El Camino College

 

Social and Behavioral Sciences

 

Political Science 1 (ONLINE)
Government of the U.S. and California

Class Information
Couse Policies
Syllabus
Assignments
Course Material
Online Resources
Instructor Home

Class Information: Pol Sci 1, Sections # 4177, 4179 and 4181 

 

This course will be taught using both, the college course management system "Canvas" and Pearson Publisher's "Revel". We won’t be using Etudes in this class, if you are only familiar with that course management system don’t worry, both Canvas and Revel are easy to navigate. You will find assignments in both platforms. Primarily the Discussion Boards, Chapter Exams, Midterm and Final will be done in Canvas, while the chapter quizzes, videos, and simulations will be done in Revel. Both, the Term Paper and the Journal Project, as well as the Extra Credit (if you choose to do it) will be submitted via email directly to me.

 

Your primary entry point to the course will be in Canvas, the Revel platform has already been integrated into Canvas and you will see the link for that along with the other links in the opening page after you log in.

 

To login to Canvas go to the Distance Education Page, see the link below. There you will click on the Canvas login link and it will give you step by step instructions on how to log in.

 

http://www.elcamino.edu/library/distance-ed/

 

Once you have successfully logged in, you will see your course on the Dashboard, click on it and you will then see several links on that opening page including; Home, Pearson Revel, Announcements, Discussion, etc.

 

Now you will need to register into Pearson Revel, it is here that you will need the code that you will have to purchase at the ECC bookstore. See instructions below:

 

Student Registration Instructions

 

 To access Revel from your Canvas course:

 

1. Start from your Canvas course. 

 

2. Select Pearson Revel from the left navigation.

 

3. Select Open Revel.

 

4. Enter your Username and Password. Otherwise, select Create an Account.  Note: If you’re also using a Pearson MyLab or Mastering course, register for it first to use the same username and password for Revel.

 

5. When your accounts are linked, select an access option: 

 

-Purchase access using a credit card or PayPal.

 

-Redeem an access code purchased from the bookstore.

 

- If available, get temporary access.

 

6. Your Revel content appears.

 

To go back to Canvas, look for the Canvas tab or window in your browser. That’s it. Throughout the semester, please access your Revel content through Canvas. To upgrade temporary access to full access: You will see a page with payment options when you access Revel from Canvas. This page appears at regular intervals during your temporary access period. Or, you can select a payment option from the confirmation or reminder email for your temporary access.

 

Need help? If you have trouble getting access, make sure your laptop or other device is set up to work with Revel.

 

Visit Pearson Support at https://support.pearson.com/getsupport.

 

Dedicated Revel support line for students: (855) 875-1801 

 

 

 Note: A strong word of advice, prior to deciding to take an online course access the Online Student Handbook from the Distance Education Webpage, found at http://www.elcamino.edu/library/distance-ed The handbook will provide you with among other things; answers to frequently asked questions, a discussion of the skills you will need, and offer you tips for success as an online student. 

 

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Course Policies:

COURSE OVERVIEW AND OBJECTIVES

 

This course is a survey of the concepts, theories and functions of the American Political system. The basic principles of the United States Constitution and the government of California will be examined. Emphasis will be placed on the formal and informal influences of federalism on national and state governments.

 

One of the greatest attributes of our democracy is our ability to hold different views and opinions about our political system, in particular our government. In many ways we can see conflicts (conflict being a symbol of freedom) in our political system stemming from our different visions of important societal values, such as equality, freedom, liberty, and societal order. As students of politics, we must make an effort to understand and analyze the conflict about such values that continually test American Democracy. How we use our political system to define and apply these values will be part of our focus for this course. Helping us enhance our level of citizenship and gaining a more thorough understanding of our nation’s political process will be a goal as well. While this is an introductory survey course, nonetheless we will cover a large amount of information including; the development of American political institutions, the constitutional foundations and bedrock principles that continue to govern us today, American political traditions, and the functioning of contemporary political processes. Be ready to discuss, think, critically analyze, and write on these topics.

