House Bill 2504

Spring 2011 Course Syllabus

GOVT-2301-73 (Introduction to American Government I)

Faculty Information
SemesterSpring 2011
InstructorDuncan, William Beauregard
Phone(409) 984-6349
Liberal Arts
Chair:Barbara Huval
Telephone:(409) 984-6330
Hours:MWF-9:00-9:50, 11:00-12:30; TTh-8:00-9:20
Building:Faculty Offices Pavilion (FOP)
Room #:105
Course Information
Course ID #10047
Course Subject-Number-SectionGOVT-2301-73
Course TitleIntroduction to American Government I
Course Description A study of the national and Texas constitutions; federalism, political socialization and participation; public opinion and interest groups; parties, voting and elections.
Course Prerequisites None
Required Textbooks The Challenge of Democracy by Kenneth Janda, et al. 10th Ed. Texas Ed. Wadsworth, 2009.
Learning Objectives To provide the student with a basic understanding of the political systems in the United States and Texas, including political culture, the U.S. and Texas Constitutions, local government, public opinion, elections, the media, and political interests. To introduce students to the world of political ideas, the course will begin with a brief survey of political thought starting with the beginnings of political thought and covering major thinkers up to and including the thought of the social contract theorists. By understanding the tradition that gave birth to the idea of constitutional government, students will better understand the achievement of the Philadelphia Convention of 1787.
Major Assignments Final grades in the course will be based on a combiantion of five regular exams, a class project, on-line discussions, and any extra credit the student may have earned during the semester.
Discussion Topics Course Schedule

Week         Topics, and Test Dates                Readings

1/17-1/21 Introduction                        Ch. 1

1/24-1/28         Freedom, Order, or Equality                Ch. 1        

1/31-2/4         Major. or Plural. Democracy                Ch. 2        

2/7-2/11         First Exam        

         The Constitution                  Ch. 3

2/14-2/18         The Constitution                        

2/21-2/25         Federalism                                Ch. 4        

2/28-3/4         Second Exam                

3/1-3/5         Texas Political Environment                Ch. 21        

3/7-3/11         Spring Break         

3/14-3/18         Texas Constitution                        Ch. 22        

3/21-3/25         Local Government                        Ch. 23

         Third Exam                                        

3/28-4/1         Pub. Opinion and Pol. Socialization        Ch. 5

4/4-4/8                Media                                Ch. 6

4/11-4/15         Participation and Voting                Ch. 7

         Fourth Exam                                

4/18-4/22         Political Parties                        Ch. 8

         Political Parties in Texas                Ch. 24: 715- 722

4/25-4/29         Nom., Elect., and Campaigns                Ch. 9

         Elections in Texas                        Ch. 24: 728-


5/2-5/6         Interest Groups                        Ch. 10

         Interest Groups in Texas                Ch. 24: 723- 727

                Fifth Exam


5/9-5/13         Tuesday 5/10: Last Class

         Thursday 5/12: Comprehensive Final Begins

Wednesday 5/18 Comprehensive Final Ends

Attendance Policy Attendance does not apply.
Determination of Final Grade The following is an explanation of how final grades are calculated.

        5 Regular exams (averaged)        70%

        1 Class Project:         20%

        5 On-Line Discussions:         10%


                                + Extra Credit = Final Grade

Final Exam Date May 12, 2011 - 8:00 AM
Campus Policies
Lamar State College - Port Arthur

Mission Statement

Lamar State College-Port Arthur is an open-access, comprehensive public two-year college offering quality instruction leading to associate degrees and a variety of certificates. The college, a member of The Texas State University System, has provided affordable, quality educational opportunities to residents of the Southeast Texas area since 1909.Lamar State College-Port Arthur embraces the premise that education is an ongoing process that enhances career potential, broadens intellectual horizons, and enriches life. The faculty, staff, and administration share a commitment to a mission characterized by student learning, diversity, and community service. The foundations for student success include compensatory education programs designed to fulfill our commitment to accommodate students with diverse goals and backgrounds, technical education programs that provide for the acquisition of the skills and demeanor necessary for initial and continued employment, and a core curriculum that develops the values and concepts that allow the student to make a meaningful contribution in the workplace or community. Student achievement is measured by the completion of courses and programs of study, successful performance following transfer to a baccalaureate program, and the attainment of individual goals.

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;

* Provided and opportunity to equip themselves for a fulfilling life and responsible citizenship in a world characterized by change.

 College Grading Scale

Below 59F

(Some specialized programs may have different grading scales)


 Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated.  Please consult the student handbook for consequences of academic dishonesty.  These policies will be strictly enforced.


 Facility  Policies

        No food, drinks, or tobacco products are allowed in the classroom.

        Only students enrolled in the course are allowed in the classroom.

        Cell phones and/or pagers are allowed ONLY on vibrate mode. Leaving the classroom to answer a page or phone call may constitute an absence or a tardy.


 Special Considerations

         The American 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.

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