NEW MEXICO JUNIOR COLLEGE

MISSION STATEMENT

American Government

SYLLABUS

  1. GENERAL COURSE INFORMATION
  2. A. Course Title: American Government
    B. Course Number: GO 213 - 30063
    C. Semester: Fall 2017
    D. Days/Time: Online
    E. Credit Hours: 3
    F. Instructor: Ollinger Riefstahl, Alison
    G. Office: C.M. Burke University Center (UC) 223
    H. Email Address: AOllinger@nmjc.edu
    I. Office Phone: (575) 492-2814
    J. Office Hours: Monday: 10:00:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST);12:00:00 PM-1:00:00 PM (MST);
    Tuesday: 9:00:00 AM-9:30:00 AM (MST);12:30:00 PM-1:30:00 PM (MST);
    Wednesday: 10:00:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST);
    Thursday: 9:00:00 AM-9:30:00 AM (MST);12:30:00 PM-1:30:00 PM (MST);
    Friday: 10:00:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST);12:00:00 PM-1:00:00 PM (MST);
    I am also available by appointment. If these days and times do not work for you, please contact me to set up a time that does.
    K. Time Zone: Mountain Time
    L. Prerequisite(s): None
    M. Corequisite(s): None
    N. Class Location: Virtual
  3. COURSE DESCRIPTION

    This course examines the philosophic background of the Constitutional Convention, the legal and constitutional structure of the national government, and the relationships existing between the formal and informal groups seeking to make claim on or through the government. This is a three credit hour course.

  4. COURSE RATIONALE / TRANSFERABILITY

    This course is considered a breadth course and fulfills a part of the general education requirement at New Mexico Junior College. It will enable students to understand the “power” behind those who serve in government and how individuals can interact with government to ensure their interests are best served.

    This course is a general education course with transferability to New Mexico schools, but it is always advisable to check with the receiving four-year school.

  5. REQUIRED / SUGGESTED COURSE MATERIALS

    Required:

    McGraw-Hill Text: AM GOV (this is the title)

    Losco & Baker- Am Gov authors

    Bound Text ISBN - 9781259284267


    All other materials will be provided by instructor.

    Suggested:
    None.

    You can buy your books online at the NMJC Bookstore.

  6. GRADING POLICY

    Students attending New Mexico Junior College will be evaluated according to the following grading scale:

    						90 - 100%	=	A
    						80 -  89%	=	B
    						70 -  79%	=	C
    						60 -  69%	=	D
    					 	 0 -  59%	=	F
    

    This class will be a mixture of lecture, discussion, and activities. Each week we will complete the chapters as detailed in the Course Outline. For each chapter there is a module in CANVAS with the assigned materials and assessments as required. Grading is based on the following components:

    8 Reading/Vocab quizzes = 200 points

    2 Movie Analysis Papers (3 pages) @ 50 points each = 100 points

    2 essay exams @ 50 points each = 100 points

    Eight additional assignments related to in-class activities (Discussion Board, Reflection Paper, Virtual Field Trip, Research Wiki etc) @ 25 points each = 200 points

    Attendance and Participation = 100 points

    Total Points Possible: 700

    Grading Scale:
    700 - 630 pts = A
    629 - 560 pts = B
    559 - 490 pts = C
    489 - 420 pts = D
    419 and below = F

    This course has a total of 700 points possible. It should be remembered that I can only evaluate you on what you submit to the class. I do not GIVE grades - you EARN them. You have the responsibility for your grade in your hands; I am the facilitator for your educational experience - but you are the driving force.

    Please note that I will NOT discuss grades over email, you must make an appointment to see me or stop by for office hours to discuss grading and assessments. If my office hours are not conducive to your schedule please make an appointment with me for a time that is convenient. I am very flexible and willing to meet with you outside of my posted office hours.

    Quiz and Exam Formats:

    Your chapter quizzes are all objective online assessments. You have the ability to utilize your book while taking them. They are not timed,
    and you may have your resources with you, but it can ONLY BE TAKEN ONCE.

    Your in-class exams are essay based and they may be written in class or submitted through CANVAS depending on the unit. The goal of the essay is to learn how to write a short essay, a long essay, and to do a Document Based Question that integrates primary and secondary sources into the answer. Your exams are not cumulative, they are on each unit on its own.

