Fall 2023 Course Syllabus
Course: GOVT-2305 (Section: 3E, CRN: 90589)
Federal Government
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Instructor Information
Instructor Shannon Tanner
Email tannerst@lamarpa.edu
Phone 4099846330
Office Hours Office Hours:
Fri-virtual meetings by appointment
Additional Contact Information
Course Information
Description Origin and development of the U.S. Constitution, structure and powers of the national government including the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, federalism, political participation, the national election process, public policy, civil liberties and civil rights.
Required Textbooks Textbook Purchasing Statement: A student attending Lamar State College Port Arthur is not under any obligation to purchase a textbook from the college-affiliated bookstore. The same textbook may also be available from an independent retailer, including an online retailer.

American Government 3rd Edition
Krutz, Waskiewicz;
Free Web Version
ISBN-13: 978-1-951693-38-1
Additional Materials/Resources None
Corequisites/Prerequisites None
Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
1. Explain the origin and development of constitutional democracy in the United States.
2. Demonstrate knowledge of the federal system.
3. Describe separation of powers and checks and balances in both theory and practice.
4. Demonstrate knowledge of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the federal government.
5. Evaluate the role of public opinion, interest groups, and political parties in the political system.
6. Analyze the election process.
7. Describe the rights and responsibilities of citizens.
8. Analyze issues and policies in U.S. politics. 
Core Objectives
Communication skills: Students will demonstrate effective written, oral and/or visual communication.
* Critical Thinking Skills: Students will engage in creative and/or innovative thinking, and/or inquiry, analysis, evaluation, synthesis of information, organizing concepts and constructing solutions.
* Empirical and Quantitative Skills: Students will demonstrate applications of scientific and mathematical concepts.
* Teamwork: Students will demonstrate the ability to work effectively with others to support a shared purpose or goal and consider different points of view.
* Social Responsibility: Students will demonstrate intercultural competency and civic knowledge by engaging effectively in local, regional, national and/or global communities.
* Personal Responsibility: Students will demonstrate the ability to connect choices, actions and consequences to ethical decision-making.

Lecture Topics Outline Critical Thinking and American Political Culture
Constitutional Democracy
American Federalism
Civil Liberties
Equal Rights
Public Opinion
Political Socialization
The News Media and the Internet
Political Participation
Political Parties, Candidates and Campaigns
Interest Groups
Congress: Balancing National Goals and Local Interests
The Presidency
The Federal Bureaucracy
The Federal Judiciary and the Supreme Court
Economic and Educational Policy
Income and Welfare Policy
Foreign Policy

Major Assignments Schedule Instructor Reserves the Right to change course calendar WITH NOTICE.

August 28-Sept 3 Course Introduction – Syllabus, instructor, etiquette, and course navigation Critical Thinking and Political Culture; Fact V Opinion Reading; (Chapter #1 Textbook) 
Sept 4-10 Constitutional Democracy; Federalism (Chapters #2&3 Textbook)
Sept 11- 17 Civil Liberties; Equal Rights (Chapters 4&5 in Textbook); Letter from Birmingham Jail; Unit Assignment #1 due by 11:59pm on September 17th
Sept 18- 24 Review; Exam #1
Sept 25- Oct 1 Public Opinion and Political Socialization (Chapter #6 in Textbook)
Oct 2-8 Political Participation  (Chapter #7 in Textbook); The Right to Vote Reading
Oct 9-15 Political Parties, Candidates and Campaigns (Chapter 9 in Textbook); Unit Assignment #2;
Oct 16-22 Interest Groups (Chapter 10 in Textbook);  Review; Exam #2 
Oct 23-29 Congress: Balancing National Goals and Local Interests; The Presidency: Leading the Nation (Chapters #11&12 in Textbook)
Oct 30- Nov 5 The Federal Bureaucracy; The Federal Judiciary (Chapters #13 & #15 in Textbook); Marbury V Madison Reading; Unit Assignment #3 Due by 11:59pm on Sunday, November 5th
Nov 6-12  Review; Exam #3 
Nov 13-19 The News Media and the Internet: Communicating Politics (Chapter 8 in Textbook); Unit Assignment #4 due by 11:59pm on Sunday, November 19th
Nov 20-26 Thanksgiving Break
Nov 27- Dec 3 Economic and Environmental Policy Income; Welfare and Education Policy; Foreign Policy (Chapters 16& 17 in Textbook)
Semester Paper Due no later than 11:59pm on December 3rd
Dec 4-10 Review; Final Exam
Final Exam Date December 12, 2023 - 8:10 AM
Grading Scale  90 - 100=A 80 - 89=B  70 - 79=C   60 - 69=D  Below 59 = F
Determination of
Final Grade
Exams: 40%
Unit Assignments: 30%
Semester  Research Paper: 20%
Discussion Posts: 10%
Course Policies
Instructor Policies

The best way to reach me is through my LSCPA email at tannerst@lamarpa.edu

Make-up work and exam
s are given at the discretion of the instructor. In cases of personal illness or emergency, with proper documentation, the instructor will allow make-up work, provided the student requests one immediately upon return to class. 


