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American Government

3 Credits

This course is a part of:
Associate's Degree Program
Bachelor's Degree Program

In this introductory course in American Government, students will acquire a basic understanding of the American political process. The primary focus is on the individuals, groups, and institutions that form and inform our federal government, and how our laws have evolved. By learning about how our government functions at the national, state, and local levels, we come to understand the workings of a participatory democracy Students will be encouraged to become active contributors to the political system by learning how government impacts their lives and how they can make a difference in the lives of others.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  • Describe how American democracy functions
  • Detail the history and debates surrounding the Constitution
  • Understand the genesis of the protection of civil liberties and civil rights
  • Explain how mass media impact the political process
  • Give examples and explanations of how Americans participate in politics
  • Identify the roles and operations of political parties
  • Discuss the Electoral College and its criticisms
  • Define special interest groups and lobbies, and how they work
  • Assess the effects of the interplay between the President and Congress with respect to how laws are made
  • Explicate the role of the Federal Judicial System
  • Define the challenges for policymaking in the 21st century
  • Join the debate over healthcare as public policy
  • Discuss and classify the latest threats to national security