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PO 200 American National Government
Brecke, Ronald


Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.

Course

PO 200 American National Government

Semester

FA 2006 HO

Faculty

Ronald Brecke

Title

Professor

Office Location

Mackay 20A

Office Hours

Tuesday, 10 -1; Thursday, 10-1, or by appointment

Daytime Phone

584-6346

E-Mail

rbrecke@park.edu

Web Page

http://captain.park.edu/polisci/

Class Days

--T-R--

Class Time

1:00 - 2:15 PM

Credit Hours

3


Textbook:

Greenberg, Edward S. and Benjamin I. Page, America's Democratic Republic (2005).

Diana Hacker, A Pocket Style Manual.

Textbooks can be purchased though the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.


Course Description:

A survey of the functions and processes of the three branches of American national government. The changing roles of the branches and their relationship to the public will be emphasized.

This is a course about the three constitutional branches of our government.  We will examine the roles of each of the branches separately and we will investigate how the process of government works as the three branches join as a system.

 

We will study the formal constitutional arrangements of our government as well as the informal relationships that have been created.  We will also look at the bureaucratization of the three branches and what affect that has had on the process of government.

 

The purpose of this course is to give you an understanding of the design of our national government, how it works and why it works the way it does.  We will refer to ideas discussed in the Constitutional Convention in the late 18th Century as well as contemporary issues such as the crisis in the Mideast and the 2004 presidential election.  In doing so, you will have the opportunity to become a well-informed participative citizen.

3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
The facilitator's educational philosophy is one of interactiveness based on lectures, readings, quizzes, dialogues, examinations, internet, videos, web sites and writings. The facilitator will engage each learner in what is referred to as disputatious learning to encourage the lively exploration of ideas, issues and contradictions.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain the historical and constitutional basis for the federal government's structure and its system of checks and balances
  2. Evaluate the role of public opinion, media and interest groups in the development of public policy and elections
  3. Analyze the conduct of elections and explain group and individual voting behavior.
  4. Analyze the creation of policy and administration of government programs


Core Assessment:

Core Assessment

All Park University courses must include a core assessment that measures Departmental Learning Outcomes.  The purpose of this assessment is to determine if expectations have been met concerning mastery of learning outcomes across all instructional modalities.  The core assessment for this course is a portfolio of written work and will account for at least 20% of the total grade for the course and cover all four of the Core Learning Outcomes.

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:
INFORMATION RETRIEVAL

These are brief, typewritten reports, due on the dates as indicated.  Be sure to give the source (s) used for each answer.


# 1    8/31       

According to the Declaration of Independence, from where do governments derive their just powers?

#2     9/7         

According to the Articles of Confederation, in determining questions of the United States, in Congress assembled, how many votes shall each state have?

#3    9/14        

Who is the present Secretary of State in Missouri?  What duties does the Secretary of State in Missouri perform?

#4    9/26        

What percent of the lowest one-fifth socio-economic status group voted in the presidential election of 2000?  What percent of the highest one-fifth?

#5   10/12       

According to Congressional Quarterly, what is a Presidential Support Score?  Which Senator's was the highest for 2004?

#6    10/24

Why did the election of 1800 result in the proposal of the present 12th Amendment?

#7    11/7        

What is the federal government's Office of Personnel Management?

#8    11/14      

Who is the present Solicitor General of the U.S. and what are the roles of that office?

#9    11/28      

What is the current U.S. deficit/surplus?

#10  12/5        

What is the federal government's definition used in determining the unemployment rate for the U.S.?  What is the Bureau of Labor Statistics' current figure for unemployment for the U.S.?

 

Research Assignment

TERMPAPER

 

Who and What Does Your Representative Represent?

 

One of the most puzzling questions facing citizens in a republic is:  Am I being represented?  This paper provides you with an opportunity to discover what your representative in the United States House of Representatives is doing.  The research and paper will also provide you with a system for examining this question for the rest of your life.

 

You begin the paper by deciding which of the 435 congressional districts you want to be your “home” district.  The district that you choose must be one that is represented by someone who has held that seat for at least six years (three terms).  This will provide you with an adequate amount of information to go on.

 

Having determined which district you will study, you then begin to research the following questions about your district.

 

1. How did the people in the district vote in recent elections?

2. What was the turnout in the district?

3. What is the party predisposition of the district?

4. What is the history of that particular congressional

seat, in terms of which party wins it?

5. What are the major economic forces in the district?

6. Who gave the member money to run for office?

7. Who gave money to his/her opponent?

 

You should then be able to present the following data/information:

 

1. A map of the member's state with her/his district highlighted.

2. Voter turnout rates for the district in the primary and general

elections in the last three elections.

3. The amount of money spent in the last three elections by both

the member and his/her opponents.

4. The percentage of the vote the member received in the past

three primary and general elections.

5. Two or three paragraphs briefly describing the district, e.g.,

demographics, economics, voting patterns, distinctive

regions and/or cities.

