Syllabus for State and Local Government

Osceola Campus: 3-110
Course Syllabus and Classroom Policies
Fall 2018

PROFESSOR: Ron Ziegler
CELL PHONE (text): 321-805-2507
CRN: 17264
CLASS MEETINGS: Tues/Thurs 8:30-9:45 AM

PREREQUISITES (FROM COURSE CATALOG): Prefix: POS2112 Title: State and Local Government
STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT Prerequisite: ENC 1101 or ENC 1101H or IDH 1110

Engagement hours are available for student consultations; this time is
designated to discuss coursework, ideas, student progression, and offer
general advising. Face-to-Face engagement hours mean that I will be directly available in my office; Digital engagement hours mean that I will be available
via e-mail or Blackboard messenger. Students are strongly encouraged to come
to engagement hours, and should set side aside time throughout the
semester to come visit and discuss their work and ideas. If these hours are
inconvenient, feel free to email me and schedule an appointment.
� You may contact me through email, text, or call my cell at your
convenience. If I cannot talk to you when you call, I will call you back ASAP
� NOTE: Office hours may be changed due to professional development
obligations. You�ll be notified to any changes via e-mail or notification on my door
Required Materials/Textbooks Politics in States and Communities, 15th edition, by Dye and MacManus

Recommended Supplies
These supplies are not required, but are strongly recommended. A student should
own or have access to a current edition of a college-level dictionary
and thesaurus. If you cannot obtain a copy, you should have access to a computer
or smart phone with online capabilities; We can recommend a number of websites to you
(,, or are excellent starting points).
I�d also recommend purchasing a flash drive (small portable USB storage device) to assist in
storing papers (this is a helpful tool through the rest of college). You may also want to investigate
online cloud-based storage sites, like Google Drive or Dropbox. Additionally,
students should bring a blue or black pen to each class and have access to paper �
we will be completing exercises in class. Any paper will do just fine,
so long as it absorbs ink and can be handed in. Alternatively, having a laptop or tablet
that can e-mail/message me the assignment will be acceptable.

Course Description Goals and objectives of the course:
This course is an introduction to state and local government in the U.S., with
emphasis on Florida state government and the local governments in the Valencia area.

By using the term �government� instead of �politics,� the course title
indicates that the material covered will extend past legislative and electoral components
of government to include the bureaucracy, courts, and public policy. Among the topics we will cover this semester are federalism,
government structure, legislatures and citizen participation, public executives and bureaucracy,
the courts, local and metropolitan approaches to government, and various forms of state
and local policy. Upon completion of the course, students will have a general understanding
of the structure and dynamics of state and local government in the United States.
Students will also learn and apply basic concepts from the fields of American government,
public administration, and public policy.

Course Catalog Description/Learning Objectives: Prefix: POS2112 Title: State and Local Government
Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisite: ENC 1101 or ENC 1101H or IDH 1110
In-depth study of state, county and municipal government with emphasis on
contemporary problems. Gordon Rule course which requires demonstration of
college level writing skills through multiple assignments.
Minimum grade of C required if used to satisfy Gordon Rule requirement.
Gordon Rule Statement: Insert Gordon Rule Statement here, if appropriate.
Remove if not a Gordon Rule Course. This is a Gordon Rule Course in which the
student is required to demonstrate college-level writing skills through multiple written assignments.
A minimum grade of C is required if ENC 1101 is used to satisfy Gordon Rule and General Education Requirements.

Major Learning Outcomes

By the end of the semester, the student will have met the following learning objectives:
1. The student will be able to compose multiple essays using varied
rhetorical strategies, with a clearly developed thesis, relevant concrete
supporting details, and a logical conclusion.
2. The student will be able to access research materials, determining if
those materials are relevant or academically sound.
3. The student will be able to identify strengths and weaknesses in
writing, not only in the student�s own work, but in the works of the student�s peers.
4. The student will be able to read primary and secondary source material critically.

