Course Number: Course Title: Palm Beach State College

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Course Number: Course Title: Palm Beach State College
Palm Beach State College
Course Syllabus – Classroom Course
General Class and Course Information
Course Number: POS1041
Course Title: Introduction to American
Government (AA)
Term/Dates: Fall, 2016
Reference Number: 216741
Credit Hours: 3
Days: MW
Time: 9.30 AM - 10.45 AM
Room: SS 203
Course Description: This course provides a detailed study of the origin and development of America's unique
constitutional democracy and its political institutions, highlighting the federal level of government. It will include
information about the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, branches of government, public policy, political ideologies,
interest groups, political parties, elections, mass media and other critical components of the political process.
Gordon Rule Class
This class has been designated as a Gordon Rule class for writing. This means that the course has significant
writing requirements. Please see the web page at
Professor’s Information
Telephone: 561-868-3336
Faculty Web Page:
Office Location: SS 209/ LAKE WORTH CAMPUS
Email: [email protected]
Office Hours: Mon thru. Thurs: 8.00 am to 9.30 am
Tues & Thurs: 2.00 pm to 3.00 pm.
Frid: 9.30 am to 11.30 am and by appointments.
Information on REQUIRED Textbooks:
REVEL for American
Government, 2014
Elections and Updates
Karen O’Connor
Larry Sabato and
Alixandra Yanus
9780133951257 (access code
9780134600390 (access code
with loose-leaf printed book)
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Palm Beach State College
Course Syllabus – Classroom Courses
Other Information on Textbooks and Materials needed for class:
Student Instructions
This course uses a Pearson digital product which contains important assignments and
resources used throughout the semester. The required link below is unique to this course.
Here is how to register:
1. Visit this link:https://console.pearson.com/enrollment/0oqfzs
2. Sign in with your Pearson Account. You can either: sign in with an existing Pearson
username and password OR create a new Pearson account if this is your first Pearson digital
3. Choose your course under 'My Courses' and choose an access option: redeem an access
code that you got from your school's bookstore or purchase access online. There is a free trial
if you are waiting for financial aid.
What you should know:
- Bookmark https://console.pearson.com to easily access your materials.
- Pearson recommends using the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, or Safari with this digital
- Contact your instructor if you lose the invite link.
Course Learning Outcomes: As a result of taking this course, the student will be able to:
Recognize the significance of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, their origins and historical context to the ongoing
process of U.S. society.
Define political culture and ideology, the political process and the role of political parties, interest groups, elections,
public opinion and the media in the U.S. government system.
Distinguish the way in which different individuals and groups behave and participate in American politics.
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Palm Beach State College
Course Syllabus – Classroom Courses
Describe the importance of political and policy-making institutions, the American system of separated power and checks
and balances, and the role of state and local government in a federal system.
Analyze U.S. national interests and domestic and foreign policy making.
Apply the practical elements of the course to the working operations of government.
Develop a greater awareness of the role of the citizen in the American system and become more politically aware and
active in the local and global community.
Full Course Outline - Click on the following link: Course Outlines and enter the course number (no space between the
prefix and the number).
Class Information
Instructor's Expectations
Reading and studying assigned chapters in the textbook and handouts.
Taking and studying notes on class lectures and discussions.
Participating in classroom activities and discussions.
Taking exams as scheduled.
Media watch and using the Internet as relevant to course.
In addition to the above, this classroom should be considered a safe place. Students are encouraged to
engage in discussions and debate provided that one’s views are not intended to provoke, insult, or
damage another member of the class.
Methods of instruction
The class will be conducted in a lecture/seminar format, so there will be strong emphasis on participation in
classroom discussions and on timely preparation of assignments. The study of political science is much more
interesting when it is understood within the context of what goes on in the "real world." Students should stay aware
of current events and are encouraged to ask questions and to share their relevant knowledge and personal
experiences with the class. There is a 100-point incentive for attendance and participation.
Students are expected to read the designated textbook chapters as assigned and various other readings and
handouts as provided by the instructor throughout the course. If it becomes necessary to change any
assignments or dates as listed, students will be notified as far in advance as possible.
Academic Dishonesty Policy and Penalty for Violation:
Each registered student is required to complete his or her work independently and without the assistance of others.
Collaboration of any kind with anyone except in a study group is unacceptable and considered cheating. Any information
obtained from an outside source, including the internet, must be properly cited and referenced, even if paraphrased.
Academic dishonesty including collaboration and plagiarism, will result in a zero for the assignment or exam in which
cheating has occurred. Students who cheat jeopardize their chances of earning a passing grade in this class.
Aditional college policy information on academic dishonesty and penalty is stated below.
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Palm Beach State College
Course Syllabus – Classroom Courses
Assignments, Tests, Quizzes and Final Exam Schedule, with percentage/points of grade:
The Context of U.S. Government
The Constitutional Framework.
The American Federal System.
Chapt. 1
Chapt. 2.
Chapt. 3.
The Presidency
The Judiciary
Chapt. 6.
