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Northeast Lakeview College · - · GOVT-Political Science/Govt

Federal Government

  • Full Term Fall 2019
  • Section 254.39941
  • 3-3-0 Credits
  • 08/26/2019 to 12/14/2019
  • Modified 09/15/2019

Meeting Times

2nd Period - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 9:35-10:30

3rd Period - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 10:35-11:25


  • 2nd Period
  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 9:35 AM to 10:30 AM, Samuel Clemens High School H205


  • 3rd Period
  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 10:35 AM to 11:25 AM, Samuel Clemens High School H205

Contact Information

Instructor: Shawn Johsnon

Alternate email: [email protected]

Office Hours

  • Conference
  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 3:10 AM to 4:00 AM, Samuel Clemens High School H-205


We The People

  • Author: Ginsberg, Lowi, Weir & Tolbert
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • Edition: 12th
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-67958-8
  • Availability: School Bookroom

In Class Copy available for use at school.

American Government

American Government 2e is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of the single-semester American Government course. This title includes innovative features designed to enhance student learning, including Insider Perspective features and a Get Connected module that shows students how they can get engaged in the political process. The book provides an important opportunity for students to learn the core concepts of American Government and understand how those concepts apply to their lives and the world around them.

  • Optional
  • Availability:
  • Price: Free

Online version for students


Origin and development of the U.S. Constitution, structure and powers of the national government including the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, federalism, political participation, the national election process, public policy, civil liberties and civil rights. This course fulfills the Government/Political Science foundational component area of the core and addresses the following required objectives: Critical Thinking, Communication, Social Responsibility, and Personal Responsibility.


INRW 0420


Critical Thinking:

  • Students will demonstrate creative thinking, innovation, inquiry, and analysis, evaluation and synthesis of information.


  • Students will effectively develop, interpret and express ideas through written, oral and visual communication.

Social Responsibility:

  • Students will demonstrate intercultural competence, knowledge of civic responsibility and the ability to engage effectively in regional, national, and global communities.

Personal Responsibility:

  • Students will relate choices, actions and consequences to ethical decision-making.


1 Explain the origin and development of constitutional democracy in the United States.

2 Demonstrate knowledge of the federal system.

3 Describe separation of powers and checks and balances in both theory and practice.

4 Demonstrate knowledge of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the federal government.

5 Evaluate the role of public opinion, interest groups, and political parties in the political system.

6 Analyze the election process.

7 Describe the rights and responsibilities of citizens.

8 Analyze issues and policies in U.S. politics.

9 Express oneself with precision and clarity, whether orally or in writing.


Your grade will be determined by your overall average, with each assignment graded on a variable 0-100 point scale. In addition to reading the assigned material and attending lectures, you are required to complete two reaction papers, two research projects, five exams (four unit exams and the he midterm), complete quizzes, other assigned class discussion questions, and regularly participate in class discussion. The point distribution is as follows:


The course is broken into two quarters for the semester and the breakdown is as follows:

1st Quarter (40% of Semester Grade)

  • Summative: 60%
  • Formative:   40%

2nd Quarter (40% of Semester Grade)

  • Summative: 60%
  • Formative:   40%

Semester Final (20% of Semester Grade)

Types of evaluations and related weights
Type Weight Topic Notes
Summative 60% Per Quarter

Multiple Choice Questions Exam (MCQ), Reaction Paper, & Research Project

Formative 40% Per Quater

Class Discussion Assignments, Quizzes, Source Analysis

Final Exam 20% of Overall Semester Average Semester Final Exam

Due to the nature and location of the Dual Credit Course the Final Exam will be conducted over a two day testing period. The exam format will be a Multiple Choice Questions Exam (MCQ). The dates for the final exam for the fall semester are Thursday, December 12 and Friday, December 13. These exams will be administered on the stated dates during the time where the student is the assigned high school period.


Class Period Time  Dates
2nd 9:35 - 10:25 December 12 & 13
3rd 10:35 - 11: 25 December 12 & 13


Each quarter is 40% of the overall grade.

 1st Quarter    40% of Overall Average
  Summative 60%
  Formative 40%
2nd Quarter    40% of Overall Average
  Summative  60%
  Formative 40%
Final Exam    20% of Overall Average


Course Policies

Policies concerning attendance, participation, tardiness, academic integrity, missing homework, missed exams, recording classroom activities, food in class, laptop use, etc

Attendance and Participation Policy

Class Presence and Participation.  Class presence and participation points are given to encourage your active class participation and discussion. You will be rewarded grade bonus when you frequently come to class and actively contribute to the class discussion during recitations and lectures.