Students must be on time and in their seat at the start of class to be counted present. Students arriving after the roll is called or the sign-in sheet passed around will be counted absent for that class period. Students who arrive tardy on exam days may not take the exam with the rest of the class and must contact the instructor for a make-up exam.  


Late work is not accepted in this course, unless due to verifiable personal illness or emergency and always at the discretion of the instructor. 


Activities that are disruptive to class will not be tolerated. Arriving late for class, reading newspapers, speaking while others are speaking, packing prior to the end of class and cell phones are highly disruptive. Cell phones, Ipods and other similar devices must be turned off during class, unless previously approved by the instructor. Any student engaging in disruptive behavior wil be asked to leave the classroom. 


Eating and smoking are not allowed in class. This includes the use of e-cigarettes or other forms of vaping. 


Only students enrolled in the class are allowed inside the classroom. 


Laptops may be used for note-taking only. Use of laptops for purposes other than note-taking will result in the banning of all laptops from the classroom.  


In this course we will frequently discuss current events, and at times, some students may find these topics controversial. It is important to keep in mind that different students may come from a different background and therefore may have different experiences and points of view. Students may disagree on these points of view. Disagreements lead to critical thinking, scholarly debates and learning but only when students disagree respectfully. Disrespect towards any person or group of people, whether inside this classroom or out, will not be tolerated. Students may not denigrate or attack any person or single out any person based on race, gender, religion, age, ethnicity, nationality, abilities, appearance, or sexual orientation. Any student behaving disrespectfully will be asked to leave the classroom and will be forced to apologize to the class before they can return. 


The Instructor will grade and return all submitted work ASAP, but never longer than 7 days after the assignment is submitted, without notice. 


Attendance Policy Students should attend every class and attendance will be taken by sign-in sheet at the beginning of every class. As there are valid reasons that students might need to miss class, each student will be allowed three automatically excused absences for the semester. Students who need to miss more than three class days during the semester will have additional absences excused on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the instructor. Any absence not excused by the instructor, after the first 3, will each result in 5 points taken from the student’s final grade for the course. If a student leaves class and returns or leaves class before class is dismissed, the student MAY be counted absent for that class. 
Additional Information
Institutional Policies
MyLSCPA Be sure to check your campus email and Course Homepage using MyLSCPA campus web portal. You can also access your grades, transcripts, academic advisors, degree progress, and other services through MyLSCPA.
Academic Honesty Academic honesty is expected from all students, and dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated. Please consult the LSCPA policies (Academic Dishonesty section in the Student Handbook) for consequences of academic dishonesty.
ADA Considerations The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights 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 the Office for Disability Services Coordinator, Room 231, in the Madison Monroe Building. The phone number is (409) 984-6241.
COVID 19 Information The Lamar State College Port Arthur (LSCPA) Student Code of Conduct COVID 19 Policy requires students who have been diagnosed with COVID 19 to report their condition directly to their local health department. Students should also contact their course faculty to report their quarantine status. In addition, this policy requires all students to wear face coverings when directly exposed to COVID 19 in compliance with the criteria included in the policy. For more information please refer to the COVID 19 link on the LSCPA website.
Facility Policies No food or tobacco products are allowed in the classroom. Only students enrolled in the course are allowed in the classroom, except by special instructor permission. Use of electronic devices is prohibited.
HB 2504 This syllabus is part of LSCPA's efforts to comply with Texas House Bill 2504.
Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect As per Texas law and LSCPA policy, all LSCPA employees, including faculty, are required to report allegations or disclosures of child abuse or neglect to the designated authorities, which may include a local or state law enforcement agency or the Texas Department of Family Protective Services. For more information about mandatory reporting requirements, see LSCPA's Policy and Procedure Manual.
Title IX and Sexual Misconduct LSCPA is committed to establishing and maintaining an environment that is free from all forms of sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, sexual violence, and other forms of sexual misconduct. All LSCPA employees, including faculty, have the responsibility to report disclosures of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual assault (including rape and acquaintance rape), domestic violence, dating violence, relationship violence, or stalking, to LSCPA's Title IX Coordinator, whose role is to coordinate the college's response to sexual misconduct. For more information about Title IX protections, faculty reporting responsibilities, options for confidential reporting, and the resources available for support visit LSCPA's Title IX website.
Clery Act Crime Reporting For more information about the Clery Act and crime reporting, see the Annual Security & Fire Safety Report and the Campus Security website.

Grievance / Complaint / Concern If you have a grievance, complaint, or concern about this course that has not been resolved through discussion with the Instructor, please consult the Department Chair.
Department Information
General Education and Developmental Studies
Chair:Steven Zani
Phone:(409) 984-6431