House Bill 2504

Fall 2012 Course Syllabus

GOVT-2306-73 - Texas Government

Faculty Information
SemesterFall 2012
InstructorDuncan, William Beauregard
Phone(409) 985-2576
Chair:Barbara Huval
Phone:(409) 984-6330
Hours:Virtual Office Hour: M 7:00-8:00 pm, Regular Office Hours M-F 9-950, T-Th 8:00-10:45, and by appointment.
Building:Faculty Offices Pavilion (FOP)
MyLamarPA Be sure to check your campus E-mail and Course Homepage using MyLamarPA campus web portal ( When you’ve logged in, click the email icon in the upper right-hand corner to check email, or click on the “My Courses” tab to get to your Course Homepage. Click the link to your course and review the information presented. It is important that you check your email and Course Homepage regularly. You can also access your grades, transcripts, and determine who your academic advisor is by using MyLamarPA.
Course Information
Course Number90593
Course Description 2306 Introduction to State Government ....................................................................................................................... 3:3:0

A study of the Texas Constitution. Introduction to the theory and practice of politics and government at the state and local levels, political participation and elections, the institutions of government at state and local levels.

Course Prerequisites None.
Required Textbooks Maxwell, William E., Ernest Crain and Adolpho Santons. Texas Politics Today, 2011-2012 Ed., Wadsworth, 2012.ISBN 978-0-495-90948-4.
Attendance Policy Research has shown a cause and effect relationship between attendance and college success. A student with three absences may be dropped from class.
Course Grading Scale  90 - 100 = A     80 - 89 = B     70 - 79 = C     60 - 69 = D     Below 59 = F
Determination of Final Grade Tests = 70%, Discussion Forums = 30%
Final Exam Date December 5, 2012 - 11:00 PM
Major Assignments Week 1        Module 1:

        Chapter 1-Texas History and Culture        

Week 2        Chapter 2-The Texas Constitution in Perspective        


Week 3        Module 2:

        Chapter 3-Voting and Elections

Week 4        Chapter 4-Political Parties

Week 5        Chapter 5-Interest Groups

Week 6        Module 3:

        Chapter 6- The Legislature


Week 7        Chapter 7-The Legislative Process

Week 8        Chapter 8-The Governor

Week 9        Module 4:

        Chapter 9-The Bureaucracy

Week 10        Chapter 10-The Judiciary

Week 11        Chapter 11-Law and Due Process


Week 12        Module 5:

        Chapter 12: Taxing and Budgeting

Week 13        Chapter 13-Spending and Services

        Thanksgiving Holiday 11/22-23

Week 14        Chapter 14-Local Government

Week 15        Final Exam Due by 1:30 pm, 12/7

Calendar of Lecture Topics and Major Assignment Due Dates 1        8/27-31        First Class Day        8/27

        Module 1:

        Chapter 1-Texas History and Culture                

2        9/3-7        Labor Day Holiday 9/3

        Chapter 2-The Texas Constitution in Perspective        

        Discussion 1 Due 11:59 pm, 9/7

        EXAM 1 Due 11:59 pm, 9/9

3        9/10-14        Module 2:

        Chapter 3-Voting and Elections

4        9/17-21        Chapter 4-Political Parties

5        9/24-28        Chapter 5-Interest Groups

                Discussion 2 Due 11:59 pm, 9/28

                EXAM 2 Due 11:59 pm, 9/30

6        10/1-5        Module 3:

        Chapter 6- The Legislature

7        10/8-12        Chapter 7-The Legislative Process

8        10/15-19 Chapter 8-The Governor

                Discussion 3 Due 11:59 pm, 10/19

                EXAM 3 Due 11:59 pm, 10/21

9        10/22-26 Module 4:

                Chapter 9-The Bureaucracy

10        10/29-11/2 Chapter 10-The Judiciary

11        11/5-9 Chapter 11-Law and Due Process

        Discussion 4 Due 11:59 pm, 11/9

        EXAM 4 Due 11:59 pm, 11/11

12        11/12-16 Module 5:

                Chapter 12: Taxing and Budgeting

13        11/19-23 Chapter 13-Spending and Services

        Thanksgiving Holiday 11/22-23

14        11/26-30 Chapter 14-Local Government

15        12/3-7        12/5: Last Class Day                                

        Discussion 5 Due 11:59 pm, 12/5

        EXAM 5: Due by 1:30 pm, 12/7

General Education/Core Curriculum Student Learning Outcomes
Communication skills:Students will demonstrate effective written, oral and visual communication.