Presence:  Although it is not required, most students send their professor a brief e-mail to explain their absence in advance.  Students who repeatedly arrive late to the lecture or recitation will have their Class Participation grade lowered.  Please sign the attendance sheet when you come to the class.  Any false signatures will result in zero participation grades for all parties involved.

Participation:  We will devote one entire session to the case discussion.  The instructor’s role during a case discussion is that of a moderator.  When the cases are discussed, we are less concerned with “right” or “wrong” answers than we are with thoughtful contributions which follow the discussion and either add to the debate or move it in a new direction.  If you find it uncomfortable to speak up in class, we encourage you to visit your professor in office hours and work on this skill.

Participation in Class Discussion

Class participation is a very important part of the learning process in this course.  Although not explicitly graded, you will be evaluated on the QUALITY of your contributions and insights.  Quality comments possess one or more of the following properties:

  • Offers a different and unique, but relevant, perspective;
  • Contributes to moving the discussion and analysis forward;
  • Builds on other comments;
  • Transcends the “I feel” syndrome. That is, it includes some evidence, argumentation, or recognition of inherent tradeoffs.  In other words, the comment demonstrates some reflective thinking.

I will use our assessment of your participation to manage borderline grades.  While your participation grade is subjective, it will not be random or arbitrary.  And, clearly, more frequent quality comments are better than less frequent quality comments.


Unit 1: The Development of the American State and the Constitution

Examine the development of political thought and understand basic terms and definitions associated with modern political culture (Aug 20-23)

Analyze the major philosophical influences upon the founders (Aug 20-23)

Analyze concepts of U.S democracy (Aug 20-23)

Evaluate the arguments of the Constitutional Convention (Aug 26-30)

Examine the structure and development of the U.S. Constitution (Aug 26-30)

Investigate the basic principles of the U.S. Constitution (Sep 3-6)

Describe the process for amending the U.S. Constitution (Sep 3-6)

Analyze the system of checks and balances established by the U.S. Constitution (Sep 3-6)

Inspect the concepts of federalism established by the U.S. Constitution (Sep 3-6)

Understand the federalism transition to contemporary society (Sep 9-10)

Unit 1 Exam - Introduction to American Political Foundations


Unit 2: Citizenship and its relationship to the U.S. Constitution

Summarize the amendments to the Constitution (Sep 12-13)

Understand the development individual rights (Sep 12-13)

Evaluate the concepts of a free society (Sep 17-20)

Examine legal encounters with the U. S. (Sep 17-20)

Understand Equality and its relationship to the U. S. Government (Sep 17-20)

Determine the origins of Americans’ opinions (Sep 23-27)

Examine the impact of public opinion and its influence (Sep 23-27)

Analyze the physical process of voting (Sep 23-27)

Determine the various levels of voter participation (Sep 23-27)

Analyze various forms of social and political behavior (Sep 30-Oct 1)

Unit 2 Exam - Citizen Rights & Social/Political Interactions


Unit 3: Branches of the US Government

Define and describe the U.S. legislative branch of government (Oct 2-4)

Examine the process for making laws (Oct 7-11)

Define and describe the U.S. executive branch of government (Oct 7-11)

Describe the federal bureaucracy’s role in governance (Oct 11-15)

Define and describe the U.S. judicial branch of government (Oct 17-22)

Unit 3 Exam - Branches of the Federal Government

Government Research and Common Assessment (Oct 24-31)


Unit 4: Political Influence and Economic Interactions

Understand the development of the U. S. political party system (Nov 1-5)

Analyze political parties influence upon the election process (Nov 1-5)

Political Party System Small Group Project (Nov 6-8)

Determine the various forms of political influence (Nov 12-15)

Determine media’s role in the political process (Nov 12-15)

Examine federal economic policy making (Nov 18-22)

Determine the effectiveness of federal social policies (Nov 18-22)

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Comparative Analysis Project (Dec 2-4)

Understand foreign policy (Dec 5-9)

Unit 4 Exam - Political Influence and Economic Interactions


Course Final Exam (Dec 12-13)

Additional Items

Social Sciences Department Information: 

Dr. Jeff Hassmann, Chairperson

Phone: 210-486-5203

Email: [email protected] 

Office: Academic Bldg. ACA1-201C


Veronica (Ronnie) S. Russell, Academic Unit Assistant

Phone: 210-486-5241

Email: [email protected] 

Office: Academic Bldg, ACA1-201G


Institutional Policies


A. Attendance:

SmartStart. Student absences will be recorded from the first day the class meets, and students who do not attend the first scheduled class meeting or contact the instructor will be dropped. Students should verify the drop is completed.