 

 

I encourage you to keep up with current events, since one of the required assignments for this course will be for you to turn in a political journal towards the end of the semester. This is of utmost importance given the current political environment. We have already seen some of the early controversies regarding the president’s appointments to high level posts, its subsequent confirmation hearings and the turnover with some of his appointees. We’ve also seen the attempts and failure to repeal some laws, the early polemical approaches in foreign relations with other countries, etc. We will also see in the next few months the continued debates on gun control, immigration, etc., just as well how the new administration will handle the many challenges we are facing abroad, among them: the Middle East, North Korea, ISIS, Iran, Russia, China, etc. As you can see, these are exciting times to be learning about politics. You can easily prepare for this by reading the major newspapers, i.e., New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, by watching the major news channels, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, Fox Network, etc., or by going to different news information websites, i.e., www.cnn.com, www.msnbc.com, etc.

 

After completing this course you will be able to describe the concepts, theories and functions of the American political system and have a deeper understanding of the political processes and institutions within our government. You will have gained knowledge about our constitution, our three branches of government and how they interact with one another, operating under a system of checks and balances. You will also have gained knowledge about political campaigns and elections, especially those in the last few decades of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st. Finally, you will have hopefully become more aware of one’s civic duties and rights as citizens living in this society. More specifically students should meet the following objectives:

 

 

1. Identify the theoretical foundations and the applications of the American political system.
2. Analyze major political institutions: the presidency, bureaucracy, Congress, Judiciary, elections, political parties, and interest groups.
3. Examine and assess the implementation of democracy, including the different perspectives of elitism, pluralism, and majoritarianism.
4. Evaluate the role of the mass media in the political process.
5. Identify and discuss political culture and the function of political socialization.
6. Compare and contrast the relationship of federal and state governmental systems and processes with emphasis on California.
7. Evaluate and analyze the interdependence of economics and politics.
8. Distinguish between civil rights and civil liberties and their evolution in American society.
9. Assess the federal and state judicial systems and their impact on public policy.
10. Examine and discuss the process of public policy making in relation to international and domestic policy issues.
11. Assess the concept and implementation of citizenship.
12. Analyze issues of race, ethnicity, class, age, and gender as they relate to the distribution of power in the political process.

 

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO’s)

 

-In a multiple choice exam, students will demonstrate knowledge of the basic principles of the United States Constitution including it Articles and Amendments, as well as those for the government of California.

 

- In a multiple choice or written essay test, students will demonstrate an understanding of how political parties and interest groups serve as channels for popular participation, and compare/contrast the techniques they use to do so.

 

 - In a written essay or multiple choice exam, students will demonstrate an understanding of the various roles played by the President and California Governor, the political resources available to them to meet the expectations associated with those roles, and how those resources are limited.

 

 

 

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Syllabus:

OUTLINE

 

 Week 1- Monday, August 28 - Saturday, September 9 

Note: This is the only week that’s an extended one (you are basically being given 2 weeks to complete Week 1 assignments) After Week I, all the following weeks will be Monday-Saturday.

 

-Read Chapter 1, Watch the Videos: "Introducing Government in America: The Big Picture", "From the White House: Income Inequality: The Defining Challenge of Our Time", Introducing Government in America: So What?", Explore the Simulation "The Policymaking System", "How Policymaking on Economic Inequality is Shaped by Patterns of Political Participation", Take quizzes assigned for each section of the chapter, Read the Chapter Flashcards, Take Chapter Exam 1 (In Canvas)

-Contribute to Discussion Boards I and II (In Canvas)

 

Week 2- Monday, September 11 - Saturday, September 16

-Read Chapter 2, Watch the Videos: "The Constitution: The Big Picture”, “Video Politics: UK Parliamentary Debate: Holding the Executive Accountable”, “The Constitution: So What?” Explore the Simulation "Power Shift: Economic Status of State Legislators Before and After the Revolutionary War”, “The Constitution and the Electoral Process: The Original Plan”, “How the Constitution can be Amended”, Take quizzes assigned for each section of the chapter, Read the Chapter Flashcards, Take Chapter Exam 2 (In Canvas)

