POLI 103: American Government and Politics

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2022
Credits: 3
Total Contact Hours: 54
Lecture Hours : 54
Lab Hours: 0
Hours Arranged: 0
Outside of Class Hours: 108
District General Education: D1. History and Political Science
Transferable to CSU: Yes
Transferable to UC: Yes - Approved
Grading Method: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Catalog Course Description

This course deals with the origins and functions of the government of the United States with special emphasis on the background and causes of present problems. It meets the United States Constitution graduation requirement and includes local and state government. 54 lecture hours.

Course Objectives

  • understand the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship
  • recognize American values and Freedoms
  • evaluate the functions and interrelationships of national, state and local governments
  • explain the rights and responsibilities of Americans and others in the United States
  • critique the Constitution of the United States
  • recognize and distinguish the importance of the separate governmental branches at national, state and local levels
  • assess and evaluate the avenues present through "inputs of system"
  • compare other governments and ideologies
  • critique the politicosocial significance of current happenings in America and the world

Major Course Content

  1. Background and Foundations
    1. The Functions of Government and Political Ideologies
    2. American Political Culture
    3. The Constitution
    4. Federalism
  2. Political Processes (Inputs)
    1. Public Opinion
    2. Interest Groups
    3. Political Parties
    4. Political Participation
    5. Elections and Campaigns
  3. Decision. Making Agencies
    1. The Legislative Branch (Congress)
    2. The Executive Branch
      1. The Presidency
      2. The Bureaucracy
      3. The Judiciary
  4. Public Policy (Outputs)
    1. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
    2. Foreign Policy and National Security
    3. Domestic and Economic Policy
  5. California
    1. Society
    2. Construction
    3. Legislature
    4. Courts
    5. Executive

Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook

Class handouts and assigned essays from various readers such as, "Classic Ideas in American Government," the New York Times, and The Economist.

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

Students are asked to write an in-class Blue Book essay on an assigned topic showing knowledge on information provided through lecture, readings, discussion and/or media.
Students are asked to write a two to three page take-home response paper to a question presented by the instructor using readings other than the course textbook. (Supplements listed under "Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook").

Examples of Outside Assignments

Students are asked to synthesize knowledge gained in the classroom and texts with contemporary issues in American Politics by completing assignments that require library and directed Internet research.
One specific assignment used in this course directs students to websites of various scientific public opinion polling organizations. Students then research actual surveys and analyze them based on what they have learned about "reliability" and "validity." Students then identify specific question phrasing, sample size, sampling methods, and analyze the survey's methodology to determine if there might be problems with the survey's reliability or validity.

Instruction Type(s)

Lecture, Online Education Lecture

IGETC Area 4: Social and Behavioral Sciences

4H. Political Science, Government & Legal Institutions