State Government Syllabus
GOVT 2306 State Government
This course is a general survey of the United States and Texas Constitutions, federalism, citizenship, voting and local governments with an emphasis on Texas government. Credit in GOVT 2305 is necessary to satisfy the legislative requirement for graduation. It is recommended that students enroll in GOVT 2306 if only three hours of government are needed to meet the requirements of a technical curriculum or to satisfy the state requirements for teacher certification.
II. Expected Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
After successfully completing this course, a student is able to:
III. Course Policies
Academic Integrity Policy
Institutional policies are in effect. All your work must be your own, unless I authorize collaboration, in which case you must, in writing, acknowledge the help you have received. Presenting as one's own work the words, ideas or expressions of another in any form is cheating through plagiarism and neither your institution nor I tolerate it. The claim of ignorance is no excuse.
The web is a marvelous resource for today's students. I encourage you to use web resources in preparing your work. However, you must list any sites used at the end of your work. Too, using web resources does not mean you can simply copy-and-paste from a site, even if you give credit to the site. If you have a friend that has taken this course from me, you are welcome to ask him/her for help in the course but I caution you against turning in your friend's work as your own.
Your work must be precisely that ... your ideas in your words. At the least, I will refuse to accept your assignment. At the worst, colleges frequently expel students for academic dishonesty. It's a huge risk for a limited return.
At the beginning of each semester I follow institutional policies regarding student drops. At the end of the late add/drop period, I send the administration the name of any student with whom I have not yet had contact. The institution drops those students and provides that information to any student loan/grant agency that might be affected. After that initial period, I assume each of you will take responsibility for your decisions and your performance in your course. If you stop participating, you will earn whatever points you had accumulated at that time. If you don't want that to happen, you need to complete the course or initiate a drop yourself by contacting the college through which you registered. You can find a more detailed explanation of how to do that in the Online Participation Policy section of your syllabus.
The grading scale for your final course grade is as follows: A = a total of 90 points or above; B = a total of 80-89 points; C = a total of 70-79 points; D = a total of 60-69 points; F = a total of 59 points or below. I do NOT average grades or use percentages. I simply add up the points you earn for the assignments you complete. The assignments add up to a potential of 100 points as follows.
I reply to all assignments with the number of points you earned for that assignment. You should keep up with your points and take responsibility for tracking your total during the course. There's no reason for you to be confused, unsure or clueless about the number of points you've earned at any time during the course.
In general, I am responsible for giving you prompt, clear and useful feedback and for helping you become a better student and writer and a more critical thinker. You are responsible for:
Policy on Late Assignments: Except for the final exam, I will accept late assignments but I will deduct 1 point per day late, including holidays and weekends. Be careful about turning in late assignments, though. Even if your work is outstanding, a 10-point assignment turned in 10 days late will earn 0 points after late points are deducted. Don't waste your time and effort ... stick to the schedule below and get credit for your work.
Specific assignments and the due date for each are in the Course Schedule below.
IV. Recommended Text
Texas Government: Policy and Politics, 12th edition
Textbooks usually are much cheaper if purchased online. You have to be careful to purchase the correct text, though, so I have given your text's ISBN above. You are also welcome to use an older edition of the text. But ... if you buy an edition other than the one I've listed above, you will be responsible for matching up the appropriate material in the units below to the chapters in the text you buy and for any "holes" in the coverage.
Buy a Print Text Online
Go to http://gettextbooks.com. Type or paste the ISBN above into the search box and click GO. You will get a list of online merchants with your text for sale, sorted by price. Choose the link for the merchant of your choice.
If you prefer, you can go straight to an online merchant's site and use the ISBN to see if your text is for sale. The following are some of those I've found to be dependable.
If you prefer to rent your texts, go to www.chegg.com.
Buy an Online Text
This text is available from Course Smart in both eBook and eChapter formats. To purchase or for more information use this link. You can also go to the main page at www.coursesmart.com and type or paste the ISBN in the search box.
Sell Your Text
In your syllabus are a number of resources available to help you with your coursework. If you use them they will make your course easier.
VII. Online Final Exam Instructions
When you are ready to take your final exam, use the following link. (Don’t try to type it into your browser. Instead just click on the link below.)
When the login screen pops up, use the following password. The password is case-sensitive so make sure you type it exactly as shown. (Or, copy and paste it if you prefer.)
You may only access the exam one time. Once you have entered the password and been given access to the exam questions, you will not be allowed to access the exam again.
At the beginning of the exam are boxes for your first and last name. These are required fields. The software will not allow you to submit your answers until you’ve entered both your first and last name. If you finish the exam, try to submit your answers and get a message about “required fields,” chances are you forgot to enter your first and last name at the beginning of the exam.
[ONE CAUTION: Occasionally a student will decide to cheat by logging into the final without entering his/her name or with a fake name. It's true that if someone does that, he/she will probably be able to log in again later with a real name. There are two problems with that. First, the correct answers aren't available, only the questions … and anyone can get the questions from the final exam review, without the risk of failing when caught cheating. Second, any time someone logs into the exam – whether with a fake name, a real name or with no name – the software records the ISP of the computer that person used. It takes me about 5 minutes to copy-and-paste a suspicious ISP into a small program that provides the exact street address for the computer associated with that ISP. It doesn't matter if the computer belongs to the student, a best friend, a grandmother or the college … it's easy to establish the cheater's identity. I can't stop someone who is determined to cheat but in this case cheating would be stupid ... it won't help much and I will know who that person is.]
Your exam is timed, with a timer on the exam page that keeps track of the time you’ve used. You must submit your answers before the time is up. Once you hit the Submit button at the bottom of the exam page your answers are locked and cannot be accessed.
Once you have submitted your answers you will get a score ranging from 0 to 20. This is the number of points you earned, not the number of correct answers. Since each question is worth 0.5 points, a score of 20 points means you correctly answered all 40 questions. A score of 15 points means you correctly answered 30 questions. Etc.
You must finish the exam (hit the Submit button) by midnight of the due date given in your syllabus. If you submit your answers after that time, they will not be recorded and you will receive a zero for your exam.
I strongly encourage you to use the final exam review. (It's linked at the top of this page.) Pay attention to the review and you will have no problem doing well on the exam. Good luck!