-Begin to think about your Political Journal and Term Paper projects

 

Week 3- Monday, September 18 - Saturday, September 23

-Read Chapter 3, Watch the Videos: “Federalism: The Big Picture”, “Video Politics: Universal-International Newsreel: Integrating the University of Alabama”, “Federalism: So What?” Social Explorer: "Figure 3.1 Fiscal Federalism: Federal Grants to State and Local Governments”, Explore the Data: Should Whether You Live Depend on Where You Live?”, Figure 3.2 State and Local Spending on Public Education”, “Figure 3.3 Fiscal Federalism: The Size of the Public Sector”. Take quizzes assigned for each section of the chapter, Read the Chapter Flashcards, Take Chapter Exam 3 (In Canvas)

 -Contribute to Discussion Board III (In Canvas)

 

Week 4-Monday, September 25 - Saturday, September 30

-Read Chapter 4, Watch the Videos: "Civil Liberties: The Big Picture”, “Civil Liberties: So What”, Explore the Simulation "The Constitution and the Stages of the Criminal Justice System”, “The Abortion Debate” Social Explorer: “Tolerance for the Free Speech Rights of Religious Extremists”, “The Decline of Executions”, “The Data: Is the Death Penalty Racially Biased”.Take quizzes assigned for each section of the chapter, Read the Chapter Flashcards, Take Chapter Exam 4 (In Canvas)

 

Week 5-Monday, October 2 – Saturday, October 7  

-Read Chapter 5, Watch the Videos: "Civil Rights: The Big Picture”, Video Politics: American Experience A Class Apart: Hernandez v. Texas”, “Civil Rights: So What?” Social Explorer: “Percentage of Black Students Attending School with any Whites in Southern States”, “Minority Population”, “Respect for Minority Rights” Take quizzes assigned for each section of the chapter, Read the Chapter Flashcards, Take Chapter Exam 5 (In Canvas)

-Continue thinking about your written projects

 

Week 6- Monday, October 9 – Saturday, October 14

-Read Chapter 6, Watch the Videos: "Public Opinion: The Big Picture”, “ABC News: Public Opinion on War in Iraq”, “ABC News: Could You be a National Geographic Bee Contestant?, “Public Opinion: So What?” Explore the Simulation "Responses to the American National Election Study Survey”, Social Explorer: “Explore the Data: Should Immigration Be Based More on Skills Than Blood Ties?”, Should Immigrations Be Based More on Skills Than Blood?”, “The Coming Minority Majority”, “How Political Knowledge Varies According to Demographic and Political Factors”, “The Decline of Trust in Government 1958-2014”, “Political Participation Other than Voting 1967-2104”, “Turnout Increases with Age”, “Conventional and Unconventional Political Participation” Take quizzes assigned for each section of the chapter, Read the Chapter Flashcards,

 

Note here that there won’t be a Chapter 6 exam, this is to give you a break in preparation for the Midterm Exam next week. However, questions from Chapter 6 will be incorporated into the Midterm.

 

Week 7- Monday, October 16 - Saturday, October 21

 MIDTERM –Chapters 1-6  (In Canvas)

 

Week 8- Monday, October 23 – Saturday, October 28

-Read Chapter 7, Watch the Videos: “The Mass Media: The Big Picture”, “From the Archives: 1960 Presidential Debate: Kennedy v. Nixon”, “The Mass Media: So What?” Explore the Simulation "Explore The Data: How News Consumption of Presidential Campaigns Differs by Age Group” Social Explorer: “Figure 7.1 How the Audiences of Cable News Channels are Polarized by Political Ideology”, “Explore the Data: What Should be done about the Digital Divide”, “The Length of Candidate Soundbites in 4 Countries”, Take quizzes assigned for each section of the chapter, Read the Chapter Flashcards, Take Chapter Exam 7 (In Canvas)