For fully online courses, an attendance verification activity is assigned and must be completed by the 3rd class day.

Regular and punctual attendance in all classes and laboratories, day and evening, is required. Students who are absent for any reason should always consult with their instructors. Course syllabi must provide specific information regarding attendance, including, for courses involving the internet, online activity that constitutes “attendance.” Also, both tardiness and early departure from class may be considered forms of absenteeism. In all cases, students will be held responsible for completion of course requirements covered in their absence.

 Additionally, it is the student’s responsibility to drop a course for nonattendance. Course instructors may drop a student for excessive absences or for online classes non-participation as defined by assigned work not being turned in during the course of a week. Absences are considered excessive when more than 12.5 percent of the total contact hours of instruction in a semester, including lecture and lab, are missed. For example, in a three-credit-hour lecture class, students may be dropped after more than six contact hours of absences. In a four-credit-hour lecture/lab class, students may be dropped after more than eight contact hours of absences. Absences are counted regardless of whether they occur consecutively.

In special programs with additional accreditation or certification standards, additional attendance requirements may be enforced but faculty must clearly explain these policies in their syllabi. Students who stop attending class for any reason should contact the instructor as soon as possible. To officially withdraw from the class, a withdrawal request must be submitted in ACES via the “student course withdrawal” link. Contact your instructor, advisor, or the Admissions and Records office if guidance is needed.

Failure to officially withdraw may result in a failing grade for the course. It is the student’s responsibility to withdraw officially from a class by submitting a “student course withdrawal” request in ACES.

B. Early Alert and Intervention

Your instructor cares about your success in this course. During the semester, you may receive notice through your ACES email account regarding your progress and ultimate success in this course. Upon receipt of the email, please contact your instructor to discuss specific tasks or actions to improve success in this course. Discussions with your instructors and Certified Advisor allow you to identify and implement actions that will help to successfully complete course requirements at the Alamo Colleges District.

3-Peat Rule

Texas legislation has a financial impact on the students who repeat courses excessively. Texas residents attempting the same course for a third time, from Fall 2002 forward, will be charged an additional $125 per credit hour for that course. This provision is described in the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Rules (Chapter 13, Subchapter B, §13.25). 

150 Hour Rule

Texas Education Code §54.014 specifies that undergraduate students may be subject to a higher tuition rate for attempting excessive hours at any public institution of higher education while classified as a resident student for tuition purposes.

Students will be charged at the non-resident rate if, prior to the start of the current semester or session, the student has attempted 30 or more hours over the minimum number of semester credit hours required for completion of the degree program (typically 120 hours) in which the student is enrolled.

C. Student Responsibility for Success (Alamo Colleges District Policy F.6.2):

As members of the Alamo Colleges District learning community, students, faculty, staff and administrators all share the responsibility to create an atmosphere where knowledge, integrity, truth, and academic honesty are valued and expected. A clear acknowledgment of the mutual obligations of all members of the academic community emphasizes this implicit partnership in fostering the conditions necessary for student success.

In this relationship, the Alamo Colleges District provides institutional policies, procedures, and opportunities to facilitate student learning that encourage interaction, involvement and responsible participation. Inherent in the academic climate is the expectation that students will assume responsibility for contributing to their own development and learning. Academic success is directly tied to the effort students put into their studies, the degree to which they interact with faculty and peers, and the extent to which students integrate into the campus life.

1. Engagement

  1. Create connections and build relationships with faculty, staff and students (visit during office hours, join clubs and organizations, participate in student activities, etc.);
  2. Stay informed of policies, procedures, deadlines and events for academic and co-curricular activities;
  3. Complete all requirements for admission, registration, and payment by deadlines;
  4. Apply for financial assistance, if needed, complying with all federal, state and local regulations and procedures;
  5. Meet all federal, state and local health care regulations.

2. Communication

  1. Seek guidance from faculty, advisors or counselors for questions and concerns in regards to degree plans, major selection, academic status, grades, and issues impacting college success;
  2. Develop a peer support system to identify student contacts for questions, group assignments, etc. regarding academic and co-curricular activities;
  3. Communicate with College personnel promptly regarding academic or co-curricular concerns and assistance requests;
  4. Carefully consider the information provided by College personnel and make decisions using that information;
  5. Check the Alamo Colleges District’s Web Services regularly for emails, holds, student records, financial aid status and announcements;
  6. Submit disability documentation if seeking services and request academic accommodations in advance of each semester.

