May 26, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog & Student Handbook 
2023-2024 Catalog & Student Handbook Archived Catalog

POLS 1030 - American Government

3 sem hrs cr

This course is a study of the basic features of American government with emphasis on constitutional principles and the structure and functions of the three branches of national government. Prerequisite: Exemption from or completion of ENGL 0810  and READ 0810  

In rare and unusual circumstances, a course prerequisite can be overridden with the permission of the Department Lead for the discipline. 

This course may include proctored exams which must be completed on campus or at an instructor approved proctoring center which may require additional costs to the student. Please consult your instructor for additional details.

  Formerly/Same As (Formerly POL 1110)

Transfer (UT) or Non-Transfer Course (UN): UT

Master Course Syllabus
Intended Student Learning Outcomes (Goals and Objectives)

  • Develop a knowledge, an understanding, and an appreciation of the constitutional principles of American national government and of the forms, functions, and operations of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the national government
  • Prepare students for more informed, and responsible citizenship
  • Lay a foundation for advanced courses
  • Help students develop a better perspective on current political events, demonstrating that few basic political phenomena are uniquely modern
  • Help students prepare for such careers as teaching, law, government and politics
  • Develop such basic skills as reading, listening, and written and oral expression

Student Learning Outcomes (Objectives)

  • Describe and explain the origins of politics
  • Define and explain basic political terms
  • Describe the origins of American government
  • Distinguish between the formal constitution and informal constitution
  • Describe the basic features of the formal constitution
  • Describe the formal methods of amending the constitution
  • Describe the informal methods of amending the constitution
  • Describe the basic features of the American federal system of government
  • Examine the major decisions of the United States Supreme Court relating to the First amendment
  • Define the basic terms and concepts relating to civil rights and liberties and describe major decisions of the United States Supreme Court relating to civil rights
  • Describe the nature of political interest groups and their efforts to influence public policy
  • Define terms and concepts relating to citizenship
  • Describe the process of naturalization
  • Examine Supreme Court decision relating to citizenship
  • Describe the origins and development of American political parties
  • Explain voter behavior on the basis of economic status, education, sex, and race
  • Describe party organization in the United States
  • Describe methods used in United States history to nominate candidates
  • Describe methods of financing political campaign
  • Contrast the original method of electing the president with the revised method
  • Describe the methods of nominating presidential candidates and proposed nomination reforms
  • Describe the method of electing the president and the proposed reforms in electing the president
  • Describe the organization and composition of Congress
  • Explain the congressional committee system
  • Describe the powers of Congress
  • Describe how a bill becomes a law
  • Describe the different roles of the president
  • Describe the constitutional powers of the president
  • Describe other sources of presidential powers
  • Describe the expansion of presidential power over our history
  • Describe restraints on presidential power
  • Explain the role of the president in foreign affairs
  • Trace the history of American foreign policy
  • Describe the functions of the executive departments and the major independent regulatory agencies
  • Explain the origin of judicial review
  • Explain judicial review within the American political system
  • Explain the role of the Supreme Court in the making of public policy
  • Explain the structure of federal courts
  • Explain the selection of federal judges
  • Explain the formulating and implementing of public policy