Core Competencies of a Valencia Graduate

Valencia�s Student Core Competencies are complex abilities that are considered
the essential elements of a successful student.
This course will help you develop and demonstrate the abilities to:
(1) think clearly, critically, reflectively, and creatively;
(2) communicate with others verbally and in written form;
(3) make reasoned value judgments and responsible commitments; and
(4) act purposefully, reflectively, and responsibly.
Our goal is to provide these global competencies in the context of application;
this means that students will be required to understand problems and effectively communicate an appropriate solution.


Attendance is a major contributing factor to student success; as such,
attendance is mandatory. Students are expected to attend our face-to-face
meetings. Students are allotted a maximum of 5 absences. After the 5th absence,
a student may be withdrawn from the course.
As a student, here is my expectation of you:
Arrive on time, complete all required assignments before class,
and remain in class for the duration of the course, except on scheduled breaks.
In the event of an absence, students are responsible for making up any missed work,
as well as keeping up with announcements made during class time.
I recommend you contact me with any questions regarding missed material.
�No Show� Status
Class attendance is required beginning with the first class meeting.
If you do not attend the first class meeting, you may be withdrawn from the class as a �no show.�
If you are withdrawn as a �no show,� you will be financially responsible for the class
and a final grade of �WN� will appear on your transcript for the course.

Students are expected to be in class on time; please try to avoid any
scheduling conflicts with this course. Special instructions for current
assignments are often given at the beginning of class, so it is best to
arrive at least five minutes early. If tardiness is excessive, a direct
intervention and future plan may be required from the professor.

Class Preparation
Please come to class prepared, meaning that you have a utensil or device for

taking notes, have all required course material, and are prepared to be
actively engaged in the course. Reading assignments should be completed
prior to the class period where they will be discussed. All assignments
must be submitted by designated deadlines.

Online Participation
Students are expected to maintain proper decorum while online. Proper etiquette
includes, but is not limited to, treating your fellow students with respect online,
using appropriate language in all work submitted online,
and acting the same way you would behave in a classroom �
consider the digital classroom to be no different from the physical classroom you attend each week.

Class Participation
Students are expected to actively participate in class discussions and
activities. This will affect your performance in this course
(students who are actively involved in course material tend to be more successful).
Be prepared to discuss all materials in class: take notes while reading at home,
complete all assigned tasks on the weekly schedule, and have at least one question or comment about assigned readings every session.
Please be aware that participation doesn�t just mean talking in class
(though I encourage you all to join in classroom discussions).
Participation includes being attentive, joining in group work, and communicating with your professor.

Improper Technology Usage
While you are allowed to use technology as a resource in class, it is expected
that you will use the resource maturely. Please try to avoid using your
cell phone/laptops for personal reasons during class time;
please note you are encouraged to use these devices for material relevant to the class discussion.
The occasional emergency is understandable: please leave class to check your phone
if that is necessary. Otherwise, it is extremely disrespectful to the professor and your fellow classmates. Excessive texting,
use of social media in class, playing digital games without inviting the professor,
or any other inappropriate activities may result in you being removed from the class for the day and marked absent.

Note to International Students (F-1or J-1Visa):
Please be advised that withdrawal from this course due to attendance may result
in the termination of your visa status if you fall below the full-time enrollment
requirements of 12 credit hours. Consult the International Student Service office for more information.

POS 2112
CRN 17264
Fall 2018
8:30-9:45 AM
Room 1-110
Valencia College/Poinciana Campus

Ron Ziegler

text: Politics in States and Communities, 15th edition, by Dye and MacManus

Schedule of Work

1. 8/28 syllabus, grading, course requirements

2. 8/30 read to discuss ch 1 � politics in states and communities
Read What is an American? By De Crevoceur
Go Here
You will write a 500 word summation/commentary about De Crevoceur to submit with midterm

3. 9/4 Read to discuss Ch 1 politics in states and communities
4. For 9/6 read to discuss US vs Osceola county:
About county commission
Go Here
Go Here
regarding school board
Go Here

You are going to write a 500 word summation and comment on the Osceola case,
which will be submitted with your mid-term exam.
5. 9/11 discuss federalism
Class Notes Class Notes

