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American Government

Course Details

Course Number
1333
Semester
Fall 2017
Location
Prothro-Yeager Hall
Days & Times

MW 6pm - 7:20pm

Professor
Tiernan Harris (view Profile)

Course Attachments

Textbooks

Course Objectives

Political Science 1333                                                                                                                                                     Tiernan Harris

6:00pm - 7:20pm MW                                                                                                                                        208 O’Donohoe Hall

tiernan.harris@mwsu.edu                                                                                                                                                    Fall 2017

 

American Government 1

Course Description: This course introduces students to the political system of the United States and Texas. We will study: the role of democracy in government; how history has influenced the state and federal constitutions; the impact of federalism; the elections; the media; political parties; public opinion; and interest groups. 

Office Hours:

Monday: 4:00pm – 5:50pm

Wednesday: 4:00pm – 5:50pm

Thursday: 4:00pm – 8pm

**Office hours will also be available by appointment.

 

Textbook

Ginsberg, Benjamin, Theodore J. Lowi, Margaret Weir, and Caroline Tolbert. 2015. We the People: An Introduction to American Politics. 11th Edition. W. W. Norton. 

Course Expectations

Expectations:

Absences: Students are expected to attend all classes. Lectures will not reproduce the texts. Attendance will be taken periodically. Students who miss more than 5 class periods may be dropped from the course without notice. Excused absences will not count towards this. Students will only be excused if they hold the following: a doctor’s note covering the date(s) absent from the class, death in the family, legal proceedings occurring during the class times, university-approved absence (i.e. sports), or an emergency situation as determined by the instructor.

Engagement: Students will be measured by how often they engage daily. This means that there will be no cell phone use, reading non-class materials, sleeping, etc. If you are expecting an important phone call during class, students must notify the instructor before class starts in order to receive credit for that day.

Respect: During lectures, students must behave in an adult fashion. This means that there will be absolutely no note passing, punching, kissing, kicking, or any other form of juvenile behavior. Disrespectful behavior towards other students or the instructor will not be tolerated and you will be removed from class. This is your official warning.

Tardiness: Two tardies are the equivalent of one absence. Students who are more than 10 minutes late will be counted as absent. If students leave early with no excuse, they will be counted absent. Leaving and returning to class excessively is not only a distraction, but will be counted as an absence if necessary.

Classwork and Readings:

Notes: If a class is missed, the student is responsible for all material missed. Students are responsible for finding class notes from fellow classmates.

Late Work: Absolutely no late work will be accepted.

Grading Standards

Grades:

There will be two exams and a final. The format is multiple choice. The percentage breakdown of grades is as follows:

Exam 1: 25%

Exam 2: 25%

Final: 30%

Quizzes: 20%

There will be at least two quizzes in this class. If necessary, there will be pop reading quizzes. If a student is absent for a quiz without an approved absence, he/she will receive a zero.

If there is anyone looking at another’s paper, at their phone, or around, they will also receive a zero. Students must keep their eyes on their own papers.

Makeup Exams: Students are expected to be present for all exams on the date given by the instructor. If a student qualifies to take the exam at a later date, he/she must let the instructor know before the exam is given out. Qualifications follow the absence criteria. Unless arrangements have already been made in accordance with this policy, no exam will be administered after the graded exam is returned to the class.

Final Exam: Students will not be allowed to make up the final if arrangements have not been made in advance.

Arriving Late: Students who are late to an exam will not be allowed to take it if one student has already turned it in.

**If students have questions about their grades, they must come to my office hours, or email me for an appointment. There will be absolutely no discussion of grades in the classroom/hallway.

Final Exam 12/11/2017 8:00pm - 10:00pm
Submission Format Policy Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.
Late Paper Policy

Absolutely no late work will be accepted.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection 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 Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Absences: Students are expected to attend all classes. Lectures will not reproduce the texts. Attendance will be taken periodically. Students who miss more than 5 class periods may be dropped from the course without notice. Excused absences will not count towards this. Students will only be excused if they hold the following: a doctor’s note covering the date(s) absent from the class, death in the family, legal proceedings occurring during the class times, university-approved absence (i.e. sports), or an emergency situation as determined by the instructor.

Tardiness: Two tardies are the equivalent of one absence. Students who are more than 10 minutes late will be counted as absent. If students leave early with no excuse, they will be counted absent. Leaving and returning to class excessively is not only a distraction, but will be counted as an absence if necessary.

Other Policies

Class Schedule Fall 2017

POLS 1333 – Harris

August 28

Class Intro/No Reading

August 30 – September 18

The Founding/Constitution: Ch. 2

September 20

Texas Constitution Ch. 2 (CHC)                                                                                          

September 25

State Quiz / Texas Constitution

September 27 – October 4

Federalism

October 9

TEST

October 11 – 16

Public Opinion Ch. 6

October 18 – 23

The Media Ch. 7

October 25 – 30

Political Participation and Voting Ch. 8

November 1

State Quiz/Political Parties

November 6

Campaigns and Elections

November 13

TEST

November 15 – 20

Texas Local Government Ch. 10

November 22

Thanksgiving Break – Enjoy!

November 27 – 29

Texas Political Culture Ch. 1

December 4 – 6

Texas Political Parties and Elections Ch. 4 and Ch. 5

December 11 (8pm – 10pm)

Final

 

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at https://mwsu.edu/academics/wpr, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at https://mwsu.edu/campus-carry/rules-policies.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at patrick.coggins@mwsu.edu.