POLS-131: Introduction to American Government and Political Science

School
Liberal Arts
Department
Political Science & Comm Ldrsh
Academic Level
Undergraduate
Course Subject
Political Science
Course Number
131
Course Title
Introduction to American Government and Political Science
Credit Hours
3.00
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
A-E
Pre-requisites
ENG-093 eligible
Catalog Course Description

Examines principles and problems of American political institutions, including the role of government and politics in society, the balancing of liberty with authority, and theories of the state. Also explores mechanisms of popular control (public opinion, pressure groups, political parties, elections) and formal structure. Additional components include foreign policy, public policy, and contemporary events.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Goal Statement
All associate degree recipients from Henry Ford College will be able to demonstrate an understanding of American society, with emphasis on major ideas and events that have influenced American society, OR social and political institutions that shape American society, OR diverse populations and cultures that compose American society.
Core Course Topics

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Constitutional Framework
  2. Executive Branch
  3. Legislative Branch
  4. Judicial Branch
  5. Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
  6. Extra-constitutional institutions
  7. Citizen Participation and Electoral Politics
  8. Public Policy Process
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)
  • Identify and explain the institutions of U.S. government and the constitutional framework: legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government.
  • Describe the public policy process. Describe how policy is developed and implemented.
  • Explain civil rights and civil liberties from a historical perspective and analyze how civil rights and civil liberties impact American society today.*
  • Describe how American Democracy is based on citizen participation and the electoral process.
  • Discuss extra-constitutional institutions and their impact on American society.

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement

Each instructor will identify and implement appropriate methods to assess the achievement of the learning objectives for the course. In addition, POLS 131 also fulfills the General Education Learning Objective: Civil Society and Culture. Therefore, all instructors teaching the course will participate in a common form of assessment.

 

Part I: Multiple Choice Questions  Content Assessment. This test assesses the General Education Requirements, for outcome #1 Civil Society and Culture.
  1. A set of multiple-choice questions has been prepared for use in all sections of POLS 131.
  2. Questions will be provided to each instructor at the end of the semester. These questions can be used in connection with the final exam.
  3. Students will use a separate ScanTron form for these questions.
  4. The instructor should scan the forms and the scores will be calculated into the final grade for each student. The assessment test should represent at least 5 percent of the final exam grade; ScanTron forms should be turned in to the Political Science Faculty Coordinator for Assessment after final grades for the semester are due. The Coordinator of Instructional Assessment will combine forms from all sections of POLS 131 for analysis.
  5. Multiple-choice questions cover the seven domains in Section XIV, learning objectives identified above in Section X to focus on the assessing the Civil Society and Culture General Education Outcome. Faculty members should be sure to incorporate these topics into the course during the semester.
  1. Questions will be provided to each instructor at the end of the semester. These questions are to be used in connection with the final exam.
  2. Students will use a separate ScanTron form for these questions.
  3. The instructor should scan the forms and the scores will be calculated into the final grade for each student. The assessment test should represent at least 5 percent of the final exam grade.
  4. ScanTron forms should be turned in to the Social Science Division Secretary after final grades for the semester are due.
  5. The Coordinator of Instructional Assessment will combine forms from all sections of POLS 131 for analysis.
  6. Multiple-choice questions cover scenarios that analytically explore how American System of Government and Politics works through the interaction of institutions, laws, acts, and precedence.
  7. Each faculty member teaching POLS 131 will incorporate a written assignment into the course requirements. This will no longer be part of the General Education Outcome assessment process. The assignment can be completed outside of class which provides an appropriate period of time for students to complete. The assignment can take one of the following forms:
    1. A journal project in which students summarize and analyze three or more articles on a country, region (e.g., Latin America or the Pacific Rim), or a social or policy issue with global implications (e.g., immigration policy, global warming, or child labor).
    2. A research paper that contrasts the United States with one or more countries, using three recent, substantive articles from newspapers, magazines, or scholarly journals.
    3. A research paper that explores an issue of general concern and how political and government action is dealing with the given issue using three recent, substantive articles from newspapers, magazines, or scholarly journals.
    4. A critical review of an article, which has global implications, from a professional journal, in which the student summarizes the article, relates the topic to class materials, and properly cites the source.
    5. Essay questions that are given in class as part of exams, quizzes, or other assignments. Students should complete such assignments on their own.
    6. Written Assignments on-line assignments submitted through the College's learning management system.
Texts

Texts are chosen by individual instructors.     

Credit for Prior College-Level Learning

Options for Credit for Prior College-Level Learning
Other
Other Details

Determined by department

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Winter 2014
ILT Approval Date
01/02/2013
Curriculum Committee Approval Date
05/13/2013