American National Government and Politics

GOVTCS 111 (4 credits)

Introduction to the dynamics of government and politics in the United States and analysis of major contemporary public policy problems.

This course looks at current events and how they came to be based on our national political structure and history. Whether you are afraid to talk about politics and want to have a more educated opinion or already read the news every day, this class will teach you the basics of American government by connecting them with what is happening today in an interactive and hands-on environment.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the three branches of government.
  2. Analyze the American political system of checks and balances.
  3. Evaluate and summarize the Federalist and anti-Federalist points of view.
  4. Describe the election process for POTUS.
  5. Appraise the history of voting in America and assess current issues of voter fraud claims and voter suppression.
  6. Discuss campaign finance and how it influences society.
  7. Examine key American immigration policy.
  8. Explain the politics of power and privilege in American politics.
  9. Analyze news media and identify legitimate news vs fake news.
  10. Describe the U.S. court system and role of the SCOTUS.
  11. Evaluate key international treaties and trade organizations.
  12. Analyze various American wars including WWI, WWII, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Iraq War, and the War on Terror.

Major Topics

  • The purpose of government
  • The foundation of American government and politics
  • Understanding the news media
  • Voting & elections
  • Campaign finance and why it matters
  • Fair courts and the impact of the Supreme Court of the United States
  • Identity politics of race, gender, and sexuality
  • Immigration
  • America and the world (economics, the environment, and war)
  • Major political parties

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