Political Science 120

POSC 120
Introduction to American Government (AG)

1. Catalog Entry

POSC 120
Introduction to American Government (AG)

Credit hours (3)
Course also may be delivered online

This course will introduce students to the study of American government. Philosophical foundations, constitutional development, institutions, and contemporary issues will be examined. There will be an emphasis on the continuing influence of founding principles. This course has been approved for Core Curriculum credit in Goals 9 (Social and Behavioral Sciences) and 10 (US Perspectives).

2. Detailed Description of Course

The course will be organized around the following sub- areas:
    1) Founding principles.
    2) Constitutional development.
    3) Institutions.
    4) Political Process and Contemporary Issues.
    5) How political science approaches social and behavioral concepts

3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course will consist of a combination of lectures, written essays, oral presentations, and general discussion. The intention is to explore American government utilizing the founding principles as the organizing theme in each of the different sub-areas. It is the American philosophy of democracy that gives the course its form.

4. Goals and Objectives of the Course

The student will:
    1) Identify the founding principles of the American regime;
    2) Analyze the major constitutional disputes and controversies that have helped to shape the nature of the
    3) Discuss the relationships between the different institutions of American government;
    4) Apply the principles learned to contemporary issues in American politics.
    5) Identify the approach of political science to the study of social and behavioral concepts.

Learning Outcomes for Goal 9 (Social and Behavioral Sciences)
Students will:
    1) Recognize social and behavioral science concepts.
    2) Recognize the relationship between individual and socio-cultural factors that affect behaviors.

Learning Outcomes for Goal 10 (US Perspectives):
Students will:
    1) Identify diverse influences that have shaped the American experience; and  
    2) Apply course material to a relevant issue in the United States.

5. Assessment Measures

Achievement of the course objectives will be measured through graded and ungraded homework assignments, journals, reading logs, quizzes, tests, essays, debates, and individual and group projects and presentations.

6. Other Course Information


Review and Approval

January 2000
June 20, 2015