Syllabus for POS-110

AMERICAN GOVERNMENT


COURSE DESCRIPTION

American Government provides you with a broad introduction to the American political system and political society, including the participation of the citizen. This course examines how the American political process operates. As you progress through the course, you will gain a greater understanding of American government and politics as well as how a citizen can contribute to the process in a positive manner.

COURSE TOPICS

COURSE OBJECTIVES

After completing this course, you should be able to:

CO1        Describe democracy and what it means in the United States today.

CO2        Briefly describe the United States Constitution, and explain why it can be characterized as a living document.

CO3        Explain citizens' rights and the concept of due process.

CO4        Summarize the movement toward equality under the law for minorities.

CO5        Identify the many ways citizens participate in government, especially through public opinion, interest groups, political parties, and the media.

CO6        Describe the roles of the three branches of American government: executive, legislative, and judicial.

CO7        Discuss the U.S. government in relation to domestic and world politics.

CO8        Identify ways in which thinking critically may allow citizens to help elected officials find solutions to current and potential problems in the democracy.

COURSE MATERIALS

You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College’s textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

 

ISBN-13: 978-0078024795

COURSE STRUCTURE

American Government is a three-credit, online course consisting of eight modules. Modules include textbook readings, discussion forums, written assignments, and quizzes. There are two proctored exams: a midterm and a final. Module titles are listed below.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, complete quizzes, and take a proctored midterm and proctored final examination. See below for details.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

You are required to complete eight graded discussion forums. Discussion forums are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules. Please note there is an ungraded, but required, Introductions Forum.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete eight written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules and consist of a series of 8 to 12 questions based on assigned textbook readings.

Creative thinking and your own wording are important aspects of an effective answer. Do not merely copy sentences or paragraphs from the readings. However, you should use ideas from the readings if they support your answer. When you do, be sure to acknowledge the source of the quotation or paraphrase.

Quizzes

You are required to take eight quizzes, one per module. These quizzes will assess your mastery of basic terminology and concepts. All quiz items are multiple choice. You may use any materials that you like in taking the quizzes, and there is no time limit for taking each quiz.

Most students find that quiz-taking is an excellent way to prepare for examinations. Therefore, you will be able to take each quiz an unlimited number of times, and the gradebook will record your most recent score. This arrangement will allow you to go back and reread portions of the text that you need to review and then take the quiz again for further practice.

Examinations

For a list of key concepts that may appear on your exam(s), refer to the study guide(s) available in the Examinations section of the course Web site.

You are required to take two proctored online examinations: a midterm exam and a final exam. Both exams require that you use the College's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the Examinations and Proctors section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course website) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester.

Online exams are administered through the course website. You may take each exam only once, and you must finish the exam once you have started it. Consult the Course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.

Midterm Examination

The midterm is a closed book, proctored online exam. It is 2 hours long and covers all reading and assignments from Modules 1 through 4 (Chapters 1 through 10 of the textbook). It consists of multiple-choice and essay questions.

A study guide that lists the concepts on the midterm exam can be found in the Examinations section of the course space.

Final Examination

The final is a closed book, proctored online exam. It is 2 hours long and covers all reading and assignments from Modules 5 through 8 (Chapters 11 through 17 of the textbook). It consists of multiple-choice and essay questions.  

A study guide that lists the concepts on the final exam can be found in the Examinations section of the course space.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during the exam. Cheating means:

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in your exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.

GRADING AND EVALUATION

Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:

A

=

93–100

C+

=

78–79

A–

=

90–92

C

=

73–77

B+

=

88–89

C–

=

70–72

B

=

83–87

D

=

60–69

B–

=

80–82

F

=

Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings).

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Thomas Edison State College is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The College expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the College community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at www.tesc.edu.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:

Plagiarism

Thomas Edison State College is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > Citing Sources.)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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