Summer Sessions 2021 Course Syllabus
Course: GOVT-2305- Section: 71
Federal Government
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Instructor Information
InstructorDr. Hafthor Erlingsson
Phone(409) 984-6477
Location:Education I - Room: 113
Hours:Office hours available by appointment
COVID 19 Information The Lamar State College Port Arthur (LSCPA) Student Code of Conduct COVID 19 Policy requires students who have been exposed to COVID 19 or diagnosed with COVID 19 to report their condition on the COVID 19 Notification Form (available via a link on the Student Code of Conduct COVID19 webpage). This information will be provided to the Dean of Student Services. In addition, this policy requires all students to wear face coverings in compliance with the criteria included in the policy. For more information please refer to the COVID 19 link on the LSCPA website.
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.
Prerequisites Basic Skills: competency in reading and writing
Learning Outcomes Upon successful completion of this course, students will:
Explain the origin and development of constitutional democracy in the United States.
Demonstrate knowledge of the federal system.
Describe separation of powers and checks and balances in both theory and practice.
Demonstrate knowledge of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the federal government.
Evaluate the role of public opinion, interest groups, and political parties in the political system.
Analyze the election process.
Describe the rights and responsibilities of citizens.
Analyze issues and policies in U.S. politics.
Evaluate and respond to the political environment applying researched data.
Core Objectives Communication skills: Students will demonstrate effective written, oral and 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.

* 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.
Program Student Learning Outcomes
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.

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.

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.

All students need to look at their tuition statement. The classes are set up as First Day access for the Pearson Revel Textbook. That means you have already been charged for the e-text at a discounted rate. A link is provided in the course menu to access the e-text.

Otherwise, if a student opts out of the First Day, you will need to purchase the access code for the e-text at the publisher price. See below for ISBN#. All students purchasing the e-text rather than using the First Day Program will have 14 days of free access but will need to purchase before expiration. Students can go to Pearson Revel to purchase or the Bookstore on campus.

Required Textbook:
Politics in America
Publisher: Pearson Publishing
Authors: Keith Gaddie and Thomas Dye

Pearson Revel E-Book: 2018 Elections and Updates Edition- Access Card-11th edition- ISBN# 9780135202753

If you need help, check out these Revel student resources:

Students may also find used printed editions:

Thomas Dye and Ronald Gaddie, 2015 Special Edition, Pearson Publishing

Lecture Topics
Week 1 (June 7 to June 13)
-Introduction to GOVT 2305
-Declining trust in government and politics
-Who gets what, when, and how in politics
-Political culture
-The Constitution
-PEW Research: Key findings about Americans’ declining trust in government and each other
-Chapters 1-3 in Politics in America textbook
-Discussion post 1
-Quiz 1
Week 2 (June 14 to June 20)
-Political opinion and participation
-Civil liberties and civil
-Chapters 4, 5, 14, and 15 in Politics in America
-Discussion post 2
-Quiz 2
-Short paper I
Week 3 (June 21 to June 27)
-The Media and Setting the Political Agenda
-Political Parties and Interest Groups
-Campaigns and Elections
-Chapters 6-9 in Politics in America
-Jacobson: The Effects of Campaign Spending in House Elections.
-Discussion post 3
-Quiz 3
-Midterm exam. The midterm exam covers the material for weeks 1-3
Week 4 (June 28 to July 4)
-Congress and Politics on Capitol Hill
-The President and the Executive Branch
-The Federal Bureaucracy
Chapters 10-12 in Politics in America
-Discussion post 4
-Quiz 4
-Short paper II
Week 5 (July 5 to July 9)
-The Judicial Branch
-Politics and National Security
Chapters 13 and 18 in Politics in America
-Discussion post 5
-Quiz 5
-Final exam. The final exam covers the material from weeks 4-5.
Major Assignments
Midterm exam: Week 3 (June 21 to June 27)
Final exam: Week 5 (July 5 to July 9)
Short paper I: Week 2 (June 14 to June 20)
Short paper II: Week 4 (June 28 to July 4)
Discussion posts: Ongoing
Quizzes: Ongoing
Final Exam Date July 5, 2021 - 8:00 AM   Through  July 9, 2021 - 11:59 PM
Grading Scale A: 90-100% (450-500 points).
B: 80-89% (400-449 points).
C: 70-79% (350-399 points).
D: 60-69% (300-349 points).
F: <59% (0-299 points)
Determination of
Final Grade
-Two exams worth 125 points each (50 percent of total grade)
-Two short papers worth 75 points each (30 percent of total grade)
-Four discussion posts worth 12.5 points each (10 percent of total grade)
-Four quizzes worth 12.5 points each (10 percent of total grade)
Course Policies
Instructor Policies Students are responsible for all material covered in the course, lectures, chapter readings, exams, discussion assignments, and the research assignment. All assignments are to be typed as directed.