 

Week 9 – Monday, October 30 - Saturday, November 4

-Read Chapter 8, Watch the Videos: "Political Parties: The Big Picture”, “Pre-election Video 1”, “The House of Cards: Vote Your Conscience, Vote Your District”, “Political Parties: So What?” Explore the Simulation "The Downs Model: How Rational Parties Position Themselves Near (But Not At) the Center of Public Opinion”, “Partisan Divisions on Key Roll Call Votes During the Obama Presidency” Social Explorer: “Party Identification in the United States 1952-2016”, “Should Political Parties Choose Their Nominees in Open or Closed Primaries?”, “Party Coalitions Today”, “Realignment of the South”, Take quizzes assigned for each section of the chapter, Read the Chapter Flashcards, Take Chapter Exam 8 (In Canvas)

 

 Week 10 – Monday, November 6 - Saturday, November 11

-Read Chapter 9, Watch the Videos: "Campaigns and Voting: The Big Picture”, “Pre-election Video 2”, “Vote-B-Gone”, “Pre-election Video 3”, “Campaigns and Voting: So What?” Social Explorer: “How Obama Raised More Campaign Funds by Declining Federal Funds”, “American Turnout Rates Compared to Other Established Democracies”, “Education Levels as a Predictor of Voter Turnout”, ”Electoral College and Exit Poll Results for 2012”, “Should We Make every State a Battleground by Electing the President by a National Popular Vote?” Take quizzes assigned for each section of the chapter, Read the Chapter Flashcards, Take Chapter Exam 9 (In Canvas)

-Contribute to Discussion Board IV (In Canvas)

 

Week 11 - Monday, November 13 – Saturday, November 18

-Read Chapter 10, Watch the Videos: “Interest Groups: The Big Picture”, “Video Politics: Takeapart: I’m Just a Bill Parody (Follow the Money)”, “Interest Groups: So What?” Explore the Simulation "Explore the Data: Principles of PAC Behavior: Major League Baseball: An Illustration”, Social Explorer: “Interest Group Participation”, “Big Spenders on Lobbying 2009-2015”, “Should PAC’s be Eliminated?”, “How Corporate PACs have shifted Toward the Majority Party” .Take quizzes assigned for each section of the chapter, Read the Chapter Flashcards, Take Chapter Exam 10 (In Canvas)

 

 Week 12 - Monday, November 20 – Saturday, November 25

-Read Chapter 11, Watch the Videos: "Congress: The Big Picture”, “Congress: So What?”, Social Explorer: “The Incumbency Factor in Congressional Elections”, “Should We Impose Term Limits on Members of Congress?”, “Increasing Polarization in Congress”, “Malapportionment in the Upper House”.Take quizzes assigned for each section of the chapter, Read the Chapter Flashcards, Take Chapter Exam 11 (In Canvas)

-Contribute to Discussion Board V (In Canvas)

 

 Week 13 – Monday, November 27Saturday, December 2

-Read Chapter 12, Watch the Videos: "The Presidency: The Big Picture”, “The Presidency: So What”, Social Explorer: “Explore the Data: Should We Increase the President’s Legislative Powers?”, “Presidential Approval”, Take quizzes assigned for each section of the chapter, Read the Chapter Flashcards, Take Chapter Exam 12 (In Canvas)

 

- Term Paper due  (Submit directly to me via email)

 

Week 14 - Monday, December 4 - Saturday, December 9

-Read Chapter 15, Watch the Videos: "The Federal Courts: The Big Picture”, “The Federal Courts: So What”, Explore the Simulation “Organization of the Federal Court System”, “How Cases Reach the Supreme Court”, “Obtaining Space on the Supreme Court Docket”, Social Explorer: “Tolerance for the Free Speech Rights of Religious Extremists”, “The Decline of Executions”, “The Data: Is the Death Penalty Racially Biased”. Take quizzes assigned for each section of the chapter, Read the Chapter Flashcards.