Critical Thinking Skills:Students will engage in creative and/or innovative thinking, and/or inquiry, analysis, evaluation, synthesis of information, organizing concepts and constructing solutions.

Empirical and Quantitative Skills:Students will demonstrate applications of scientific and mathematical concepts.

Teamwork:Students will demonstrate the ability to work effectively with others to support a shared purpose or goal and consider different points of view.

Social Responsibility:Students will demonstrate intercultural competency and civic knowledge by engaging effectively in local, regional, national and/or global communities.

Personal Responsibility:Students will demonstrate the ability to connect choices, actions and consequences to ethical decision-making.

Program Student Learning Outcomes PSLO 1: Critical Thinking Skills – Uses creative thinking, innovation, inquiry and analysis, evaluation and synthesis of information.

PSLO 2: Communication Skills – Demonstrates effective development, interpretation and expression of ideas through written, oral and/or visual communication.

PSLO 3: Social Responsibility Skills - Expresses intercultural competence, knowledge of civic responsibility, and the ability to engage effectively in regional, national, and global communities.

PSLO 4: Personal Responsibility Skills – Integrates choices, actions and consequences in ethical decision-making.

PSLO 5: Reading skills - Demonstrates comprehension of content-area reading material.

Course Student Learning Outcomes Upon successful completion of this course, students will

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 political culture of Texas.
Academic Honesty Academic honesty is expected from all students, and dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated. Please consult the LSC-PA policies (Section IX, subsection A, in the Faculty Handbook) for consequences of academic dishonesty.
Facility Policies
  • No food or tobacco products are allowed in the classroom.

  • Only students enrolled in the course are allowed in the classroom, except by special instructor permission.

  • Electronic devices (including but not restricted to cell phones, MP3 players, and laptop computers) shall not be used during examinations unless specifically allowed by the instructor.

  • Use of electronic devices during normal class hours distracts other students, disrupts the class, and wastes valuable time. Instructors have an obligation to reduce such disruptions.

  • Turn your cellphones to vibrate when you enter the classroom.
Additional Information
Important Information
ADA Considerations The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Special Populations Coordinator, Room 231, in the Madison Monroe Building. The phone number is (409) 984-6241.
Copyright Violations Some material in this course may be copyrighted. They may be used only for instructional purposes this semester, by students enrolled in this course. These materials are being used fairly and legally. No one may distribute or share these copyrighted materials in any medium or format with anyone outside this class, including publishing essays with copyrighted material, uploading copyrighted material to Facebook or YouTube, or painting or performing copyrighted material for public display.

Copyright violation is not the same thing as plagiarism. Plagiarism is intellectual dishonesty. Offenses of plagiarism result in lower grades or failing scores, and professors and the college strictly enforce plagiarism rules. There is never any acceptable use of plagiarism. Copyright violation is a legal offense, punishable by large fines and penalties.

Copyrighted material can be used if permission from the material’s creator is obtained, or if its use meets the standards of fair use in an educational setting. For example, a student can quote a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet in a report without violating copyright but still be guilty of plagiarism if the quotation is not properly documented.

If you are in doubt about what material can be freely used, ask your professor or contact the Dean of Library Services, at (409) 984-6216.
Assessment Statement Assessment is a process by which LSCPA can help you learn better and gauge the level of progress you have made to attain knowledge, skills, beliefs, and values. It also helps your professors understand how to improve teaching and testing methods in your classes, and it helps each department understand and improve degree and certificate programs.

Periodically LSC-PA will collect assessment data for research and reporting purposes, including statistical data and sometimes copies of your work. Be assured that all material the college uses for assessment purposes will be kept confidential. To ensure anonymity, your name will be removed from any material we use for assessment purposes, including video-recorded performances, speeches, and projects.

If you object to allowing LSC-PA to use your material for assessment purposes, submit a letter stating so to your professor by the 12th class day. You will still be required to participate in whatever assessments are being done; we just won’t use your data.