    Movie Analysis Papers:

    You are going to watch two movies and write a critical analysis/review of each of them for class. I do not want a synopsis of the movie, I want you to pay attention to things like the style, the message, portrayals of stereotypes, and how these elements might reflect or contradict the things we have been studying in class or how it highlights things we may not have looked at. You will be given a handout with questions and topics to cover in the reviews. This should not be a taxing exercise, but one in which you will critically review an artistic work and see how it relates to the history of government in this country and how we view that period or event in our contemporary culture. What do these films tell us about our history, our government, and our citizens and how do they inspire us?

    Discussion Boards:

    In this course we will read several outside articles and documents related to the chapters as assigned. For some, you will be asked to post to a Discussion Board forum or write a reflection paper as part of your weekly work. Discussion Boards will require you to post your own thread which needs to be substantive and academic in tone and vocabulary, and to then reply to five other posts written by your classmates. You also need to follow the rules of common courtesy and reply to those who post to your thread (what I call housekeeping your thread). You should follow the rules of common courtesy and polite conversation, calling others by name and referencing their point before you make your own. These exercises are worth 25 points each and will contribute 200 points towards your final grade. These take the place of a research paper so the writings need to be academically challenging, reflective, and introspective. We will also discuss some of these topics in class to ether get you started on a unit or to wrap up the unit before an exam.

    **NOTE: Point Total for class may be adjusted due to pace of the class needed more time or moving more quickly; this will be communicated to you during the course and the new total and scale posted on Canvas**

    Retrieving Grades from T-BirdWeb Portal
    Go to the New Mexico Junior College T-BirdWeb Portal login page. Please enter your User Identification Number (ID), which is your Banner ID, and your Personal Identification Number (PIN). When finished, click Login.

    Tips for Success in Online Courses:
    1. Log in to class regularly.
    2. Pay attention.
    3. Take notes.
    4. Keep up with readings and assignments.
    5. Ask questions when you do not understand something.
    6. Utilize your professor’s office hours and e-mail.
    7. Read the text.
    8. Adhere to the deadlines posted in the course outline.

  7. INSTITUTIONAL STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

    New Mexico Junior College’s institutional student learning outcomes represent the knowledge and abilities developed by students attending New Mexico Junior College. Upon completion students should achieve the following learning outcomes along with specific curriculum outcomes for respective areas of study:

  8. DEPARTMENTAL STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

    New Mexico Junior College's Social/Behavioral Sciences Department endorses the Core Competencies as established by the State of New Mexico. Within our respective fields, as appropriate, students should:

    A. identify, describe, and explain human behaviors and how they are influenced by social structures, institutions, and processes within the contexts of complex and diverse communities.

    B. articulate how beliefs, assumptions, and values are influenced by factors such as politics, geography, economics, culture, biology, history, and social institutions.

    C. describe ongoing reciprocal interactions among self, society, and the environment.

    D. apply the knowledge base of the social and behavioral sciences to identify, describe, explain, and critically evaluate relevant issues, ethical dilemmas, and arguments.

    Selected Specific Competencies will be used to demonstrate mastery of the above.

  9. SPECIFIC COURSE STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

    After completing this course the student should be able to:

    1.Develop an understanding of the basic political institutions in American politics.

    2.Develop an understanding of the contemporary problems in the political system and potential institutional improvements to help the U.S. closer approximate the ideals of democracy.

    3.Understand the evolution of institutions in the U.S. system through lens of expanding democratic ideals.

    4.Familiarize students with prominent theories in political science and the leverage they provide for understanding American politics.

  10. REQUIRED TECHNICAL COMPETENCIES AND EQUIPMENT

    Student Requirements
    If you have not already received login information for Canvas/T-BirdWeb Portal/E-mail, you will need to contact the Enrollment Management office at (575) 492-2546.

    Check first-time login page for instructions at www.nmjc.edu/distancelearning/coursescourseschedules/canvasinstructions.aspx.

    Canvas Assistance

    You must have access, on a regular basis, to a computer that supports the Canvas minimum specifications and has an active connection to the Internet. See the minimum computer specification requirements at www.nmjc.edu/distancelearning/coursescourseschedules/Canvasinstructions.aspx.

  11. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    Additional Assignment details will be posted in Canvas, along with all Rubrics used for assessment.

    FINAL EXAM: *Final Exams are scheduled in the regular classroom on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.


    INSTRUCTORS NOTES:

    I reserve the right to edit this syllabus at any time, or to make changes to the class format if adjustments need to be made. If made, these changes will be communicated in writing using the CANVAS system.

    I will not tolerate cheating, plagiarism, disrespect of anyone in this class, and consider these to be grave offenses.

