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POLITICAL SCIENCE 101H
Honors American National Government
Spring 2002

Professor:   
Dr. Melinda Frederick
M/W/F 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Marlboro 2004

Office Hours/ Location:
M/W/F 10:00-11:00 a.m. or by appointment
Marlboro Hall 1087
Office phone: 322-0433
E-mail: fredermj@pgcc.edu OR
mfrederick@erols.com

Course Description
This course is an introduction to the field of Political Science and American National Government. This semester we will focus on the U.S. political system, civil liberties and civil rights, public opinion, the role of citizens in the political process, and the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government.

Required Texts
American Government and Politics Today
, Schmidt, Shelley & Bardes, 2001 edition.

Taking Sides, McKenna & Feingold, 12th edition.

Course Objectives
A student who successfully completes this course will be able to:

1. Formulate accurate definitions for the most essential terms and concepts in the discipline of political science for understanding how American government and politics are conducted.

2. Describe the main components of governmental structure in the U.S. constitution, showing how national powers are exercised through the legislative, executive and judicial branches.

3. Correctly outline the most important national and state responsibilities included in the division of powers known as federalism.

4. Identify and discuss the most important rights of individuals found in the Bill of Rights showing how those rights must be balanced against the needs for public safety and order.

5. Describe the role of the citizen and the importance of citizen participation in a democracy.

6. Compare and contrast some of the fundamental policy and ideological differences between the two major political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans.

7.Explain how presidential and congressional elections are conducted, through primary and general elections.

8. Explain the overall process by which bills may becomes laws, and the role of the legislative and executive branches in that process.

9.Analyze the powers and duties of the Supreme Court and other federal courts, and how the power of judicial review is used to determine constitutional questions.

10. Identify the powers of the president and summarize their role as chief of the executive and military bureaucracies.

11. Describe the scope of U.S. governmental powers in domestic economic policy.

12. Explain how the President and other governmental officials formulate foreign policy.

Course Requirements

1. Attend classes regularly and take an active role in learning.

2. Read all assignments as indicated on the course outline or announced in class.

3. Participate in class discussions and group assignments.

4. Listen to and read the news and be prepared to discuss current political events or issues that are assigned to you.

5. Successfully complete all homework, class exercises and student project when they are due.

6. Complete three in-class examinations and take-home essays.

7. Meet promptly with Professor when or if problems arise.

Grading

Two unit examinations and take-home essays 45%

Homework and class assignments 10%

Student Project 25%

Book Analysis 15% Class attendance, oral participation and effort 5%

Attendance and Grading Policy

Students are allowed 4 absences during the semester. Students who exceed 4 absences will have that portion of their grade reflecting attendance, participation and effort lowered one grade for each additional absence that they have. Students are expected to arrive ON TIME for class and will be marked absent if they are more than 15 minutes late. Chronic tardiness will also lower the student's participation and attendance grade. Students should be familiar with the college policy for delayed openings due to inclement weather.

Late homework or essays will go down 1/2 a letter grade

(5%) for each day it is late, unless prior approval has been given by the Professor. Students are responsible for material missed or assignments made when they are absent from class.

Unit examinations must be taken the day they are scheduled. Students are required to contact the Professor no later than the day of the exam to receive approval to take a make-up exam. Cheating or plagiarizing on essays, quizzes or exams will result in an automatic "F" grade for that work.

Students may withdraw from this class up until April 25, 2002. After that point, they will be awarded a grade for the work they completed for the semester. Please speak with me before the deadline if you have any questions concerning your grade.

TENTATIVE COURSE OUTLINE

Week 1 Introducing Ourselves/ Overview of the course

Jan 25 Reading: Chapter 1

Week 2 American Government & Politics continued

Jan 28/Feb 1 Reading: Chapter 1

Week 3 The Constitution

Feb 4/6/8 Reading: Chapter 2

Week 4 Civil Liberties

Feb 11/13/15 Reading: Chapter 4

PROJECT TOPICS DUE FEB 11

Week 5 Civil Liberties finished

Feb 20/22

Week 6 Begin Civil Rights

Feb 25/27 Reading: Chapter 5

Mar 1 BOOK ANALYSIS DUE FEB 25

Week 7 Civil Rights- Equal Protection

Mar 4/6/8 Reading: Chapter 5

Week 8 Civil Rights- Beyond Equal Protection

Mar 11/13/15 Reading: Chapter 6

Week 9 Public Opinion

Mar 18/20 Reading: Chapter 7

UNIT ONE EXAMINATION MARCH 18

(Covers Chapters 1,2, 4, 5, 6)

SPRING BREAK MARCH 21-31, 2002

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) LECTURE MARCH 25, 02

Week 10 Public Opinion finished

Apr 1/3/5 VISIT TO CONGRESS- TO BE SCHEDULED

Week 11 Congress: The Legislative Branch

Apr 8/10 Reading: Chapter 12

Week 12 Congress

Apr 15/17/19 Reading: Chapter 12

Week 13 Begin Executive Branch

Apr 22/24/26 Reading: Chapter 13

PROJECTS DUE APRIL 24

Week 14 Executive Branch

Apr 29/ Reading: Chapter 15

May 1/3

Week 15 Judicial Branch

May 6/8/10 Reading: Chapter 15

May 13 WRAP UP

UNIT TWO TAKE HOME EXAMINATION DUE MAY 20, 02

(Covers Chapters 7, 12, 13, 15)