American Federal Government Fall 2014Semester

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American Federal Government

Fall 2014Semester

POLS 1113-330-14239-201510—3 Credit Hours

Room 7112 SE Campus

August 18 to December 114, 2014

Wednesdays, 6:00pm to 8:50pm

Bob Wilkerson

Home/Cell: 918-809-4904

TCC Email:

Southeast Campus Arts & Sciences Division Office

Phoebe Baker, Associate Dean

Phone: 918-595-7737

Academic & Campus Services

Phone: 918-595-7673
Required Text: Thomas E. Patterson, The American Democracy 10/e. Book may be purchased at the TCC Bookstore.

Course description

During the semester we will survey American Federal Government, including systems, development, history and the effects it has had on social, economic, political and cultural trends of American life.

General Education Goals

General Education courses at TCC ensure that our graduates gain skills, knowledge, and abilities that comprise a common foundation for their higher education and a backdrop for their work and personal lives. TCC’s General Education goals are: Critical Thinking, Effective Communication, Engaged Learning, and Technological Proficiency.

Course objectives

  • To understand the issues, events and political developments pertaining to American Federal Government from independence from Great Britain to the present era.

  • To link events of the past with current events and uncover the issues that they share.

  • To use the study of American Federal Government to improve your writing and planning skills essential to your future success in any endeavor.

Method of Instruction

Class time will be used to highlight major points from the reading, summarize concepts addressed from the previous class, clarify new concepts, and answer any questions you may have concerning the topics covered. You are encouraged to bring in recent articles, books read or video media related to topics we cover for class discussion. Relevant films, audio, field trips as well as guest speakers will be part of the course when appropriate. Discussion and question are encouraged during instructor presentations.

Email communications

All TCC students receive a designated “MyTCC” email address (ex: All communications to you about TCC and course assignments will be sent to your MyTCC email address; and you must use MyTCC email to send email to, and receive email from, the instructor regarding this course. Do not hesitate to contact me as I check for email and voice mail messages often. The most efficient way to reach me is via email. If you need to leave a message on voice mail, provide all of the relevant details. That way I can leave an appropriate response to your question should I get your voice mail. I will be available for consultations during class breaks and 30 minutes prior to each class.

Inclement Weather

TCC rarely closes. If extreme weather conditions or emergency situations arise, TCC always gives cancellation notices to radio and television stations. This information is also posted on the TCC website (

Course Withdrawal

The deadline to withdraw from a course shall not exceed 3/4 the duration of any class. Check the TCC Academic Calendar for the deadline that applies to the course(s). Begin the process with a discussion with the faculty member assigned to the course. Contact the Counseling Office at any TCC campus to initiate withdrawal from a course (“W” grade) or to change from Credit to Audit. Withdrawal and/or change to an audit from a course after the drop/add period can alter the financial aid award for the current and future semesters. Student may receive an outstanding bill from TCC if the recalculation leaves a balance due to TCC. Students who stop participating in the course and fail to withdraw may receive a course grade of “F,” which may have financial aid consequences for the student.

Attendance & Participation

Your enrollment in this class assumes that you will attend and participate fully in the course. Participation in class discussions is not graded per se, but encouraged to improve and facilitate your learning process.

When participating in class discussions, a substantive response is more than simply saying, “I agree.” or “I like your thinking on that subject.” or “I’m not sure I see it that way.” A substantive response builds on other people’s comments, adds the person’s own knowledge, suggests alternative opinions, points out problems, advances the discussion by asking a related question of the other students, or even at times, constructively disagrees. All students are to respect the opinions and thoughts of the instructor and other students.
All cell phones, pagers, iPods should be turned off or put on silence mode during class. LAPTOPS MUST REMAIN CLOSED DURING CLASS LECTURES, VIDEOS AND DISCUSSIONS. Any student discovered using their laptop for personal messaging during class will result in the prohibition of laptops for all students. Twittering & text messaging during class time will not be tolerated. In the instructor’s opinion this is like talking in class.
Attendance Policy –IMPORTANT!

