Valencia Community College
American National Government
Course Syllabus POS2041
Summer 2011 Full Term
Monday 6- 9:20 pm
Three credits are earned upon completion of this course;
there are no prerequisites.
The theory, organization, principles and functions of national government,
stressing relationships of individuals to all levels of government in the political system.
This course includes activities designed to ensure or enhance competence
in the basic use of computers.
TEXT American Government & Politics Today Schmidt, Shelley, and Bardes 2009-2010 Alternate Edition
DO NOT PURCHASE TEXT PRIOR TO ATTENDING FIRST CLASS
Computer Based Learning Activity
To demonstrate competence with the basic use of computers
the College's US Government (POS2041) course is designed
to include a formal 'computer-based' learning activity. For this
particular course the following assignment(s) assessment and
percentage of final grade protocols have been established:
Description of assigned computer-based learning activity
Students will be required to download the mid term exam and study guide
from the internet web site on which it is posted. They will also be required
to locate one scholarly article from a website to which they are referred,
and another from professional scholarly journals in political science located
on VCC library data bases, and to submit via email their critical reviews of
those articles. Thirdly, students will be required to prepare a legal brief of
a supreme court decision by accessing the findlaw.com web site.
Laptops may be used in class but only for class-related activities.
Description of impact on percentage of final course grade
The critical reviews, web projects, and the case brief
each constitute 1/7 of the course grade the student earns in this class.
The mid term and final are each also 1/7 of the final grade.
Computer based skills thus are involved in well over half of the total final course grade.
Valencia Community College
American National Government
Ron Ziegler, Political Science
Office Hours: by appointment/available for consultation before/after each class session
PHILOSOPHY OF THE COURSE
Human beings naturally live in groups. An effective government is necessary in organizing and maintaining order in a society of people, although it's function is not to control them. There must also be an agent whose function it is to maintain smooth market operations as to the allocation of natural resources. Government is also important in settling conflicts and disputes which arise in society. A citizen of a particular society must know and understand the operation of the government; it's primary function is to safeguard their natural rights as citizens. U.S. Government I is a required course designed to acquaint students with their political system.
INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL SCIENCE/AMERICAN NATIONAL GOVERNMENT
R. ZIEGLER/VALENCIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE/SUMMER 2011 FULL TERM
SCHEDULE OF WORK
5/9 Introductions, syllabus, grading criterion/causes of economic crisis(Fahrenhype 911)
5/16 read ch 1 factors in the current economic crisis (The Great Global Warming Swindle)
5/23 read ch 2 amer system, const, and federalism (on Che, etc)
5/30 Memorial Day read ch 3 amer system, const, and federalism
6/6 read ch 4,5 app A civil rights and liberties(Fiscal Policy)
6/13 read ch 6,7 political socialization (Booms and Busts)
6/20 read ch 8,9 interest groups, parties, elections, media(Keynesianism)
6/27 read ch 10 congress districting Mid Term Due this week (Free to Choose - Markets)
7/4 Independence Day read ch 11 presidency and bureaucracy
7/11 read ch 12 job of congress (Fed)
7/18 read ch 13 united nations (Free to Choose - Laissez Faire)
7/25 read ch 14 imf (CIA Part 1)
8/1 Final Exam, etc due(CIA Part 2)
The grade each student earns in this class will be the average of grades earned
on several different instruments, each constituting 1/7 of the total grade:
Critical Article Reviews
Article Reviews (one of these should be done every week and submitted as a set with the final exam)
Go towww.heritage.org or www.cato.org and search out one of the political science articles which is of interest to you to read, review, and write a 500 word critical analysis about it.
Second Article Review
Similarly select and treat an article or piece from either of the following:
The von Mises Institutehttp://mises.org/
The Ayn Rand Institutehttp://www.aynrand.org
Third Article Review
Select one article from one of the following and comment on it in a like manner:
Walter E. Williamshttp://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/archive.shtml
Thomas sowell articlehttp://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/archive.shtml
Or select one writing from the following to read on which to comment(in Spanish):
Fourth Article Review
You are going to do the same thing with one article which you select from VCC Library
media bank resources taken from any one of the following professional journals:
The American Political Science Review
The Journal of Politics
Political Research Quarterly
Political Science Quarterly
American Politics Quarterly
Presidential Studies Quarterly
American Journal of Political Science
Legislative Studies Quarterly
Policy Studies Journal
Policy Studies Review
You will have to include a proper citation with your comments(article title, author, publication, issue, and date) You will find selected articles from some of these journals if you google the journal itself, but be sure to select a complete article to write about so you have enough to get your teeth into.
Select a Supreme Court decision which is of interest to you from the text and submit the assignment by the time of the mid term
Go to the following web site or google the case you have selected:
You may also google any case and one of the hits will be the actual text of the decision.
Prepare a paper which includes the following:
1) The name of the case
2) The date it was decided by the Supreme Court
3) The facts of the case
4) The issue being decided
5) The decision of the court
6) The legal reasoning behind the case
7) The justice who wrote the decision
8) The vote
9) The concurring and dissenting decisions
10) Indicate whether the decision is still law of if it has been overturned
(one of these should be done every week and submitted as a set with the mid term exam)
First Project/ New Media
Find each of the following on line:
The Drudge Report
World Net Daily
Fox news network
Write a one paragraph description of each
Second Project/ Elections/FEC
what does it tell you about campaign finance reports and data?
what does it tell you about reporting and compliance?
what agency is this webpage?
what kinds of information could you learn from this webpage?
Third Project Legislative Branch
Locate the official website of the United States Congress
Identify each of the following:
Speaker of the House
Majority Leader of the House
Majority Whip of the House
Minority Leader of the House
Minority Whip of the House
the number of members who are Republicans
the number of members who are Democrats
the name of the member of Congress whose district you live in
and the committees that member serves on in the Congress
(look at the state district map athttp://www.leg.state.fl.us)
President of the Senate
President pro temp of the Senate
Majority Leader of the Senate
Minority Leader of the Senate
the Florida members of the U.S. Senate and their party affiliation
Which Florida House District do you live in, and what is the name of the Representative
elected from that district?
Which Florida Senate District do you live in, and what is the name of the Representative
elected from that district?
(usewww.myflorida.com to search out this information)
Fourth Project/ Executive Branch
a) click on 'other offices'
list five of the agencies of the Executive Office of the President
tell one duty of each
name the current official serving in that position
b) click on Cabinet
name each department, one duty of each, and the current head of each
c) click on Federal Agencies and Commissions
list five independent regulatory commissions
five government corporations
five executive/administrative agencies
(and identify the primary task of each)
their computers and other electronic devices during class. Laptops are not to be
used for non-class related activities during class time.
or by calling at 321-805-2507 (cell). You may leave a voice mail.
If necessary, I will contact you as necessary. If you have to miss a class,
it is advisable that you contact the instructor with that information before hand.
About Your Instructor
Intellectual Honesty and Integrity
If you work with someone on any aspect of the course, submit your own work,
and keep in mind that the grade you receive will be based on your work. Thus,
taking someone else’s ‘advice’ could adversely impact your grade.