Course Description:

This course is a overview of the American Government. We go over the structures, processes and issues related to national, state, and local government in the United States. It provides a detailed examination of the three main branches of government (legislative, executive, and judicial) and explores the responsibilities and rights of citizenship.  The course promotes the understanding of government to obtain skills necessary for critical thinking and wise decision-making.

Course Code: SOC202

Credit hours: 3

Pre-Requisites: None

Learning Objectives:

  • Verbally identify and differentiate between the three different branches of the government.
  • Write down the origins, purposes, and types of governmental systems.
  • Gain an appreciation of the origins, foundations, and evolutionary nature of the American Government.
  • Write a short essay on the substantive changes made in the U.S. Constitution through the amending process, and describe the informal methods for changing the U.S. Constitution.
  • Compare and contrast in an essay, the positions of the two major parties today, describing the reasons for the two-party system in the United States, and describing the minor parties and their impact.
  • List the factors that affect elections, and describe current campaign finance regulations and their impact.
  • Write the processes by which foreign and defense policies are made.
  • Choose a public/social/environmental issue and simulate U.S. political culture and political ideology through a Power Point or video presentation where they will define public opinion, describe the methods for measuring public opinion, and describe the impact of public opinion on U.S. government and politics. This will help students develop critical thinking skills and the ability to incorporate wisdom into decision-making.

Course Outline:

  • Introducing Government in America
  • The Constitution
  • Federalism
  • Civil Liberties & Public Policy
  • Civil Rights and Public Policy
  • Public Opinion and Political Action
  • The Mass Media and the Political Agenda
  • Political Parties
  • Campaigns and Voting Behavior
  • Interest Groups
  • Congress
  • The Presidency
  • The Federal Bureaucracy
  • The Federal Courts
  • The Politics of Taxing and Spending
  • Social Welfare Policy making
  • National Security Policy making