6. 9/13 read to discuss ch 2 � constitutionalism in states

7. 9/18 read to discuss ch 3 � federalism in states

8. 9/20 discuss judicial restraint, activism

9. 9/25 ch 4 read to discuss political participation

10. 9/27 ch 4 read to discuss political participation

11. 10/2 � ch 5 � read to discuss state parties

12. 10/4 ch 5 -- read to discuss state parties

13. 10/9 ch 6 � read to discuss state legislatures

14. 10/11 ch 7 read to discuss governors

15. 10/16 ch 8 read to discuss bureaucracy

16. 10/18 ch 9 read to discuss courts
17. 10/23 ch 10 � read to discuss communities
Midterm due with paper on USDJ vs Osceola County and commentary on De Crevoceur

18. 10/25 about Convention of the States -
30 mins Go Here

Convention of States video

19. 10/30 ch 11 read to discuss community politics

21. 11/1 ch 12 read to discuss metropolitics

22. 11/6 ch 13 read to discuss land use and the environment

Milton Friedman on School Choice in class
Go Here

You are going to write a 500 work comment on the film to turn in with final

23. 11/8 ch 14 read to discuss taxation and finance

24. 11/13 ch 15 read to discuss civil rights

25. 11/15 ch 15 read to discuss civil rights

26. 11/20 ch 16 read to discuss education

(view Loving - the story of Loving vs Virginia in class)
You will write a 500 word review/comment about this movie to turn in with final
27. 11/22

(view Loving part 2 - the story of Loving vs Virginia in class)
You will write a 500 word review/comment about this movie to turn in with final
28. 11/27 ch 16 read to discuss education

29. 11/29 Thanksgiving - no school 30. 12/4 ch 17 read to discuss poverty and health

31. 12/6 ch 17 read to discuss poverty and health

32. 12/11, 12/13 Final Exam due this week with commentaries on Loving and Friedman films

as well as Journal and web projects


Four Commentaries/Reviews
MID TERM � Go Here
FINAL � Go Here


JOURNAL Assignment
Attend (or watch on cable) a session of three of the following and write a comprehensive observation statement to submit with Final
School board meeting
County commission meeting
City council meeting
Rep or Dem meeting
Court observation

As an alternative to this assignment, you may elect to do a book review
Select one of the following (if you have another book in mind that deals with
state and local or federal issues, discuss it with me)
you will be writing a critical commentary of at least 100 words about each chapter
it would be submitted with your final exam

Death of a Nation by Dinesh D'Souza
Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin
The Liberty Amendments by Mark Levin
Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War by Ludwig von Mises
Planning for Freedom by Mises
The Road to Serfdom by Frederich Hayek
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal by Ayn Rand
No Go Zones by Rahim Kazam
The End of Prosperity by Arthur Laffer, et al
The Housing Boom and Bust by Thomas Sowell
The Tempting of America by Robert Bork

Web project
This is to be submitted with the midterm exam

Go Here
List 10 state offices/officials from this page and describe what each does.

1. Which County Commission District do you live in and who is the Commissioner and when does it meet?
2. Go to the Circuit Court link and list the names of the Judges.
3. What is the job of Code Enforcement?
4. Identify from Agencies and Departments
a. County Attorney
b. County Clerk of the Court
c. County Manager
d. Describe what the link GRANTS is about
e. Where is the Health Department
f. What is listed under Human Resources
g. What is under Social Services
h. What is under Ordinances
i. What is under Supervisor of Elections
j. What is under Zoning

5. What is the Mission Statement of the School Board?
Go Here
1. from Article I Declaration of Rights, explain the meaning of
Section 1
Section 3
Section 4
Section 6
Section 8
2. from Article III
what is the age requirement for members of the State House and Senate?
3. From Article IV
List the sections under the Executive
4. From Article V
How many members of the Supreme Court are there?
5. From Article VI
Explain Section 4b
6. From Article VII
7. What does Section 5 b say about income taxes?
Go Here
Identify the names of your State Representative and State Senator
Go Here
List the names of the members of the Osceola School Board
Go Here
Click on Court Structure
List the four kinds of courts in the State of Florida
Name the members of the Florida Supreme Court