3. Academic Success

  1. Complete courses with passing grades and maintain good academic standing (2.0 GPA) status;
  2. Read and follow all syllabi;
  3. Purchase textbooks and required supplies in a timely manner;
  4. Attend classes regularly and on time, with as few absences, late arrivals, and early exits as possible;
  5. Arrive to class with all needed materials and completed assignments for that class period;
  6. Be attentive in class and actively participate as appropriate;
  7. Devote sufficient time for studying;
  8. Ensure integrity in all aspects of academic and career development;
  9. Accurately represent one’s own work and that of others used in creating academic assignments. Use information ethically and exercise appropriate caution to avoid plagiarism on all assignments;
  10. Notify faculty in advance or as soon as possible about absences and provide documentation as appropriate;
  11. Consult faculty members in advance when unable to complete projects, assignments, or take examinations as scheduled.

4. Self-Responsibility and Responsibility to Others

  1. Maintain accurate and complete degree/certificate major selection and contact information including name, address, phone number and emergency contact;
  2. Balance personal obligations and educational pursuits. Work with a counselor / advisor to design a realistic schedule that dedicates adequate effort to be successful in college studies;
  3. Know and follow the regulations and guidelines outlined in the Student Code of Conduct and Student Handbook;
  4. Maintain respectful and appropriate behavior within and outside the classroom;
  5. Ask for help when needed. Use all available resources and facilities provided by the College to enhance the learning experience;
  6. Attend scheduled advising sessions, tutorials, and other appointments. Cancel or reschedule only with good reasons as early as possible;
  7. Arrive prepared for tutorial sessions, bringing all needed materials (books, syllabi, rough drafts, calculators, assignment sheets, etc.).

D.  Textbook Availability

A student of this institution is not under any obligation to purchase a textbook from a university-affiliated bookstore. The same textbook may also be available from an independent retailer, including an online retailer.

E. Licensed Concealed Campus Carry

No open carry of firearms is allowed on all property owned, controlled, or leased by the College District, including vehicles operated by the Alamo Colleges District. Concealed carry of a handgun by persons licensed to carry may not be restricted except in locations signed as prohibited areas.

  • Special testing locations requiring a complete surrender of personal effects during testing will be signed as prohibited areas. 
  • Persons may be required to place their purse, backpack or briefcase away from their person, but within their view during tests at the direction of their instructor or test administrator.
  • License holders carrying on campus intending to access prohibited areas must leave their weapons locked in their vehicles.  College lockers are not authorized for storage of handguns by license holders.

Disciplinary Sanctions

Open carry, intentional display, unlicensed carry, and carry in spite of signed prohibition are subject to employee and student discipline, as well as possible prosecution. Unintentional display of a weapon by a license holder must be avoided.  Police will exercise their enforcement discretion. 

If you see a person openly carrying or deliberately displaying a firearm:

  • Call the Alamo Colleges District Police 210-485-0911
  • Do not confront the person or ask if the person has a permit

F. Title IX policy

Information and policy regarding Title IX, Civil Rights Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation can be found in Board Policy H.1.2.



While other exams are given at the discretion of the instructor, a final assessment is given at the end of each semester for each course. The Final Exam Schedule changes with each term and differs from normal class meeting dates and times. See the Final Exam Schedule in the Catalog/Schedule of Classes in the left hand navigation bar.

A student who must be absent from a final evaluation should petition that instructor for permission to postpone the evaluation. A student absent without permission from a final evaluation is graded "0" on the exam.

Incomplete Grades.  The conditional grade of “I” may be issued to a student having a passing average on all completed coursework but for a justified reason, such as illness or death in the family or by providential hindrance, has been prevented from taking the final examination or completing other required coursework. The “I” becomes an “F” in one hundred twenty (120) calendar days from the end of the term unless the student completes the balance of the coursework with a performance grade of “D” or higher. Re-enrollment in the course will not resolve the “I.”  The student and faculty must fill out an Incomplete Contract, clearly defining the work remaining to be finished.

College Priorities

Northeast Lakeview College’s major goals for 2018-2019 advance progress on the Strategic Plan’s three areas: Student Success, Principle-Centered Leadership, and Performance Excellence that are directly aligned to the Board’s Charge and 6 Strategic Priorities of AlamoINSTITUTES, AlamoADVISE, AlamoENROLL, Dual Credit (including ECHS and Academies), Student Completion, and Quality.

The faculty have identified appropriate co- and extra-curricular activities that will benefit students and develop the marketable skills that our transfer and business partners have designated as desirable for specific content areas.