Chapt .7
Chapt. 9
American Civil Liberties
American Civil Rights
Chapt. 4.
Chapt. 5.
Political Parties
Campaigns, Elections, and Voting
The Campaign Process
Chapt. 11
Chapt. 12.
Chapt. 13
EXAMS: All exams will be multiple choice (critical thinking type) and on each chapter discussed
with each accounting for 100 points of your grade.
To meet the “Gordon Rule” requirements, the following homework assignments/exercises will be
1. REVEL Chapter Quizzes
100 points
2. Video on the U.S. Constitution
25 points.
3. Quiz on the US Constitution
20 points
4. Knowledge Paper (Federalism)
25 points.
5. Congressional Research Worksheet
50 points
Please note that these due dates are already set to the course on REVEL and must be completed on
or before the due dates. You will not be able to take the quizzes after the due dates. Should there be
a need to make any changes to the due dates, I will make the changes and publish these on REVEL.
NOTE: All written assignments must be typed, double spaced, stapled and in 12 point
font. All assignments/papers must be submitted in class via hardcopy only. None will
be accepted via email attachment.
All assignments turned in must have a cover page that contains:
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Palm Beach State College
Course Syllabus – Classroom Courses
Name of student;
Class including days and time of attendance;
Name of Professor;
Final course grade will be determined accordingly:
Letter Grade
100 points each.
220 total points
100 points.
Percentage (if applicable)
59% and Below
Class Policies
Attendance: Professors are required to take attendance.
Students are expected to attend all courses and course activities for which they are registered. Any class meeting
missed, regardless of cause, reduces the opportunity of learning and may adversely affect a student’s achievement in
the course. Students are required to attend at least 90% of the class meetings in order to receive credit for the course.
An accurate record of attendance will be kept for each course. If a student misses one-third or more of a class section,
the student will be counted absent. Three tardies will count as one absence. Leaving early is the same as being tardy.
Please note that it is your responsibility to obtain from other students what you have missed in class. The professor
cannot email you or be required to teach you all over again what was discussed in class while you were
Electronic Device Use and Email Policy:
Any use of cell phones in class is strictly prohibited. Please turn off all electronic devices -- cellular phones, beepers, etc.
in the classroom. Any student found texting in class will be respectfully asked to leave.
Email Use Policy
Please activate your Palm Beach State College email account. It is your responsibility to make sure your email is
functioning. Please feel free to email me with any questions or issues that may arise. In accordance with department
policy, I will only respond to emails that come from your Palm Beach State College email account. All emails must
contain class and time of meeting.
Late Assignment Policy:
Late assignments will be penalized with a 2-point deduction for each day late unless you have made prior arrangements
with me. A late assignment means one that is not turned in on the due date.
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Palm Beach State College
Course Syllabus – Classroom Courses
Make-up Exam Policy:
Make-up exam will only be given to students missing exam and furnishing written validation of a legitimate medical or
Withdrawal Policy:
Since attendance is required, I may withdraw (WX) students with poor attendance or no attendance.
Your success is important to me. If you have any problems with the course or the subject matter, if the
material covered seems confusing, or if you have particular problems that cause you some difficulties with the
course, please discuss these with me as soon as possible. The college has many resources to help students be
successful and I am ready and willing to help you obtain the necessary assistance that will allow you to
complete the course successfully.
Incompletes are rarely granted and will be considered only in extraordinary circumstances. An incomplete grade
can only be considered if you:
1. are passing the course,
2. have not missed more than 3 days of class, and
3. requested the incomplete grade prior to the course end date.
Please note: Any student receiving an incomplete grade will automatically have the final grade earned
reduced by one full letter grade for not completing the course by the originally scheduled end date. The
decision to grant incomplete grades rests with the instructor.
College Policies and Web Information
Academic Dishonesty
Academic dishonesty includes the following actions, as well as other similar conduct aimed at making false representation with
respect to the student's academic performance:
(1) Cheating on an exam, (2) Collaborating with others on work to be presented, if contrary to the stated rules of the course,
(3) Submitting, if contrary to the rules of the course, work previously submitted in another course, (4) Knowingly and intentionally
assisting another student in any of the above actions, including assistance in an arrangement whereby work, classroom
performance, examination, or other activity is submitted or performed by a person other that the student under whose name the
work is submitted or performed, (5) Plagiarism.
Please refer to the Palm Beach State College Student Handbook (www.palmbeachstate.edu/current for link to the student
Classroom Etiquette and Student Behavior Guidelines
Students will demonstrate respect for professors and fellow students. Behavior that is disruptive to a positive learning environment
reported by the professor will result in a warning on the first instance; the second instance might result in expulsion from the course
or campus.
Computer Competency Component
Each student will, to the satisfaction of the professor, demonstrate a fundamental understanding of basic computer operations
through various professor-determined exercises and/or assignments.
Disability Support Services
Students with disabilities are advised, in compliance with federal and state laws, that accommodations and services are available
through the office of Disability Support Services (DSS). It is the student's responsibility to contact Disabled Student Services Advisors
and to submit appropriate documentation prior to receiving services. Please see the website at www.palmbeachstate.edu/current
for web address for Disability Support Services.