Attendance is essential in a class of this nature. Assignments and lectures build upon each other from one class to the next, so an absence makes successful completion of the assignments quite difficult. More than 4 class absences will be considered excessive and result in a failing course grade. It will be reported to the Registrar and dean of Student Services. The Financial Aid Office and Veterans Services also will be notified. If the student is unable to attend class, he/she should contact the instructor as soon as possible. After each absence, the student is responsible for obtaining assignments from a classmate or the instructor and for completing any missed work on time.

DISABILITY RESOURCES: It is the policy and practice of Tulsa Community College to create inclusive learning environments. Accommodations for qualifying students in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act are available. To request accommodations, contact the Education Access Center (EAC) at or call (918) 595-7115 (Voice). Deaf and hard of hearing students may text (918) 809-1864.
Institutional Statement

Each student is responsible for being aware of the information contained in the TCC Catalog, TCC Student Handbook, Student Code of Conduct Policy Handbook, and semester information listed in the class schedule. All information may be viewed on the TCC website:

Academic Honesty

Academic honesty is highly valued at TCC. You must always submit work that represents your original words or ideas. If any words or ideas used in a class posting or assignment submission do not represent your original words or ideas, you must cite all relevant sources and make clear the extent to which such sources were used. Words or ideas that require citation include all hard copy or electronic publications, whether copyrighted or not, and all verbal or visual communication when the content of such communication clearly originates from an identifiable source. Academic dishonesty or misconduct cases are governed by the Campus Student Rights & Responsibilities Code (see Student Conduct Handbook). Academic dishonesty (cheating) is defined as the deception of others about one’s own work or about the work of another. Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to:

  • Submitting another’s work as one’s own or allowing another to submit one’s work a though it were his or hers.

  • Several people completing an assignment and turning in multiple copies, all represented either implicitly or explicitly as individual work.

  • Failing to contribute an equal share in group assignments or projects while claiming equal credit for the work.

  • Using a textbook, notes, or technology tools during an examination without permission of the instructor.

  • Receiving or giving unauthorized help on assignments.

  • Stealing a problem solution or assessment answers from a teacher or other student.

  • Tampering with experimental data to obtain “desired” results, or creating results for experiments not done.

  • Creating results for observations or interviews that were not done.

  • Obtaining an unfair advantage by gaining or providing access to examination materials prior to the time authorized by the instructor.

  • Tampering with or destroying the work of others.

  • Submitting substantial portions of the same academic work for credit or honors more than once without permission of the present instructor.

  • Lying about these or other academic matters.

  • Falsifying college records, forms or other documents.

  • Accessing computer systems or files without authorization.


Deliberate plagiarism is claiming, indicating or implying that the ideas, sentences, or words of another writer are your own. It includes having another writer do work claimed to by our own, copying the work of another and presenting it as your own. Accidental plagiarism is the handling of quotations and paraphrases without a deliberate attempt to deceive. It includes failing to mark the beginning of paraphrases, failing to get away from the language of the original text when paraphrasing, failing to mark quotations with properly placed quotation marks and failing to properly identify the source of a quotation or paraphrase. At the instructor’s discretion, a student whose paper contains accidental plagiarism may have the opportunity to rewrite the paper with a reduction in grade.

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty
Academic dishonesty or misconduct is not condoned or tolerated at campuses within the Tulsa Community College system. Tulsa Community College adopts a policy delegating certain forms of authority for disciplinary action to the faculty. Such disciplinary actions delegated to the faculty include, but are not limited to, the dismissal of disrespectful or disorderly students from classes. In the case of academic dishonesty a faculty member may:

  • Require the student to redo an assignment or test, or require the student to complete a substitute assignment or test.

  • Record a "zero" for the assignment or test in question.

  • Recommend to the student that the student withdraw from the class, or administratively withdraw the student from the class.

  • Record a grade of "F" for the student at the end of the semester. Faculty may request that disciplinary action be taken against a student at the administrative level by submitting such request to the Dean of Student Services.

Tests, Make-up Test & Late Assignment Policy

For tests, you may use your text, notes, handouts and any other source to answer the questions. Make-up tests will be allowed only when the student demonstrates a compelling reason for not being able to take the test on the assigned date. Make-up tests must be completed within 3 days of the scheduled test date and will not be the same one given in class. Make-up tests will be given at a time agreed upon by student and instructor. In-class assignments must be completed in-class on the date indicated--No make-up of this assignment for any reason.