What’s the difference between assessment and grades? The grades you get on papers, projects, speeches, and assignments are specific types of focused assessment. LSC-PA’s assessment efforts include class grades, surveys, standardized tests, and other tools.
Privacy Notice Federal privacy laws apply to college students. This means that college employees, including instructors, cannot divulge information to third parties, including parents and legal guardians of students. Even if the students are minors, information about their college work cannot be shared with anyone except in very limited circumstances.

Anyone requesting information about a student should be referred to the Registrar. Instructors will be notified in writing by that Office about what information may be released and to whom.

Please remember that releasing private information about a student, however innocuous it may seem, can be a violation of federal law, with very serious consequences.

Circumstances under which information may be released:

An adult student may submit, to the Registrar, a handwritten, signed note granting permission for release of information. The note must specify what information may be divulged, and it must specify the name of the person to whom the information may be given.

A parent or guardian may be given access to information about a student by providing a copy of a filed tax return that shows that the student was listed as a dependent of that parent or guardian. The tax return must be for last complete tax year. Again, this documentation must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office.

A parent or guardian may be given access to information about a student if the student logs on to and sends an email to the Registrar granting permission. The email must specify what information may be given and the name of the person to whom it may be given.

Co-enrollment students are protected by the same privacy laws as adult students.

The Registrar’s office is located in the Student Center room 303B, and can be reached at (409) 984-6165.

College-Level Perspectives This course helps add to the students’ overall collegiate experience in the following ways:

  • Establishing broad and multiple perspectives on the individual in relationship to the larger society and world in which s/he lives, and to understand the responsibilities of living in a culturally and ethnically diversified world.

  • Stimulating a capacity to discuss and reflect upon individual, political, economic, and social aspects of life in order to understand ways in which to be a responsible member of society.

  • Developing a capacity to use knowledge of how technology and science affect their lives.

  • Developing personal values for ethical behavior.

  • Developing the ability to make aesthetic judgments.

  • Using logical reasoning in problem solving.

  • Integrating knowledge and understand the interrelationships of the scholarly disciplines.

Degree Plan Evaluation A Degree Plan Evaluation will help you determine which classes you need to complete your program.

  1. Sign in to your account.

  2. Click on the “My Services” tab.

  3. Click on the “Student” tab.

  4. Click on Student Records.

  5. Click on Degree Evaluation.

  6. Select the term you are planning on registering for (i.e. Summer I, Summer II, Fall, or Spring)

  7. Verify that the Curriculum Information (your MAJOR) is correct

  8. Click on “Generate New Evaluation” at the bottom of the screen.

  9. Click the radio button next to Program

  10. Click on the Generate Request button.

All of the classes that you have taken that apply to your declared major will be listed on the right. If you have a class that still needs to be completed, a “NO” will be listed on the right next to the required class.

HB 2504 This syllabus is part of LSC-PA’s efforts to comply with Texas House Bill 2504.

Lamar State College - Port Arthur


Lamar State College - Port Arthur, a member of The Texas State University System, is an open-access, comprehensive public two-year college offering quality and affordable instruction leading to associate degrees and a variety of certificates. The College embraces the premise that education is an ongoing process that enhances career potential, broadens intellectual horizons, and enriches life.

Core Values

  • Shared commitment by faculty, staff and administration to a mission characterized by student learning, diversity, and community involvement

  • General education/core curriculum that develops the values and concepts that allow the student to make a meaningful contribution in the workplace or community

  • Academic and technical programs designed to fulfill our commitment to accommodate students with diverse goals and backgrounds, using a variety of delivery methods, on and off campus

  • Technical education programs that provide for the acquisition of the knowledge, skills and behavior necessary for initial and continued employment

  • Student achievement characterized by attainment of individual goals and measured by successful accomplishments and completion of curriculum

  • Co-curricular opportunities that develop social, financial and civic acuity


Lamar State College - Port Arthur operates in the belief that all individuals should be:

  • treated with dignity and respect;

  • afforded equal opportunity to acquire a complete educational experience;

  • given an opportunity to discover and develop their special aptitudes and insights; and,

  • provided an opportunity to equip themselves for a fulfilling life and responsible citizenship in a world characterized by change.

Copyright ©2011 Lamar State College - Port Arthur. All Rights Reserved.