 Note here that there won’t be a Chapter 15 exam, this is to give you a break in preparation for the  Exam next week. However, questions from Chapter 15 will be incorporated into the Final

- Political Journal Due  (Submit directly to me via email)

 

Week 15 – Monday, 11 – Saturday, December 16

FINAL EXAM –chapters 7-12 & 15  (In Canvas)

 

*  

 

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Assignments:

 

Discussion Board (100 points) Weeks 1,3,10,12

 

As part of this course’s requirements, you will have to participate in a series of discussion boards throughout the summer term. There will be 5 entries (each worth 20 points) that you will have to contribute to. In addition to your own contribution to the discussion you will also have to respond to one of your classmate’s contributions. The specific due dates are noted above in the outline for the syllabus. Similar to the chapter exams you will have a 6 day window opening to respond to the topic. Each of the topics will be posted on a Monday morning and will close by the following Saturday at midnight (that is the deadline for each entry).

 

 Term Paper  (100 points) Week 13

 

Please write a paper of approximately 5 pages in length on the following topic. This assignment’s due date will be on Saturday, December 2 and you will submit it to me via email at emunoz@elcamino.edu  The paper should be sent as an attachment in a word document, and you should title the subject of your email “Political Socialization Paper.” It is also important that on the subject you write down the section number in which you are enrolled. I will reply to your email once I have received it and made sure that I have opened the attachment. It is your responsibility to make sure that I have received your assignment. If I haven’t replied to you within 48 hours email me again.

 

Write a paper in which you recount your first political impression, that is the first political event or issue that you can remember. Speculate about how that event or issue may have shaped your views towards government and politics. Did it leave you cynical? Idealistic? Apathetic? Include a discussion of which political socialization agents have shaped the formulation of your political opinions while growing up. (Political Socialization agents are those that influence us throughout our lifetime, they can include: the family, school, the media, peer groups, religious organizations, etc) NOTE: Since this is an American Politics course, the assignment has to cover a political event that you have experienced within the American Political system.

 

 [Note: Late Papers will be accepted but they will be lowered by one letter grade]

 

 Political Journal (100 points) Week 14

 

This assignment consists of writing 5 journal entries about political events that will transpire during this semester. Meaning you can use articles from the first day of the semester (August 28) up until the day the journal is due. They can cover the politics at any level of American government, whether federal, state, or local. The journal will be due on Saturday, December 9 and you will submit it to me the same way as the paper, via email at emunoz@elcamino.edu  You will need to title the subject of your email “Political Journal” and send it in a word document as an attachment. It is also important that on the subject you write down the section number in which you are enrolled. I will reply to your email once I have received it and made sure that I am able to open the attachment. Just like the paper it is your responsibility to make sure that I have received your assignment. If I haven’t replied to you within 48 hours email me again. Each journal entry should be structured the following way:

 

1. Journal Entry #1 , Journal Entry #2, Journal Entry #3, etc.

 

2. Electronic source: ie., www.cnn.com, www.msnbc.com, www.news.yahoo.com, etc.

 

3. Specific Webpage: ie., http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/Americas/7238214.stm

 

4. Title and date of the article: ObamaTouts Big Bold Action”, February 9, 2009

 

5. Summary of the article: here you should give the article’s title and provide a well rounded summary, at least a three to four paragraphs. Then, in a couple of paragraphs you should discuss how it relates to the course, and the specific topic covered during the semester. NOTE: Your five journal entries should be drawn from five different electronic sources, meaning five different websites. They should cover five different topics and they should all be submitted in one document, meaning send me 1 attachment not 5 different attachments.