 

Having examined and discussed the district, you then move on to do research on your representative.  The information and data you will present with regard to the person representing your district are:

 

1. Congressional committees and subcommittees on which the member

has served and is now serving.

2. Congressional party leadership positions the member holds.

3. Informal congressional groups to which the member belongs, noting any leadership positions held.

4. The title and brief description of five bills for which the member was the principle sponsor in the previous session and the committee to     which each bill was referred.  Also the total number of bills the   member sponsored and cosponsored.

5. The member's ratings by the following groups:  CCUS, COPE, ACLU, CFA, LCV, NTLC, NSI, and the ADA.  These can be found in Congressional Quarterly.  Be sure to explain each of these ratings       and give your overall impression of the ideology of the          member based upon these ratings.

 

From these two groups of data/information you will then present your opinion as to how well the district is currently being represented.  This section is the analysis section and it is very important for you to be detailed and give adequate evidence of the conclusions you draw.  In other words, tell what you think and why you think it in such a way that the reader will be able to understand what and why.

 

 

 

 

To make sure that you are making adequate progress, the following “reports” will be due on the dates indicated:

 

                        The district you have chosen – September 5

                        Detailed Outline – October 31              (20% of paper grade)

                        Paper – November 21                                      (50% or 80% of paper grade)

                        Corrected Copy – Dec. 5  (if necessary)           (possible 30%of paper grade)

 

Each of these reports must by typed, double-spaced.  Each report but the District Choice will be graded.  The Outline will be graded for completeness.  The Paper will be graded for completeness as well as grammar, punctuation, spelling and references.  If you find the grade given on the Paper to be acceptable, you do not have to do the Corrected Copy.  Late reports will reduce your final grade for the paper at the rate of one letter grade per day.

 

See the handout “Research and Termpaper Guide” and the book A Pocket Style Manual for hints on doing research and writing the paper.

 

 

Sources you may want to use:

 

Barone, The Almanac of American Politics (on reserve)

Congressional Quarterly, Congressional Quarterly Almanac (reference section) Congressional Quarterly, Who's Who in Congress  (on reserve)

Congressional Quarterly, Congressional Districts in the 1990s (on reserve)

U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States

The individual representative's office.

Various reputable internet sources (see Political Science Web Page) Note: “blogs” are NOT acceptable as sources. 

You should not limit yourself to these sources, however.

Grading:

Course grades will be determined on the following bases:

                        90-100=A                                            First Examination          10%

                        80-89 =B                                             Second Examination     20%

                        70-79 =C                                             Final Examination          20%

                        60-69 =D                                             Info Retrieval                10%

                          0-59 =F                                             Participation and

                Current Events          20%

                                                                                    Research Paper            20%

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Late assignments will have their grade lowered one letter for each day or part of a day they are late.  Anything handed in after class on December 7, 2006, except the final exam, will be counted as a zero.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND POLICIES

 

1.  Attend classes regularly.  Each absence will lower your cumulative grade for the course by 2 %.  There are no excused absences except in extreme cases of illness attested to by a Doctor, or a family death.  You may regain one point for your cumulative grade by handing in a typed summary of the reading for each day you miss.  These summaries are due one week after the class is missed.  They will not be accepted for credit after that time. If you will be missing a lot of classes due to health, consider dropping the course or taking an incomplete for the course.

2.  Students are responsible for all material covered in class while they are absent.

3.  Be prepared for class.  This means that you have read the assignment and are prepared to discuss it in class.  This course is a combination of lecture and discussion and you are expected to take part in the discussions.  Up to as much as 20% of your final grade will be determined by your in-class participation.

4.  There will be three examinations including the final.  Examinations will be a combination of short answer and long essay.  A few days before each of the examinations you will be given a list of terms and concepts for review. No late or early examinations will be given except in extreme cases such as illness attested to by a Doctor, or family deaths. Missing an exam, except in those extreme cases, will result in an “F” for the course.

5.  A research assignment is required for this course.  Details will be given on a separate handout.

6.  There will be 10 information retrieval assignments as noted on the calendar (see the list below).

7.  You are required to keep abreast of current affairs.  It is suggested that you take out a subscription to a daily newspaper and read it. There may be several current events quizzes.

8.  Seniors in their last semester need not take the final exam if they have an “A” going into the final exam.

9.  Late assignments will have their grade lowered one letter for each day or part of a day they are late.  Anything handed in after class on December 7, 2006, except the final exam, will be counted as a zero.

10.  Cheating or plagiarism will result in an “F” for the course and a recommendation to the Dean that you be dismissed from Park College.

11.  No portable telephones or pagers are allowed in class except for security or emergency medical personnel.

12. If you have any questions or problems come and see me or email me. Emails will be answered during office hours only.

13.  Any student with special needs or who has a disability in the classroom environment, please see me immediately after the first class.

14.  No assignments will be accepted via email.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
CALENDAR

August

22

Intro to course, syllabus

24

Intro continued

Text: Preface and Ch. 1

29

Foundations of American Government The Constitution

Text: pp. A4 – A19 in the back of the book.

