PLSC2305 American National Politics

Course Description

An examination of American national political institutions and processes. Satisfies state requirement in U.S. government.

This course consist of four parts: Political Development of the United States, Political Institutions of the United States,  Political Behavior of the United States, and Public Policy in the United States.

Regarding political development, we will discuss the nation's founding, its constitution, federalism, civil liberties, and civil rights. In the second part of the course, we will discuss political institutions including the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the federal government. In the third part, we will discuss political behavior in the United States including, but not limited to, political parties, public opinion, as well as political campaigns and elections. In the fourth section, we'll learn about American public policy including fiscal, monetary, and social welfare policy as well as the role interest groups play in policy formulation.

Course Credits: 3

Prerequisites: None

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Critical Thinking Skills: Includes creative thinking, innovation, inquiry, and analysis. Students will be able to analyze opposing views on a public policy issue.
  • Communication Skills: Includes effective development, interpretation, and expression of ideas through written, oral, and visual communication. Students will be able to compose a clear and grammatically correct letter to their House of Representatives member dealing with a local community issue and explain why the student is taking a certain position.
  • Personal Responsibility: Includes the ability to connect choices, actions, and consequences to ethical decision-making. Students will be able to analyze different positions on a public issue and take a position on that issue, considering the ethical implications of their position.
  • Social Responsibility: Includes inter-cultural competence, knowledge of civic responsibility,and the ability to engage effectively in regional, national, and global communities. Students will be able to write a letter to their House of Representatives member and articulate their positions on a particular issue to the larger community.