Chapter 11 – Groups and Interests Monday, October 24 ANALYZE: Online interactive exercises on Blackboard Last day to withdraw PRACTICE: POST-Test REALITY CHECK √ Do you need to withdraw? Do Your Own Self-Assessment Week 11: Oct 31,Nov 2, 4 CATCH-UP or WRAP-UP Chapters 6-11 PRACTICE QUIZZES DUE: CHAPTERS 6-11 BY SATURDAY AT 11:59 PM PART III: INSTITUTIONS Week 12: Nov 7, 9, 11 READ: Chapter 12 – Congress Tuesday, November 8 ANALYZE: Online interactive exercises on Blackboard Presidential Election PRACTICE: POST-Test Monday – Tuesday, ASSESSMENT: EXAM 3 (Chapters 6-11) November 7 – 8 Availability Time: Opens 12:00 AM & Closes 11:59 PM Requires Respondus Lockdown Browser (RLB) Page 12 of 13 Week 13: Nov 14, 16, 18 READ: Chapter 13 – Presidency Presidents and Vice Presidents, Appendix A25 ANALYZE: Online interactive exercises on Blackboard PRACTICE: POST-Test Week 14: Nov 21, 23, 25 Use this time to celebrate with family & friends and to complete all NO CLASS assignments due for remainder of the course. Wed-Sun, Nov 23 – 27 Thanksgiving Break Week 15: Nov28,30,Dec2 READ: Chapter 15 – The Federal Courts ANALYZE: Online interactive exercises on Blackboard PRACTICE: POST-Test PRACTICE QUIZZES DUE: CHAPTERS 12-15 BY SATURDAY AT 11:59 PM Week 16: Dec 5 CLASS WRAP-UP - You Did It! Monday, December 5 Classes end ASSESSMENT: EXAM 4 (Chapters 12-15) Monday – Tuesday, Availability Time: Opens 12:00 AM & Closes 11:59 PM December 5 – 6 Requires Respondus Lockdown Browser (RLB) Please take the time to do the online course evaluation. Evaluations are used to revise the materials as necessary, make adjustments to meet the needs of students and to improve instruction. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Congratulations Graduates and much success to you! S. L. Wallace, Ph.D. Student’s Implied Consent and Agreement: By receiving this syllabus and remaining enrolled in this course, you give implied consent and agreement to this contract. You understand and accept the requirements and standards that will be used to evaluate your performance in course work or related field experiences. Further, you understand that failure to complete the requirements and demonstrate the professional behaviors and dispositions as outlined in this syllabus may result in your failure in this class, the loss of college credits, and/or the removal from this course or university, if deemed necessary. Page 13 of 13


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