Jul 13, 2024  
2022-2023 Course Catalog 
2022-2023 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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POLS 1031 - American Government

Credits: 3
Hours/Week: Lecture None Lab None
Course Description: The course examines the political process in the United States of America. It pays special attention to patterns of citizen participation, political parties and interest groups, and the cultural and constitutional basis of the American political system. It also reviews the major governmental institutions involved in the making of public policy in the United States. These institutions include the presidency, congress, and the federal courts.
MnTC Goals
5 History/Social/Behavioral Science, 9 Ethical/Civic Responsibility

Prerequisite(s): None
Corequisite(s): None
Recommendation: None

Major Content

  1. The American System
    1. The Study of American Government
    2. The Constitution
    3. Federalism
    4. American Political Culture
  2. Opinions, Interests and Organizations
    1. Public Opinion
    2. Political Participation
    3. Political Parties
    4. Elections and Campaigns
    5. Interest Groups
  3. Institutions of Government
    1. Congress
    2. The Presidency
    3. The Judiciary

Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course students will be able to:

  1. Define key terms and concepts used throughout the textbook and the course.
  2. Describe the historical context within which the U.S. constitution was written.
  3. Identify some of the complexities of the federal government in the U.S.
  4. Define political culture (or the inherited set of beliefs, attitudes, and opinions people have about how their government ought to operate).
  5. Explain what political scientists mean by public opinion and identify its effects on government in the U.S.
  6. Describe the roles and organization of Congress.
  7. Explain the lack of voter turnout and identify forms of political participation in the U.S.
  8. Identify the major political parties in the U.S., with an emphasis on the evolution of the two party system.
  9. Outline the process of campaigning in various types of elections.
  10. Summarize the powers of the office of the President and structures that constitute the Presidency.
  11. Trace the origins of judicial review.

Competency 1 (1-6)
05. 01. Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.

05. 02. Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.

05. 04. Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.
Competency 2 (7-10)
09. 02. Understand and apply core concepts (e.g. politics, rights and obligations, justice, liberty) to specific issues.

09. 03. Analyze and reflect on the ethical dimensions of legal, social, and scientific issues.

09. 05. Identify ways to exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

Courses and Registration

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