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

Texas Government

  • Full Term Fall 2019
  • Section 165.40604
  • 3-3-0 Credits
  • 08/26/2019 to 12/14/2019
  • Modified 09/09/2019

Meeting Times


Clemens High School Room H206

Contact Information

Instructor:  Frank Martinez

Email:  [email protected]

Phone:  210-945-6501 

Conference Time:  8:15-8:30 M-F, & after 4:00-4:15 T-F 

If you have any questions please email me, and I will respond within 48 hours.


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




Governing Texas (4th Edition), 2019

Champagne, Harpham, & Casellas

ISBN: 978-0-393-68010-2


Origin and development of the Texas constitution, structure and powers of state and local government, federalism and inter-governmental relations, political participation, the election process, public policy, and the political culture of Texas. 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


1 Explain the origin and development of the Texas Constitution.

2 Describe state and local political systems and their relationship with the federal government.

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

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

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

6 Analyze the state and local election process.

7 Identify the rights and responsibilities of citizens.

8 Analyze issues, policies and the political culture of Texas.

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



10% - Attendance & Participation - Students need to be present for each day of class, and participate in classroom activities.  However, if an emergency should arise please contact me BEFORE class time.  Please see the college attendance policy for excessive absences.  Failure to turn in completed discussion assignments on time & participate in classroom discussion will negatively affect your total percentage of this grate. 

40%- Assignments - discussion questions and projects.  Each will have a # sign to specify assignment

All assignments are required to be turned in on time.  If an assignment is turned in past the assigned deadline date Points (up to -25) will be deducted from final assigned grade. With a five day maximum to turn in late work.  Please ensure all assignments are completed prior to each exam to avoid getting too far behind.


35%- Exams/Papers- 1-3 Exams, and one major paper

15% - FINAL Exam - comprehensive Exam  

Grade scale

A = 90 – 100%

B = 80 – 89%

C = 70 – 79%

D = 60 – 69%

F = 59% and below

Course Policies

Please remove all distractions from view by the start of class.  While you will be utilizing technology to access your work, I am asking that you remove all phones, laptops, air pods, ear phones, or any other technology device that may distract.  

I truly value our learning time together.  As such all classes will begin on time and end on time.  I ask that you avoid being tardy, and if you are tardy to quietly come into the room and find your seat.  Additionally, please do not ask if it is OK to leave early.  Unless you have a major emergency come up I expect you to attend all class periods.  If something does come up please let me know immediately.

Please throw away all food and drinks before leaving the classroom.  


Class Dates                        Topics/Readings/Chapters                                                                                                 


August 20-23

Intro to course, explanation of ACES/Canvas, Discussion Expectation, Syllabus

WE ARE TEXAS – Project


August 26-30

Ch 1 – The Political Culture, People, & Economy of Texas


Sept. 3-6

Ch 2- The Texas Constitution

Begin work on Common Assignment


Sept. 9-13

Ch 3 Texas in the Federal System

Ch 4 Political Parties


Sept. 17-20

 Ch 4 Political Parties (cont)



Sept. 23-27

Ch 5  Campaigns & Elections



Sept 30-Oct 4

Ch 6 Interest Groups & Lobbying



Oct. 7-11

Ch 7 The Legislature


Oct. 15-18

Ch 8 the Executive Branch



Oct. 21-25

Ch 9 The Judiciary


Oct. 28-Nov. 1

Ch 10 Local Government


Nov. 4-8

Ch 11 Public Finance


Nov. 12-15

Ch 12 Public Policy

Exam III


Nov. 18-22

Ch 13 Crime, Corrections, & Public Safety


Dec. 2-6

Ch 14 Building the Future:  Public Policies for a Changing Texas



Dec. 9-13

FINAL EXAM- Chapters 1- 14

** Reading Schedule is tentative and subject to change**

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.