Feb 01, 2023  
2022-2023 Course Catalog 
2022-2023 Course Catalog
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POL 111 - American National Government

Credits: 3
Lecture Hours: 3
Lab Hours: 0
Practicum Hours: 0
Work Experience: 0
Course Type: Core
A study of the American political system and how and why the citizenry relate to the government as they do. Emphasis is placed upon the organization and functioning of the presidential, legislative and judicial subsystems.
  1. Discuss the constitutional basis of American National Government
    1. Review the relevant historical background of the U.S. Constitution
    2. Examine the significance of the constitutional convention
    3. Explain the outcome of the constitutional convention, the structure of the Constitution and the role of the amendments. 
    4. Connect the origins of the Constitution to the US government’s current structure. 
  2. Analyze the nature and significance of Federalism as a governmental form
    1. Characterize the different models for relationships between central and local governments
    2. Identify the distribution of power between national and state governments in the U.S. federal system
  3. Evaluate the foundation, development, and significance of liberty and equality in the United States
    1. Describe the content, history, and significance of the Bill of Rights
    2. Appraise the Bill of Rights and the amendments to the Constitution. 
    3. Distinguish the importance of the 14th Amendment, laws, and cases related to civil rights and liberties. 
  4. Appraise the role of political parties and public opinion in the U.S. political system.
    1. Illustrate political parties in terms of structure, function, and membership
    2. Assess the historical development of the two-party system
    3. Examine the role of public opinion in a democratic society
    4. Classify the role of the media
    5. Examine political socialization
  5. Distinguish the basics of the electoral process.
    1. Enumerate ways in which candidates are nominated for office
    2. Identify the laws governing campaign funding
    3. Record the factors that influence voter turnout
    4. Outline the role of interest groups, lobbying, and PACs in elections
  6. Analyze the structure and function of Congress in the U.S. system
    1. Differentiate the constitutional requirements and actual powers of Congress
    2. Contrast the functions of Congress including representation, oversight, and legislation
    3. Outline how Congress is organized and procedural differences between House and Senate
    4. Illustrate how a bill becomes a law
    5. Examine the federal budget and revenues in governance including the role of Continuing Resolutions. 
  7. Analyze the use of the office of the President
    1. Summarize the development of the office of the presidency in terms of the struggle with Congress for ascendancy
    2. Examine the constitutional requirements and actual powers and restraints of the President including the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 and executive orders
    3. Match the role of various agencies under the President including the Cabinet, the Vice-President, and the bureaucracy. 
  8. Assess the structure and functions of the Judicial branch
    1. Examine the structure of the Federal Court system and its relation to the states’ system.
    2. Examine how judges are selected and removed in the federal court system
    3. Examine the decision-making process in the Supreme Court and the implementation of their rulings/opinions
    4. Explain the origins and controversy surrounding the power of judicial review.
  9. Evaluate the historical development, process and structure related to foreign and defense policy
    1. Chart the historical development of American foreign policy
    2. Interpret the role of the President and his advisors in foreign and defense policy
    3. Determine the role of Congress in foreign and defense policy
    4. Compare the major defense strategies of the United States
  10. Demonstrate effective communication and critical thinking skills through writing
    1. Define and interpret primary sources
    2. Create a formal research paper with a coherent argument

Competencies Revised Date: 2020

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