Course Syllabus



Course Description:

[INSTRUCTORS: We have included the C-ID descriptor here as a place holder. As with all sections, feel free to keep this information, replace it with your local course description, or remove this section entirely.]

An introduction to United States and California government and politics, including their constitutions, political institutions and processes, and political actors.  Examination of political behavior, political issues, and public policy.

Student Learning Outcomes:

[INSTRUCTORS: We have included the C-ID outcomes here as a place holder. As with all sections, feel free to keep this information, replace it with your local Student Learning Outcomes, or remove this section entirely.]

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

  • Explain the founding and development of the U.S. Constitution.
  • Identify and evaluate institutions and political processes within the United States and California.
  • Discuss and analyze contemporary political issues and operations in the United States and California.
  • Explain the civil liberties and civil rights of individuals as articulated in the U.S. Constitution and federal court decisions.
  • Analyze the role of culture, diversity and ideology in shaping public opinion and public policy in the United States and California.
  • Analyze how to effectively participate in politics at the national, state, county and/or city levels.

Course Content:

[INSTRUCTORS: Insert course content.]

  • The political philosophies of the framers of the U.S. Constitution and critics of the Constitution.
  • The process of amending and interpreting the U.S. Constitution and California constitution.
  • The theory and practice of federalism.
  • Contemporary operations of United States political institutions and processes, including the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government and nongovernmental institutions.
  • The rights and liberties of individuals as articulated in the U.S. Constitution and federal court decisions.
  • Contemporary operations of California state and local political institutions within the framework of federal-state relations.
  • Individual and group political behavior of Americans and Californians within the frameworks established by the U.S. Constitution and California constitution, such as elections, interest groups, political parties, and the media.
  • Factors that shape politics and policymaking including diversity, political culture, political socialization, political ideologies and public opinion.
  • Domestic, economic, and foreign issues and policies.


Great newsyour textbook for this class is available for free online!

American Government from OpenStax, ISBN 1-947172-19-0

You have several options to obtain this book:


    You can use whichever formats you want. Web view is recommended -- the responsive design works seamlessly on any device.

    Important Notes:

    • All first week assignments need to be completed and submitted by the due date to avoid possibly being dropped from the class.
    • Any student needing accommodations should inform the instructor. Students with disabilities who may need accommodations for this class are encouraged to notify the instructor and contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) [link to your college's DSPS website] early in the quarter so that reasonable accommodations may be implemented as soon as possible. Students may contact the DRC by visiting the Center (located in room A205) or by phone (541-4660 ext. 249 voice or 542-1870 TTY for deaf students). All information will remain confidential.
    • Academic dishonesty and plagiarism will result in a failing grade on the assignment. Using someone else's ideas or phrasing and representing those ideas or phrasing as our own, either on purpose or through carelessness, is a serious offense known as plagiarism. "Ideas or phrasing" includes written or spoken material, from whole papers and paragraphs to sentences, and, indeed, phrases but it also includes statistics, lab results, art work, etc.  Please see the YourCollegeName handbook for policies regarding plagiarism, harassment, etc. [link to your college's academic honesty policies]

    Course Summary:

    Date Details Due