 

 [Note: Later Journals will be accepted but they will be lowered by one letter grade]

 

Chapter Exams

 

There will be 11 chapter exams (Chapters 1-5 and 7-12) throughout the semester, each worth 20 points. They will include questions from the chapter and, when noted, also questions from either the videos, simulations, social explorer sections that are part of each chapter. Just like the discussion boards, the chapter exams will be available for your to take starting on a Monday morning and will close by the following Saturday at midnight. You will have 1 hour to complete each exam, and once you start it you have to finish it.  All the chapter exams will have 20 questions.

 

Midterm Exam (Week 7 / October 16 – Saturday, October 21)

 

There will be a Midterm Examination during the 7th week of the semester, the week of October 16 – October 21. The exam will have 100 questions and it will cover the material from chapters 1-6. It will have a 6 day window opening for you take (it will be posted in the early morning of Monday, October 16, and will close by Saturday, October 21 at midnight). You will have 3 hours to complete the exam and once you start you’ll have to finish it.

 

 

Final Exam (Week 16 / Monday, December 11 - Saturday, December 16)

 

The final exam will take place during the last week of the semester, the week of December 11 – December 16. The exam will have 100 questions and will cover the material from chapters 7-12 and 15. It will have a 6 day window opening for you to take the test (it will be posted in the early morning of Monday, December 11, and will close by Saturday, December 16 at midnight). You will have 3 hours to complete the exam and once you start you will have to finish it.

 

 Extra Credit

 

You will have an opportunity to earn some extra points by completing an assignment that will be worth 20 points. The specific instructions are going to be posted within the course management system, it will be due on Saturday, December 16, NO EXCEPTIONS. You will submit it to me directly via email just like the term paper and journal project

 

Note here that the extra credit will only be accepted if you have completed all assignments as per what's on the syllabus.

 

 

Grading Scale                                                Total ( 1068 points )

 

Discussion Boards                  100 points               A          956-1068           

Term Paper                             100 points               B          850-955

Political Journal                     100 points               C           743-849

Midterm Exam (Parts 1&2)    100 points               D          636-742   

Final Exam (Parts 1&2)          100 points               F          635 and below

Chapter Exams (11 X 20)       220 points

Chapter Quizzes                     348 points

 

 

 

NOTE - ACADEMIC INTEGRITY Please read and acknowledge the following statement: “Through the entry of my username and password I affirm that I am the student who enrolled in this course. Furthermore, I affirm that I understand and agree to follow the regulations regarding academic integrity and the use of student data as described in the ECC Board Policy 5500 Academic Honesty and Standards of Conduct that governs student rights and responsibilities. Failure to abide by the regulations may result in disciplinary action up to expulsion from the college.”

 

NOTE- Whenever emailing me, write down your name within the body of your email as well as the section number in which you are enrolled. That will speed up the process of replying to you. Please give me at least 24 hours to respond to your questions.

 

NOTE- If for some reason your computer malfunctions, freezes, loses power, loses the internet connection, any of these, while you are taking a quiz or a test, and doesn’t allow you to continue, you must email me immediately and tell me what happened, that way I can work with you in resetting the assessment so you can take it again. Also keep in mind that technology is great J but there are times where things happen that are beyond our immediate control, and it might take some time to fix them L

 

NOTE- Students with disabilities who believe they may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact the Special Resource Center on campus as soon as possible to better ensure such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. Please contact me privately as well to discuss your specific needs.

 

NOTE- It is the students’ responsibility to drop themselves from this course. I will not drop students. Be aware of the deadlines as noted in the schedule of classes.

 

 

 

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Course Material:

TEXTBOOK:

- "Government in America: People, Politics, and Policy" by George Edwards, Martin Wattenberg, and William Howell. 17th Edition, (2016 Presidential Election Edition), 2018. Pearson Longman Publishers, New York.

 

 

 

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Online Resources:

The White House

Senate

House of Representatives

Supreme Court

Library of Congress

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El Camino College, 16007 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance, California 90506
Phone: 310-532-3760 Toll Free: 1-866-ELCAMINO (1-866-352-2646)
Last Published 8/27/17