Short Description: The United States government offers a case study in revolution, emerging democracy, global politics, civil rights, capitalism and civics. This course introduces students to the fundamentals of American government and politics focusing on the historical evolution of government and policies, the major institutions, and the major processes. This courses offers students a chance to study the origins, development, structure and function of American government, its predecessors and unique characteristics, projected potential and possible limits. Throughout the course, students will evaluate the various characteristics unique to American government through the critical lens of history and current international developments with a constant eye toward future limitations or promises still to be met. The great experiment that is American democracy and government covers fundamental lessons in constitutionalism, federalism, checks and balances, bureaucracy, civil rights and civil liberties as well as the importance and effects of political participation and behavior as it impacts policy formation. All of these concepts combine to produce one of the most unique government institutions in the world and a comprehensive understanding of its inner workings, strengths and limitations ensures students will gain a educated and informed view of American government as a whole and as compared with other governments around the world.
Course goals include developing an interest in and understanding of today’s government, policy development, and politics as well as developing critical thinking and information-literacy skills in the areas of government and politics. Topics include the Constitution, federalism, civil rights and civil liberties, the structure and processes of the three branches of government, political socialization, interest groups and public opinion, political parties and the election process, as well as basic U.S social, economic, and foreign policy.
Instructor Description: This class supported by an Educational Mentor. Educational mentors have worked or are working in the subject they mentor. Educational Mentors review student work, student progress, and interact with students as needed. They respond to any questions or concerns you might have, as well as encouraging and motivating you to succeed.