Skagit Valley College

Catalog Course Search Details

 Course Title:   American Government: D

 Title Abbreviation:   AMERICAN GOVERNMENT: D

 Department:    POLS&

 Course #:    202

 Credits:    5

 Variable:     No

 IUs:    5

 CIP:    451001

 EPC:    n/a

 REV:    2018

 Course Description  

A study of the structure of power in the United States and the functions, sources, and uses of power in American Politics. Also emphasizes mechanisms and outcomes of the policy making process in a pluralistic society.


Prerequisite: Appropriate placement or grade of 2.0 or higher in ENGL 099.

Additional Course Details

Contact Hours (based on 11 week quarter)

Lecture: 55

Lab: 0

Other: 0

Systems: 0

Clinical: 0

Intent: Distribution Requirement(s) Status:  

Academic Social Sciences  

Equivalencies At Other Institutions

Other Institution Equivalencies Table
Institution Course # Remarks
CWU 210
U of W 202
WSU 101
WWU 250

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, the student will be able to:

  1. More effectively and critically gather data, analyze this information, and develop strategies to understand and participate in U.S. politics
  2. Discuss the history of the Constituion, with its inherent conflicts, ambiguities and omissions
  3. Understand the vaious forms of government which have existed in the U.S.: unitary, confederal, federal
  4. Comprehend the ongoing development of civil rights and liberties under the Constitution and the coping with bigotry, prejudice, and discrimination
  5. Discuss the political party system, its evolution and changing ideologies over time
  6. Understand the election and electoral system, its strengths weaknesses and foibles
  7. Appreciate the duties and responsibilities of the president and executive branch
  8. Comprehend the structure and functioning of the court system of the Federal Judiciary
  9. Understand the dilemna of representation facing congressmen in the Legislative Branch

General Education Learning Values & Outcomes

Revised August 2008 and affects outlines for 2008 year 1 and later.

0. Application and Integration

Definition: Applying information from one or more disciplines and/or field experiences in new contexts (Outcome 0.1); developing integrated approaches or responses to personal, academic, professional, and social issues (Outcomes 0.2-0.5).

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
0.3 Identify and evaluate the relationships among different perspectives within a field of study and among different fields of study.

1. Information Literacy

Definition: Recognizing when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
1.1 Determine the extent of information needed.
1.2 Access the needed information effectively, efficiently, ethically, and legally.
1.3 Evaluate information and its sources critically.

2. Critical Thinking

Definition: The ability to think critically about the nature of knowledge within a discipline and about the ways in which that knowledge is constructed and validated and to be sensitive to the ways these processes often vary among disciplines.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
2.1 Identify and express concepts, terms, and facts related to a specific discipline.
2.2 Analyze issues and develop questions within a discipline.
2.3 Identify, interpret, and evaluate pertinent data and previous experience to reach conclusions.

3. Communication

Definition: Understanding and producing effective written, spoken, visual, and non-verbal communication.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
3.1 Recognize, read, and comprehend academic and/or professional writing.
3.4 Produce academic and/or professional writing and integrate it into written and spoken projects.

4. Community & Cultural Diversity

Definition: Recognizing the value of human communities and cultures from multiple perspectives through a critical understanding of their similarities and differences.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
4.1 Identify and express concepts, terms, and issues associated with the diverse perspectives of race, social class, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, and culture.
4.2 Understand, value and respect human differences and commonalities as they relate to issues of race, social class, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities and culture.
4.3 Understand the historically and socially constructed nature of—and the meanings attributed to—human differences.

6. Individual Awareness & Responsibility

Definition: Understanding, managing, and taking responsibility for one’s learning and behavior in varied and changing environments.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
6.1 Identify ethical and healthy choices and apply these personally, socially, academically, and professionally.
6.4 Use self-reflection to recognize and define a sense of self-identity in personal, social/gender, and/or cultural/global terms and in relationship to others.

Course Contents

  1. Learning theory in political science: knowledge, awareness, and strategies in a pluralistic society.
  2. Critical thinking in political science: frameworks of analysis.
  3. The American Revolution, Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, Constitution.
  4. Federalism: division of power between the states and central government.
  5. Unresolved questions: slavery, native peoples, women, immigrants.
  6. The rise of political parties: ideology and the politics of exclusion.
  7. Elections, electoral system, redistricting.
  8. Civil rights and freedoms: the ongoing battle of justice for all.
  9. Role of interest groups and lobbying.
  10. The executive branch: history, development, limits.
  11. The legislative branch: history, organizational discussion, how a bill becomes law.
  12. The judicial branch: the federal judiciary, the Supreme Court, judicial review.
  13. Current dilemmas in a pluralistic society.