Fall 2023 Course Syllabus
Course: GOVT-2306 (Section: 3E, CRN: 90592)
Texas Government
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Instructor Information
Instructor Shannon Tanner
Email tannerst@lamarpa.edu
Phone 4099846330
Office Hours M&W- 11:30am-12:30pm
Tues& Thurs- 9:30am-1:30pm
Friday Online by Appointment
Additional Contact Information
Course Information
Description Origin and development of the Texas constitution, structure and powers of state and local government, federalism and inter-governmental relations, political participation, the election process, public policy, and the political culture of Texas.
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.

Government and Politics in the Lone Star State
12th Edition
Gibson, Robison and Green
Publisher: Pearson Education
ISBN: 9780136902027

Additional Materials/Resources None.
Corequisites/Prerequisites None
Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to :

  • Explain the origin and development of the Texas constitution. 

  • Describe state and local political systems and their relationship with the federal government 

  • Describe separation of powers and checks and balances in both theory and practice in Texas 

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of Texas government 

  • Evaluate the role of public opinion, interest groups, and political parties in Texas. 

  • Analyze the state and local election process. 

  • Identify the rights and responsibilities of citizens. 

  • Analyze issues, policies and political culture of Texas. 

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 The Social and Economic Environment of Texas Politics
The Texas Constitution
Texas Government and Politics in the Federalist System
Local Government in Texas
The Texas Legislature
The Texas Executive
The Texas Bureaucracy
The Texas Judiciary
Political Socialization and Public Opinion
The Party System in Texas
Elections, Campaigns and Voting in Texas
Mass Media in Texas Politics
Interest Groups and Political Power in Texas
Contemporary Policy Issues in Texas
Major Assignments Schedule








(Due on this Date) 



(Due on this Date) 


Aug 28-Sept 3 


Introduction-Course Syllabus 

The Social and Economic Environment of Texas Politics 


Chapter 1 




Sept 4-10 


The Texas Constitution 


Chapter 2 




Sept 11-17 


Texas Government and Politics in the Federalist System 


Chapter 3 




Sept 18-24 


Local Government in Texas 


Chapter 4 


Unit #1 Assignment 

By 11:59pm on Sept 24th 


Sept 25- Oct 1 



Current Events Extra Credit Opportunity 

Exam #1 








Oct 2-8 


The Texas Legislature 

The Texas Executive 


Chapters 5& 6 




Oct 9-15 


The Texas Bureaucracy 

The Texas Judiciary 


Chapters 7&8 


Unit Assignment #2 Due by 11:59pm on Sunday, October 15th 



Oct 16-22 



Current Events Extra Credit Opportunity 

Exam #2 






Oct 23-29 


Semester Project Presentations 




Semester Project Groups Presentations on Oct 23 & 25 


Oct 30-Nov 5 


Political Socialization and Public Opinion 


Chapter 9 




Nov 6-12 


The Party System in Texas 

Elections, Campaigns and Voting in Texas 


Chapters 10 &11 




Nov 13-19 



Current Events Extra Credit Opportunity 

Exam #3 




Unit Assignment #3 Due by 11:59pm on Sunday, November 19th 



Nov 20-26 


Thanksgiving Break 

No Assignments 






Nov 27-Dec 3 


Mass Media in Texas Politics 

Interest Groups and Political Power in Texas 


Chapters 12 & 13 


Semester Project Final Papers Due by 11:59pm on Sunday, December 3rd 


Dec 4-10 


Contemporary Policy Issues in Texas 


Current Events Extra Credit Opportunity 


Chapter 14 


Unit Assignment #4 Due by 11:59pm on Sunday, December 10th 


Dec 11 


Final Exam 





Final Exam Date December 11, 2023 - 9:40 AM
Grading Scale  90 - 100=A 80 - 89=B  70 - 79=C   60 - 69=D  Below 59 = F
Determination of
Final Grade
Exams: 40%
Quizzes: 10%
Unit Assignments: 30%
Semester Paper: 20%
Course Policies
Instructor Policies

Make-up work and exams 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 stay and 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 will 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 the 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. 


The instructor will grade and return all submitted course 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 Students found to be committing academic dishonesty (cheating, plagiarism, or collusion) may receive disciplinary action following investigation by the Dean of Students. Proven violations of this nature will result in the student being dropped from the class with an “F”. This policy applies campus-wide, including the LSCPA testing center, and off-campus classroom or lab sites. Students should familiarize themselves with LSCPA’s student conduct and discipline policies available in the Student Handbook at https://lamarpa.smartcatalogiq.com/en/2022-2023/2022-2023-student-handbook/ 
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