Eating, Drinking and Smoking
Eating and drinking are confined to areas designated on the campus. Smoking is not permitted in any College building and only in
areas designated at each campus.
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Palm Beach State College
Course Syllabus – Classroom Courses
Final Course Grade Appeal
The evaluation of academic work is the responsibility of the faculty member/instructor. The method for assigning the final course
grade is established by the faculty member/instructor. Per Board Rule 6Hx-18-3.191, faculty/instructors shall communicate the
grading policy of the course to their students in writing. If this policy changes during the term, students should be notified of any
changes in writing. The method to determine final course grades must be given to students in a course syllabus at the beginning of
the class. Should a student have a question about a final course grade, please follow the procedures as outlined in the student
handbook: www.palmbeachstate.edu/current.
Mid-Term Grade Reporting
Within one week after the close of the mid-term grading period, mid-term grades will be made available to all students for each
class by either written notification or individual conference.
Student Responsibility Policy
When a student attends the College, s/he becomes subject to its jurisdiction. Students are expected to conduct themselves in a
responsible manner, in all areas of campus life. By enrolling, they pledge to obey the rules and regulations of the College and are
responsible for observing all College policies and procedures as published in the student handbook, the College catalog and other
College publications. The student will be responsible for preparing for class, participating in class, and completing assignments on
Palm Beach State Websites of Interest
Please see this web page (www.palmbeachstate.edu/current) for a list of web addresses for students.
Withdrawal Policy for Individual Courses
The last day to withdraw from a College course with a "W" grade in this course is 11/4/2016. It is the responsibility of the student to
use the PantherWeb system or visit a campus Registrar’s office to withdraw. An official withdrawal entitles the student to a grade of
"W" in the class.
Student Assessments: The student assessment system works through pantherweb. It is convenient and
confidential way for you to provide valuable feedback on your courses. Look for an email inviting you to
evaluate your courses online. This is your opportunity to assess all aspects of your courses: the course itself,
teaching, classroom environment and materials, as well as to suggest ways to improve the course. It is highly
important that you take the time to complete this online evaluation before the deadline.
This class will challenge you with new ideas and new ways of thinking. Teaching and studying political science
involve sensitive political issues of the day. These issues are endless and are generated by changing times. As
your professor, I do understand the need to be sensitive to your feelings in discussing these issues. I will try to
be cautious of how I facilitate class discussions on them without fear or favor.
I am neither a democrat nor a republican but a “republicrat.” I am also neither a liberal nor a conservative. I am
a professor. It is my role to play the devil’s advocate. I will emphasize your ability to see things from different
points of view so as to help in developing your critical thinking skills. My goal is to prepare you for active and
socially responsible citizenship, to enhance your abilities to understand and participate effectively in the
decision-making processes that affect your lives so as to help prepare you to contribute to the construction of a
more humane world.
I neither expect nor will I accept any attempt by any student to define what should be discussed as part of the
content in this course. I refuse to address any issue the way a student wants it to be addressed. I believe that
respectful discourse should be the foundation of academia. College is not a place where controversial ideas are
suppressed but discussed respectfully. I want you to be able to sort out the difference between demagoguery and
punditry and reasoned argument. You have a right to your own opinion not the facts.
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Palm Beach State College
Course Syllabus – Classroom Courses
My self-awareness as a professor makes me believe that I know exactly what I am doing in my classroom and
that I always do the right things. I agree it is one thing to be aware of one’s own subjectivity and the
impossibility of perfect understanding of the other, of the impossibility of objectivity in a world, school, or
classroom marked by a multitude of diversities. I also understand that it is another thing entirely to try to
overcome the inevitability of subjectivity, to try and put one’s own feelings aside and be open to multiple
perspectives at once without judging. I realize that there are times that I will draw attention to my own biases so
that you can recognize it for what they are, so that you do not mistake these for the absolute and objective truth.
I promise to be self-aware of this but to be fair, empathetic, and to always seek to understand your feelings
without imposing my beliefs on you.
As your professor, I am motivated by the challenge of nurturing the greatness in you as a human being. I
promise to use my expertise to support you and engender your trust. I will strive to honor your backgrounds and
beliefs and do my job within a framework that is both ethical and authentic. I will continue to use my discretion
with the utmost respect and sensitivity to you. We will all strive to respect and value academic freedom. Do not
expect me to be politically correct in the classroom. To do so will destroy the essence of learning and challenge
free speech. I will not accommodate any student who demands a kind of intellectual comfort instead of the thrill
and productive challenge of going outside of his/her own known experience. I cannot accommodate any student
who is too sensitive and too quick to play the victim’s card.
I encourage you to take advantage of my accessibility to discuss your disagreement with me should you be
offended by how issues were discussed in class. I will not hesitate to apologize for any unintended offence to
Department Contact Information
Telephone: 561-868-3339
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Office Location: SS101.1
Email: [email protected]
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