Exams: There will only be makeup exams in cases of emergencies and with proper approval by the instructor. In case of emergency, the instructor must be notified at least one day in advance by email as to the reason for missing the exam. Students need proper documentation as to why the exam was missed. Excused reasons are hospitalization or legal matters. A grade of 0 will apply for an exam missed without proper documentation.
Work schedules are not considered acceptable for missing exams.
Exam dates are announced on the course menu.

Papers: Late assignments will be deducted 10 percentage points per day they are late (7.5 points). All papers must be turned in on Blackboard following the guidelines provided on the course site.

Discussion posts: Late assignments will not be accepted. All discussion posts must be turned in on Blackboard.

Quizzes: The quizzes can only be made up due to extenuating circumstances.

Academic Ethics: Applicable to all coursework. It is expected that all students will engage in ethical conduct and will not engage in copying work or the production of other research papers or assignments. This also includes student's previous coursework or current assignments of other courses. Such violation of ethical standards will result in an automatic grade of "0" on the work in question with no opportunity to make up the work. This expectation also extends to proper citations and credit for works used in the research paper. All quotes, paraphrases, or facts taken from another source must be cited. Caution about Quotes and Paraphrases: There should be no more than two to three in the paper and short in length.
Academic integrity is essential, whether in class or online learning, and I take it very seriously. Academic dishonesty will not be accepted in this class. Students are to submit their work, not the work of others, including as stated above, a students' work from past or present courses. If you submit other's work as your own or use resources not allowed, you will receive a 0 for the grade and possible F for the course based upon the discretion of the instructor. Additionally, all student submissions are checked for plagiarism, and the use of any materials not authorized for use is prohibited. It is also expected that students are not accessing other material questionable to the assignment. A grade of 0 will apply.
Students enrolled in both federal government 2305 and Texas 2306, or who have previously taken any government courses, it is required that you write a separate research paper for each course. You may not use the same information. Students may not use assignments from other government courses or any other coursework. Different topics and sources are required. If you have any questions, contact me. Also, the same applies to Discussion Board/Assignments. Any duplicated work will result in a 0 for the grade.

My class policy is that if any academic dishonesty is discovered, the student will receive 0 for the assignment in question and a possible F in the class. You will not just receive a 0 on the individual assignment - whether it be the research assignment or other assignments - you risk receiving an F for the course. See the Lamar State College-Port Arthur guidelines for academic dishonesty below.
Lamar State College-Port Arthur Academic Dishonesty Policy: Lamar State College-Port Arthur considers academic dishonesty, including collusion, cheating, and plagiarism as defined in the Student Handbook, to be a serious academic offense. Students guilty of such behavior will be subject to the following penalties:
First offense: Student will receive a failing grade on the exam or assignment with no possibility for make-up. If the offense is flagrant, the student may receive an F in the course. The student's name and the documented offense will be forwarded to the proper college officials. Second offense: Students will receive an F in the course with no possibility for make-up. The student's name and the documented offense will be forwarded to the proper university officials. All accused students will be given written notice of the offense, the penalty assessed, and the right of appeal to the department chair/advisory committee.
Attendance Policy This is not a self-paced course. Keeping pace is important. Students must maintain the readings and all other material on a weekly basis. In case of emergency, the instructor must be notified as soon as possible by email as to the reason for why a student missed an assignment.
Academic Honesty Academic honesty is expected from all students, and dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated. Please consult the LSC-PA policies (Section IX, subsection A, in the Faculty Handbook) for consequences of academic dishonesty.
Facility Policies
  1. No food or tobacco products are allowed in the classroom.

  2. Only students enrolled in the course are allowed in the classroom, except by special instructor permission.

  3. Use of electronic devices is prohibited.
Important Information
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.
MyLSCPA Be sure to check your campus E-mail and Course Homepage using MyLSCPA campus web portal ( When you've logged in, click the email icon in the upper right-hand corner to check email, or click on the "My Courses" tab to get to your Course Homepage. Click the link to your course and review the information presented. It is important that you check your email and Course Homepage regularly. You can also access your grades, transcripts, and determine who your academic advisor is by using MyLSCPA.
HB 2504 This syllabus is part of LSC-PA's efforts to comply with Texas House Bill 2504.
General Education and Developmental Studies
Chair:Dr. Michelle Davis
Phone:(409) 984-6341

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.