31

Continued

Text: Ch. 2

Info retrieval #1

September

5

Principles: Separation of Powers

Text: Federalist Paper #51, pp. A24 – A26 in the back of the book.

District choice due

7

Principles: Federalism

Text: Ch. 3

Info retrieval #2 12

Federalism continued

14

Review

Info retrieval #3 19

First exam: Bring two unmarked blue books.

21

Public Opinion

Text: Ch. 6

26

Media

Text: Ch. 7

Info retrieval #4

28

Interest Groups

Text: Ch. 8

October

3

Political Parties

Text: Ch. 9

5

Participation, Elections and Voting

Text: Ch. 10 to p. 292

10

Continued

Text: finish Ch. 10

12

Review

Info retrieval #5

17

No class

19

No class

24

Second Exam. Bring two unmarked blue books.

Info retrieval #6

26

Congress

Text: Ch. 11 to p. 350

31

Continued

Finish Ch. 11

DETAILED OUTLINE DUE

November

2

Continued

7

Presidency

Text: Ch. 12 to p. 378

Info retrieval #7

9

Continued

Text: finish Ch. 12

14

Bureaucracy

Text: Ch. 13 to p. 402

Info retrieval #8

16

Continued

Finish Ch. 13

21

The Judiciary

Text: Ch. 14 to p. 431

PAPER DUE IN CLASS

23

No Class

28

Continued

Text: Finish Ch. 14 Info retrieval #9

30

Domestic Policy

Text: Ch. 15

December

5

Foreign Policy

Text: Ch. 16

Info retrieval #10

CORRECTED COPY (IF NECESSARY)

7

Review

Tuesday, December 12, FINAL EXAM, 1:00 – 3:00. BRING TWO UNMARKED BLUE BOOKS

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-89

Plagiarism:
Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "WH".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .



Rubric

CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
Synthesis                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Outcomes
1                                                                           
Artifact demonstrates ability to explain American National Government (ANG) structure and operation based on English political history, colonial experience, and Constitutional Convention events Artifact demonstrates ability to explain ANG structure and operation based on colonial experience and  Constitutional Convention events

 
Artifact demonstrates ability to explain ANG structure and operation based on colonial experience and  Constitutional Convention events

 
Artifact fails to explain any foundational aspects for creation of the ANG 
Analysis                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Outcomes
3, 4                                                                        
Artifact demonstrates student's ability to identify and explain voting behavior by all demographic groups and how these decisions impact on the creation of policy and administration of government programs.
Artifact demonstrates student's ability to identify and explain voting behavior by all demographic groups and how these decisions impact on the creation of policy and administration of government programs. 
Student demonstrates ability to identify and explain voting behavior by all demographic groups

 
Student demonstrates ability to identify and explain voting behavior by some demographic categories

 
Student does not identify and explain voting behavior by demographic categories. 
Evaluation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Outcomes
2                                                                           
Student demonstrates ability to explain the influence of third party groups and the media on elections and public policy citing specific current events

 
Student explains influences of third party groups and the media on elections and public policy by referencing textbook examples

 
Student explains the influences of some third party groups and/or media on elections and public policy

 
Student does not explain any influences

 
Terminology                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Outcomes
1, 2, 3, 4                                                                  
Artifact demonstrates proper use of terminology with no errors Artifact demonstrates proper use of terminology with no more than one error Artifact demonstrates proper use of terminology with two errors

 
Artifact shows three or more errors 
Concepts                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Outcomes
1, 2, 3, 4                                                                  
Artifact demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of the concepts in all the relevant learning objectives

 
Artifact demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of the concepts in 3 of the relevant learning Objectives

 
Artifact demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of the concepts in 1 or 2 of the relevant learning objectives Artifact does not demonstrate an understanding of concepts in any of the relevant learning objectives

 
Application                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Outcomes
1, 2, 3, 4                                                                  
Artifact demonstrates ability to relate current events to all learning objectives Artifact demonstrates ability to relate current events to 3 learning objectives Artifact demonstrates ability to relate current events to 1 or 2 learning objectives


 
Artifact does not demonstrate any ability to relate current events to any learning objectives 
Whole Artifact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Outcomes
1, 2, 3, 4                                                                  
Artifact demonstrates as a whole the ability to analyze ANG and apply all learning outcomes in an integrated and appropriate way

 
Artifact demonstrates as a whole the ability to analyze ANG and apply 3 learning outcomes in an integrated and appropriate way

 
Artifact demonstrates as a whole the ability to analyze ANG and apply 1-2 learning outcomes in an integrated and appropriate way

 
Artifact does not demonstrate the ability to analyze and apply any of the learning outcomes 
Component                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Outcomes
                                                                           
Component demonstrates no errors in analyzing the creation of policy and administration of government programs

 
Component has one or two factual errors Component has three or four factual errors

 
Component does not exhibit the ability to analyze the creation of policy and administration of government programs.

 

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Last Updated:7/26/2006 11:54:39 AM