College Policies


A. Tobacco is prohibited on all Alamo Colleges District property.

B. Alamo Colleges District Department of Public Safety (Police) Phone Numbers:

Emergency Phone (210) 485-0911

General Phone (210) 485-0099

Weather Phone (210) 485-0189 (For information on college closures)

C. Academic Integrity Policy: College personnel with administrative authority may initiate disciplinary proceedings against a student accused of scholastic dishonesty. "Scholastic dishonesty" includes, but is not limited to, cheating on a test, plagiarism, and collusion. See Student Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook for more details.

D. Academic Support Center (tutoring and academic testing).  The Academic Support Center (ASC) is located on the 2nd floor of the library.  ASC tutoring staff can be reached at 210.486.5365. Staff in the  Course Exam Center (which assists currently enrolled students with taking missed quizzes and tests, students enrolled in distance learning courses, and testing accommodation) can be reached at 210.486.5378.  Staff in the ASC assist students in understanding concepts in multiple disciplines including math, writing, sciences, accounting, etc.  Online tutoring is available to students as well.  We encourage students not to wait to seek tutoring assistance until it’s too late.  Reactive tutoring is not effective. Please see Academic Support Center’s webpage for more information about all services including the center’s hours of operation.

E. Children in the Classroom: Students should not bring children to a classroom or lab. Faculty members have the right to prohibit children from entering the classroom for safety reasons. Minors under the age of 12 must not be left unattended on campus, including the library. DPS will be notified that unattended children are in the library.

F. Electronic Devices in the Classroom: Students are required to silence and store out of sight all electronic communication devices where such devices would interfere with instruction and learning.

G. Disability Access Statement: It is the student’s responsibility to self-identify with the Disability Support Services (DSS) office to receive an evaluation of accommodations and services in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Only those students with appropriate documentation will receive a letter of accommodation from the DSS office. The student will be responsible for presenting his/her letter of accommodation to the instructor in a timely manner. Instructors are required to follow only those accommodations authorized in the letter of accommodation. For further information, please contact the DSS office at (210) 486-5487 or email [email protected]. The office is located in the Student Commons Building, Room 222H.  Students enrolled in online and hybrid courses may be required to use and install certain software / hardware to ensure academic standards in these courses.  For specific information, see course syllabus.

H. Mental Health Services: Free, confidential mental health counseling is available on campus from Faye Acocks Hallford in Student Commons Room 222D. Ms. Hallford can be reached by phone at 210 486-5496 or by email at [email protected].

I. NLC Library: Complete information regarding information literacy instruction and reference, library resources and services can be found at The main number to the NLC Library is 210.486.5387.

J. Policy information regarding Non-Academic Misconduct can be found in Board Policy F.4.2.

K. 3-Peat Rule: Texas legislation has a financial impact on the students who repeat courses excessively. Texas residents attempting the same course for a third time, from Fall 2002 forward, will be charged an additional $125 per credit hour for that course. This provision is described in the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Rules (Chapter 13, Subchapter B, §13.25).

L. 150 Hour Rule: Texas Education Code §54.014 specifies that undergraduate students may be subject to a higher tuition rate for attempting excessive hours at any public institution of higher education while classified as a resident student for tuition purposes. Students will be charged at the non-resident rate if, prior to the start of the current semester or session, the student has attempted 30 or more hours over the minimum number of semester credit hours required for completion of the degree program (typically 120 hours) in which the student is enrolled.

M. Intellectual Property Rights and Responsibilities:  Students have both intellectual property rights and responsibilities.  Board Policies C.1.8 and E.1.7 deal with Intellectual Property and Instructional Resources: Copyrighted Materials.  Student work created to fulfill college course work is owned by the student, with exceptions listed in Procedure C.1.8.1.  All College employees and students must comply with the provisions of the United States Copyright Law regarding use of copyrighted resources.

N. If you are new to online learning at NLC or any of the colleges in the Alamo Colleges District, you are required to enroll in a free "Orientation to Online Learning" mini-course (OLRN 0001). It is suggested that you complete the orientation before the semester starts by taking it in one of two formats: online or "Face-to-Face." Your instructor has access to information about a student’s successful completion of OLRN.

O. Students should anticipate spending approximately two to three hours studying for the each hour of class time. For a 16 week 3-credit face-to-face course that would mean approximately 9-12 hours per week, including time in class. Students taking an online version of a class should expect to spend an equivalent amount of time studying and working on course assignments and activities. The amount of time required for an individual course will vary according to the student, the subject material, term length (5 week, 8 week, or 14 week terms), and other course components such as lab assignments.