    I am always available for outside help or instruction, and I hope you will find me to be a very tolerant and fair person, albeit one with a dry sense of humor. This is a learning experience for us all, and it is my hope that we can make it an enjoyable one. I look forward to the semester - and hope you do as well.

  12. GENERAL/MISCELLANEOUS

    Students will be held responsible for the information on these pages.

    Academic Honesty
    Each student is expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity in online academic and professional matters. The College reserves the right to take disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, against any student who is found guilty of academic dishonesty or otherwise fails to meet these standards. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, dishonesty in quizzes, tests, or assignments; claiming credit for work not done or done by others; and nondisclosure or misrepresentation in filling out applications or other College records. Cheating or gaining illegal information for any type of graded work is considered dishonest and will be dealt with accordingly.

    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information
    Any student requiring special accommodations should contact the Special Needs Student Services Coordinator at (575) 492-2576 or by e-mail at krueda@nmjc.edu.

    Attendance Policy and Participation Expectations
    It is expected that you regularly log into class at least three times weekly and check your Canvas mail to ensure you have not missed any changes/updates. Students are expected to complete discussions/quizzes/tests/ assignments before deadlines expire.

    Canvas Help
    If you experience difficulty with Canvas you may reach the Canvas Helpdesk at canvashelpdesk@nmjc.edu, or by calling the 24 hour helpdesk phone at (575) 399-2199.

    Netiquette
    The professor is responsible for monitoring and evaluating student conduct and student behavior within the Canvas course. By registering for this class, the student is assumed to have entered into an agreement with New Mexico Junior College and the professor to log into the class regularly and to behave in an appropriate manner at all times. Disruptive behavior may result in the student being removed from the class and dropped for the semester. For comprehensive information on the common rules of netiquette and other online issues, please review the NMJC Online Student Handbook.

    Online Learning Environment
    By participating in an online class, you undertake responsibility for your own progress and time management.

    Plagiarism
    Offering the work of another as one’s own, without proper acknowledgment, is plagiarism; therefore, any student who fails to give credit for quotations or essentially identical expression of material taken from books, encyclopedias, magazines and other reference works, or from the themes, reports, or other writings of a fellow student, is guilty of plagiarism. Plagiarism violates the academic honesty policy and is considered cheating.

    Tutoring Assistance
    Free tutoring services are available to all NMJC students through Brainfuse and the Academic Success Center located in Mansur Hall room 123 and 124.

    Withdrawal Policy
    The instructor has the right to drop any student who has failed to log on to Canvas for two weeks or more, but it is not guaranteed that the instructor will drop you. If the student chooses to stop attending a class, he/she should withdraw from the class by accessing your student account in the T-Bird Web Portal at www.nmjc.edu, or submitting the required paperwork to the Registrar’s Office by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 21, 2016. Failure to withdraw yourself from a course by this date may result in your receiving an “F” in the course. All students are encouraged to discuss their class status with the professor prior to withdrawing from the class.

  13. ACADEMIC CALENDAR
  14. FINALS SCHEDULE
  15. COURSE OUTLINE

    Course Schedule*


    Week One
    Course Introduction and Syllabus
    First Activity Assignment (Discussion, Reflection, etc) assigned in Canvas

    Week Two
    American Government: Roots, Context, Culture: Chapter 1

    Week Three
    The Constitution: Chapter 2
    The Federal System: Chapter 3

    Week Four
    MOVIE ANALYSIS PROJECT 1
    Civil Liberties: Chapter 4

    Week Five
    Civil Rights: Chapter 5

    Week Six
    EXAM 1
    Congress: Chapter 6

    Week Seven
    The Presidency: Chapter 7

    Week Eight
    Executive Branch and Bureaucracy: Chapter 8
    The Judiciary: Chapter 9

    Week Nine
    Public Opinion and Political Socialization: Chapter 10

    Week Ten
    EXAM 2

    Week Eleven
    Political Parties: Chapter 11
    Elections and Voting: Chapter 12

    Week Twelve
    The Campaign Process: Chapter 13
    MOVIE ANALYSIS PROJECT 2

    Week Thirteen
    The News Media: Chapter 14
    Interest Groups: Chapter 15

    Week Fourteen
    Domestic Policy: Chapter 16
    Economic Policy: Chapter 17

    Week Sixteen
    Foreign and Defense Policy: Chapter 18

    FINAL EXAM: *Final Exams are scheduled in the regular classroom on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.


    *This schedule is tentative and may be subject to change at the instructor’s discretion. Any and all changes will be communicated to the students via the Canvas system*