Grading: Tests 6 @ 40 pts. (40 questions/test) = 240 points 39%

Final Exam (50 questions) = 50 points 8%

In-Class Assignments (8 x 15pts. each) = 120 points 20%

Essay Assignments (4 assignments @ 50 pts ea) = 200 points 33%

Total possible points = 610 POINTS

Letter Grades by Points:

90-100% =A (545-610 points) 60-69% =D (362-422 points)

80-89% =B (484-544 points) Less than 60% =F (>362 points)

70-79% =C (423-483 points)

REMINDER: More than 4 class absences will be considered excessive and result in a failing course grade no matter what your point total.
SYLLABUS CHANGES: Occasionally, changes to the syllabus may be necessary. Students will be notified of any changes to the syllabus in writing.
Following are the reading assignments for each class period and the topics covered. MAKE SURE TO READ ASSIGNMENTS PRIOR TO THE CLASS so you will be prepared to participate in class discussions. Review maps, charts and material in your text related to the assignment. Make sure to bring your text to each class as we may refer to it from time to time for class discussion purposes.
August 20

Introduction to the Course

Read Chapter 1-Political Thinking: Becoming a Responsible Citizen
August 27

Read Chapter 2-Constitutional Democracy: Promoting Liberty and Self Government

  • In-class assignment 1 (must be completed in-class--No make-up of this assignment for any reason.)

September 3

Read Chapter 3-Federalism: Forging a Nation

September 10

  • Read Chapter 4-Civil Liberties: Protecting Individual Rights

  • In-class assignment 2 (must be completed in-class--No make-up of this assignment for any reason.)

September 17

Read Chapter 5- Equal Rights: Struggling Toward Fairness

  • TEST TWO (Chapters 3,4)

September 24

Read Chapter 6-Public Opinion and Political Socialization: Shaping the People’s Voice

  • In-class assignment 3 (must be completed in-class--No make-up of this assignment for any reason.)

October 1

Read Chapter 7-Political Participation: Activating the Popular Will

  • TEST THREE (Chapters 5,6)

  • Essay Assignment Two due Sunday, October 5, 11:59pm via Assignments in Blackboard

October 8

Read Chapter 8-Political Parties, Candidates and Campaigns: Defining the Voter’s Choice

  • In-class assignment 4 (must be completed in-class--No make-up of this assignment for any reason.)

October 15

Read Chapter 9-Interest Groups: Organizing for Influence

  • TEST FOUR (Chapters 7,8)

October 22

Read Chapter 10-The News Media: Communicating Political Images

  • In-class assignment 5 (must be completed in-class--No make-up of this assignment for any reason.)

October 29

Read Chapter 11-Congress: Balancing National Goals and Local Interests

  • TEST FIVE (Chapters 9,10)

  • Essay Assignment Three due Sunday, November 2, 11:59pm via Assignments in Blackboard

November 5

Read Chapter 12-The Presidency: Leading the Nation

Read Chapter 13-The Federal Bureaucracy: Administering the Government

  • In-class assignment 6 (must be completed in-class--No make-up of this assignment for any reason.)

November 12

Read Chapter 14-The Federal Judicial System: Applying the Law

  • TEST SIX (Chapters 11,12,13)

November 19

Read Chapter 15-Economic and Environmental Policy: Contributing to Prosperity

Read Chapter 16-Welfare and Education Policy: Providing for Personal Security

  • In-class assignment 7 (must be completed in-class--No make-up of this assignment for any reason.)


December 3

Read Chapter 17-Foreign Policy: Protecting the America Way

  • Essay Assignment Four due Sunday December 7, 11:59pm via Assignments in Blackboard

  • In-class assignment 8 (must be completed in-class--No make-up of this assignment for any reason.)

December 10

  • Final Test Wednesday December 10(Chapters 14,15,16,17)

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archives -> Humanities I 2113 Syllabus Fall 2015 Tulsa Community College
institution -> Semester transition economics course goals and objectives
institution -> Vehicles of Genocide: Labor, Concentration, and Death Camps
institution -> Rosalinda’s Perspective
institution -> Course Syllabus hsci 2105: Current Issues in Bioethics Note: this course is conducted entirely online, asynchronously. Students are expected to log in to the course several times throughout every week to participate in class activities
archives -> History 1493-248. History of the United States since 1865
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